Upshur, Abel Parker

Upshur, Abel Parker

(ŭp`shər), 1790–1844, American cabinet officer, b. Northampton co., Va. Admitted (1810) to the bar, he practiced law in Richmond, Va., and held state offices. When most of the Whig cabinet resigned in disagreement with President TylerTyler, John,
1790–1862, 10th President of the United States, b. Charles City co., Va. Early Career

Educated at the College of William and Mary, he studied law under his father, John Tyler (1747–1813), governor of Virginia from 1808 to 1811, and was
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, Upshur was appointed (1841) secretary of the navy. Upon Daniel Webster's resignation, he became secretary of state (1843–44). An ardent advocate of slavery, Upshur reopened negotiations with Texas for its admission to the Union as a slave state and thus played an important role in the movement for the annexation of Texas. He was killed by the explosion of a cannon on the U.S.S. Princeton.

Bibliography

See biography by C. H. Hall (1964).

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Upshur, Abel Parker

(1791–1844) legislator, jurist; born in Northampton County, Va. A Virginia Supreme Court judge (1826–41) he held pro-slavery, states' rights views. He was secretary of the navy (1841–43) and secretary of state (1843–44) before his death from a gun explosion aboard the USS Princeton.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.