John C. Breckinridge

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John C. Breckinridge
14th Vice-President of the United States
Term of office
March 4, 1857 - March 4, 1861
Political party Democratic
President James Buchanan
Preceded by William R. King
Succeeded by Hannibal Hamlin
Born January 16, 1821
Lexington, Kentucky
Died May 17, 1875 (aged 54)
Lexington, Kentucky
Spouse Mary Cyrene Burch Breckinridge

John C. Breckinridge was James Buchanan's Vice President from 1857 to 1861. He then ran as the Southern Democratic candidate in the 1860 election and after losing to Abraham Lincoln was elected to the United States Senate from Kentucky.

After the Civil War began, Breckinridge was an outspoken advocate of the Confederacy. After being expelled from the Senate for his views in December 1861, he fled south and joined the Confederate Army as a general, commanding the so-called "Orphan Brigade", made up of Confederates from Kentucky. After commanding Confederate forces for most of the war, he was made Secretary of War under Jefferson Davis in 1865.

After the war ended, Breckinridge, fearing he would be charged with treason, fled, first to Cuba and then to England. In 1869, after being granted amnesty, he returned to Kentucky to practice law, and became Vice President of the Elizabethtown, Lexington, and Big Sandy Railroad Company.[1]


  1. Fandex, Workman Publishing, 2002.