Richard Henderson, 1735–85, American colonizer in Kentucky, b. Hanover co., Va. An associate justice of the North Carolina superior court (1769–73), Henderson was long interested in Western lands and was the chief promoter of the Transylvania Company. He followed (1775) Daniel Boone, an agent for the company, to the company's first settlement at Boonesboro on the Kentucky River and in 1779 employed James Robertson to settle the Cumberland River area. Virginia and North Carolina voided the company's land grants, and Henderson and his associates were left with a very small portion of the vast territory they had claimed. Although primarily a land speculator, Henderson was one of the most important figures in the early expansion of the frontier.
See A. Henderson, The Conquest of the Old Southwest (1920); W. S. Lester, The Transylvania Colony (1935).