William Campbell Preston Breckinridge
|Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives |
from Kentucky's 7th district
March 4, 1885 –March 3, 1895
|Preceded by||Joseph Clay Stiles Blackburn|
|Succeeded by||William Claiborne Owens|
|Born||August 28, 1837|
|Died||November 18, 1904 67)(aged|
|Resting place||Lexington Cemetery|
|Relations||Cousin of John C. Breckinridge|
|Children||Sophonisba Breckinridge and Desha Breckinridge|
|Alma mater|| Centre College |
University of Louisville
|Allegiance||Confederate States of America|
|Branch/service||Confederate States Army|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
William Campbell Preston Breckinridge (August 28, 1837 – November 18, 1904) was a lawyer and Democratic politician from Kentucky; a U.S. Representative from 1885-1895. He was a scion of the Breckinridge political family: grandson of Senator John Breckinridge, and first cousin of Vice President John C. Breckinridge.
William Breckinridge was born in Baltimore, Maryland the son of Robert Jefferson Breckinridge, a prominent Kentucky minister, educator, and Unionist politician. His mother was the former Ann Sophronisba Preston. He was largely raised in Pennsylvania where his father was president of Jefferson College.
Breckinridge graduated from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky in 1855. He then studied to be a medical doctor for a year but then switched to studying law. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Louisville in 1857. He returned to Lexington, Kentucky to engage in the practice of law. In this time he married Lucretia Clay a granddaughter of Henry Clay. She died in 1860.
Despite his father's Unionist position (the elder Breckinridge supported the election of Lincoln), William entered the Confederate States Army in 1861, and was commissioned as a Captain. He served in the cavalry under John Hunt Morgan. By the end of the war, he was Colonel of the 9th Kentucky Cavalry. He also served as a bodyguard to Jefferson Davis during his flight from Richmond.[ citation needed ]
Following the war, he returned to Lexington, Kentucky where he resumed the practice of law and taught jurisprudence at the University of Kentucky.
From 1866 to 1868, he also served as the editor of the Lexington Observer and Reporter.In 1869 Breckinridge ran unsuccessfully for county attorney losing in large part because he was in favor of allowing African-Americans to testify in the courts. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1884 as a Democrat and was re-elected four times, serving from 1885 to 1895.
He had in later years married Issa Desha. After her death in 1892, he married Louse Wing.
In 1890, he became a charter member of the District of Columbia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was a Mason, and a member of the Masonic Knights Templar.[ citation needed ]
In 1893, Madeleine V. Pollard filed suit against Breckinridge for breach of promise for his failure to marry her as promised.The trial was a national sensation; the revelations of Breckinridge's infidelity and his weak defense of the breach of promise charge led to the loss of the lawsuit and contributed to the end of his political career.
In 1896, he ran for congress on a strong currency fusion ticket but was defeated. After this, he was hired by the Lexington Morning Herald as their chief editorial writer.
At the November 1901 Convention of the State Federation of Labor in Lexington, Breckinridge delivered an eloquent speech in which he extolled the virtues of a six-day work week, opposed violent strikes, and encouraged negotiations. The following day, the vice president of the group, James D. Wood, took over the convention and helped pass resolutions which called Breckinridge an "enemy of the trade and labor organizations of the state." The controversy which followed split the federation's membership.[ citation needed ]
After the Civil War, William Breckinridge renounced the views that had led him to fight for the Confederacy and became an advocate of racial equality.
The sooner Americans rid themselves of cruel racists in their midst, he said, "the sooner they will realize that their institutions are in no danger, their civilization is not at stake, and that their permanent and practical undisputed sway can not be overturned." He opposed literacy tests and other means of black disfranchisement, in the hopes that someday, "all races might enjoy a common liberty secured by an imperial law."
As editor of the Observer and Reporter in 1866-1868, he advocated the repeal of the restrictions on Negro testimony. Breckinridge and other "New Departure" men believed that admitting blacks to full civil rights, including the right to testify against whites, was a prerequisite for progress. Unusually, they proposed to accomplish this through the Democratic Party, which at this time was for white supremacy.
As an attorney, he represented blacks in court. When a Franklin County black man was convicted of murdering a prominent citizen who had led a mob to seize him, Breckinridge fought to obtain a pardon. In 1869, Breckinridge ran for state's attorney in Boyle County, and the testimony question was the central issue of his campaign. He intended to admit black testimony in all cases and upheld Fayette County as an example that should be followed by the whole state.
As a U.S. Representative, Breckinridge had asked the commissioner of labor to retain a black Census Office worker who feared he would be fired because of race.
He expressed admiration for both Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. Comparing Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery with DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk, he called both books "remarkable contributions" to literature and termed Souls "the most significant and remarkable utterance yet published by a negro." He recommended both books and both men to his readers.
A young black lawyer offered aid to Breckinridge during his 1894 problems, noting that he had helped many "young colored men" in their law careers. Breckinridge predicted a better day for race relations: "Barriers will be removed, prejudices will die, class distinctions be obliterated. Not at once, not in our day; not without fierce contest; not without heroism and sacrifice, but yet slowly, surely, the day grows stronger; the sun rises higher toward the better noon and the glad twilight." Echoing his father, he wrote: "The negro is a man and the race in its essential unity is one race. Of one blood were all men made."
In 1859, Breckinridge married Lucia Clay. In 1861, he married Issa Desha; they were the parents of Sophonisba Breckinridge, Desha Breckinridge, and Robert Jefferson Breckinridge. In 1893, he married Louise Scott Wing. In 1893, Madeleine Pollard brought suit for breach of promise for his failure to make good on a promise of marriage.Breckinridge lost the ensuing court battle and shortly thereafter, failed to win reelection to Congress.
Breckinridge died November 18, 1904, and is interred in Lexington Cemetery.
John Cabell Breckinridge was an American lawyer, politician, and soldier. He represented Kentucky in both houses of Congress and became the 14th and youngest-ever vice president of the United States, serving from 1857 to 1861. He was a member of the Democratic party. He served in the U.S. Senate during the outbreak of the American Civil War, but was expelled after joining the Confederate Army. He was appointed Confederate secretary of war in 1865.
John Breckinridge was a lawyer and politician from the U.S. state of Virginia. He served in the state legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky before being elected to the U.S. Senate and appointed United States Attorney General during the second term of President Thomas Jefferson. He is the progenitor of Kentucky's Breckinridge political family and the namesake of Breckinridge County, Kentucky.
James Bennett McCreary was an American lawyer and politician from Kentucky. He represented the state in both houses of the U.S. Congress and served as its 27th and 37th governor. Shortly after graduating from law school, he was commissioned as the only major in the 11th Kentucky Cavalry, serving under Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan during the American Civil War. He returned to his legal practice after the war. In 1869, he was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives where he served until 1875; he was twice chosen Speaker of the House. At their 1875 nominating convention, state Democrats chose McCreary as their nominee for governor, and he won an easy victory over Republican John Marshall Harlan. With the state still feeling the effects of the Panic of 1873, most of McCreary's actions as governor were aimed at easing the plight of the state's poor farmers.
Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge was an American activist, Progressive Era social reformer, social scientist and innovator in higher education. She was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in political science and economics then the J.D. at the University of Chicago, and she was the first woman to pass the Kentucky bar. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 sent her as a delegate to the 7th Pan-American Conference in Uruguay, making her the first woman to represent the U.S. government at an international conference. She led the process of creating the academic professional discipline and degree for social work.
John Bayne Breckinridge was an American politician, a Democrat who served as Attorney General of Kentucky twice and also served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky.
Edwin Porch Morrow was an American politician, who served as the 40th Governor of Kentucky from 1919 to 1923. He was the only Republican elected to this office between 1907 and 1927. He championed the typical Republican causes of his day, namely equal rights for African-Americans and the use of force to quell violence. Morrow had been schooled in his party's principles by his father, Thomas Z. Morrow, who was its candidate for governor in 1883, and his uncle, William O. Bradley, who was elected governor in 1895. Both men were founding members of the Republican Party in Kentucky.
John Young Brown was a politician from the U.S. Commonwealth of Kentucky. He represented the state in the United States House of Representatives and served as its 31st governor. Brown was elected to the House of Representatives for three non-consecutive terms, each of which was marred by controversy. He was first elected in 1859, despite his own protests that he was not yet twenty-five years old; the minimum age set by the Constitution for serving in the legislature. The voters of his district elected him anyway, but he was not allowed to take his seat until the Congress' second session, after he was of legal age to serve. After moving to Henderson, Kentucky, Brown was elected from that district in 1866. On this occasion, he was denied his seat because of alleged disloyalty to the Union during the Civil War. Voters in his district refused to elect another representative, and the seat remained vacant throughout the term to which Brown was elected. After an unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 1871, Brown was again elected to the House in 1872 and served three consecutive terms. During his final term, he was officially censured for delivering a speech excoriating Massachusetts Representative Benjamin F. Butler. The censure was later expunged from the congressional record.
Breckinridge may refer to:
William Jason Fields was an American politician from the U.S. state of Kentucky. Known as "Honest Bill from Olive Hill", he represented Kentucky's Ninth District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1911 to 1923, resigning to become the state's 41st governor.
Joseph Desha was a U.S. Representative and the ninth governor of the U.S. state of Kentucky. After the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Desha's Huguenot ancestors fled from France to Pennsylvania, where Desha was born. Eventually, Desha's family settled near present-day Gallatin, Tennessee, where they were involved in many skirmishes with the Indians. Two of Desha's brothers were killed in these encounters, motivating him to volunteer for "Mad" Anthony Wayne's campaign against the Indians during the Northwest Indian War. Having by then resettled in Mason County, Kentucky, Desha parlayed his military record into several terms in the state legislature.
George Washington Johnson was the first Confederate governor of Kentucky. A lawyer-turned-farmer from Scott County, Kentucky, Johnson favored secession as a means of preventing the Civil War, believing the Union and Confederacy would be forces of equal strength, each too wary to attack the other. As political sentiment in the Commonwealth took a decidedly Union turn following the elections of 1861, Johnson was instrumental in organizing a sovereignty convention in Russellville, Kentucky with the intent of "severing forever our connection with the Federal Government." The convention created a Confederate shadow government for the Commonwealth, and Johnson was elected its governor.
Madeline (Madge) McDowell Breckinridge was an American leader of the women's suffrage movement in Kentucky. She married Desha Breckinridge, editor of the Lexington Herald, which advocated women's rights, and she lived to see the women of Kentucky vote for the first time in the presidential election of 1920. She also initiated progressive reforms for compulsory school attendance and child labor. She founded many civic organizations, notably the Kentucky Association for the Prevention and Treatment of Tuberculosis, an affliction from which she had personally suffered. She led efforts to implement model schools for children and adults, parks and recreation facilities, and manual training programs.
Desha Breckinridge was the editor and publisher of the Lexington Herald from 1897 to 1935. In 1898 he married Madeline McDowell, who became nationally known as Madeline McDowell Breckinridge. He was a brother of Sophonisba Breckinridge and the son of William Campbell Preston Breckinridge, a member of Congress from Kentucky and a lawyer. His grandfather was the abolitionist minister Robert Jefferson Breckinridge, and his great-grandfather was John Breckinridge.
James Douglas Breckinridge was a U.S. Representative from Kentucky. He was a member of the noted Breckinridge family.
Milton Jameson Durham was a U.S. Representative from Kentucky and served as First Comptroller of the Treasury in the administration of President Grover Cleveland. An alumnus of DePauw University and the University of Louisville School of Law, Durham held no political office prior to his appointment as a circuit court judge by Governor Beriah Magoffin in 1861. He was elected to represent Kentucky's Eighth District in Congress in 1872. He served three terms and was a member of several finance-related committees. He was narrowly defeated for renomination in 1878 by Philip B. Thompson, Jr. at the district's Democratic nominating convention.
Robert Jefferson Breckinridge was a politician and Presbyterian minister. He was a member of the Breckinridge family of Kentucky, the son of Senator John Breckinridge.
The Breckinridge family is a family of public figures from the United States. The family has included six members of the United States House of Representatives, two United States Senators, a cabinet member, two Ambassadors, a Vice President of United States and an unsuccessful Presidential candidate. Breckinridges have served as college presidents, prominent ministers, soldiers, theologians and in important positions at state and local levels. The family was most notable in the State of Kentucky and most prominent during the 19th century, during nearly one-third of which a member of the family served in the Congress of the United States. Below is a list of members.
Mary Cyrene Burch Breckinridge was the wife of John C. Breckinridge and served as the Second Lady of the United States from March 4, 1857 until March 4, 1861, while her husband was the 14th Vice President of the United States.
Joseph "Cabell" Breckinridge was a lawyer and politician in the U.S. state of Kentucky. From 1816 to 1819, he was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, serving as speaker from 1817 to 1819. In 1820, he was appointed Kentucky Secretary of State by Governor John Adair. A member of the Breckinridge political family, he was the son of U.S. Attorney General John Breckinridge and the father of Vice President John C. Breckinridge.
The political career of John C. Breckinridge included service in the state government of Kentucky, the Federal government of the United States, as well as the government of the Confederate States of America. In 1857, 36 years old, he was inaugurated as Vice President of the United States under James Buchanan. He remains the youngest person to ever hold the office. Four years later, he ran as the presidential candidate of a dissident group of Southern Democrats, but lost the election to the Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Joseph C.S. Blackburn
| United States Representative from Kentucky's 7th District |
William C. Owens
|49th||Senate: J. B. Beck | J. C. S. Blackburn||House: A. S. Willis | J. G. Carlisle | J. E. Halsell | T. A. Robertson | F. L. Wolford | W. J. Stone | P. Laffoon | W. C. P. Breckinridge | J. B. McCreary | W. H. Wadsworth | W. P. Taulbee|
|50th||Senate: J. B. Beck | J. C. S. Blackburn||House: J. G. Carlisle | W. J. Stone | P. Laffoon | W. C. P. Breckinridge | J. B. McCreary | W. P. Taulbee | W. G. Hunter | A. B. Montgomery | A. G. Caruth | G. M. Thomas | H. F. Finley|
|51st||Senate: J. B. Beck | J. C. S. Blackburn||House: J. G. Carlisle | W. J. Stone | W. C. P. Breckinridge | J. B. McCreary | A. B. Montgomery | A. G. Caruth | H. F. Finley | W. T. Ellis | I. Goodnight | T. H. Paynter | J. H. Wilson|
|51st||Senate: J. C. S. Blackburn | J. G. Carlisle||House: W. J. Stone | W. C. P. Breckinridge | J. B. McCreary | A. B. Montgomery | A. G. Caruth | H. F. Finley | W. T. Ellis | I. Goodnight | T. H. Paynter | J. H. Wilson | W. W. Dickerson|
|52nd||Senate: J. C. S. Blackburn | J. G. Carlisle | W. Lindsay||House: W. J. Stone | W. C. P. Breckinridge | J. B. McCreary | A. B. Montgomery | A. G. Caruth | W. T. Ellis | I. Goodnight | T. H. Paynter | J. H. Wilson | W. W. Dickerson | J. W. Kendall | J. M. Kendall|
|53rd||Senate: J. C. S. Blackburn | W. Lindsay||House: W. J. Stone | W. C. P. Breckinridge | J. B. McCreary | A. B. Montgomery | A. G. Caruth | W. T. Ellis | I. Goodnight | T. H. Paynter | A. S. Berry | M. C. Lisle | S. Adams | W. M. Beckner|