James Woodson Bates

James Woodson Bates (born 25 August 1788 at Goochland County, Virginia; † December 26, 1846 in Van Buren, Arkansas ) was an American politician. Between 1819 and 1823 he represented the Arkansas Territory as a delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives.


James Bates was the older brother of Edward Bates, who was sitting 1827-1829 for the state of Missouri in the U.S. House of Representatives and was from 1861 to 1864 in the cabinet of President Abraham Lincoln Minister of Justice of the United States. His older brother Frederick was territorial governor and later governor of Missouri. James Bates graduated from Yale College in 1807, the Princeton College. After a subsequent study of law and qualifying as a lawyer in Virginia, he began to work in his new profession. In 1816 he moved to St. Louis in Missouri and 1819 in the area from which this year the Arkansas Territory was created.

Bates belonged to no party, but was still politically active. After the founding of the Arkansas Territory in 1819, he was elected the first delegates congress of the area in the U.S. Congress. After a re-election in 1820 he was able to exercise his mandate between 21 December 1819 and 3 March 1823. As he had all the delegates there but not to vote, because a territory did not have the same status as a federal state. In 1822, Bates competed unsuccessfully for re-election.

After the end of his time in Congress Bates worked in the city named after him Batesville in Arkansas as a lawyer. Between 1824 and 1828 he was a judge in the fourth judicial district of the territory from 1828 to 1832, he held the same job at the Supreme Court of the Territory of. In 1835 he was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of Arkansas. 1836 Judge Bates was on probate in Crawford County. Between 1841 and 1845 he was a land registry official in Clarksville. James Bates died in December 1846 in Van Buren. He was married to Elizabeth Moore.