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Richard Taylor Jacob

Richard Taylor Jacob

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Richard Taylor Jacob was 17th Lieutenant Governor
Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
The office of lieutenant governor of Kentucky has existed under the last three of Kentucky's four constitutions, beginning in 1797. The lieutenant governor serves as governor of Kentucky under circumstances similar to the Vice President of the United States assuming the powers of the presidency...

 of Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...


Background and Early Life

Richard Taylor Jacob was born in Oldham County, Kentucky
Oldham County, Kentucky
As of the census of 2000, there were 46,178 people, 14,856 households, and 12,196 families residing in the county. The population density was . There were 15,541 housing units at an average density of...

 into a locally influential family. His father, John Jeremiah Jacob, was a well-known businessman and real estate speculator; his brother, Charles Donald Jacob
Charles Donald Jacob
Charles Donald Jacob served four terms as mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, two consecutively in 1873-78, then later in 1882-84 and 1888-90. He also served as the U.S. minister to Colombia in 1885-1886. He was a member of the Democratic Party....

, eventually served three terms as mayor of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

; and his sister, Susan, married James Brown Clay
James Brown Clay
James Brown Clay was a Democratic Party member of the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky....

, son of Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

 the American statesman and orator, who later was a U.S. Representative
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 from Kentucky.

Jacob studied law in 1825 and visited South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. He happened to be in California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 when the Bear Flag Revolt broke out. He joined the cavalry forces of General John C. Fremont
John C. Frémont
John Charles Frémont , was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder...

 and served as a captain. When Fremont was on trial in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 for his actions in California, Jacob appeared as a witness on the general's behalf. At that time, Jacob met Fremont's sister-in-law, Sarah Benton, a daughter of Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Thomas Hart Benton
Thomas Hart Benton (senator)
Thomas Hart Benton , nicknamed "Old Bullion", was a U.S. Senator from Missouri and a staunch advocate of westward expansion of the United States. He served in the Senate from 1821 to 1851, becoming the first member of that body to serve five terms...

; the couple married in January, 1848. For a few years Jacob farmed in Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

, his wife's home state. In 1855 Jacob bought a farm called "Woodland" on the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 in Oldham County, Kentucky, and moved there with his family. This farm was called 'Clifton' when Jacob lived there.

The Civil War

In 1859 Jacob was elected as a Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 to Kentucky's state legislature
Kentucky General Assembly
The Kentucky General Assembly, also called the Kentucky Legislature, is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Kentucky.The General Assembly meets annually in the state capitol building in Frankfort, Kentucky, convening on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January...

. In 1860, Jacob supported John C. Breckinridge
John C. Breckinridge
John Cabell Breckinridge was an American lawyer and politician. He served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Kentucky and was the 14th Vice President of the United States , to date the youngest vice president in U.S...

 for president. But when the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 broke out, he remained loyal to the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 and worked to prevent Kentucky from joining the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

. In 1862, he raised the 9th Kentucky Cavalry
9th Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry
The 9th Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry Regiment was a cavalry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War.-Service:The 9th Kentucky Cavalry was organized at Eminence, Kentucky mustered in on August 22, 1861 under the command of Colonel Richard Taylor Jacob...

, a regiment of 1,244 men and over the next year took part in several skirmishes and battles, including resisting Morgan's Raid
Morgan's Raid
Morgan's Raid was a highly publicized incursion by Confederate cavalry into the Northern states of Indiana and Ohio during the American Civil War. The raid took place from June 11–July 26, 1863, and is named for the commander of the Confederates, Brig. Gen...

 in 1863. That year, Jacob was elected Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky, as the running mate of Thomas E. Bramlette
Thomas E. Bramlette
Thomas Elliott Bramlette was the 23rd Governor of Kentucky. He was elected in 1863 and guided the state through the latter part of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction. At the outbreak of the war, Bramlette put his promising political career on hold and enlisted in the Union Army,...

. The partnership between the two men did not last long. Jacob attacked the Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

, issued in 1863, considering it unfair to those Kentucky slave-holders who remained loyal to the Union. Adding to Jacob's troubles that year, his wife Sarah died. In 1864 Jacob supported General George B. McClellan
George B. McClellan
George Brinton McClellan was a major general during the American Civil War. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac and served briefly as the general-in-chief of the Union Army. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union...

's candidacy for the presidency. He was accused of attacking the Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 administration — and the Union — so fiercely that Governor Bramlette ordered his arrest and expulsion. General Stephen G. Burbridge
Stephen G. Burbridge
-External links:* — Article by Civil War historian/author Bryan S. Bush...

 carried out the order. Jacob was sent over the Confederate lines to Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...


Jacob denied that he ever spoke against the Union and appealed to President Lincoln. Apparently, Lincoln believed Jacob, or at least sought to placate Jacob's supporters back in Kentucky. The president allowed Jacob to visit Washington and gave him a letter securing his release. Jacob returned to his home state. In 1865 he married again; to Laura Wilson.

Later years

Later, Jacob ran for Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 (1867) and for an appellate clerkship, but he lost both elections. In 1876 he was elected judge of the Oldham County court, but declined to run for a second term. At about this time, Jacob joined the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

. From 1895 to 1899 he served as park commissioner of Louisville.


  • Richard Taylor Jacob's father, John Jeremiah Jacob (1778–1852), should not be confused with his distant cousin, also named John J. Jacob
    John J. Jacob
    John Jeremiah Jacob was a Democratic politician from Green Spring , West Virginia. Jacob served two terms as the fourth Governor of the US state of West Virginia...

     (1829–1893), who served as Governor of West Virginia
    West Virginia
    West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

  • In 1996 Jacob's old farm, "Woodland" became the site of a commercial bison
    Members of the genus Bison are large, even-toed ungulates within the subfamily Bovinae. Two extant and four extinct species are recognized...


External links