Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia's Northern Neck Counties

John Gov. Pope

Male 1770 - 1845  (75 years)

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  • Name John Gov. Pope 
    Born 1770  Prince William County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 12 Jul 1845  Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I064817  Tree1
    Last Modified 5 Feb 2019 

    Father William Pope,   b. 1746, Westmoreland County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1827, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Mother Penelope Edwards,   b. 1750, Stafford County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1819, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 70 years) 
    Married 1765  Fauquier County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F15967  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth Johnson,   b. Abt 1781, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1818, Washington County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 37 years) 
    Married 11 Feb 1810  Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 5 Feb 2019 
    Family ID F30836  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • John Pope, United States Senator from Kentucky 1807-1813
      Contributed by: James Hughes

      URL: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~trotter/willsky.htm
      URL title: Will Records of Fayette County, Kentucky 1794-1818 Fayette County, Kentucky Will Records Book A
      Page: 510
      Name: George Trotter
      My wife, Eliza; My son, John Pope Trotter; My mother; My father, James Trotter; My brothers, Samuel, Gabriel, and James Gabriel Trotter. John Pope, Esq. to be guardian of children Written: April 1, 1807 Probated: November, 1815 Executors: Wife, Eliza; Father, Col. James Trotter, and John Pope, Esq. Test: Robert Scott
      Fayette County, Kentucky Will Records Book D

      Contributed by Nicholas S. Hill

      Will of Col. William Pope (1746-1827), Sept. 29, 1819 in Jefferson Co., KY
      I give my son John all lands in Shelby Co and my negro man Dick to be emancipated at age 45 and a tract of land on the head waters of Beargrass. I give my son William a tract of 500 acres south of the Pond Settlement and a negro Joshua and an old negro named Ben. I have given my daughters Penelope, Jane, Elizabeth and Hester a full share and they shall have no part of the residue. I give my sons Alexander and Nathaniel the residue to be equally divided. I give my wife Penelope during her life my negro Joshua, Dick and a negro girl named Maria and $200/yr to be paid by William. My son Alexander owes me $400 which goes to Nathaniel before the division. My son William owes me $400 which goes to Nathaniel before the division. Debts due me by son in law Abner Field are forgiven. John and William executors. Witnessed Minor Pope, James Pope, William Pope Jr. and Cynthia Pope.

      Will of John Pope 1770-1845), Springfield, KY done at Little Rock, AR, 14 Dec 1844
      This copy has been abridged by, Nicholas S Hill IV, 3rd great grandson.
      I emancipate Juliann Dancy & her child & Martha, Jerry's wife with her infant & her child Lucretia to be free 10 yrs from the 1st day of Jan next, Martha's sister Maryann to be free 12 yrs from the !st day of Jan next, all to belong to my granddaughter Mary Watkins Cocke. Martha and Juliann to get $100 12 mos After My Death to buy homes. Jerry to be free 7 yrs AMD provided his habits & character are good & he will be hired to his wife Martha at a moderate price if he behaves himself. To Frances Blair of Lexington. KY $1000. My grandchildren Mary Watkins and John Pope Cocke & survivors all the farms and lands, 1100 acres, on the south side of the Arkansas River, 3 to 5 mi below Little Rock. To Mary W Cocke all the residue of my estate in Little Rock. In estate division Mary $5000 more than John unemcumbered. To Mary also negro Lucinda w/ present & future children & Isaiah Upsher w/ tools. Mary to have Eliza's youngest child. Old Nancy to do as she pleases. All the negros devised to Mary to be free at her death. Mary, the piano & all clothes & jewelry of her mother & grandmother & 1/2 of the silver except the forks & tumbler to John. Mary & John to be well educated at whatever expense. John all my books. John my portrait and Mary her grandmother's (Both donated to the Arkansas History Commission by Nicholas S Hill Jr). All other items to be disposed of by my executors. My carriage and horses to Mary. John to have all other slaves. Estate to be divided when John reaches 21. Land in Ohio & Butler County KY to be sold for cash. Have 1/3 interest in & direct $5000 more to Wm Platt & Co in Springfield, contract to end in 3 yrs, Mr. Asher Bodine represents me. I also have a house on Main street building. Fanny Bodine sideboard & tables and my saddle. My land near Louisville, KY to be rented. 60 acres in hands of Barringer to be sold. My house in Springfield to be sold. The devise to John Pope Cocke is on this condition: 120 days after 21 yrs old he will take the name of John Pope only, as his father will not object because many more will bear his name. Executors John Watkins Cocke & Daniel Ringo of Little Rock.
      Codicil: 1 Jul 1845: To Asher Bodine all Land in Marion Co, KY and all undisposed of land in Washington Co, KY, also land in Butler Co, KY near mouth of Big Barren River.
      Instead of $1000 to Frances Blair, $2000 to Annie H Blair 3 yrs AMD. To Mrs. Marion Lewis my large china press. Witnesses: Richard J Browne, Thomas W Platt
      Codicil: 2 Jul 1845: To Frances Bodine $200 for the education of daughter Frances Pope Bodine. Add $800 to capital for Thomas W Platt. To Mrs. Margaret Booker $200 for education of Thomas Jones Bodine. Witnesses: James R Hughes, Hugh McElroy

