The text used in this website to narrate the biographies of several Breckinridge family members has been taken from several sources. It is not to be used as a primary reference for geneological research. This is a work in progress. Additional material and comments should be addressed to

Alexander Breckinridge ( - )

Breckinridge Family*, Alexander Breckinridge, a man of education, a native of Ulster Province, Ireland, came to America about 1739 and settled on land near the present site of Staunton, Virginia. He was accompanied by his wife, Letitia Preston, and by her brother, John Preston. Alexander Breckinridge and John Preston were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and their ancestors had been Protestant since the Reformation. John Preston was the ancestor of the Prestons, Browns, Blairs, Marshalls, Woolleys, McDowells and other families.

Robert Preston, a son of Alexander, by his first marriage, had two sons, Robert and Alexander, who settled near the present site of Louisville, Kentucky, in 1783. Robert was a subaltern officer in the Revolutionary army and after coming to Kentucky served in several Indian campaigns, was a member of the various conventions in the Territory of Kentucky and was the first speaker of the House of Representatives in 1792.

The second wife of Robert Breckinridge, son of Alexander, was Letitia Preston, daughter of John Preston. The oldest child of this marriage was John Breckinridge.

FILE: 93ABreck.wrd


* Taken from the Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century. Published by J. M. Armstrong & Company, Cincinnati, Ohio 1878.


Hon. John Breckinridge (December 1760 - December 1806)

Hon. John Breckinridge* lawyer, was born December 2, 1760, on a farm where Staunton, Virginia, now stands and was the oldest child of Robert and Letitia Breckinridge. His brother, Robert, was a subaltern officer in the Revolutionary army, and after the declaration of peace came to Kentucky, settling in Jefferson County. He served in several Indian campaigns during that period; was a member of the various conventions in the Territory of Kentucky, and was the first speaker of the House of Representatives in 1792. His mother, Letitia Preston, was his father's second wife, and the daughter of John Preston, an ancestor of the Prestons, Browns, Blairs, Marshalls, Woolleys, McDowells and other families. His grandparents, Robert Breckinridge and John Preston, were Scotch-Irish Presbyterian, whose ancestors had been Protestants since the Reformation John Breckinridge's father moved to Botetourt County, where he died, leaving a large family in narrow circumstances, when the subject of this sketch was but eleven years old. After the death of his father, his opportunities for education were exceedingly limited, he attending no school until reaching his nineteenth year, at which time he entered William and Mary College. While attending that institution he was elected to represent his county in the House of Burgesses, without his knowledge, and being under age was elected the third time before being permitted to take his seat. From that time, throughout his life, he was almost constantly in public position. In 1785, he married Mary Hopkins Cabell, daughter of Col. Joseph Cabell, an officer in the Revolutionary army, who was a don of Dr. William Cabell, from whom the Cabells, Carringtons, Dixons and others are descended; settled in Albemarle County, where he practiced law for seven years; emigrated to Kentucky late in 1792; purchased and settled on a tract of land in Fayette County, which he called Cabell's Dale, in honor of his wife. He soon became one of the leading citizens of Kentucky, and at that time had but one rival (George Nicholas) as a lawyer in the state. As a public speaker he was probably without an equal until Henry Clay rose to position; he obtained a large and lucrative practice; at first declining political honors, he soon became the head of the Democratic Society as it was then called, whose purpose was the securing of the free use of the Mississippi River and a state rights' construction of the Federal Constitution; as early as 1793 he advocated the acquisition of Louisiana by peaceable or forcible means; he was an intense anti-Federalist, and probably shared Patrick Henry's opposition to the Federal Constitution; was the undoubted author of the Resolutions of 1799, and probably of those of 1798; at least, his immediate friends and relatives never doubted that he was. In 1801 he took his seat in the Senate of the United States, as the recognized leader of the Administration or Jefferson party, and to his views Mr. Jefferson finally yielded, as to the power of the general Government in acquiring new territory. In 1805, he became attorney-general in the cabinet of Mr. Jefferson. He died December 14, 1806, at Cabell's Dale, Kentucky, bare,y in the middle life and at a time when there seemed to be no eminence which he could not reach. Humanly speaking, no life could have had a more untimely end. In stature, he was slightly over six feet in height, slender and muscular; a man of great power and noble appearance; was extremely grave and silent in his ordinary intercourse, but courteous and gentle in manners; possessed a melodious and impressive voice; was unostentatious and exemplary in his habits; a man of numerous but private charities; patient, forbearing and just; possessed great bravery; was extremely warm in his friendships and was everywhere beloved. He left a widow and seven children, the youngest of whom died in youth; another, the wife of David Castleman, died within a few years, and the five remaining children were Letitia Preston, Joseph Cabell, John, Robert Jefferson and William Lewis.

