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Archibald Wright (1810 - 1884)

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Archibald Wright
Born in Maury, Tennessee, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Died in Ravenden Springs, Randolph, Arkansas, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 17 Jan 2020 | Created 20 Nov 2019
This page has been accessed 27 times.



ARCHIBALD WRIGHT was born in Maury County, Tennessee, November 29, 1809, and died at Memphis, September 13, 1884. His father and mother were both of Scottish Highlander descent. The family moved from Maury to Giles County soon after his birth, and he was reared in the last named county. His education was at Mount Pleasant Academy and Giles College, and does not appear to have been extensive. It is said, however, that he was a diligent student and made the most of his opportunities. He studied law in the office of Chancellor Bramlett, and was licensed and began the practice at Pulaski, in 1832. When the Florida war began, he volunteered and served throughout the war. Returning to Pulaski, he continued to practice law there until 1851, when he removed to Memphis and entered into partnership with his brother-in-law, Mr. Eldridge, and the Hon. Thomas J. Turley. In 1857 Governor Harris appointed him to the supreme bench, and in 1858 the appointment was confirmed by a popular election. He served until the Court was suspended by the war. His name had been mentioned frequently for the Supreme Judgeship before his appointment, but he had declined to seek the place.

He was an early and zealous supporter of secession, but was too old for service in the army. His two sons, however, enlisted, and one fell at Murfreesboro, while the other survived to become one of the foremost lawyers of the State, and to form a long-continuing partnership with Thomas B. Turley, the son of his father's partner, and United States Senator from Tennessee.

The war left Judge Wright, like many other Southern men, bankrupt. His indebtedness seems to have been incurred largely in purchasing plantations and slaves in Louisiana before the war, and it is stated that by the laws of Louisiana, debts made in buying slaves were not enforceable by law, after the war. But of neither this law nor the national bankrupt Act would Judge Wright avail himself. Like Sir Walter Scott, and with the same old-fashioned Scotch honesty, he set to work, in his old age, to pay his debts. To this honorable but unpleasant task, he seems to have given the remainder of his life.

In all that has been written of Judge Wright, stress has been laid on the terseness and directness of his opinions. As they appear in the Reports, they are devoid of adornment and amplification, but are eminently clear and satisfactory. They are such opinions as the lawyer needs in the court-room -- clear, precise, unmistakable.

Down almost to the day of his death, Judge Wright remained in active practice. In his determination to pay his debts he accepted every honorable employment that was tendered him.

With his large and deserved reputation, he might have been elected to the bench again, but it is said that he repeatedly declined to allow the use of his name. He had never sought office, but held to the old-fashioned opinion at which the politician of the present time laughs, that the office should seek the man.

In rugged strength of character and of mind, Judge Wright much resembled Judge Green. Like Judge Green, he was not a brilliant man, but strong and sound. He is said to have been exceptionally familiar with the Tennessee Reports, but it will be seen from his opinions that he was not given to the display of learning. He sought and reached the justice of the case, putting his conclusions in the plainest possible form. As a practitioner he was not only careful and laborious, but while always fair and honorable, was prompt and shrewd, and made the most of his cases. Judge Wright exemplified in his life the highest qualities of good-citizenship and true manhood. He was among the most competent of our Supreme Judges, and leaves a name of which his children and all the people of Tennessee must be proud.[1]


Archibald was born Aug 1810 at Maury County, Tennessee. [2]


  • Archibald was living at Pulaski, Giles, Tennessee during the 1850 census.[3]
  • Archibald was living at Chickasaw, Shelby, Tennessee during the 1860 census.[4]
  • Archibald was living at Memphis Ward 10, Shelby, Tennessee during the 1870 census.[5]
  • Archibald was living at Memphis, Shelby, Tennessee during the 1880 census.[6]



Archibald was a Superior Court Judge at Chickasaw, Shelby, Tennessee, and later served as an attorney in Memphis, Tennessee.


Archibald died 13 Sep 1884[7] at Ravenden Springs, Randolph County, Arkansas. [8]


Elmwood Cemetery [9]
Shelby County
Tennessee USA



  1. Tennessee, The Volunteer State, 1769-1923, Vol. 2, John Trotwood Moore and Austin P. Foster, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1923, pp. 2666-7
  2. Find A Grave (see below)
  3. 1850; Census Place: Pulaski, Giles, Tennessee; Roll: M432_879; Page: 335A; Image: 60 Ancestry Record 8054 #6131203
  4. 1860; Census Place: Chickasaw, Shelby, Tennessee; Roll: M653_1273; Page: 404; Family History Library Film: 805273 Ancestry Record 7667 #19535901
  5. 1870; Census Place: Memphis Ward 10, Shelby, Tennessee; Roll: M593_1563; Page: 473A; Family History Library Film: 553062 Ancestry Record 7163 #7464335
  6. 1880; Census Place: Memphis, Shelby, Tennessee; Roll: 1280; Page: 356A; Enumeration District: 152 Ancestry Record 6742 #16739297
  7. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Ancestry Record 2469 #955404895
  8. Find A Grave (see below)
  9. Find A Grave (see below)

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Archibald by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Archibald:

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Archibald is 23 degrees from Peter Roberts, 16 degrees from Emma Smith and 20 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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Categories: Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis, Tennessee