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Our History: Featured Alumni: Bachman, Nathan L., 1903

Over the decades our graduates have developed distinguished careers as justices, congressmen, ambassadors, educators, businessmen and women, and community leaders in many fields. This site features some of those late graduates.

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Nathan Lynn Bachman

U.S. Senator from Tennessee

Nathan Bachman was born in East Tennessee on August 2, 1878. He attended Southwestern Presbyterian University in Clarksville, Tennessee, Central University in Richmond, Kentucky, and Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. He then studied law at the University of Chattanooga before receiving his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1903. He began the practice of law in Chattanooga that same year.

Bachman was Chattanooga City Attorney from 1906 to 1908 and Circuit Court Judge from 1912 to 1918. In 1918 he became an Associate Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, resigning in 1924 to run for the U.S. Senate. His 1924 campaign was unsuccessful and he returned to the practice of law. However, on February 28, 1933 Bachman was appointed to the United States Senate by governor of Tennessee Hill McAlister to the unexpired term of Senator Cordell Hull, who had resigned to accept the appointment of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the office of Secretary of State. In November 1934, Bachman was elected to complete Hull's term and was then elected to a full term of his own in 1936. He died in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 1937, after serving less than four months of that term. The Bachman Tubes, highway tunnels on U.S. Highway 41 through Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga, are named in his honor.