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  Breckinridge, John C.
NameJohn C. Breckinridge
Lexington, Kentucky , United States
Born January 16, 1821
Died May 17, 1875 (54 years)
Last ModifiedJuan Croniqueur
May 18, 2013 10:11pm
Tags Freemason -
InfoAn American lawyer and statesman, John C. Breckinride was born near Lexington, Kentucky on January 16, 1821. He was graduated from Centre College, studied law under Governer Owsley and at the Transylvania College, practiced law, and served as a major in the Mexican War.

In 1849, Breckinridge entered politics as a member of the Kentucky legislature and two years later was elected to the United States House of Representatives. A Democrat from a previously Whig district, he was catapulated into leadership of his party in Kentucky. Five years later he leaped into national prominence as James Buchanan's vice-presidential running mate. While still vice president, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1859, effective on his retirement.

Extremely cautious, Breckinridge avoided sectional controversy, but he held that slavery could not constitutionally be excluded from a territory. As a result, the Southern faction of the Democratic Party nominated him for president in 1860. He never advocated secession, but, of the four candidates, he best represented the views of the deep South. He received 854,248 popular votes, 18.2% of the total, and carried 11 states with 72 electoral votes.

Before the inauguration of the new Republican administration, Breckinridge sought constitutional guarantees for slavery in order to forestall secession. When compromise failed, he retined his seat in the Senate to oppose Lincoln�s war policy. When his efforts failed, he encouraged his own state to join the Confederacy, and when Kentucky instead ordered the removal of Confederate troops, he helped organize a rival government loyal to the Confederacy and accepted a Confederate commission as brigadier general. These actions resulted in his expulsion as a traitor from the U.S. Senate.

During the Civil War he rose to the rank of major general. At the Battle of Shiloh he commanded the reserve, fought at Murfreesboro and at Chickamauga at the spring of 1864 and defeated General Sigel in the Wilderness and was General Jubal Early�s second in command. In February 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis made him secretary of war in his cabinet. Breckinridge fled to Europe after the South surrendered, returning by permission of President Grant in 1869. Resuming his law practice, he engaged in railroad promotions. He died in Lexington on May 17, 1875.



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Wife Mary Cyrene Burch Breckinridge Dec 12, 1843-May 17, 1875
Son Joseph Cabell Breckinridge, II 1844-1906
Grandson John C. Breckinridge, Jr. 1870-1941
Son Clifton R. Breckinridge 1846-1932
Daughter Frances B. "Fannie" Breckinridge Steele 1848-1924
Son John Witherspoon Owen Breckinridge 1850-1892
Grandson John Cabell Breckinridge, Sr. 1879-1914
Daughter Mary Desha Breckinridge Maltby 1853-
Father John Cabell Breckinridge 1788-1823
Grandfather John Breckinridge 1760-1806
Great-Grandfather Robert Preston Breckinridge 1720-1772
Grand Uncle Alexander Breckinridge 0000-
1st Cousin Once Removed James D. Breckinridge 0000-1849
Grand Uncle James C. Breckinridge 1763-1833
Aunt Letitia Breckinridge Porter 0000-
1st Cousin Peter A. Porter 1827-1864
Uncle John Breckinridge 1797-1841
1st Cousin Mary Breckinridge Porter 0000-
1st Cousin Samuel M. Breckinridge 0000-
Uncle Robert Jefferson Breckinridge 1800-1871
1st Cousin Marie Breckinridge Handy 0000-
1st Cousin Robert Jefferson Breckinridge, Jr. 1833-1915
1st Cousin William C. Breckinridge 1837-1904
1st Cousin Joseph Cabell Breckinridge, Sr. 1842-1920

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