Her daughter, Letitia Preston Breckinridge, married Colonel Grayson, who had one son, John Breckinridge, married Colonel Grayson, who had one son. John Breckinridge Grayson, educated at West Point and in the regular army until 1861, when resigning his commission, he entered the Confederate service, and died, in Florida, in 1862, as brigadier-general. After the death of her first husband Mrs. Grayson married Gen. Peter Porter of New York, secretary of war under John Quincy Adams, and by that marriage had one son, Peter A. Porter, who was killed at the head of a brigade under General Grant, in one of the terrific charges at Cold Harbor, in 1864, a man of splendid social and soldierly attainments and one of the most daring and able of the defenders of the National cause, who like many of his relatives on the opposite side, gave his life in defense of his convictions.

FILE: 1JBreck.doc


* Taken from the Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century. Published by J. M. Armstrong & Company, Cincinnati, Ohio 1878.


Hon. Joseph Cabell Breckinridge (July 1788 - September 1823)

Hon. Joseph Cabell Breckinridge* lawyer, was born July 14, 1788, in Albemarle County, Virginia, and was the second child and first son of Hon. John Breckinridge and his wife, Mary Hopkins Cabell. His mother was the daughter of Col. Joseph Cabell, of Buckingham County, Virginia. At the age of fourteen he was placed under the tutelage of Dr. Archibald Alexander, afterwards a distinguished professor of theology at Princeton; in 1804 entered Princeton College, remaining until the death of his father in 1806; returned to Princeton in 1808 and graduated with honor in 1810; after graduating, studied law, and entered upon its practice at Lexington, Kentucky; served as major on the staff of his relative, Gen. Samuel Hopkins, during the war of 1812; in 1816, was elected to the lower house of the Legislature, without opposition; in 1817 was re-elected and chosen speaker; in 1818 was again a member and speaker, and at the age of thirty, occupied a most enviable position as a lawyer, orator and politician; in 1820 was appointed secretary of state under Governor Adair, and removed to Frankfort, engaging, at the same time, in the practice of his profession. He died September 1, 1823, a victim to an epidemic fever and thus was lost to his family, friends and country before the prime of life. Joseph Cabell Breckinridge, a man, who, from his first appearance in public life, had steadily grown in the affection and estimation of the people, and whose noble character and genuine talents promised in any sphere, to reflect honor upon the state. In person, he was about middle height, with a symmetrical form, his whole appearance being graceful and manly. For a number of years he had been connected with the Presbyterian Church and was one of the founders and ruling elders of the second church of that denomination in Lexington. Mr. Breckinridge was married to Mary Clay Smith, daughter of Rev. Samuel Stanhope Smith, president of Princeton College. She was a granddaughter of John Witherspoon and a lineal descendant of John Knox, and with five children, four daughters, Letitia, Mary, Frances, Caroline, and one son, John Cabell, survived her husband. Letitia died without children; Mary married Dr. Thomas Satterwhite, a well-known physician of Lexington, who was killed by being thrown from his horse, and their child, Dr. Thomas P. Satterwhite, became a leading physician in Louisville; Frances married Rev. John C. Young, who was for twenty-seven years president of Centre College, and left four daughters; Caroline married Rev. Joseph J. Bullock, and died leaving a large family. Their son is Gen. John Cabell Breckinridge, whose sketch, with portrait, is given on following pages.

FILE: 2JCBreck.60


* Taken from the Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century. Published by J. M. Armstrong & Company, Cincinnati, Ohio 1878.

Rev. John Breckinridge (July 1797 - August 1841)

Rev. John Breckinridge* lawyer, D.D., was born July 4, 1797, at Cabell's Dale, Fayette County, Kentucky, and was the second son of Hon. John Breckinridge and his wife, Mary Hopkins Cabell. He received his early education in Kentucky and graduated with high honor at Princeton College, in 1818. He united with the Presbyterian Church while at Princeton College and chose the ministry as his profession; he entered the Theological Seminary at Princeton, and in due time was licensed and ordained; in 1822 he acted as chaplain of the Lower House of Congress; from 1823 to 1826, was pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of Lexington, Kentucky; from 1826 to 1831, was pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church in Baltimore; from the latter date until 1836 he was at the head of the Presbyterian Board of Education; he became professor in the Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, in 1836; from 1838 to 1840, was secretary and general agent for the church board of foreign missions; at this time he wrote voluminously; he became exceedingly popular as a preacher, platform speaker and controversialist and carried on public debates with Archbishop Hughes on Catholicism. Failing in health he spent the winter of 1840 in New Orleans, and while there was elected to the presidency of Oglethorpe University in Georgia. He died August 4, 1841, at Cabell's Dale. “He was a man of extraordinary powers; gentle and refined in manners, jet ardent, intrepid, and vigorous; was universally admired, and was one of the most popular ministers of his church; was an orator of rare force and magnetic influence; was above middle stature, and possessing great activity and strength and in his personal, social, public and private character was a man of matchless excellence.” Mr. Breckinridge was twice married, first to Margaret Miller, daughter of Rev. Samuel Miller, a distinguished professor of Princeton College, and afterwards to Miss Maley Babcock, born in Connecticut. He left but one son, Judge Samuel M. Breckinridge, a distinguished lawyer of St. Louis. One daughter, Mary Cabell, married Peter Porter and died of cholera in 1852, and another one, Margaret, nursed the wounded soldiers of the Union army and died from a malady brought on by those exhausting efforts.

FILE: 3RJBreck.60


* Taken from the Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century. Published by J. M. Armstrong & Company, Cincinnati, Ohio 1878.


Margaret Miller (Mrs. John Breckinridge) (1802-1838)

Daughter of Dr. Samuel Miller, one of the founders of the Princeton Theological Seminary, and his wife Sarah Sergeant, who was a daughter of Johnathan Dickinson Sergeant (1746-1793, NJ.). Samuel Miller's grandmother was Mary Bass (1690-1760), who was a grandaughter of Ruth Alden, daughter of John Alden of the Mayflower. Margaret Miller and Rev, John Breckinridge's surviving children were Mary Cabell Breckinridge (1826-1854) who married Peter Augustus Porter, Samuel Miller Breckinridge (1828-1891) who married Virginia Harrison Castleman and Margaret Elizabeth Breckinridge (1832-1864) .

Rev. William Lewis Breckinridge (July 1803 - December 1876)

Rev. William Lewis Breckinridge* D.D., was born July, 1803, at Cabell's Dale, Fayette County, and was the son of Hon. John Breckinridge and his wife, Mary Hopkins Cabell. He was educated at Transylvania University. He entered the Presbyterian ministry and his first pastorate was at Marysville, Kentucky. He was for a time professor in Centre College; for twenty-three years was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Louisville; accepted the presidency of Oakland College, Mississippi, but resigned to become president of Centre College; enfeebled by ill health and old age, he resigned his place at the head of that institution and retired to his farm in Cass County, Missouri, which he called Cabell's Dale, in memory of his Kentucky home; afterwards preached constantly, but had no regular charge. He was Moderator of the General Assembly in 1859. He was a man of admirable personal and social traits; an orator of great ability; a man of wide charities, of great condor and transparent honesty; a genuine Christian and one of the most learned, able and valuable men in the Presbyterian Church. He died December 26, 1876, at his home in Missouri. Doctor Breckinridge was twice married; first, at the age of twenty, to Miss Frances Prevost, granddaughter of Dr. Samuel Stanhope Smith. She died after removing to Missouri, and not long before his death he was married to the widowed daughter of Judge Christopher Tompkins. Doctor Breckinridge had a large family of six sons and two daughters. His second son, Dr. Robert J. Breckinridge, who was considered one of the most brillant and talented men of his name, was at twenty-one elected professor of the Medical College, Louisville, at twenty-four was nominated by the democratic party for Congress, but declined to enter politics, was division surgeon under General Hood, was afterward medical inspector on the staff of General Lee. After the close of the was he removed to Texas, and died in the thirty-eighth year of his age.

