Isaac Shelby

Isaac Shelby
Isaac shelby.jpg
Circa 1820
1st Governor of Kentucky
In office
June 4, 1792 – June 1, 1796
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byJames Garrard
5th Governor of Kentucky
In office
August 24, 1812 – September 5, 1816
LieutenantRichard Hickman
Preceded byCharles Scott
Succeeded byGeorge Madison
Personal details
Born(1750-12-11)December 11, 1750
Hagerstown, Province of Maryland
DiedJuly 18, 1826(1826-07-18) (aged 75)
Lincoln County, Kentucky
Political partyDemocratic-Republican
Spouse(s)Susannah Hart
RelationsEphraim McDowell (son-in-law), Charles Stewart Todd (son-in-law)
ResidenceTraveler's Rest
Professionsoldier, colonial militia officer, state militia officer, farmer, politician, state governor
AwardsCongressional Gold Medal, Thanks of Congress
Military service
Nickname(s)Old King's Mountain
Allegiance United Kingdom,  United States
Service/branchVirginia Colonial Militia, Continental Army, Kentucky Militia
Years of service1774-1815
RankGovernor of Kentucky
CommandsFincastle County company, Virginia Colonial Militia, Overmountain Men, Kentucky Militia

Lord Dunmore's War

American Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Isaac Shelby (December 11, 1750 – July 18, 1826) was the first and fifth Governor of Kentucky and served in the state legislatures of Virginia and North Carolina. He was also a soldier in Lord Dunmore's War, the American Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812. While governor, he led the Kentucky militia in the Battle of the Thames, an action that was rewarded with a Congressional Gold Medal. Counties in nine states, and several cities and military bases, have been named in his honor. His fondness for John Dickinson's The Liberty Song is believed to be the reason Kentucky adopted the state motto "United we stand, divided we fall".

Issac Shelby's military service began when he served as second-in-command to his father at the Battle of Point Pleasant, the only major battle of Lord Dunmore's War. He gained the reputation of an expert woodsman and surveyor and spent the early part of the Revolutionary War gathering supplies for the Continental Army. Later in the war, he and John Sevier led expeditions over the Appalachian Mountains against the British forces in North Carolina. He played a pivotal role in the British defeat at the Battle of King's Mountain. For his service, Shelby was presented with a ceremonial sword and a pair of pistols by the North Carolina legislature, and the nickname "Old King's Mountain" followed him the rest of his life.

Following the war, Isaac Shelby relocated to Kentucky on lands awarded to him for his military service and became involved in Kentucky's transition from a county of Virginia to a separate state. His heroism made him popular with the state's citizens, and the Kentucky electoral college unanimously elected him governor in 1792. He secured Kentucky from Indian attacks and organized its first government. He used the Citizen Genet affair to convince the Washington administration to make an agreement with the Spanish for free trade on the Mississippi River.

At the end of his gubernatorial term, Isaac Shelby retired from public life, but he was called back into politics by the impending War of 1812. Kentuckians urged Shelby to run for governor again and lead them through the anticipated conflict. He was elected easily and, at the request of General William Henry Harrison, commanded troops from Kentucky at the Battle of the Thames. After the war, he declined President James Monroe's offer to become Secretary of War. In his last act of public service, Shelby and Andrew Jackson acted as commissioners to negotiate the Jackson Purchase from the Chickasaw Indian tribe. Isaac Shelby died at his estate in Lincoln County, Kentucky on July 18, 1826.

Early life

Isaac Shelby was born in the Colony of Maryland on December 11, 1750, near Hagerstown in Frederick (now Washington) County.[1][2] He was the third child and second son of Evan and Letitia (Cox) Shelby, who immigrated from Tregaron, Wales, in 1735.[3] Though the family had been loyal to the Church of England, they became Presbyterians after coming to British America; this was the denomination Isaac Shelby embraced during his life.[3]

Shelby was educated at the local schools in his native colony.[4] He worked on his father's plantation and occasionally found work as a surveyor.[2] At age eighteen he was appointed deputy sheriff of Frederick County.[3][5] Shelby's father lost a great deal of money when Pontiac's Rebellion disrupted his lucrative fur trade business, and two years later, the business' records were destroyed in a house fire.[6] Consequently, in December 1770 the family moved to the area near Bristol, Tennessee, where they built a fort and a trading post.[7] Here, Shelby and his father worked for three years herding cattle.[5]

Other Languages
български: Айзък Шелби
Deutsch: Isaac Shelby
español: Isaac Shelby
français: Isaac Shelby
한국어: 아이작 셸비
Latina: Isaac Shelby
português: Isaac Shelby
русский: Шелби, Исаак
svenska: Isaac Shelby
Tagalog: Isaac Shelby