KNOW YE, That reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity and abilities of

William Witherington

I do appoint him an Ensign of the 17th Regiment Mississippi Territory, to take rank from the date hereof. He is therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the duty of an Ensign by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging. And I do strictly charge and require all officers and soldiers under his command, to be obedient to his orders as an Ensign .

And he is to observe and follow such orders and directions from time to time as he shall receive from the Governor of the Mississippi Territory for the time being or the other superior officers set over him according to the rules and discipline of war. This commission is to continue in force during the pleasure of the Governor for the time being.


I have caused these letters to be made patent and the seal of the Territory to be hereunto affixed.

GIVEN under my hand at the Town of Washington, Mississippi Territory .

The 7th day of July in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and 13.

and in the 38th Year of the Independence of the United States of America.

Seal of Mississippi Territory David Holmes

Attest: Henry Daingerfield By The Governor

(Back Side of the Commission - Handwritten)

Mississippi Territory, Jackson County

I do hereby certify that William Witherington came before me and was duly

Sworn the Oaths that is appointed by law as an Ensign in Captain James Ware's

Company in the 17th Regiment of the Mississippi Territory.

Sworn to before me this 4th Sept. 1813.

James Ware (L 2)


(1) This is a transcription from a photocopy of original Ensign's Commission of William Witherington, Jr. (1773-1837) of Darlington, SC, Feliciana Parish, LA and Conecuh County, AL, and who is said to have fought at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812.

(2) "GIVEN under my hand at the Town of Washington" (Mississippi) <see below 'History of Mississippi Territory'>

History of Mississippi Territory (Encyclopedia Britannica)

The original Mississippi Territory created by the U.S. Congress in 1798 was a strip of land extending about 100 miles north to south and from the Mississippi River to the Chattahoochee on the Georgia border. The territory was increased in 1804 and 1812 to reach from Tennessee to the Gulf. In 1817 the western part achieved statehood as Mississippi (the eastern part became the state of Alabama in 1819). Natchez, the first territorial capital, was replaced in 1802 by nearby Washington, which in turn was replaced by Jackson in 1822 as the Capitol of the State of Mississippi.

(3) William Witherington, Jr. was the 4th Great Grandfather of William R. King, Jr. -14106 Carolcrest Circle, Houston, TX 77079

E-Mail Address: < Lynn.Bill.King@pdq.net > - Tel. (281) 493-6767

Rev. 3 Feb. 2001

DAVID HOLMES, 1769-1832

Governor, Mississippi Territory 1809-1817
Governor, State of Mississippi 1817-1820

US Senate:

Years of Service: 1820-1823; 1823-1825
Party: Republican; Jackson Republican

HOLMES, David a Representative from Virginia and a Senator from Mississippi; born at Mary Ann Furnace, near Hanover, York County, Pa., March 10, 1769; moved to Virginia as a child; attended Winchester Academy, Winchester, Va.; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1791 and commenced practice in Harrisonburg, Va.; held several local offices; elected to the Fifth and to the five succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1797-March 3, 1809); was not a candidate for re-nomination in 1808; chairman, Committee on Claims (Ninth and Tenth Congresses); moved to the Mississippi Territory; Governor of the Territory of Mississippi 1809-1817; Governor of the State of Mississippi 1817-1820; appointed to the United States Senate from Mississippi as a Republican to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Walter Leake; subsequently elected and served from August 30, 1820, to September 25, 1825, when he resigned; chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs (Sixteenth Congress); again Governor of Mississippi, but stepped down due to ill health 1826; returned to Winchester, Va., in 1827; died at Jordan’s Sulphur Springs, near Winchester, Va., on August 20, 1832; interment in Mount Hebron Cemetery, Winchester, Va.

Bibliography: DAB; Conrad, D.H. ‘David Holmes: First Governor of Mississippi.’ Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society 4 (1921): 234-57; Hildreth, Howard P. “David Holmes.” Virginia Cavalcade 16 (Spring 1967): 38-40.

From the Political Graveyard
Holmes, David (1769-1832) Born near Hanover, Pa., March 10, 1769. U.S. Representative from Virginia, 1797-1809 (at-large 1797-1807, 4th District 1807-09); Governor of Mississippi Territory, 1809-17; Governor of Mississippi, 1817-20, 1826; U.S. Senator from Mississippi, 1820-25. Died near Winchester, Va., August 20, 1832. Interment at Mt. Hebron Cemetery, Winchester, VA. Holmes County, Miss. is named for him.

Rev. 2 Feb. 2001

Return to Tracking Your Roots