Finding aid prepared by Megan Mummey
Isaac Shelby papers
University of Kentucky Special Collections
Collection is arranged by format.
Housed with multiple collections.
Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
2011MS109: [identification of item], Isaac Shelby papers, 1784, University of Kentucky Special Collections.
0.1 Cubic feet
Governor of Kentucky, soldier. Isaac Shelby was a militia officer, surveyor, Indian fighter, member of the Virginia legislature and member of the North Carolina legislature before removing to Kentucky in 1783, where, after participating in military affairs and in politics, including the first Kentucky Constitutional Convention, he was elected the newly-formed state's governor in 1792. During his administration some of Shelby's most important acts included stabilizing the government of the new state and lending support to General Anthony Wayne's campaigns in the Northwest Territory. Shelby declined to serve a second consecutive term, but was called from retirement in 1812 because of the war with Great Britain and was again elected governor.
In his second term Shelby aided the federal government in its prosecution of the war and personally led the Kentucky Volunteers in General William Henry Harrison's invasion of Canada, which resulted in a victory for the United States in the Battle of the Thames in 1813. After his second term as governor, Shelby continued to serve on various boards and committees, including those of Transylvania Seminary (now University) in Lexington and Centre College in Danville. In 1817 Shelby declined President James Monroe's offer of serving as the Secretary of War. The following year he served with General Andrew Jackson on a commission to negotiate with the Chickasaw Indians concerning their lands west of the Tennessee River. Shelby died and was buried at his home, "Traveler's Rest," near Danville in 1826.
The Isaac Shelby papers include a deposition signed by Shelby in Lincoln County and a signed printed portrait. The deposition concerns a counterfeit gold coin.