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James Garrard

Gov. James Garrard

  • June 1, 1796 - September 5, 1804
  • Jeffersonian-Republican
  • January 14, 1749
  • January 19, 1822
  • Virginia
  • Married Elizabeth Mountjoy; twelve children
  • Army


JAMES GARRARD was born in Stafford County, Virginia on January 14, 1749. He served as a colonel in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. In 1872, he moved to Kentucky and settled near Paris on the Stoner River. He became instrumental in establishing churches in the area, and served as the first minister of the Cooper’s Run Baptist Church. Garrard entered politics in 1779, serving as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, a position he held again in 1785. He also served as a member to the 1785, 1787, and 1788 conventions, and was a member of the Kentucky constitutional convention of 1792. On a second ballot in 1796, the state’s electoral college elected Garrard to the governorship. However, Benjamin Logan, who had won the first ballot’s majority, contested the election of Garrard. He petitioned for assistance from the legislature, but they refused to overturn the second ballot. By a popular vote, Garrard was reelected to a second term in 1800. During his tenure, the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 and 1799 were endorsed, new counties and towns were developed, a circuit court system was established, and an insurance company was commissioned with banking privileges. After leaving office, Garrard returned to his family farm, retiring from public service. He died on January 19, 1822, and was buried at a graveyard in Bourbon County, Kentucky.


Collins, Michael. “First two-term governor, Patton have much in common” The Kentucky Post Online. 6 Nov. 1999.

The Political Graveyard

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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