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Benjamin Logan Letter
Kentucky Historical Society. Special Collections & Archives. Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-1931
Access at KHS only. Use microfilm, transcriptions or images when available.
For microfilmed copies see Clift number(s): 0583 (A)
[Identification of item], Benjamin Logan Letter, 91SC17,Library Special Collections and Archives, Kentucky Historical Society, Frankfort.
Logan was born in Augusta County, Virginia circa 1742. He began military service in Virginia, rising to the rank of lieutenant in Dunmore's War against the Ohio Indians in 1774. In 1775 he accompanied Richard Henderson to settle in Kentucky. Logan established a fort called St. Asaph's where the town of Stanford is now.
He took part in the American Revolution by leading several expeditions against Indians in Ohio. After the war, he began his political career by representing Lincoln County in the Virginia General Assembly. Logan also served as a delegate to several of the conventions meeting between 1784 and 1792 to achieve Kentucky statehood. Under Governor Isaac Shelby, he became brigadier-general of the Kentucky militia. Logan represented Lincoln County in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1793 to 1794. The following year, he was elected as representative from Shelby County, his new home.
Logan ran for governor in 1796 and won the original election by a plurality of votes in the electoral college established by Kentucky's first constitution. The constitution did not outline a solution for elections failing to give a majority to one candidate. As other states had held second elections in similar circumstances, the Kentucky college chose to have another vote. In the second election, James Garrard won a majority and was declared the new governor. Logan's challenge to this act was denied, but the events of 1796 showed the inadequacies of the first constitution. Another constitutional convention was called, and Kentucky ratified its second constitution in 1799. This constitution provided for popular election of governors.
Logan ran for governor again in 1800, but lost to Garrard, who won reelection, and Christopher Greenup. Two years later, Logan suffered a stroke and died.
This collection contains an undated copy of a letter written by Benjamin Logan to the Kentucky Senate challenging the gubernatorial election of 1796, in which Logan was a candidate.
The letter in this collection states Logan's belief that "I conceive myself to have been constitutionally chosen Governor of this state, notwithstanding which the office is at this Time exercised by another Person." He informed the Senate that he was bringing the matter to that body for its investigation.
There are also two documents with this letter relating to its provenance.
Creator's Occupation: Militia general, legislator
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