FILE: 8RWLBreck.wrd


* Taken from the Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century. Published by J. M. Armstrong & Company, Cincinnati, Ohio 1878.


Gen. John Cabell Breckinridge (January 1821 - May 1875)

Gen. John Cabell Breckinridge* lawyer, soldier, and statesman, was born January 21, 1821, near Lexington, Kentucky, and was the only son of Hon. Joseph Cabell Breckinridge, and grandson of Hon. John Breckinridge. He was liberally educated, graduating at Centre College, Danville, in the fall of 1839; studied law at Transylvania University; practiced for a short time at Burlington, Iowa; returned to Lexington, Kentucky, where he continued his profession with success until the breaking out of the Mexican war, when he entered the volunteer service as major of the Third Kentucky Regiment; and although mustered in too late to give him much opportunity for military service, he succeeded in winning distinction for his ability as an advocate for General Pillow, in the controversies between that officer and Generals Scott and Shields; was elected to the Kentucky Legislature in Fayette County in 1840, and from that time he rose rapidly into public distinction; in 1851 he was elected to Congress from the “Ashland” (Henry Clay's) district, by the untiring energy of his canavass, his acknowledged ability, and his extraordinary personal attractions, defeating Leslie Combs, who, although then venerable outlived his brilliant competitor; was re-elected in 1853; after a still more violent contest with Governor Letcher; was barely thirty years of age when he took his seat in the House of Representatives; was tendered the mission to Spain by President Pierce, but declined; in 1856, he was nominated for the Vice Presidency by the Democratic National Convention, at Cincinnati, and was elected with Br. Buchanan, being the youngest man who ever filled that position; for the next four years presided over the Senate of the United States with great dignity and ability and, in 1860, was nominated by one wing of the democratic party as their candidate for President. The great historic events of that time are a part of the common history of the country. After his inevitable defeat for the Presidency, he was elected to the United States Senate and took his seat March 4, 1861, in the midst of the great preparations for civil war. He made a brilliant but hopeless struggle for the compromise proposed by his predecessor, John J. Crittendon, but, in the fall of 1861, resigned from the Senate and threw himself on the side of the South. He was appointed brigadier-general and placed in command of a brigade at Bowling Green, under Albert Sidney Johnson, and, at the battle of Shiloh was conspicuous for his gallantry and for the valor he infused into his Kentucky brigade; he was soon after promoted to major-general, and placed in command of a division; in June, 1862, successfully resisted with his command the famous bombardment of Vicksburg; commander in chief at the storming of Baton Rouge. At Stone River his division of Kentuckians was put in the front of the battle and in a desperate charge, lost nearly one-third of its number; soon after joined Gen. Joseph Johnston, in Mississippi, and was engaged in the battle at Jackson; afterwards participated, under Bragg, in the battle of Chickamauga, and commanded a corps at Missionary Ridge; in the spring of 1864, took command of the Department of Western Virginia, where he made a brilliant and successful campaign; his troops were afterward incorporated with General Early's and he was placed in command of a corps; after the battle of Winchester he returned to Southwestern Virginia, continuing in command of that department until January 4, 1865, when he was appointed secretary of war, continuing in that position until the final surrender of General Lee. He joined the cabinet of Mr. Davis at Danville; assisted in negotiating the treaty of peace with General Sherman which President Johnson refused to ratify and, after the final collapse of the Confederate cause, escaped from Florida to Cuba and from thence went to England and Canada. After returning to his home at Lexington, he lived in perfect quiet, so far as the political events of the day were concerned, even declining to express an opinion and gave his attention to the interests of the Lexington and Big Sandy Railroad, of which he was vice president. Very little of General Breckinridge's life could have been given to the practice of law, so much of it being occupied in the various positions to which he was incessantly called. Yet he was concerned in several important cases, in which he displayed great ability. He was, physically, a noble specimen of manhood; his features were classical, his head intellectual, and his figure at once elegant and commanding. He died at his home in Lexington, May 17, 1875.

