John J. Pettus

John J. Pettus

John Jones Pettus (October 9 1813-1867) was a United States politician. A member of the Democratic party, he was Governor of the state of Mississippi from January 5 1854 to January 10 1854, and later was elected to a full term, from 21 November 1859 - 16 November 1863. On April 4, 1837, he married his cousin, Permelia Virginia Winston, a daughter of William Winston and Mary Cooper, in Tuscumbia, Alabama. He was known as "the Mississippi Fire-eater" because he once said that he would rather eat fire than sit down with Yankees. He was also known for making this famous Quote:

"I am Mississippian to the Core.My ancestors are buried upon her hillsides.I am, and have been and ever expect to be within her borders.Whatever may happen, I am with her Heart and Soul."

After the war, amnesty was refused to him and he became a fugitive; the manhunt for him continued until his death in Pulaski County, Arkansas in early 1867. His original interment was in a private or family graveyard (on the property of a cousin, John Jones), although he was later re-interred at Flat Bayou Burial Ground, Wabbaseka, Arkansas. His wife Permelia died in 1857 and is buried in the Winston Family Cemetery in Gainesville, Sumter County, Alabama.

John Jones Pettus was also a brother of Edmund Winston Pettus (1821-1907) a United States Senator from Alabama and for whom the Pettus Memorial Bridge was named in Selma Alabama.

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