Other Notable Figures: Antebellum

Henry Clay ca. 1844 (collection of Andrew Berrien Jones)

Henry Clay

Senator Henry Clay, a member of the Whig party, was a close friend and political ally of John Macpherson Berrien. A substantial body of correspondence exists between them. In 1844, during Clay's run for president, he visited Savannah. The town received him with a grand procession that escorted him down Broughton Street past cheering crowds to the Berrien House, where he addressed the public, presumably from the house's front portico. He stayed in the house for a week conducting business and entertaining. Unfortunately for both Clay and Berrien, James Polk ultimately won the election.

Daniel Webster (WikiCommons)

Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster (1782 –1852) was an American politician who twice served in the United States House of Representatives, representing New Hampshire (1813–1817) and Massachusetts (1823–1827), served as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (1827–1841 and 1845–1850) and was twice the United States Secretary of State, under Presidents William Henry Harrison and John Tyler (1841–1843) and Millard Fillmore (1850–1852).  

Webster and John Macpherson Berrien were colleagues in the Senate and fellow members of the Whig Party. Webster sought the Whig Party nomination for President three times: in 1836, 1840 and 1852.  He visited Savannah in 1848.


Amos Ackerman (WikiCommons)

Amos Ackerman

Amos Ackerman (1821-1880) was US Attorney General under President Grant from 1870 to 1871 . His legal career began in the Berrien household. A few years after his graduation from Dartmouth in 1842, he had tutored the children of John Macpherson Berrien, from 1846 -1850. During this time, he benefitted from Senator Berrien's mentoring and his law library. Ackerman passed the Georgia Bar in 1850.

Francis Bartow (WikiCommons)

Francis Bartow

In 1844 Francis Bartow (1816-1861) married Lousia Greene Berrien, one of the daughters of John Macpherson Berrien. He and Louisa were the last members of the Berrien family to own the house; however, he and Lousia never lived there and sold the house in 1859.

Bartow, a graduate of Yale Law School, was a protegee of Senator Berrien, practicing law and later entering politics. He was  a two-term representative to the Georgia House of Representatives, followed by one term in the Georgia Senate.  A fervent secessionist, Bartow was a signer of the Georgia Ordinance of Secession and became Chairman of the Military Committee of the Confederate Congress. Bartow is credited with choosing gray as the color of the Confederate Army uniforms. As the war materialized, he became a colonel in the 8th Regiment of the Georgia Volunteers Confederate States Army. 

He died at the First Battle of Manassas. His sculpted portrait bust is adjacent to the Confederate Monument in Forsyth Park in Savannah. His grave is in Laurel Grove Cemetery. Bartow, Georgia and Bartow County, Georgia are named after him.