Joseph Lanier Williams

Joseph Lanier Williams ( * October 23, 1810 at Knoxville, Tennessee, † December 14, 1865 ) was an American politician. Between 1837 and 1843 he represented the state of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Joseph Williams was the son of U.S. Senator John Williams ( 1778-1837 ). He attended the common schools and studied at the University of East Tennessee and at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point after. After a subsequent study of law and qualifying as a lawyer in Knoxville, he began to work in his new profession.

Politically, Williams was a member of the Whig party. In the congressional elections of 1836 he was in the third electoral district of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC chosen, where he became the successor of Luke Lea on March 4, 1837. After two re- election he was able to complete in Congress until March 3, 1843 three legislative periods. These were characterized by the squabbles of his party with the new President John Tyler since 1841. It was also at that time already been discussed about a possible annexation of the independent Republic of Texas since 1836 by Mexico.

1842 Williams was not nominated by his party for re-election. In the following years he practiced law in the federal capital Washington. During the Civil War he was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as a judge in Dakota Territory. Joseph Williams died on December 14, 1865 in Knoxville.