Breckinridge family papers, 1784-1869

Descriptive Summary

Title
Breckinridge family papers, 1784-1869
Creator
Breckinridge family.
Extent
9 pieces.
Subjects
Breckinridge, John, 1760-1806.
Breckinridge, John C. (John Cabell), 1821-1875.
Blair, Francis Preston, 1791-1876.
Breckinridge, John, 1797-1841.
Presbyterian Church--Kentucky--Clergy--Correspondence.
Legislators--United States--Correspondence.
Clergy.
Arrangement
Arranged alphabetically by name, thereunder chronologically.
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
The Breckinridges have been prominent in both state and national politics since Kentucky became a state in 1792. John Breckinridge (1769-1806), a young Virginia lawyer and U.S. Congressman, brought his family to Kentucky that year, and immediately entered into politics. He became, successively, state attorney general, member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, Speaker of that House, U.S. Senator, and U.S. Attorney General under Thomas Jefferson. His son, also named John Breckinridge (1797-1841), was a Presbyterian minister noted for his debates with Roman Catholic clergymen. A grandson, John Cabell Breckinridge (1821-1875), became the most famous member of the family. He was, in turn, a U.S. Congressman, Vice President under James Buchanan, Southern Democratic nominee for President in 1860, U.S. Senator, Confederate General and Confederate Secretary of War.
Scope and Content
This collection consists of some of the papers and letters of three generations of the Breckinridges, a prominent Kentucky family. Included are one letter of 1834 from John Breckinridge Jr. to a fellow clergyman, in which he deplores the lack of ministers in the face of great need, and one from John C. Breckinridge to Francis Preston Blair, written in 1853, in which he comments upon the possibility of his being named Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. Appointments are encouraged but not required. Schedule an appointment here.

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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.