Elected in 1872
Born: 1833 in Virginia
Political Affiliation: Democrat and Liberal Republican
Religious Affiliation: Catholic
Education: Hanover College (Hanover, Indiana)
Career Prior to Term: Lawyer-Registrar of Land Office; Judge of the 12th District Legislature
How He Became Governor: Legally elected in 1872, but not permitted to serve by Federal authorities
Career after Term: Returned to his law practice
Died: March 28, 1891 in New Orleans
In the election of 1872 John McEnery, a Democrat, faced Republican William Pitt Kellogg. Sitting Governor Henry Clay Warmoth, a Republican, supported McEnery because Warmoth opposed the Republican Party faction loyal to President U. S. Grant, who supported Kellogg. Confusing? Not as strange as the results.
As Governor, Warmoth controlled the State Returning Board, the institution which administered elections. His board named McEnery the winner but a rival board claimed Kellogg the victorious. Warmoth was impeached for allegedly stealing the election. A black Republican, P. B. S. Pinchback became Governor for 35 days until Grant seated Kellogg with Federal protection as Governor.
McEnery's faction established a "rump legislature" in New Orleans to oppose Kellogg's actions. McEnery urged his supporters to take up arms against Kellogg's fraudulent government. Action by the anti-Republican White League caused President Grant to send Federal reinforcements to New Orleans. Until Federal troops were removed from Louisiana in 1877, no Democrat could be elected.
Governor McEnery died in 1890.