Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography

In 1915, Lyon Gardiner Tyler wrote a three part series of books dedicated to Virginia Biography. His intention was to cover biographies of important Virginians from the founding of the colony until the present time (1915). This series of books was then added to under the direction of Dr. Tyler by the publishers, to make a total of five volumes. With each book comprising over 300 pages, the entire work includes more then 2000 pages of biographies of Virginians who were influential in the early history of Virginia. An example of a biography can be found within Dennis' Notes below.

Volume 1

The aim of this book will be to give the biographies of all those who had any important connection with the founding of the colony down to the American Revolution. Thus the book will be divided into four parts, under the following headings:

  1. The Founders
  2. The Presidents and Governors
  3. The Council of State
  4. The Burgesses and Other Prominent Citizens

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Volume 2

The aim of this second volume is to present the biographies of the leading figures in the history of the State approximately down to the War for Southern Independence. 1861. For this purpose the book, like the first volume, is divided into eight parts, under the following headings:

  1. The Fathers of the Revolution
  2. Governors of the State
  3. Judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals
  4. Presidents of the United States
  5. Judges of the United States Supreme Court
  6. United States Senators
  7. House of Representatives
  8. Prominent Persons

Amid such a wide range of persons as is called for by the last division, the Author does not assume that he has been always wise in his selection.

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Volume 3

In volumes I. and II., the history of Virginia as set forth in the biographies of its distinguished citizens was brought down approximately to the year 1861. The present volume brings that history down to date (1915). The divisions are as follows:

The Governors of the State
Judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals
Under the ConfederacyŚ Department Officers, Members of Congress, and Military and Naval Officers
President of the United States
United States Senators
House of Representatives
Prominent Persons

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Volume 4 + 5

Volumes 4 and 5 were edited by Dr. Tyler, and not written by him. In the earlier works, Dr. Tyler emphasized that he did not cover "all" the prominent early citizens of Virginia. The 4th and 5th volumes were then undertaken by the publishers in hoping to expand on the first three volumes of works.

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( 53 MB PDF )


Biography of William Parham Chambliss

Chambliss, William Parham, born in Bedford county, Virginia, March 20, 1827. After attending a private school in Giles county, Tennessee, he served through the Mexican war as second lieutenant in the First Tennessee Volunteers, from June, 1846, till July, 1847, and afterward as captain of the Third Tennessee Volunteers. From 1850 till 1855 he practiced law in Pulaski, Tennessee, and from 1852 till 1855 edited there the "Citizen," a democratic weekly newspaper. He was also a member of the legislature from 1853 till 1854. He entered the Federal army as first lieutenant in the Second Cavalry, March 3, 1855, and was engaged in Texas against Indians until March, 1861. He was made captain in the Fifth Cavalry, April 6, 1861, and served through the Manassas and Peninsula campaigns, receiving the brevet of major, May 4, 1862, for gallantry at Hanover Court House, Virginia. At the battle of Gaines' Mills. June 27, 1862, he was wounded in several places, lay four days-and four nights on the field of battle, and was then taken to Libby prison, Richmond. For his conduct at Gaines' Mills he was brevetted lieutenant-colonel on June 28, 1862. The wounds that he received on this occasion nearly caused his death, and partially disabled him for the rest of his life. After his release from Libby prison he underwent treatment in St. Luke's hospital, New York, and then served as instructor of cavalry at the United States military academy from October, 1862, till June, 1864. He was made major in the Fourth Cavalry, March 30, 1864, served as special inspector of cavalry, division of the Mississippi, from August, 1864, till April, 1865, and with his regiment in Texas till November 1, 1867, when he resigned and became president and general manager of the Cobourg Railway and Mining Company, Cobourg, Canada. He published a pamphlet on "General McClellan and the Presidency" (1864). He died February 22, 1887.