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Rep. Robert Desha

Former Representative for Tennessee’s 5th District

Desha was the representative for Tennessee’s 5th congressional district and was a Jackson. He served from 1829 to 1831.

He was previously the representative for Tennessee’s 5th congressional district as a Jackson from 1827 to 1829.

Legislators who enslaved Black people

Desha was among more than 1,800 legislators who enslaved Black people. The Washington Post compiled the first database of slaveholding members of Congress by examining thousands of pages of census records and historical documents. Desha was one of them.

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Dec 1827 to Mar 1831, Desha missed 31 of 506 roll call votes, which is 6.1%. This is better than the median of 14.6% among the lifetime records of representatives serving in Mar 1831. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses, major life events, and running for higher office.

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Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: