BRECKINRIDGE, William Campbell Preston, (1837 - 1904)

”The House of Representatives of the Fifty Third Congress” (detail), The Graphic Chicago, 1893, Collection of U.S. House of Representatives

BRECKINRIDGE, William Campbell Preston, (grandson of John Breckinridge, uncle of Levin Irving Handy, and great-uncle of John Bayne Breckinridge), a Representative from Kentucky; born in Baltimore, Md., August 28, 1837; attended the common schools, Jefferson College, Chambersburg, Pa., and Pisgah Academy, Woodford County, Ky.; was graduated from Centre College, Danville, Ky., in 1855 and from the law department of the University of Louisville in 1857; was admitted to the bar in 1857 and commenced practice in Lexington, Ky.; entered the Confederate Army in 1861 as captain and was subsequently promoted to the rank of colonel in the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry; was in command of the Kentucky cavalry designated to act as bodyguard for President Jefferson Davis and the members of his cabinet at the close of the Civil War; returned to Lexington, Ky., and was attorney for Fayette County; edited the Lexington (Ky.) Observer and Reporter 1866-1868; professor of equity and jurisprudence in the University of Kentucky at Lexington; delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1876 and 1888; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-ninth and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1885-March 3, 1895); unsuccessful candidate for election in 1896 to the Fifty-fifth Congress; resumed the practice of law and also edited the Lexington Herald; died in Lexington, Ky., November 18, 1904; interment in Lexington Cemetery.


Davis, William C. Breckinridge: Statesman, Soldier, Symbol. 1974. Reprint, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1992.