John Jones Pettus

Photo of John Pettus
John Pettus

Quick Facts

Significance:
Wartime governor of Mississippi
Place Of Birth:
Wilson County, TN
Date Of Birth:
October 9, 1813
Place Of Death:
Pulaski County, AR
Date Of Death:
January 28, 1867
Place Of Burial:
Wabbeska, AR
Cemetery Name:
Flat Bayou Burial Ground

John Jones Pettus was a small-scale planter and state politician who was twice Governor of Mississippi, once for 5 days in 1854 and again from 1859 to 1863. He was known as "the Mississippi Fire-eater" for his intense secessionist views and because he once said that he would rather eat fire than sit down with Yankees. At the conclusion of his second term as governor, Pettus joined the Confederate army. He never requested nor was he ever offered amnesty at the end of the war and died a fugitive in 1867. His 1854 tenure in office is the shortest of any Mississippi Governor.

Last updated: June 17, 2015