John C. Breckinridge

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John C. Breckinridge
black and white portrait of Breckinridge, middle-aged, dark hair
1860 portrait
14th Vice President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1857 – March 4, 1861
PresidentJames Buchanan
Preceded byWilliam R. King
Succeeded byHannibal Hamlin
5th Confederate States Secretary of War
In office
February 6, 1865 – May 10, 1865
PresidentJefferson Davis
Preceded byJames Seddon
Succeeded byPosition abolished
United States Senator
from Kentucky
In office
March 4, 1861 – December 4, 1861
Preceded byJohn J. Crittenden
Succeeded byGarrett Davis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 8th district
In office
March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1855
Preceded byCharles Morehead
Succeeded byAlexander Marshall
Member of the
Kentucky House of Representatives
from Fayette County
In office
Personal details
John Cabell Breckinridge

(1821-01-16)January 16, 1821
Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.
DiedMay 17, 1875(1875-05-17) (aged 54)
Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.
Resting placeLexington Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Other political
Southern Democratic (1860)
Mary Burch (m. 1843)
Children6, including Clifton and John
RelativesBreckinridge family
SignatureCursive signature in ink
Military service
Years of service
  • 1847–1848 (U.S.)
  • 1861–1865 (C.S.)

John Cabell Breckinridge (January 16, 1821 – May 17, 1875) was a lawyer, U.S. representative, U.S. senator from Kentucky and the 14th vice president of the United States.[1] He was from Kentucky. He served in the House from 1851 to 1855. He served as Vice-President from 1857 to 1861, under President James Buchanan.[2] Breckinridge was the youngest vice president in U.S. history.[2]

Breckinridge was also a Southern Democratic candidate for President in 1860. In the election of 1860, the Democratic Party split, with Southerners voting for Breckinridge and Northerners voting for Stephen Douglas. He carried most of the Southern states, but lost to Abraham Lincoln.

When the South seceded, Breckinridge was briefly a U.S. Senator from Kentucky, but was kicked out of the Senate. After that, he became active in the Confederacy. During the American Civil War, he was a general in the Confederate States Army. He fought in Tennessee and the Shenandoah Valley. He was the Confederate commander at the Battle of New Market. Breckinridge was the last Confederate Secretary of War. After the war, Breckinridge left the country for four years. He returned to Kentucky in 1869 and died in 1875.

References[change | change source]

  1. Meredith Hindley, 'The Man Who Came in Second', Humanities, Vol. 31, No. 6 (November/December 2011), online
  2. 2.0 2.1 "John C. Breckinridge". Civil War Trust. Retrieved 12 October 2016.