Snapshot of History: “Joseph Desha US Representative and War Hawk of 1812”

English: Kentucky Governor Joseph Desha

English: Kentucky Governor Joseph Desha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceHistoryNews says Joseph Desha (1768–1842) was a U.S. Representative and the ninth Governor of Kentucky. After serving in the Northwest Indian War, he moved to Mason County, Kentucky and parlayed his military record into several terms in the state legislature. In 1807, he was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the first of six consecutive terms in the U.S. House. He was a war hawk, supporting the War of 1812, and commanded a division at the Battle of the Thames. Leaving the House in 1818, he lost to John Adair in the 1820 gubernatorial election. In 1824, he made a second campaign for governor based on promises of relief for the state’s debtor class. He was elected by a large majority, and debt relief partisans captured both houses of the General Assembly. When the Kentucky Court of Appeals struck down debt relief legislation he favoured, he lobbied the legislature to replace it with a new court. His reputation was damaged when he issued a pardon for his son, who was accused of murder. He also hastened the resignation of Transylvania University resident Horace Holley, whom he considered too liberal.

Desha retired from public life in 1828.

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