Date of Award
A discussion of the Civil War and Reconstruction in Louisiana would not be complete without including the name of Jamas G. Taliaferro. Taliaferro, a prominent citizen from Harrisonburg, Louisiana, was a lawyer by profession, but was also involved in the politics of his area. After the death of his wife in 1850, lie devoted more time to politics and became active in state politics. In addition to being a lawyer and judge, he owned and edited the Harrisonburg Independent, the only newspaper in Catahoula Parish at this time.
Taliaferro held various elective pariah offices and in 1852. he entered state politics by being the Catahoula delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He actively participated in the convention and frequently voiced his opinion on the different issues, Taliaferro is best known for his opposition to Louisiana’s secession in 1851. As the Catahoula delegate to the convention, he stood firm in his beliefs and convictions and gave the only verbal protest to the Ordinance. In addition to denouncing the Secession Ordinance, he refused to sign the document. During the Civil War he remained at home in Harrisonburg but after the war he supported the reconstruction of Louisiana by participating in politics again. In 1865 he unsuccessfully ran for Lieutenant Governor.
In 1865 Taliaferro received an appointment as Associate Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, As president of the Constitutional Convention of 1368, he played a major role in helping formulate the new constitution which re-admitted Louisiana to the Union. In 1868 he also ran against Henry Clay Warmoth in the gubernatorial election. Although he was unsuccessful in the election, Warmoth reappointed him to the state Supreme Court in 1868 and he served in this capacity until his death in 1876.
Mills, Wynona Gillmore, "James Govan Taliaferro (1798-1876): Louisiana Unionist and Scalawag" (1965). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 8288.