John Pope (Kentucky politician)

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John Pope
AR Pope John.jpg
President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
February 23, 1811 – November 3, 1811
Preceded by John Gaillard
Succeeded by William H. Crawford
United States Senator
from Kentucky
In office
March 4, 1807 – March 3, 1813
Preceded by Henry Clay
Succeeded by Jesse Bledsoe
12th Secretary of State of Kentucky
In office
October 21, 1816 – August 2, 1819
Governor Gabriel Slaughter
Preceded by Charles Stewart Todd
Succeeded by Oliver G. Waggener
3rd Governor of Arkansas Territory
In office
March 9, 1829 – March 9, 1835
President Andrew Jackson
Preceded by George Izard
Succeeded by William S. Fulton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 7th district
In office
March 4, 1837 – March 3, 1843
Preceded by Benjamin Hardin
Succeeded by William Thomasson
Member of the Kentucky Senate
In office
1825–1829
Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives
In office
1802
1806–1807
Personal details
Born February 1770
Prince William County, Virginia, British America
Died July 12, 1845 (aged 75)
Springfield, Kentucky, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Democratic-Republican (as Senator)
Democratic (as Governor)
Whig (as Representative)
Spouse(s) Anne Henry Christian (m. 1795, d. March 1, 1806); Elizabeth "Eliza" Janet Dorcas Johnson (m. 1810, d. April 24, 1818); widow Mrs. Frances Watkins Walton (m. 1820, d. Nov. 28, 1843)
Children two
Residence Pope Villa, Lexington KY; Springfield, KY
Alma mater Salem Academy, Bardstown, KY
Occupation Lawyer, politician

John Pope (February 1770 – July 12, 1845)[1] was a United States Senator from Kentucky, a member of the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky, Secretary of State of Kentucky, and the third Governor of Arkansas Territory.

Early life and education[edit]

Pope was born in Prince William County, Virginia in 1770. He lost his arm during his youth and was known as "One-Arm Pope". He attended school at Salem Academy in Bardstown, Kentucky,[2] and then graduated from the College of William & Mary. He studied law in Lexington under George Nicholas, primary author of the 1792 Kentucky constitution.[3] He moved to Springfield, Kentucky where he was admitted to the bar. He practiced law in Washington, Shelby, and Fayette County, Kentucky.

Political career[edit]

Pope served as the presidential elector from Kentucky in 1801, and was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1802. He served in the House again from 1806 to 1807.[4]

Pope was elected as a Jeffersonian Republican to the United States Senate, serving from 1807 to 1813, and served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Eleventh Congress in 1810 and 1811. His vote against the War of 1812 made since he leaned toward the Federalist Party at that time, but political gossip attributed this unpopular political stance to his wife's influence (Eliza Johnson Pope was daughter of an Englishwoman, Catherine Nuth, wife of Joshua Johnson, and she had spent much of her youth in England).[5] The political fall-out led to his not running for re-election at the end of his term in 1813. He and his wife returned to live in Lexington, Kentucky where he practiced law and taught at Transylvania University.

Pope was appointed Secretary of State of Kentucky from 1816 to 1819, under Governor Gabriel Slaughter.[6]

He served as a member of the Kentucky Senate from 1825 to 1829, and was also elected three times to the United States House of Representatives, initially as an Independent[7] and then as a Whig, serving Kentucky's District 7 between 1837 and 1843.

From 1829 to 1835, he served as the Governor of Arkansas Territory. During his term as governor he arranged for the construction of the Old State House by the Kentucky architect Gideon Shryock. It remains the oldest surviving state capitol west of the Mississippi River.

Personal life[edit]

Pope was married to three socially well-connected women over his lifetime - outliving them all. In 1795 he married Anne Henry Christian (d. 1806), daughter of one of the first settlers of Louisville, Kentucky and niece of Patrick Henry. After Anne died, and while a U.S. Senator, serving as president pro tem, he remarried in 1810. He married well again this time to Elizabeth Janet Dorcas Johnson (1786-1818), daughter of Joshua Johnson, the first American Consul-General to England. Her sister, Louisa, was the wife of John Quincy Adams, who was at that time the U.S. Minister to Prussia and later, with John Pope's support, President of the United States. During this time, and primarily under the advisement of his wife Eliza, Pope built the avant-garde mansion in what was then on the edges of the "Athens of the West" Lexington, Kentucky which was designed by the noted American architect, Benjamin Henry Latrobe.[8]

After the death of Eliza his second wife, Pope resigned from his position as secretary of state of Kentucky (under Governor Gabriel Slaughter) and law professor at Transylvania University, and in 1820 he moved to Springfield, Kentucky. Mrs. Frances Watkins Walton of Washington County (1772-1843), widow of General Matthew Walton, founder of Springfield and state politician. At the time of her marriage to John Pope, Mrs. Walton was one of the wealthiest people in the state.[9] After his marriage, Pope lived in his wife's home, Walton Manor, and practiced law from the older brick cottage in front of the mansion. When his daughter married in 1829, he sold the Pope Villa which he had been leasing out, and he sold the Walton Manor to her husband John Watkins Cocke. Pope and his wife then moved to Arkansas where he served as Territorial Governor until 1835. He returned to Springfield with his wife, and they built a new house for themselves.[10] This smaller house is also on the National Register of Historic Places.[11] He served as a Kentucky representative to Congress from 1837 to 1843; but, soon before his third wife died, he was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1842 to the Twenty-eighth Congress.

He was also the brother of Nathaniel Pope, a prominent figure in early Illinois Territory, and the uncle to both John Pope, Union General in the Civil War and Daniel Pope Cook, another prominent politician in the early history of the state of Illinois.

Death[edit]

John Pope died in Springfield, Kentucky on July 12, 1845, and is buried in the Springfield Cemetery Hill Cemetery.

Legacy[edit]

Pope Villa of Lexington, Kentucky was built by Benjamin Latrobe for him and his wife Eliza. It is only one of three extant Latrobe buildings in the U.S.

Pope County, Arkansas is named for him.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ encyclopediaofarkansas.net
  2. ^ "Salem Academy". Historical Marker Database. HMdb.org LLC. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  3. ^ Gies, Benjamin Michael (May 2016). "Kentucky's first statesman: George Nicholas and the founding of the Commonwealth". University of Louisville Institutional Repository. University of Louisville Institutional Repository. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  4. ^ "Pope, John (1770–1845)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  5. ^ Johnston, Mrs. Thomas Hamer (October 1914). "The Johnsons of Maryland". Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine. XLV (4): 174. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  6. ^ "Secretary of State John Pope". Kentucky Secretary of State. Archived from the original on June 1, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  7. ^ Dubin, Michael J. (March 1, 1998). United States Congressional Elections, 1788–1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st Through 105th Congresses. McFarland and Company. p. 117. ISBN 978-0786402830. ; Martis, Kenneth C. (January 1, 1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789–1989. Macmillan Publishing Company. p. 94. ISBN 978-0029201701. ; Moore, John L., ed. (1994). Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections (Third ed.). Congressional Quarterly Inc. p. 966. ISBN 978-0871879967. 
  8. ^ Fazio, Michael W.; Snadon, Patrick A. (2006). The Domestic Architecture of Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 389–446. 
  9. ^ "Walton Manor Cottage (John Pope Law Office)". National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form. National Park Services. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  10. ^ Brackney, Peter. "The Retirement Home of Senator John Pope". Kaintuckeean. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  11. ^ "John Pope House". National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  12. ^ "Profile for Pope County, Arkansas, AR". ePodunk. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]