Cabells in the Virginia General Assembly

Listed here alphabetically are some of the scores of Cabells or Cabell relations who have served in the Virginia General Assembly or in its colonial forebear, the House of Burgesses. Though members of the family have filled elective offices in several states, they have left their mark most profoundly in Virginia. The terms of service given below date from the beginning of the first session of which the individual was a member until the end of the last contiguous session in which the individual served.

va capitol bldg

The Virginia House of Delegates, including many Cabells, met in this room
from October 1788 through March 1904.


Breckinridge, John – Delegate from Botetourt, 5/7/1781-1/5/1782, again 5/5/1783-12/22/1783; from Montgomery, 5/3/1784-1/7/1785.

Cabell, Benjamin W. S. – Delegate from Pittsylvania, 12/1/1823-3/9/1826, again 12/7/1829-2/23/1830; member of the Convention of 1829-1830; Senator from Patrick, Henry, and Pittsylvania, 12/6/1830-3/9/1833; Delegate from Pittsylvania, 1/1/1838-4/9/1838.

Cabell, Edward A. – Delegate from Amherst, 1/7/1839-3/22/1841.

Cabell, Frederick M. – Delegate from Nelson, 12/5/1842-3/6/1846; Senator from Nelson, Amherst, and Buckingham, 1/12/1852-4/11/1853; and member of the Convention of 1861.

Cabell, George C., Jr.
– Delegate from Pittsylvania and Danville, 12/4/1901-11/10/1903.

Cabell, J. Alston – Delegate from Richmond City, 12/6/1893-3/8/94; 12/4/95-3/5/1896.

Cabell, John
– Member of the 5th Revolutionary Convention from Buckingham, which “met in Williamsburg from May 6 to July 5, 1776. It passed resolutions urging the Continental Congress to declare the united colonies free and independent. This convention wrote the Virginia Bill of Rights and the Constitution of 1776, which established the General Assembly for the new commonwealth.” Delegate from Buckingham, 10/7/1776-1/24/1778, again from 5/1/1780-3/22/1781, and finally 5/5/1783-12/22/1783.

Cabell, John, Jr.
– Delegate from Buckingham, 10/16/1786-1/11/1787.

Cabell, Joseph – Burgess from Buckingham, 1761-1771; from Amherst 1772-1776; member of first four Revolutionary Conventions; Delegate from Amherst 10/7/1776-12/21/1776; 5/4/1778-12/19/1778, from Buckingham 5/1/1780-3/22/1781; Senator from Buckingham, Albemarle, Amherst, and Fluvanna, 5/7/1781-1/21/1786; Delegate from Buckingham, 10/15/1787-12/19/1788.

Cabell, Joseph C. – Delegate from Amherst, 12/5/1808-2/18/1809, from Nelson 12/4/1809-2/9/1810; Senator from Buckingham, Albemarle, Amherst, Nelson, and Fluvanna (Goochland, Louisa, Albemarle, Amherst, Nelson, and Fluvanna from 12/1/1817; Louisa dropped 12/3/1821), 12/3/1810-2/17/1829; Delegate from Nelson, 12/5/1831-3/12/1835. See petition urging Cabell to serve in the Convention of 1850 for evidence of his continuing appeal to voters.

Cabell, Nicholas – Delegate from Amherst, 5/3/1779-3/22/1781, again 5/5/1783-1/7/1785; Senator from Buckingham, Albemarle, and Amherst (and Fluvanna, from 10/15/1787), 10/16/1786-1/23/1801.

Cabell, Paul C. – Delegate from Amherst, 12/4/1889-3/6/1890.

Cabell, Samuel Jordan – Delegate from Amherst, 10/17/1785-12/28/1792; Convention of 1788.

Cabell, W. M. – Delegate from Buckingham and Cumberland, 12/4/1865-4/29/1867.

Cabell, William (1)* – Burgess from Albemarle 1756-61.

Cabell, William (2)* – Burgess from Amherst 1761-1776; member of all five Revolutionary Conventions from Amherst; Senator from Buckingham/Albemarle/Amherst (and Fluvanna from 1778)10/2/1776-3/22/1781; Delegate from Amherst 5/7/1781-12/22/1783, again from 10/1/1787-12/19/1788.

Cabell, William, Jr. (3) – Delegate from Amherst 10/19/1789-12/19/1789; again 10/21/1793-12/29/1795.

Cabell, William H. – Delegate from Amherst, 11/8/1796-12/27/1796, again 12/3/1798-1/26/1799, again 12/6/1802-12/2/1805. Elected Governor for 1805/6 session and did not serve.

Cabell, William M.
– Delegate from Nelson, 12/3/1855-3/19/1856.

Carrington, William Cabell (b. 1821) – Elected Delegate from Richmond City in 1851, but died before beginning term.

Carrington, William Cabell (b. 1852) – Delegate from Charlotte, 12/1/1897-3/4/1898.

Carrington, Henry – Delegate from Charlotte, 12/6/1819-2/25/1820, and from Halifax, 12/1/1834-3/12/1835.

Hare, William B. – Delegate from Amherst, 12/2/1799-2/2/1802; Senator from Buckingham, Albemarle, Amherst, and Fluvanna, 12/2/1805-2/18/1809.

Horsley, John – Delegate from Buckingham, 12/1/1817-2/26/1818.

Horsley, John R. – Delegate from Campbell and Appomattox, 12/6/1899-3/7/1900, from Appomattox (and Buckingham, from 1/9/1924), 1/14/1920-3/18/1924.

Megginson, Joseph Cabell – Delegate from Nelson, 12/1/1828-2/17/1829.

Rives, Alexander – Delegate from Albemarle, 12/1/1834-3/12/1835; 12/5/1836-4/9/1838;12/6/1841-3/26/1842; again 1/12/1852-4/11/1853; Senator from Albemarle, 12/7/1857-4/4/1861.

Rives, George E. – Delegate from Prince George and Surry, 12/7/1857-3/31/1863.

Rives, Robert, Jr. – Delegate from Nelson, 12/2/1822-2/18/1825; again 12/4/1826-2/17/1829.

Rives, Robert G.
– Delegate from Prince George (and Surry from 1/12/1852), 12/6/1847-4/11/1853.

Rives, William C.
– Delegate from Nelson 12/1/1817-2/25/1820; Albemarle 12/2/1822-2/25/1823.

*There is significant uncertainty as to which of the William Cabells served as the representative from Albemarle 1757/8-1761 and from Amherst 1761-1765. Anna Marie Mitchell in “Dr. William Cabell,” a 1939 Master’s Thesis, argues from H. R. Mcilwaine’s 1909 Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia that the elder William Cabell served 1758-1765. It seems very unlikely that the elder served this entire time, because the rolls as transcribed by Cynthia M. Leonard indicate that the Burgess from Amherst in 1761 was “William Cabell, Jr.”, whereas “William Cabell” had served from Albemarle 1758-1761. Alexander Brown holds that the younger Cabell (William “2”; notwithstanding Leonard’s transcription of “Jr.”; William “2” was seldom known as “Jr.” following the birth of his son, William Cabell, Jr., in 1759) actually served all terms in question, from 1757-1765 (pp. 84-85). R. W. Cabell follows Brown in asserting that William “2” was the first Cabell Burgess (p. 37). Scholars invariably cite either Brown or Mitchell.

Additional Sources Consulted:
Cynthia M. Leonard, The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30-1619-January 11, 1978 (1978)
Earl G. Swem and John W. Williams, A Register of the General Assembly of Virginia, 1776-1918 (1918)