Caleb Powers papers
The Caleb Powers papers (dated 1900-1941; 6 cubic feet; 9 boxes, 1 item) consist of materials relating to the third and fourth trials of Caleb Powers, which took place during 1903-1904 and 1907-1908.
- Caleb Powers papers
- 6 Cubic Feet
- Assassination -- Politics and government -- Kentucky.
- Conspiracy -- Kentucky.
- Lawyers -- Kentucky.
- Preferred Citation
- 51w15: [identification of item], Caleb Powers papers, 1900-1941, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
- University of Kentucky
- Biography / History
- Caleb Powers was born near Williamsburg in Whitley County, Kentucky, on February 1, 1869. He attended several public schools in Kentucky, including Union College in Barbourville, the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and Centre College in Danville. He eventually graduated from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. After attending West Point from 1890-1891, Powers studied law and was admitted to the Bar in 1894. He served as superintendent of public schools in Knox County from 1894-1899 and was elected secretary of state on the Republican ticket in 1899. The results of the 1899 election were contested by the Democrats and when the legislature convened in January 1900, Democratic candidate William Goebel was declared elected governor over William S. Taylor, Republican incumbent. Goebel was shot outside of the old State Capitol building in Frankfort on January 30 and died four days later on February 3.
- Powers was charged with complicity in the assassination of Governor Goebel. He was tried four times, with the first two trials resulting in a life sentence and the third in the death penalty. All three sentences were reversed by the Kentucky Court of Appeals and new trials granted. The fourth trial resulted in a hung jury and Powers was eventually pardoned by Kentucky Governor Augustus E. Willson in 1908. Powers went on to be elected as a Republican to three succeeding Congresses (1911-1919). He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1912, and later moved to Washington, D. C., where he served as assistant counsel for the United States Shipping Board from 1921 until his death on July 25, 1932.
- Scope and Content
- The Caleb Powers papers (dated 1900-1941; 6 cubic feet; 9 boxes, 1 item) consist of materials relating to the third and fourth trials of Caleb Powers, which took place during 1903-1904 and 1907-1908. Papers include the correspondence of Powers, his attorneys, witnesses, and other interested parties; affidavits, subpoenas, and other legal documents; newspaper clippings and magazine articles; and other miscellaneous materials relating to Powers' four trials. Judge Samuel M. Wilson of Lexington served with Powers' defense team and collected the manuscript materials.
Restrictions on Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access
- Conditions Governing Access Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
- Use Restrictions
- The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Contents of the Collection
THIRD TRIAL, 1903-1904
MISCELLANEOUS LEGAL DOCUMENTS AND NOTES
- Box 1, folder 13
SAMUEL WILSON NOTEBOOKS
FOURTH TRIAL, 1907-1908
AFFIDAVITS, STATEMENTS, AND TESTIMONIES
SAMUEL WILSON CALENDAR AND NOTEBOOKS
JURY SELECTION AND INSTRUCTIONS
MISCELLANEOUS LEGAL DOCUMENTS
- Box 6, folder 1
- Box 6, folder 5
- Box 6, folder 9
Caleb Powers, December 1906
- Box 7, folder 3
- Box 7, folder 13