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Biography of Hon. Robert P. Henry

Posted By Dennis Partridge On In Kentucky,Tennessee | No Comments

The son of a Revolutionary soldier and the representative of a distinguished family was Robert P. Henry. He was born in 1788 in Scott County, Ky., where his father, Gen. William Henry, had settled among the first in that region. He graduated in Transylvania University at Lexington, and studied law with Henry Clay. In 1809 he was admitted to the bar, and the same year was appointed Commonwealth’s Attorney for the district. He served in the war of 1812 as aid to his father, with the rank of Major. In 1811 he married Miss Gabriella F. Pitts, of Georgetown, Ky., and some years after the close of the war of 1812 he removed to Christian County, where he continued to reside to the end of his life. Soon after he came to Hopkinsville he was appointed Commonwealth’s Attorney, a position he filled with ability. He was elected to Congress from this district in 1823, and re-elected in 1825. As a member of the Committee on “Roads and Canals ” was instrumental in obtaining the first appropriation ever granted for the improvement of the Mississippi River. While in Congress he was appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeals, an honor he declined. He died suddenly before the close of his second congressional term, and before he had hardly reached the prime of life.

As a lawyer, Mr. Henry was positive in his positions when taken. He rapidly gained a practice, which steadily increased until he entered the political field. He was a good pleader, and his address to a jury was always clear, logical and often eloquent. His mental organization was of a fine texture, and eminently fitted him for a high rank in the legal profession. Though he died young, he lived long enough to win reputation as a lawyer and fame as a statesman.

Gustavus A. Henry, a younger brother of Robert P. Henry, a native of Scott County, was born in 1803. His education was completed in Transylvania University, and after graduating in the law he removed to Hopkinsville, where he soon rose to distinction in the profession. He was married, in 1833, to Miss Marian McClure, and shortly afterward removed to Clarksville, Tennessee, where he attained high rank as a lawyer.


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