Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Bunning Seat -- Isham Talbot

With the resignation of Jesse Bledsoe, the Kentucky General Assembly had to pick a new Senator to hold the Bunning Seat. (I haven't ever clearly stated this, but you should be aware that until the passage of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1913, U.S. Senators were chosen by the State Legislature.)

By a vote of 56 to 50, the General Assembly chose Isham Talbot over Benjamin Mills. Talbot was born in Bedford County, Virginia in 1773. His father, a Revolutionary War veteran, moved the family to Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Talbot read law with George Nicholas (another person with a county named after him) and was admitted to the bar on May 12, 1796. He started his practice in Versailles, and then moved to Frankfort. He was apparently a very successful lawyer, and his star climbed rapidly. In 1804, he married Margaret Garrard, daughter of James Garrard (second Governor of Kentucky and yet another guy with a county named for him). She was 16 and he was 31.

From 1812 to 1815, he represented Franklin County in the Kentucky Senate, before moving on the U.S. Senate. His Senate term began on January 3, 1815 -- but on March 22, 1815, Talbot's young wife (she was still only about 27 years old) died. Two years later, on March 29, 1817, Senator Talbot married Adelaide Thomason (she was 17; he was 44). Talbot's term expired on March 3, 1819 and he returned to practicing law in the Commonwealth. But don't worry, we'll be hearing more about him soon enough.

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