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 276-278.

Hiram G. Runnels, a native of North Carolina, was the seventh Governor of Mississippi and the first chosen under the Constitution formulated at the capital in the year 1832.

Mr. Runnels was the son of Col. Harmon Runnels, who migrated from the good Old North State in the early years of the Mississippi Territory, and soon became a conspicuous figure in all Territorial affairs, and represented Lawrence county as a delegate in the Constitutional Convenntion which assembled at Washington, in Adams county, in the year 1817. Having aided in framing the first Constitution, Col. Runnels was a frequent member of the Legislature and contributed largely in putting the new governmental machinery into good working order. Col. Runnels was a man of vigorous mind, undoubted patriotism, and an abundance of both moral and physical courage. He was an active and public-spirited gentleman, lived to be an octogenarian, commanding universal respect for his rugged virtues, and died, as Col. Claiborne informs his readers, "in the odor of sanctity," and was mourned by all who knew him.

Young Hiram was brought to the Mississippi Territory in company with several brothers when a mere boy, and grew to the full stature of a Mississippian in heart, in brain, brawn and courage. He received his only education in the common, "old field schools" of the times, and in those early days they were common enough in all conscience.

Through possessing but little book learning, young Runnels was the owner of a vigorous mind, and by dint of indomitable energy and perseverance, adied by unquestioned integrity and courage, he made his way in the world, achieved a comfortable competency, and became a prominent leader in the politics of his county, served as the representative of his people in the Legislature -- was elected State Treasurer by the Legislature in 1824 -- and finally became the standard bearer of his party for Governor. He was elected in the autumn of 1833, as the successor of the late cheif magistrate, Abram M. Scott, who died before the expiration of his term of office.

The term of Governor Runnels as chief executive of the State covered the years 1834 and 1835. Governor Runnels, after retiring from the executive office, was several times a member of the Legislature, and upon the establishment of the Union Bank was made the first and only president of that ill-fated institution, a concern foredoomed to an ignoble and inglorious failure. Governor Runnels removed to Texas many years ago, and before he passed over the dark river, he had the pleasure of seeing a nephew of his own name and his own blood chosen by the voice of the people to preside over the destinites of that great and growin State.

The grass has been growing upon the grave of Hiram G. Runnels for a number of years, it is praise enough to say of him, that he was a man of honor and courage; that he was true to his friends in every possible emergency, and that he never deserted a friend or avoided a foe.


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