      A Sketch of John Pope by Historian, Judge Lucius. P Little (1838-1918) Owensboro
      In the Spring of 1835, on the return of Governor John Pope from Arkansas, at the age of 65, he again was a candidate for Congress against Benjamin Hardin and Dr. Rudd.
      At the opening of the campaign, Gov. Pope had large experience, great ability and still retained his faculties and full vigor. An important figure in State history, of whom little has been written and yet his career was of more than ordinary interest.(More has been written today (Baylor, Orval: John Pope, Kentuckian: His Life and Times, 1770-1845. Cynthiana, Ky.: The Hobson Press, 1943; Blakey, George T. ”Rendezvous with Republicanism: John Pope vs Henry Clay in 1816.” Indiana Magazine of History" 1966))
      His first step in public life, it must be admitted, was ominous. Using a homely phrase " He stepped off on the wrong foot", when in the State Senate, in November 1799, he attempted to amend the "Resolutions of 1798" unsucccessfully. (The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 argued that each individual state has the power to declare that federal laws are unconstitutional and void as a protest against the "Alien and Sedition Acts" passed by Congress concerning deporting Aliens, extending Alien residence requirements and banning false, scandolous and malicious writing against public officials). The States position was supported by Jefferson and Madison. If Kentucky ever had political gods, those same resoluttions must thus be classed. In 1800 he was chosen Presidential Elector and voted for Thomas Jefferson, some amelioration, certainly, of his "faux pas" of the year before.
      In 1802, despite his iconclastic disposition, he was elected Representative to the Kentucky Legislature from Shelby County, where he resided and at which place he was admitted to the bar. Not long after this event he removed to Lexington where he represented Fayette County in the Legislature in 1806 and 1807 and was a colleague of Henry Clay. Although yet a young man, he achieved eminence in his position and prominence in public affairs. In 1807, he was elected United States Senator over General John Adair, one of the sitting members. The latter was so chagrined at his defeat that he resigned his unexpired term and gave Henry Clay the opportunity of filling the vacancy. Before the expiration of Gov Pope's second term, in 1812, war with Great Britain was declared which unfortunately for his career he opposed. He was burned in effigy in Frankfort the Capital of Kentucky. Why he opposed a measure so popular in the West is most probably to be attributed to domestic influences.His first wife was a daughter of Gen. William Christian and a niece of Patrick Henry.She having died he married Miss Eliza Johnson, in 1810. daughter of the American Consul at London, a sister of Mrs. John Quincy Adams, a woman of great beauty. Miss Johson was of English birth and possibly, so far sympathized with the mother country as to use her influence on her husband. At the end of his term, as Henry Clay said, he was permitted to retire.
      He returned to the practice of his profession in which he realized both reputation and profit. He was especially distinguished in criminal cases. Amos Kendall, then but recently arrived from New England, gives an account in his Autobiography of the trial in , March 1815, at Lexington of one Payne for wife murder. After referring to other details of the case he says "Mr. Pope in behalf of the prisoner then commenced, in a very eloquent strain, to address the Jury. He summed up the evidence handsomely but was led from his subject by many irrelevant ideas which seemed to strike him and at length made his discourse tedious. I left the Court just at night but was told he continued his argument until nearly ten o'clock and though he had spoken six hours was not finished. He seemed to have no doubt of the fact but hoped to save the prisoner on a plea of insanity. But the prisoner was no mad man and if he was saved justice would mourn. The jury convicted the prisoner, not withstanding Pope's effort's, and he was sentenced to death".
      He was more successful in 1820 in defending Alerdine of Green County for murder. Although probably guilty the prisoner was acquitted. "The effort on Mr. Pope's part on this occasion" says Mr. Allen the historian "Was equal to any he had ever made before on like occasion". (Allen's History of Kentucky, page 371)
      In 1816 Governor George Madison died in office and was succeeded by Lt. Governor Slaughter. The latter appointed Pope his Secretary of State. Kendall says that when he heard of the appointment he was "ThunderStruck". Pope after his unlucky vote in Congress, against the War of 1812, was deemed a Federalist, a party that had passed out of existence, the very name of which was odious. Kentucky was overwhelmingly anti-Federalist in sentiment. The whole State experienced the sensation of Kendall. The unpopularity of Pope undoubtedly caused the question to be sprung against Governor Slaughter. "That the Lt. Governor could not, as the Constitution stood, succeed the Governor on the latter's demise and that the office consequently was vacant and he was a usurper". The question became an issue in State politics and Legislators were chosen in reference to it. Finally Pope to disarm popular clamor resigned and the agitation died away. Governor Slaughter prudently acted as his own Secretary during the rest of his term possibly being a usurper to that extent after all.
