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Daniel Bedinger Lucas (March 16, 1836-July 24, 1909) was a lawyer, soldier, author, and member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and a Supreme Court justice. He was born in Charles Town. After receiving his early education in several private academies, he attended the University of Virginia, graduating in 1856. He studied under Judge John W. Brockenbrough at Lexington, Virginia, and was admitted to the practice of law in 1859.

Lucas moved to Richmond before the Civil War. When the war began, he served with Confederate Gen. Henry A. Wise in the Kanawha Valley campaign in 1861. In January 1865, he escaped from Virginia through the Union blockade and went to Canada where he tried to assist in the defense of Capt. John Y. Beall, a Confederate who had been accused of spying and guerrilla warfare in the North. Beall was convicted and executed on Governor’s Island, New York, in February 1865. Lucas remained in Canada until after the war ended. Shortly after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, he wrote ‘‘The Land Where We Were Dreaming,’’ a poem that was among the earliest works to romanticize the lost cause of the Confederacy.

When Lucas returned to West Virginia, he married Lena T. Brooke, with whom he had one child, a daughter. He resumed the practice of law and was elected to the House of Delegates in 1884 and 1886. As a legislator, he was noted for his attacks on the favors given to railroads and worked for their regulation. He was nominated as U.S. senator by Governor Wilson in 1887. However, Lucas, a man who has been described by historian John Alexander Williams as ‘‘one of the few politicians of his day who was genuinely incorruptible,’’ lost to Charles J. Faulkner in a bitter legislative battle. Lucas later served as a justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals from 1889 to 1893.

Lucas wrote several books, including Memoir of John Yates Beall; The Wreath of Eglantine; The Maid of Northumberland; Ballads and Madrigals; and The Land Where We Were Dreaming and Other Poems of Daniel Bedinger Lucas.

This Article was written by Kenneth R. Bailey

Last Revised on October 07, 2010


Atkinson, George W. & Alvaro F. Gibbins. Prominent Men of West Virginia. Wheeling: W. L. Callin, 1890.

Conley, Phil, ed. West Virginia Encyclopedia. Charleston: West Virginia Publishing, 1929.

Williams, John Alexander. West Virginia and the Captains of Industry. Morgantown: West Virginia University Library, 1976.

Cite This Article

Bailey, Kenneth R. "Daniel Bedinger Lucas." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 07 October 2010. Web. 26 February 2024.


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