John Brown Baldwin
This black and white portrait made by a Richmond photographic studio in the mid- to late 1800s, shows a head and shoulders view of Virginia politician John Brown Baldwin. After attending the University of Virginia, Baldwin studied law in his native Staunton and became politically active on behalf of his law partner and brother-in-law Alexander H. H. Stuart, a Whig Party candidate for presidential elector in 1844. Baldwin served a term in the House of Delegates and, during the secession crisis of 1860–1861, was a Unionist delegate to the Virginia Convention of 1861. After a brief stint in the Confederate army at the beginning of the Civil War, he served in the Confederate Congress. After the war, he was a Conservative Party leader and, as Speaker of the House of Delegates, became such an expert on parliamentary law that the rules of the House became known as Baldwin's Rules. He was a moderate who supported limits on the rights of African Americans and, in 1869, as a member of the so-called Committee of Nine, met with U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant to negotiate the end of Reconstruction in Virginia. Baldwin died at his home in Staunton on September 30, 1873.