Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Robert Charles Wickliffe, Governor of Louisiana

Male 1819 - 1895  (76 years)


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  • Name Robert Charles Wickliffe 
    Suffix Governor of Louisiana 
    Born 6 Jan 1819  Bardstown, Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 18 Apr 1895  Bardstown, Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried Bardstown City Cemetery, Bardstown, Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Siblings 1 sibling 
    Person ID I12171  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others
    Last Modified 1 Nov 2020 

    Father Charles Anderson Wickliffe, Governor of Kentucky; U.S. Representative from Kentucky; Postmaster General of the United States,   b. 8 Jun 1788, Springfield, Washington, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Oct 1869, Ilchester, Howard, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Mother Margaret Crepps,   b. 7 Sep 1788,   d. 10 Dec 1863  (Age 75 years) 
    Family ID F6366  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Anna Ruffin Dawson,   b. 1824,   d. 18 May 1853  (Age 29 years) 
    Married 1843  [1
    Last Modified 1 Nov 2020 
    Family ID F6602  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Annie Davis Anderson,   b. 1837,   d. 1876  (Age 39 years) 
    Married 1870  [1
    Children 
     1. Robert Charles Wickliffe, U. S. Representative from Louisiana,   b. 1 May 1874, Bardstown, Nelson, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jun 1912, Washington, D.C. Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years)
    Last Modified 1 Nov 2020 
    Family ID F6588  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • From Wikipedia (accessed 1 Nov 2020):

      Robert Charles Wickliffe […] was Lieutenant Governor and the 15th Governor of Louisiana from 1856 to 1860.

      He was born in Bardstown, Kentucky at Wickland to Governor (and later U.S. Postmaster General), Charles A. Wickliffe. His maternal grandfather was the famed Colonel Crips, an Indian fighter in Kentucky. Wickliffe attended several schools including St. Joseph's College in Bardstown and Augusta College. He graduated from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky in 1840 and resided in Washington, DC during his father's tenure as Postmaster General in the Tyler Administration. He studied law under United States Attorney General Hugh Lagare and was admitted to the Kentucky bar.

      In 1843, Wickliffe married Anna Dawson, the daughter of Louisiana Congressman John Bennett Dawson and niece of Louisiana Governor Isaac Johnson. In 1846, the Wickliffes moved to St. Francisville, Louisiana so Robert could recover from pneumonia at his wife's family's plantation, Wyoming.

      Wickliffe ran for the Louisiana State Senate in 1851 as a Democrat and won. Reelected in 1853, he is appointed Chairman of the Commission on Public Education, and became President Pro Tempore of the Louisiana Senate when W. W. Farmer became Lieutenant Governor. When Farmer died in office in 1854, Wickliffe, as President Pro Temp, became Lieutenant Governor.

      In 1855, Wickliffe was nominated as the Democratic candidate for Governor of Louisiana. He went on to defeat Charles Derbigny, son of former Governor Pierre Derbigny, who was running on the Know Nothing ticket. In winning, Wickliffe drew 3,000 more votes than Derbigny and carried 31 of 48 parishes.

      In his inaugural address in Baton Rouge, Governor Wickliffe advocated a united Democratic South to protect state's rights and he championed the expansion of American power to the Caribbean, Mexico, Cuba and Central America in order to protect slavery in the United States. His administration continued the trend of railroad building, but critics claimed he ignored public education. The Panic of 1857 caused unrest and depression throughout the country and Louisiana was hard hit. Governor Wickliffe blamed a loosely managed Board of Currency in Louisiana. As a consequence, he ordered banks to make weekly statements to the Board of Currency. The unrest changed to violence in New Orleans, which was under Know Nothing control, and Wickliffe was forced to dispatch the militia to ensure the validity of the 1858 elections.

      After his term as Governor ended, Wickliffe returned to planting and the practice of law in St. Francisville. In the Presidential election of 1860, Wickliffe joined Senator Pierre Soulé in backing Stephen A. Douglas. The other Louisiana Senator, John Slidell, backed former Vice President John C. Breckinridge from Kentucky. Wickliffe was selected to be a delegate for Douglas at the Democratic National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland.

      In 1861, Wickliffe did not actively support secession and during the Civil War he tried to act as an intermediary between the Confederacy and the Union. After the war was over, in 1865, Wickliffe was elected to the United States House of Representatives representing Louisiana's 3rd congressional district. He was not seated as Louisiana was deemed "not reconstructed."

      Wickliffe married his second wife, Anna Davis Anderson in 1870. He was elected a delegate to the Democratic National Convention supporting Samuel J. Tilden in 1876 and in 1884 was delegate supporting Grover Cleveland. In 1892, he reentered electoral politics when he was nominated for Lieutenant Governor by the Louisiana Lottery faction of the Democratic Party. Wickliffe lost to anti-lottery Democrats led by Murphy James Foster. Wickliffe died while visiting relatives in Kentucky on April 18, 1895.

  • Sources 
    1. [S4712] Find a Grave page for Robert Charles Wickliffe.