Source: Lowry, Robert and McCardle, William H. A History of Mississippi, from the Discovery of the Great River by Hernando DeSoto, Including the Earliest Settlement Made by the French Under Iberville, to the Death of Jefferson Davis [1541-1889]. Jackson, Miss.: R. H. Henry & Co., 1891. Pages 319.

Joseph Mathews, born, it is believed in the State of Tennessee, came to Mississippi at an early period of his life, and settled in Marshall county. He represented that county in the State Senate, and was elected by the Democratic party in the year 1847 as the successor of Governor Brown, and thus became the eleventh Governor of the commonwealth, and the sixth chosen by the people under the Constitution of 1832.

Governor Mathews had a very limited education, but possessed a vigorous mind, and in many respects was a very able man. He developed into a forcible speaker and was always listened to by the people with profound attention. He was in early life a well digger by profession, and when he entered public life he was popularly known as the "well digger," and otherwise as "copperas breeches," from his habit of wearing copperas colored trousers. Governor Mathews was regarded as an honest and patriotic man, of amiable disposition, but perfectly fearless in the expression of his political sentiments. He was devoted Democrat, believed in the people, and was the disciple of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson in their exposition of the true principles of republican government and the rights of men. No remarkable event rendered the administration of Governor Mathews notably conspicuous, but he served the people of Mississippi with zeal and fidelity, and to the entire satisfaction of the people of both parties. Governor Mathews held no official position after his retirement from the executive office, and seemed to regard the "private station as the post of honor."

Governor Joseph Mathews died during the progress of the great war between the States. 

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