Elisha Wesley McComas (January 21, 1823 – March 11, 1890) was a Virginia lawyer and politician who served as the second Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 1856 and 1857 under Governor Henry A. Wise, but resigned because of the administration's handling of John Brown's raid on Harpers' Ferry.

Early and family life

The eldest son born to Judge William McComas and his wife Mildred in 1822, he received an education appropriate to his class. His brothers included William Wirt McComas (1826-1862; who fought with the Giles Artillery of the Confederate States Army and would be buried at Pearisburg, Virginia), Judge Hamilton Calhoun McComas (1831-1882; who enlisted as a Lt. Col. for the Union in Illinois but resigned on February 6, 1863 and later served two terms as a judge in Monticello, Illinois as well as married U.S. Senator Ware's sister but died in an Apache raid near Silver City, New Mexico), Rufus French McComas (1833-1891) and Benjamin Jefferson McComas (1836-1894; both remaining in Cabell County after it became part of West Virginia). His sister Irene (1843-1913) married George McKendree (1835-1908)

On September 8, 1842, he married Arianna Holderby (1823-1885), and they had a daughter Alice (1843-) and sons Henry F. McComas (1845-1902), Walter McComas (1850-) and Gordon McComas (1860-1935).[1][2] By 1850, this Elisha W. McComas probably[weasel words] owned slaves[citation needed] in Kanawha County. A man named Elisha McComas served as Captain in the U.S. Army during the Mexican–American War (possibly the same man). Cabell County had several related men sharing the same name, one of whom served as a private with the 3rd Regiment of West Virginia Cavalry during the Civil War.


This Elisha W. McComas read law and had been admitted to the Virginia bar by 1850. He lived in Cabell County (now in West Virginia) when he was elected Virginia's lieutenant governor, thus presiding over the Virginia Senate. He began his term on 1 January 1856 and resigned on 7 December 1857, being succeeded by William Lowther Jackson. His father was a Cabell County delegate to the Virginia Secession Convention of 1861 and voted against secession, though his brother William W. McComas would volunteer for the Confederate States Army and die in 1862,and another brother Hamilton Calhoun McComas would briefly fight for the Union Army before resigning his commission and moving to Fort Scott, Kansas, where Elisha W. McComas and his family also moved after the war.

Death and legacy

Elisha McComas died at Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas on March 11, 1890.[3]


  1. ^ 1850 U.S. Federal Census for District 10, Cabell County, Virginia family no. 746
  2. ^ Findagrave no.76910800
  3. ^ findagrave no. 76910800
Political offices Preceded byShelton Farrar Leake Lieutenant Governor of Virginia 1856–1857 Succeeded byWilliam Lowther "Mudwall" Jackson