John Rutherfoord

John Rutherfoord (December 6, 1792 โ€“ August 3, 1866) was a U.S. political figure. He served as Acting Governor of Virginia between 1841 and 1842. He was the brother-in-law of Edward Coles.

John Rutherfoord
Acting Governor of Virginia
In office
March 31, 1841 โ€“ March 31, 1842
Preceded byJohn M. Patton
Succeeded byJohn Munford Gregory
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Richmond City
In office
December 4, 1826 โ€“ December 1, 1834
Preceded byJacqueline B. Harvie
Succeeded byChapman Johnson
Personal details
John Rutherfoord

(1792-12-06)December 6, 1792
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
DiedAugust 3, 1866(1866-08-03) (aged 73)
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materPrinceton University


Rutherfoord graduated from Princeton University in 1816, studied law and was admitted to the bar. He served in a militia unit called the Richmond Fayette Artillery, advancing through the ranks from captain to regimental commander with the rank of colonel.

He became president of the Mutual Assurance Society, Virginia's first insurance company. Originally a Democratic-Republican, and later a Whig, and then a Democrat, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates from December 1826 to March 1834. Rutherfoord was a member of the state Executive Council from 1839 to 1841.

In 1841 Governor Thomas Walker Gilmer resigned to accept election to a seat in the United States House of Representatives. His place was taken by John M. Patton, who as the Executive Council's senior member was first in the line of succession. Patton served just 12 days before he resigned. Having been designated as the senior member of the Executive Council, Rutherfoord then succeeded to the governorship.

Rutherfoord served one year, March 31, 1841, to March 31, 1842. Upon his resignation, he was succeeded by another Executive Council member, John Munford Gregory, who completed the term to which Gilmer had been elected.

After resigning the governorship Rutherfoord returned to his business interests. He died in Richmond on August 3, 1866, and was buried in Richmond's Shockoe Hill Cemetery.


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