Copyright 2007.
All Rights Reserved.

James Madison Wells
3rd Military &
20th Governor of Louisiana

Preceded by Michael Hahn
Governor by Succession/Election
Served from March 3, 1865
Served to June 3, 1867
Left Office by Relieved
Succeeded by Thomas J. Durant
Benjamin F. Flanders
January 8, 1808
near Alexandria, Louisiana
February 18, 1899
Lecompte, Louisiana
Age 91
Party Republican
St. Joseph's College
Bardstown, Kentucky
Education Cincinnati Law School
Profession Lawyer / Planter
Spouse Mary Ann Scott
Children 14
Plantation New Hope
Religion Catholic
Burial Rapides Cemetery

1865 - 1867

James Madison Wells, the 3rd military Governor of Louisiana of Union held territories during the Civil War, is the second from the left in this bronze sculpture of five governors.  He remained the  military governor of all of Louisiana at the end of the Civil War.

He was born near Alexandria on New Hope Plantation, educated at Cincinnati Law School, became sheriff of Rapides Parish and served as Lt. Governor 1864-1865.  He succeeded to governor when military governor Michael Hahn resigned the office and some months later Wells was elected to the office in his own right.

His was a military governorship, but it ended when General Phillip Sheridan removed Wells from office.  His advocacy for black suffrage caused political unrest and riots which led to his unseating.

He was later appointed surveyor of the port of New Orleans and became chairman of the 1876 State Returning Board.  He died on February 28, 1899 and is buried in the old Rapides Cemetery in Pineville. 



The Wells obelisk is in the center of this picture.  The two brick graves are probably those of Wells and his wife Mary Ann Scott.  To the left is the grave of one of their 14 children, Samuel Levi Wells.

Levi Wells
Born Jul    , 1844

Sept.    , 18?6

Levi Wells' headstone is weathered badly but a Mason emblem can be seen.

Close by is another child, Mary Elizabeth Wells Burgess.

Mary E. Wells Burges
Aug. 9, 1838
Feb. 5, 1930

She has gone from us now To a
Better land above.   A noble south has
Joined the army of the blest.  From
the golden shores of peace come
the voice of His love to tell us of a
place where the weary are called.

Close by is their last child, Elizabeth Gordon Wells.

Bessie G. Wells
Jan. 24, 1859
May 28, 1948

Engraving on Wells obelisk

James Madison Wells
Born In Rapides Parish
January 7, 1808
Feb. 28, 1899

Mary Ann Wells
Born In Alexandria, La.
Oct. 11, 1816
August 3, 1899

"The Lord is Our Strength
And Our Praise
And He Is Become
Our Salvation"



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Copyright 2007.
All Rights Reserved.

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