William Cabell Rives - Encyclopedia

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WILLIAM CABELL RIVES (1793-1868), American political leader and diplomat, was born in Nelson (disambiguation)|Nelson county, Virginia, on the 4th of May 1793. He attended Hampden-Sidney and William and Mary colleges, was admitted to the bar, and practised in Nelson county (till 1821) and afterwards in Albemarle county. In politics a Democrat, he served in the state constitutional convention in 1816, in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1817-19 and in 1822, and in the Federal House of Representatives in 1823-29. From 1829 to 1832 he was minister to France; in 1833 he entered the United States Senate, but in the following year resigned. From 1836 to 1845 he again served in the Senate, and in 1849-53 he was again minister to France. In February 1861 he was a delegate to the Peace Conference in Washington; he opposed secession, but was loyal to his state when it seceded, and was one of its representatives in the Confederate Congress during the Civil War. He died at the country estate of Castle Hill, Albemarle county, Virginia, on the 25th of April 1868. Rives was the author of several books, the most important being his Life and Times of James Madison (3 vols., Boston, 1859-68), the completion of which was prevented by his death. He was the father of Alfred Landon Rives (1830-1903), an engineer of some prominence, whose daughter, Amelie Rives (1863-), became well known as a novelist, her best known book being The Quick or the Dead? (1888); she married John A. Chanler in 1888, and after their divorce married in 1896 Prince Pierre Troubetzkoy of Russia.

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