Friday, July 2, 2010

The Bunning Seat -- John Edwards

Kentucky is going to elect a new Senator this year to replace Jim Bunning. This made me curious about the other men who have held this seat. The first was John Edwards, who served from June 18, 1792 to March 4, 1795. Apparently the General Assembly did not choose him to get the full term that was elected in 1794 -- I don't know why. Anyway, John Edwards had a fairly typical biography for an early Kentucky leader: he was born in Stafford County, Virginia, started a plantation in what is now Bourbon County, Kentucky around 1780, and was a delegate to the convention that drafted Kentucky's first constitution in 1792. He was a "Democratic-Republican" -- an absurd term which means that he was basically a supporter of Thomas Jefferson.

After losing his seat in the Senate, Edwards went on to serve in the Kentucky state legislature. He died on his farm (close to Paris, Kentucky) in 1837.

Interestingly, two of his sons led a revolt in Texas against the Mexican government in late 1826 and early 1827. These folks declared independence from Mexico and declared a short-lived republic known as "Fredonia." It only took about a month for the Mexican government to shut them down -- although this act set a precedent that became very significant about 20 years later.

I would very much like to know if Fredonia, Kentucky takes its name from the Fredonia rebellion.

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