Berkeley County, West Virginia Biography of Alexander WHITE


         Alexander WHITE was the first attorney commissioned to practice law in Berkeley County, West Virginia, and was the head of the Prosecuting Attorneys for the county. When Berkeley County held its first court, on May 19, 1772, Mr. White presented his qualifications and from the record of that court is taken the following extract: “Alexander White having produced a commission from the Attorney General of this State, appointing him deputy attorney for this county, the same be read, he having taken the usual oath, and sworn Deputy King’s Attorney for this county.”

         He was elected a member of the First Congress from this district under the Constitution of the United States and was the only member of Congress from Virginia present on the first day of the first session (1789). He was re-elected to the Second Congress in 1791; appointed a Magistrate for the county, 1798; elected to the Virginia House of Delegates from Berkeley County in 1799. At the time of his first election to Congress, Virginia was, by the United States Constitution, entitled to 10 members in the House of Representatives. Therefore, the Legislature of Virginia laid off the State into 10 districts, making the counties of Berkeley, Hampshire, Frederick, Randolph, Shenandoah, Hardy, Ohio, and Monongalia the First District. So, Mr. White was the first representative of the first district to sit in the first session of the Congress of the United States, and the first member to be at his post of duty from Virginia. After the first census of 1790, Congress fixed the ratio of representation at 19 members for Virginia. The first district then comprised the counties of Berkeley and Frederick.


    Submitted by Marilyn Gouge and extracted from History of Berkeley County, West Virginia, 1928.

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