On Monday, May 23, the Loudoun Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee presented a program highlighting the life and career of Leesburg’s John Janney.
Born in Alexandria, Virginia on November 8, 1798 to a devout Quaker family, Janney grew up in Loudoun County. At age 18 he was admitted to the bar of the county court and became active in politics in the Whig party. Janney served as the delegate to the Virginia House of Representatives (1834-1845). In 1839 he served as a delegate to the Whig party national convention. In the last round of votes for the vice-presidential nomination, Janney lost by one vote. The winner of that vote, John Tyler, would become the tenth president upon the death of William Henry Harrison.
In February 1861, Janney went to Richmond as the county’s delegate to the state secession convention. Although staunchly unionist in his views, Janney found himself chosen the president of the convention. Twice he voted against secession. But after the final vote on April 17, he reversed his vote in favor of secession, ascending to the majority of delegates.
The program of May 23 included a tour of the John Janney house and a lecture given by historian Anne Sarah Rubin. For those who could not attend, we offer the lecture here in four parts.
Part 1 of the Lecture:
Part 2 of the Lecture:
Part 3 of the Lecture:
Part 4 of the Lecture: