Person:John Breckenridge (11)

Vice President John Cabell Breckenridge, Esq.
Facts and Events
Name Vice President John Cabell Breckenridge, Esq.
Gender Male
Birth[1] 16 Jan 1821 Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky, United States
Marriage to Mary Cyrene Burch
Death[1][2][3] 17 May 1875 Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky, United States
Burial[1] Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky, United States
Reference Number? Q273212?

John Breckenridge represented Kentucky in the U.S. House of Representatives and was then elected Vice President in 1856 at the age of 35, making him the youngest vice president in history. While simultaneously running unsuccessfully for president in 1860, he was elected as senator for Kentucky. He served briefly before being expelled for supporting the Confederacy, and then joined the Confederate Army.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 John C. Breckinridge, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.

    the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

    John Cabell Breckinridge (January 16, 1821 – May 17, 1875) 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 took office at the age of 36. He was a member of the Democratic Party, and 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.

    Breckinridge was born near Lexington, Kentucky, to a prominent local family. After serving as a noncombatant during the Mexican–American War, he was elected as a Democrat to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1849, where he took a states' rights position against interference with slavery. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1851, he allied with Stephen A. Douglas in support of the Kansas–Nebraska Act. After reapportionment in 1854 made his re-election unlikely, he declined to run for another term. He was nominated for vice president at the 1856 Democratic National Convention to balance a ticket headed by James Buchanan. The Democrats won the election, but Breckinridge had little influence with Buchanan, and as presiding officer of the Senate, could not express his opinions in debates. He joined Buchanan in supporting the proslavery Lecompton Constitution for Kansas, which led to a split in the Democratic Party. In 1859, he was elected to succeed Senator John J. Crittenden at the end of Crittenden's term in 1861.

    After Southern Democrats walked out of the 1860 Democratic National Convention, the party's northern and southern factions held rival conventions in Baltimore that nominated Douglas and Breckinridge, respectively, for president. A third party, the Constitutional Union Party, nominated John Bell. These three men split the Southern vote, while antislavery Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln won all but three electoral votes in the North, allowing him to win the election. Breckinridge carried most of the Southern states. Taking his seat in the Senate, Breckinridge urged compromise to preserve the Union. Unionists were in control of the state legislature, and gained more support when Confederate forces moved into Kentucky.

    Breckinridge fled behind Confederate lines. He was commissioned a brigadier general and then expelled from the Senate. Following the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, he was promoted to major general, and in October, he was assigned to the Army of Mississippi under Braxton Bragg. After Bragg charged that Breckinridge's drunkenness had contributed to defeats at Stones River and Missionary Ridge, and after Breckinridge joined many other high-ranking officers in criticizing Bragg, he was transferred to the Trans-Allegheny Department, where he won his most significant victory in the 1864 Battle of New Market. After participating in Jubal Early's campaigns in the Shenandoah Valley, Breckinridge was charged with defending supplies in Tennessee and Virginia. In February 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed him secretary of war. Concluding that the war was hopeless, he urged Davis to arrange a national surrender. After the fall of Richmond, Breckinridge ensured the preservation of Confederate records. He then escaped the country and lived abroad for more than three years. When President Andrew Johnson extended amnesty to all former Confederates in 1868, Breckinridge returned to Kentucky, but resisted all encouragement to resume his political career. War injuries sapped his health, and he died in 1875. Breckinridge is regarded as an effective military commander. Though well liked in Kentucky and other Southern states, he was reviled by many in the North as a traitor.

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  2. John C. Breckenridge [1], in Nndb.

    Born: 21-Jan-1821
    Birthplace: Lexington, KY
    Died: 17-May-1875
    Location of death: Lexington, KY
    Cause of death: unspecified

    Gender: Male
    Race or Ethnicity: White
    Occupation: Politician, Military
    Party Affiliation: Democratic

    Nationality: United States
    Executive summary: James Buchanan's Vice President

    Military service: Third Kentucky Volunteers (Mexican War); Confederate Army (US Civil War)

    The American soldier and politician John C. Breckinridge was born near Lexington, Kentucky, on the 21st of January 1821. He was a member of a family prominent in the public life of Kentucky and the nation. His grandfather, John Breckinridge (1760-1806), who revised Thomas Jefferson's draft of the "Kentucky Resolutions" of 1798, was a United States Senator from Kentucky in 1801-05 and Attorney General in President Jefferson's cabinet in 1805-06. His uncles, John Breckinridge (1797-1841), professor of pastoral theology in the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1836-38 and for many years after secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, and Robert Jefferson Breckinridge (1800-71), for several years superintendent of public instruction in Kentucky, an important factor in the organization of the public school system of the state, a professor from 1853 to 1871 in the Danville Presbyterian Theological Seminary at Danville, Kentucky, and the temporary chairman of the national Republican convention of 1864, were both prominent clergymen of the Presbyterian Church. His cousin, William Campbell Preston Breckinridge (1837-1904), was a Democratic representative in Congress from 1885 to 1893. Another cousin, Joseph Cabell Breckinridge (b. 1842), served on the Union side in the Civil War, was a major-general of volunteers during the Spanish-American War (1898), became a major-general in the regular United States Army in 1903, and was inspector-general of the United States Army from 1899 until his retirement from active service in 1904.

    John Cabell Breckinridge graduated in 1838 at Centre College, Danville, Kentucky, continued his studies at Princeton, and then studied law at Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky. He practised law in Frankfort, Kentucky, in 1840-1 and in Burlington, Iowa, from 1841 to 1843, and then returned to Kentucky and followed his profession at Lexington. In 1847 he went to Mexico as major in a volunteer regiment, but arrived too late for service in the field. In 1849 he was elected a Democratic member of the Kentucky legislature, and in 1851-55 he served in the national House of Representatives. President Franklin Pierce offered him the position of minister to Spain, but he declined it. In 1856 he was chosen Vice President of the United States on the James Buchanan ticket, and although a strong pro-slavery and states' rights man, he presided over the Senate with conspicuous fairness and impartiality during the trying years before the Civil War. In 1860 he was nominated for the Presidency by the pro-slavery seceders from the Democratic national convention, and received a total of 72 electoral votes, including those of every Southern state except Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri. As Vice President and presiding officer of the Senate, it was his duty to make the official announcement of the election of his opponent, Abraham Lincoln. He succeeded John J. Crittenden as United States Senator from Kentucky in March 1861, but having subsequently entered the Confederate service he was expelled from the Senate in December 1861. As brigadier-general he commanded the Confederate reserve at Shiloh, and in August 1862 he became major-general. On the 5th of this month he was repulsed in his attack on Baton Rouge, but he won distinction at Stone River (December 31, 1862 to January 2, 1863), where his division lost nearly a third of its number. He took part in the battle of Chickamauga, defeated General Franz Sigel at Newmarket, Virginia, on the 15th of May 1864, and then joined Robert E. Lee and took part in the battles of Cold Harbor on the 1st and on the 3rd of June. In the autumn he operated in the Shenandoah Valley, and with Early was defeated by Philip Henry Sheridan at Winchester on the 19th of September. Being transferred to the department of South-west Virginia, he fought a number of minor engagements in eastern Tennessee, and in January 1865 became Secretary of War for the Confederate States. At the close of the war he escaped to Cuba, and from there went to Europe. In 1868 he returned to the United States and resumed the practice of law at Lexington, Kentucky, where he died on the 17th of May 1875.

  3. Kentucky Historical Society. Historical Marker Database [2].

    Breckinridge's Last Home
    Marker Number 1742
    County Fayette
    Location 429 W. Second St., Lexington
    Description Built circa 1866, this house was occupied by John C. Breckinridge in 1874-1875. The former U.S. senator and youngest U.S. vice-president was also a Confederate general and secretary of war. After exile, he returned to Lexington in 1869 and resumed the practice of law. He rented this house the last year of his life and died here May 17, 1875.