      In 1817 Mr. Clay then a member of Congress returned from Washington to find matters sadly "Out of joint" in Kentucky over the passage of the compensation bill increasing the pay for members of Congress to $1500/yr. For this unlucky measure Mr. Clay had unfortunately voted. His opponents saw, or thought they saw, an opportunity to accomplish his defeat. He was a candidate for re-election and, after due consideration, it was determined that Sen. Pope should be his competitor. George D. Prentice, Commenting on the debate said "Pope was a man of powerful eloquence and great family influence but in spite of his eloquence and powerful devices, he found that he was fast losing ground and at length as a last expedient determined to have recourse to a desparate measure". The measure in question was to challenge Clay to a joint debate which was accepted. Prentice describes the debate as somewhat of a Tournament between a couple of mailed knights but winds up very much after the figure of a prizefight. "He, Pope, fell gradually back until he was pressed against a wall and there his conqueror dealt blow after blow upon his defenseless head until the scene became intensely painful" as a result of this polemic pounding Pope was defeated.
      The rivalry between Clay and Pope did not end there but survived for several years. In January 1819, Judge George Robertson at the time a member of Congress called on John Quincy Adams then Secretary of State under James Monroe with a letter from Pope (Pope was the brother-in-law of Adams) and had a conversation on local politics in Kentucky. Mr. Adams in his Diary thus alludes to the Interview "Kentucky is divided between two parties, with Clay the head of one and Pope the other. Clay by the superiority of his talents was more artful in managing public feelings and by the chance of good fortune, notwithstanding the more correct moral character of Pope, has gained a great ascendancy over him and not only keeps him degraded in public estimation but uses every possibe means of the most rancorous and malignant enmity to ruin him". They (Robertson and Adams) discussed candidates for Governor of Kentucky and the probability that Clay, if not himself a candidate, would support Richard M. Johson against whom Pope proposed, Robertson's brother-in-law, Mckee. Mention was also made of efforts by Clay in the west to secure the Presidency on the expiration of Monroe's term. Pope having previously suggested to Adams the great importance of working to secure his own election to the Presidency". Robertson said (continued Adams referring to the interview) "that it is expected that there will shortly be a vacancy of the office of District Attorney in Kentucky and he wished the appointment to go to Pope, to whom the office itself was no object, but who would value it as a mark of confidence by the administration. I (Adams) told him that I had every possible feeling of good will toward Mr. Pope but having made it a principle to avoid recommending to the President any of my family relations.(Adams was subsequently widely criticised for appointing his father-in-law, Joshua Johnson, Superintendent of the Stamp Office when he was President) If it was desirable that the name of Mr. Pope, who had married my wife's sister, should be presented to the President either for the office named or a foreign mission I should wish it might be thru some other channel than me. I had in no instance recommended to the President a relative of mine to any office". Pope did not have the good fortune to receive the coveted "mark of confidence" from President Monroe.
      In 1820 Gov. Pope was one of a committee appointed by the Legislature of KY to digest a Common School System which reported the results of it's labors in 1822. Not far from that period having lost his second wife, Eliza Johnson, he again married the widow of General Matthew Walton, the latter having been the competitor of Benjamin Hardin for a seat in Congress in 1815. Mrs. Walton resided in Washington County and was possessed of great wealth (she was considered the wealthiest woman in Kentucky) and thither Pope removed in 1820. In 1825 he was elected to the State Senate . At this period General Andrew Jackson had developed as a leader in National politics and Gov. Pope became one of his adherents supporting him for President in 1828. In 1829 Pope received the appointment as Governor of the Arkansas Territory which he accepted. His friends regarded his action as one of the capital mistakes of his life. To the Pope family in Kentucky Jackson owed his majority in the State to Gov. Pope. The Governorship of the Arkansas Territory was not only deemed an inadequate reward for this service but Pope's friends thought it unbefitting his talents and character to accept what they regarded a comparatively paltry and barren honor.
      Gov. Pope differed with Jackson as to the course of the latter with regard to the United States Bank and proferred his advice on the subject when the re-charter was vetoed. The response to this well meant but impolitic action was a request for his resignation which was tendered in 1835. In noting this last of his many political mistakes (and it was a mistake for a subordinate to advise a chief at that particular juncture) it seems but "just" to say that nothing but great talents and indomitable will could have overcome the effect of of his many acts of impolicy. If he had floated with the popular current instead of seeking to stem it he might have seriously transposed in his own favor some of the shining figures in American History.
      During Pope's Governorship he encountered an unpleasant incident tha caused him some tribulation. A series of articles in "The Arkansas Advocate" signed "Devereux" were scurilous and venomous and reflected severely on the Governor and his handling of the administration of public affairs. The Governor had but one arm, was aged and somewhat infirm of body so his nephew Major William Fontaine Pope felt called upon to answer for his uncle. The Major put a card in the "Arkansas Gazette" which contained very forcible language intimating that the writer in the "Advocate" was a coward. A reply was made to the card by Charles F M Noland and the principals and their friends repaired to the scene of the conflict. The Governor did not deter him and Major W. Fontaine Pope was killed. The populace blamed Pope for the incident and it dogged him through out the rest of his term. Pope redeemed himself somewhat by building a handsome State House and numerous government buildings.On resigning the Governorship he arrayed himself with the opponents of the administration.
      Governor Pope was five feet ten inches tall, large bodied, heavy set, broad shoulders slighty rounded, inclined to be fleshy, 190 lbs., of dark complexion, regular features, a fine eye as someone expressed it the keenest eye ever in a man's head. One arm had been ampotated between the shoulder and elbow in youth in a corn stalk machine and that stump when he spoke was in constant motion, not derogating however from the effect of his oratory or dignity of his presence. He was not a witty man but sometimes very bitter in speech. He was of unquestioned courage and although physically disabled was adangerous advesary in personal conflict. A rock was his favorite weapon which he could throw with great force and accuracy. He notfied Mr. Hardin at the opening of his campaign for Congress in 1837 that "he required to be treated as a gentleman and on that failure he would hold him personally accountable". It was said to have been a very quiet and exceedingly dull campaign.
      One who personally knew him said that in debate and fully aroused he was unbeatable. The harder the contest the more exhaustless seemed his resources. Dr. Allen, a Virginian, residing in Shelby County heard Hardin and Pope debate at Taylorsville. He was familiar with the best oratory in Virginia and said that he never heard anything equal to that debate. Mr. Collins is mistaken in classing him with Henry Clay, Gov. Letcher and other Kentucky Statesmen "who owed not little of their personal popularity to the fact that they were skillful players on the Fiddle". Governor Pope was physically disqualified.
      The Congressional District at that time was strongly Whig. Pope's hope had been to divide the Whig party and consolidate the friends of the Democratic administration on himself. The latter having no candidate. His recent desertion of Jackson prevented this while his adhesion to the Whig Party had been so brief as to give him no claim on it's favor, especially in competition with a veteran Whig such as Hardin. The gods favored him and he was elected for three terms to the House of Representatives 1837-1843. He was a candidate for a fourth term in 1842. Said Gen, Adair, Hawesville, Ky " Wm R. Grigsby, James E. Stone and Gov. Pope were competing for Congress in the Bardstown District then in Hardin County. The candidates made public addresses at the Court House in Elizabethtown on the first day of the Circuit Court. A large audience was present that divided support betweem Stone and Grigsby. Pope, at the outset, was substantially without following resulting from his frequent change of party affiliation and the popular idea that he was unstable. Grigsby and Stone spoke first and the debate was almost over when Pope arrived. He entered the crowded courtroom, venerable and very striking in appearance, swinging his armless sleeve. His speech was the most remarkable I have ever heard. At the outset, it was halting, the words came with difficulty, his sentences were not rounded, his gesticulation was unimpressive, his voice husky and there was a painful impression that he was disabled by age. As he warmed up however all defects disappeared, his voice grew musical and his speech flowed with a full and impassioned volume. The youthful fire of intellect transfigured the furrowed face and gray locks and the old man was lost in the orator. He defended the the integrity of his political course forcibly, earnestly and eloquently. When, in his peroration, he begged that he should not be deserted and turned off in his old age there was scarce a dry eye in the audience. The effect of his speech was wonderful and it converted almost everyonr who heard him. At the election he garnered a large percentage of the vote but was defeated by Stone". This was his last campaign and the close of his political career. He died in 1845.