Harvey Magee Watterson
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Tennessee's 9th district
March 4, 1839 - March 3, 1843
|James K. Polk|
|Member of the Tennessee Senate|
|Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives|
|Born||November 23, 1811|
Bedford County, Tennessee
|Died||October 1, 1891 (aged 79)|
Harvey Magee Watterson (November 23, 1811 – October 1, 1891) was an American lawyer, newspaper editor, and politician. Watterson was what his only child Henry later described as an "undoubting Democrat of the schools of Jefferson and Jackson", active in Tennessee politics at both the state and federal level.
Watterson established and edited a newspaper in Shelbyville in 1831. He was a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1835.
Elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Congresses, representing Tennessee's ninth district in the U.S. House of Representatives, Watterson served from March 4, 1839 to March 3, 1843. His son Henry described those years in his autobiography:
Watterson was sent by President John Tyler on a diplomatic mission to Buenos Aires, where he remained for two years. From 1845 to 1847, he was a member of the Tennessee Senate and served as speaker.
The editor and proprietor of the Nashville Union from 1847 to 1851, Watterson was also the editor of the Washington Union starting in 1851. With his friend Pierce's election as President of the United States in 1853, the Washington Union became the "organ of the Administration." Again according to Watterson's son, the two's "rather conspicuous frivolity" resumed:
Watterson was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at Baltimore, Maryland in 1860, and was a presidential elector on the Douglas ticket for that year's presidential election. After the Civil War, he was appointed by President Andrew Johnson as one of a commission to investigate the behavior in the states "lately in rebellion."
Watterson practiced law in Washington, D.C. for fourteen years. He moved to Louisville, Kentucky and was a member of the editorial staff of the Louisville Courier-Journal, the newspaper founded by his son Henry.