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Thomas Metcalfe letters, 1807-1841, 1821-1841 (bulk dates)

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Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


Thomas Metcalfe letters


1807-1841, 1821-1841 (bulk dates)


University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506


Arranged by accession number.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Thomas Metcalfe letters, 1807-1841, 1821-1841 (bulk dates), 1VF59W18, 1VF56M231, 1VF61M104, 1VF61M111, 1VF61M112, 1VF61M113, 1VF62M37, 1VF64M130, 1VF68M72, AAM9957LM, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


9 pieces.


Politician. Thomas Metcalfe was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, but came to Kentucky with his parents at an early age. He became a stonemason and worked on courthouses and other buildings. During the War of 1812 he led a company of volunteers in the battle of Fort Meigs, Ohio. He was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly in 1812 and held his seat until 1816. He served in the U.S. Congress from 1819 to 1828, where he was allied with the faction supporting Henry Clay. He was nominated by the Clay-John Quincy Adams party to oppose the Jacksonian Democrat candidate, William T. Barry, in the 1828 Kentucky gubernatorial race. Metcalfe won the contest and served a four- year term. He later returned to the General Assembly and became active in the new Whig Party. He served briefly as U.S. Senator, replacing John J. Crittenden when he ran for governor. Metcalfe retired to his Nicholas County farm, where he died in 1855.

Scope and Content

This is a group of letters written by Kentucky politician Thomas Metcalfe. Two of the letters concern nominations of candidates for midshipman's appointments in the U.S. Navy (61M111, 61M113). A letter of 1823 to Robert Poage discusses political differences between Kentucky and Virginia and predicts that Henry Clay will be the next President (56M231). A letter of 1828 to Leslie Combs and T. Smith requests that they publish certain materials in the KENTUCKY REPORTER without revealing Metcalfe as their source (68M72). An 1843 letter to Joseph B. Reid outlines Metcalfe's reasons for declining to be a candidate for Congress (64M130).


  • Beatty, William R.
  • Clay, Henry, 1777-1852.
  • Combs, Leslie, 1793-1881.
  • Letcher, Robert Perkins, 1788-1861.
  • Lewis, John H.
  • Poage, Robert.
  • Reid, Joseph B.
  • Respess, Austin C.
  • Smith, Thomas.
  • Southard, Samuel L. (Samuel Lewis), 1787-1842.
  • Thompson, Smith.
  • Gales and Seaton.
  • Kentucky reporter.
  • National intelligencer.
  • Politicians.
  • Kentucky--Politics and government--1792-1865

User Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky.