Breckinridge, John

Breckinridge, John,

1760–1806, American statesman, b. Augusta co., Va; grandfather of John Cabell BreckinridgeBreckinridge, John Cabell,
1821–75, Vice President of the United States (1857–61) and Confederate general, b. Lexington, Ky. A lawyer, Breckinridge served in the Kentucky legislature (1849–51) and in the House of Representatives (1851–55).
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. After he was admitted (1785) to the bar, he practiced law in Charlottesville, Va. Elected (1792) to the U.S. Congress, he soon resigned and moved to Lexington, Ky. He was (1795–97) attorney general of the new state, and as a member (1798–1801) of the state legislature he secured (1798) the enactment of the Kentucky Resolutions (see Kentucky and Virginia ResolutionsKentucky and Virginia Resolutions,
in U.S. history, resolutions passed in opposition to the Alien and Sedition Acts, which were enacted by the Federalists in 1798. The Jeffersonian Republicans first replied in the Kentucky Resolutions, adopted by the Kentucky legislature in Nov.
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). Breckinridge also prepared the stronger resolutions passed in the Kentucky legislature the next year in answer to criticisms of the earlier resolutions. In the U.S. Senate (1801–5) he was a leading spokesman of Western interests and played an important role in the passage of legislation bringing about the Louisiana Purchase. He was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Jefferson in 1805 and died in office.

Breckinridge, John (Cabell)

(1821–75) vice-president, Confederate; born in Lexington, Ky. He served as James Buchanan's vice-president during 1857–61. In 1861, he joined the Confederate cause, and was indicted for treason by the federal government. He became major-general and was Confederate secretary of war in 1865. Following the war, he lived in Europe and Canada until an amnesty was declared in 1868. He returned to Lexington, Ky., and resumed his law practice.
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In 1860, former Illinois congressman Abraham Lincoln defeated three other candidates for the presidency: John Breckinridge, John Bell and Stephen Douglas.