Liberal Kentucky, 1780-1828

By Niels Henry Sonne | Go to book overview

III
DR. JOSEPH BUCHANAN

AMONG the early settlers of Kentucky there were an exceptionally large number of able and educated men, lawyers, judges, politicians, doctors and business men.1 Their superior talents enabled them to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by the new country. Their presence and their successes are observable in the earliest numbers of the Kentucky Gazette. Their achievements became increasingly evident as the years passed on. Even Thomas Ashe, a very critical and depreciative British traveler, in 1805 had observed their developing consciousness of social distinctions.2 By 1812 these able and aggressive leaders had created a noteworthy society, based upon concentration of property and power in a few large towns.

Lexington, which was the most important town in the West at this time, was situated on the main arteries of commerce, and had acquired a substantial class of manufacturers, as well as a much larger class of wealthy merchants.3 In addition, fifty or sixty large landholders had built beautiful estates in the near-by countryside and were living lives patterned after English and Virginian country gentlemen. Most conspicuous among these estates were the Breckinridges' Cabell's Dale, Clay's Ashland, and Meade's Chaumière du

____________________
1
Kerr, History of Kentucky, I, 293-94.
2
Ashe, Travels in America, pp. 191-95.
3
An excellent, detailed description of Lexington in 1816 is that of Samuel R. Brown, reprinted in detail by Kerr, History of Kentucky, I, 525-27.

-78-

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Liberal Kentucky, 1780-1828
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • I - Intellectual Viewpoints in Pioneer Kentucky 1
  • II - Early Transylvania 46
  • III - Dr. Joseph Buchanan 78
  • IV - Presbyterianism and the State 108
  • V - A Revolution at Transylvania University 135
  • VI - Horace Holley, Liberal Theologian and Educator 160
  • VII - Liberalism on the Defensive 191
  • VIII - Liberalism Defeated 242
  • Bibliography 263
  • Index 275
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