Family tree of John C. BRECKINRIDGE

American politician

AmericanBorn John Cabell BRECKINRIDGE

American lawyer and politician

Born on January 16, 1821 in Lexington, Kentucky, USA , United States

Died on May 17, 1875 in Lexington, Kentucky, USA

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John C. Breckinridge was born at Thorn Hill, his family's estate near Lexington, Kentucky. The fourth of six children born to Joseph "Cabell" and Mary Clay (Smith) Breckinridge, he was their only son. His mother was the daughter of Samuel Stanhope Smith, who founded Hampden–Sydney College in 1775, and granddaughter of John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Having previously served as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives, his father had been appointed Kentucky's Secretary of State just prior to his son's birth. In February, the family moved with Governor John Adair to the Governor's Mansion in Frankfort, Kentucky.

In August 1823, an illness referred to as "the prevailing fever" struck Frankfort, and Cabell Breckinridge took his children to stay with his mother in Lexington. On his return, both he and his wife fell ill; he died, but she survived. His assets were not enough to pay his debts, and his wife joined the children in Lexington, supported by her mother-in-law. While in Lexington, Breckinridge attended Pisgah Academy in Woodford County. His grandmother also taught him the political philosophies of her late husband, John Breckinridge, who served in the U.S. Senate and as Attorney General under President Thomas Jefferson. As a state legislator, Breckinridge had introduced the Kentucky Resolutions, which stressed states' rights and endorsed the doctrine of nullification.


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Geographical origins

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