History of Kentucky Governors

Kentucky Governors and Elections


       A Virginia orphan who became a major general was elected Kentucky's fourth Governor in 1808.

       Charles Scott a veteran of the French and Indian War where he served under the command of Edward Braddock and George Washington.  With the outbreak of the American Revolution, Charles Scott served again with George Washington, including the bitter winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge.  

       Scott moved from Virginia to Woodford County in 1787.  In 1789, he represented Woodford County in the Virginia legislature.  When Kentucky became a state in 1792, the Kentucky General Assembly created a new county from Woodford and named it Scott County in honor of General Scott.

      General Scott participated in several wars against the Indians or Native Americans in the 1780s and 90s.  Two of Scott's sons were killed by Indians.  With statehood in 1792, Governor Shelby appointed Scott a Major General in the Kentucky Militia.  On August 20, 1794 he participated in the Battle of Fallen Timbers near present day Toledo, Ohio.  This was a battle against the Indian Tribes associated with the Western Confederacy for control of the Northwest Territory.

       Scott was elected by a wide margins over two opponents during the election of 1808.  During his first year as governor he fell on the icy steps of the Governor's Mansion and was on crutches the rest of his life.  Due to this handicap he relied heavily on his appointed Secretary of State Jesse Bledsoe. (It should be noted that his elected Lt. Governor was Gabriel Slaughter who later became Governor). 

      Governor Scott's attempts to lower taxes were thwarted by the General Assembly.  Though he was successful in having the General Assembly pass some relieve for Kentucky's debtors.  His most successful achievement was to prepare the state for the War of 1812.  Scott appointed a non-Kentuckian, William Henry Harrison to the rank of Major General in the Kentucky and as a result was able to raise 1,500 recruits.

             Charles Scott

  As a result of Governor Scott's foresight, Kentucky's Militia made successful contributions in the early battles of the War of 1812 in the Northwest and Canada.

      Upon leaving office, Governor Scott retired to his farm in Clark County.  He died on October 22, 1813.

      In addition to Scott County, Kentucky, Scottsville, Virginia and Scottsville, Kentucky as well as Scott County Indiana were named in honor of General Charles Scott, fourth Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.