Private school, southern university.
He was educated at the University of East Tennessee, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1844. He was a Whig, a Presbyterian, and a prohibitionist. He married and had one son.
While in the state legislature, he revised the Code of Tennessee in 1857-1858. He also practiced law in Rogersville, Tennessee, before the war. He supported secession and was elected to both Confederate Houses.
He served on the Judiciary and War Tax Committees and supported the Davis administration on most important issues. He was involved in bills for the manufacture of small arms and was concerned with outlawing illegal and discriminatory acts of impressment. Heiskell resigned from the second House in 1864 because he felt the government was not doing enough to expedite the exchange of Confederate prisoners.
He returned to his law practice and gave no further service to the Confederacy. After the war, he moved to Memphis and practiced law. After Reconstruction, he was elected attorney general of Tennessee and later served as reporter of the state Supreme Court.
"Peculiar institution" of slavery was not only expedient but also ordained by God and upheld in Holy Scripture.
Stands for preserving slavery, states' rights, and political liberty for whites. Every individual state is sovereign, even to the point of secession.
He served in the Tennessee State Senate during the 32nd General Assembly from 1857 to 1859, representing Hancock, Hawkins, and Jefferson counties as a member of the Whig Party.