Joseph R. West (September 19, 1822 - October 31, 1898) was a United States Senator from Louisiana. Born in New Orleans, he moved with his parents to Philadelphia in 1824 and was educated in private schools. He attended the University of Pennsylvania from 1836 to 1837 and moved to New Orleans in 1841; he was a captain attached to Maryland and District of Columbia Volunteers in the Mexican War, 1847-1848. He moved to California in 1849 where he engaged in newspaper work in San Francisco, and was proprietor of the San Francisco Price Current. During the Civil War he entered the Union Army as lieutenant of the First Regiment, California Volunteer Infantry, in 1861; he was promoted to the rank of colonel and brigadier general, and was brevetted major general in 1866. He returned to New Orleans and was deputy United States marshal and auditor for customs from 1867 to 1871.
West was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate and served from March 4, 1871, to March 3, 1877; he was not a candidate for reelection. While in the Senate he was chairman of the Committee on Railroads (Forty-fourth Congress), and was a member of the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia from 1882 to 1885. He retired from public life in 1885 and died in Washington, D.C. in 1898; interment was in Arlington National Cemetery.