History of Kentucky Governors

Kentucky Governors and Elections


   Kentucky's third governor was also the first lawyer to serve as governor.

   Christopher Greenup was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia in about 1750.  Greenup moved to Lincoln County, Kentucky in 1781. 

   During the Revolutionary War, Greenup attianed the rank of Colonel. 

   Prior to statehood, Greenup represented Fayette County in the Virginia legislature.  When Kentucky was admitted to the Union in 1792, Greenup was elected to the first of three consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives as one of Kentucky's two members of the U.S. House (1792-97).

   Greenup was a candidate for governor of Kentucky in 1800, but was runner-up to James Garrard in a four-man. Garrard appointed him judge of the  in 1802, but he resigned the post June 5, 1804 to make another run for the governorship.  Immensely popular, he ran unopposed, and served as governor from September 4, 1804 to September 1, 1808. During Greenup's administration, the state chartered the Bank of Kentucky and the Ohio Canal Company (a precursor to the canal around the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville).  Despite his popularity, however, he was unable to pass much of his proposed agenda, which included provision for public education and reforms to the militia, courts, revenue system, and penal system. 

     A  Frankfort newspaper implicated Greenup in the alleged Burr (Aaron Burr) conspiracy, but he successfully defended himself and preserved his reputation. He deployed the Kentucky militia along the Ohio River to defend the state from any threat that might result from the Burr conspiracy, but that threat was over by 1807.  (Aaron Burr after serving as Vice-President was indicted for conspiracy and treason for wanting to create an independent nation in what is now the midwest and southwestern United States.)

Christopher Greenup