Richard Clough Anderson Jr.

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Richard Clough Anderson Jr. (August 4, 1788 – July 24, 1826) was an American lawyer, politician, and diplomat from Jefferson County, Kentucky. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky.

Early life[edit]

Anderson was born at Soldier's Retreat near Louisville, Kentucky. His father was a Revolutionary War lt. colonel

in the 5th Virginia continentals, who led the advance of the Americans at the battle of Trenton (24 December 1776), crossing the Delaware River in the first boat.

Anderson attended private schools, later graduating from The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1804.[1] He later studied law and was admitted to the bar, practicing law in Louisville. His mother was Elizabeth Clark Anderson, of the Rogers Clark family. All of his uncles from his mother's side were military officers—five of them during the Revolutionary War. Two of his uncles had become quite famous: General George Rogers Clark, hero of taking of Fort Sackville at Vincennes, IN, and considered to be the founder of Louisville, and Captain William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark expedition. His younger brothers included civil war general Robert Anderson and Ohio Governor Charles Anderson.


Anderson was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1815 and then was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the United States House of Representatives in 1816 and 1818, serving in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Congresses from March 4, 1817 through March 3, 1821. While in Congress Anderson served as the chairman of the House Committee on Public Lands in the Sixteenth Congress. Anderson did not seek reelection to the House in 1820. He later served again as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1821 and 1822 and served as Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1822.

Anderson was appointed as the first United States Minister Plenipotentiary to the Gran Colombia on January 27, 1823. In 1824 he negotiated with Pedro Gual and concluded the Anderson–Gual Treaty, the first bilateral treaty that the U.S. signed with another American state. Anderson took his leave from his post on June 7, 1825 after being commissioned as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Panama Congress of Nations.[2]

Anderson died en route to his post in Turbaco, near Cartagena, Colombia on July 24, 1826. He is buried at Soldier's Retreat.[3]


Anderson County, Kentucky is named in his honor.

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Stephen Ormsby
U.S. Representative from
Kentucky's 8th District

1817 – 1821
Succeeded by
Wingfield Bullock


  1. ^ A provisional list of alumni, grammar school students, members of the faculty, and members of the Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary in Virginia, from 1693 to 1888 : issued as an appeal for additional information. College of William & Mary. 1941. hdl:10288/13856. 
  2. ^ Extracts of a letter May 27, 1823, from Sec. of State J. Q. Adams to Richard Clough Anderson Jr., Minister Plenipotentiary to Columbia (also transmitted to the Senate), On the Mission to Panama, March 17, 1826, in Gales & Seaton, Register of Debates in Congress, 18th to 25th Congress
  3. ^ Kleber, John E. ed., THE KENTUCKY ENCYCLOPEDIA, Kentucky Bicentennial Commission, 1992, p.21

External links[edit]