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Charles Slaughter Morehead

Gov. Charles Slaughter Morehead

  • September 4, 1855 - August 30, 1859
  • American
  • July 7, 1802
  • December 21, 1868
  • Kentucky
  • Transylvania University
  • Married twice--Amanda Leavy, Margaret Leavy; five children
  • Representative


CHARLES S. MOREHEAD was born near Bardstown, Kentucky on July 7, 1802. His education was attained at Transylvania College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1820, and a law degree in 1822. Morehead entered politics in 1828, serving as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, a position he held again in 1829, 1838 to 1842, 1844, 1853, and in which he also served as speaker in the 1841, 1842, and 1844 sessions. He also was elected attorney general of Kentucky, serving from 1830 to 1835, and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1847 to 1851. Morehead was elected governor on the American Party ticket in 1855. During his tenure, the Kentucky state agricultural society was authorized, the state penitentiary was expanded and improved, Transylvania College was restructured to include a teacher’s college, currency and state banks were controlled with stricter regulations, funding was secured for the first annual state fair, and the internal works program was advanced. After leaving office, Morehead returned to his Louisville law practice. In 1861, he served as a member of the Washington peace convention and also on the border state convention. In September 1861, federal authorities arrested Morehead on charges of disloyalty. Morehead, who had openly condemned the Lincoln administration, was jailed for four months, and released after agreeing not to take part in the insurgence. He left the country and traveled to Canada and Europe, where he lived until the war ended. Morehead returned to the states and settled on a plantation in Greenville, Mississippi. Governor Charles S. Morehead, who authored A Digest of the Statue Laws of Kentucky, 2 vols. in 1834, passed away on December 21, 1868. He was buried at the Frankfort Cemetery.


Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Governors’ Papers, Kentucky Department for Libraries & Archives, Public Records Division

Reis, Jim. “Two men named Morehead left their mark on Kentucky ” The Kentucky Post Online. 21 Jul. 1997.

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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