FILE: 4GJCBreck.60


* Taken from the Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century. Published by J. M. Armstrong & Company, Cincinnati, Ohio 1878.


Margaret Elizabeth Breckinridge (1832-1864).

She was born in Philadelphia, March 24, 1832. Daughter of Rev. John Breckinridge (1797- 1841) and his wife Margaret Miller, a daughter of Samuel Miller, founder of the Princeton Theological Seminary. Civil war nurse. Died Wednesday, July 27, 1864, at Niagara Falls, NY. Reference: L. P. Brockett, MD and Mary C. Vaughan, Woman's Work in the Civil War: A Record of Heroism, Patriotism and Patience, (1868) pp187-199 Zeigler, McCurdy & Co. Publishers, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cincinnati & St. Louis,

Robert Jefferson Breckinridge (September 1834 - 1915)

Judge Robert Jefferson Breckinridge* lawyer, was born September 14, 1834, in Baltimore, Maryland and is the oldest son of Dr. Robert J. Breckinridge. He received his education at Centre College, Danville, and in the University of Virginia, graduating in the latter institution in 1852, when Dr. Gessner Harrison was president. After leaving college, he spent two or three years in the service of the United States Coast Survey, resigning that position in the fall of 1854; soon after began the study of law at Danville, under general Boyle and Hon. W. C. Anderson; in the spring of 1856 graduated from the law department of Transylvania University and engaged in the practice of his profession at Lexington, until the commencement of the Civil War. He raised a company of men for the Confederate service, and it became the Second Company in the Second Kentucky Infantry at Camp Boons; served with his regiment until 1862; and soon afterward was elected to the Confederate Congress; shortly afterward resigned his seat and again entered the army as colonel of cavalry; in the spring of 1864 was captured and retained as prisoner of war in the Ohio Penitentiary and at Johnson's Island until the close of the great conflict. He then settled on a farm near Stanford, in Lincoln County, engaging also in the practice of his profession. In 1873 he went to New York City with the view of practicing law, but soon after returned to Kentucky and settled at Danville. In 1876 he was elected judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the Boyle District, consisting of seven counties, and is now discharging the duties of that office. In politics he is a democrat. He is a man of fine attainments; is able as a lawyer, and possesses many of the admirable and brilliant qualities of his distinguished family; is possessed of great breadth and strength of character and is distinguished for many amiable and generous traits. Judge Breckinridge was married in 1856 to Miss Kate Morrison, daughter of M. B. Morrison of Lexington, Kentucky. They have two children

FILE: 9JRJBreck.wrd


* Taken from the Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century. Published by J. M. Armstrong & Company, Cincinnati, Ohio 1878.


William Campbell Preston Breckinridge (August 1837 - November 1904)

Col. William Campbell Preston Breckinridge, LL. D. *, second son of Dr. Robert J. Breckinridge, was born August 28, 1837, near Baltimore, Maryland; graduated at Centre College and in the law school of Louisville; entered the Confederate army as a captain under Gen. John H. Morgan; rose to the rank of colonel of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry, and the command of a cavalry brigade; was for two years editor of The “Lexington Observer and Reporter,” and later a member of the Lexington Bar.

Colonel Breckinridge possessed an unusual range of versatile gifts and accomplishments and these combined with his personal integrity and lofty character opened for him opportunities for service and honor such as have been extended to few Kentuckians. He was sent to Congress in 1884 as representative of the Ashland District, and was reelected four times. While in Congress he was conspicuously identified with the effort to revise the tariff on a revenue rather than on a protective basis. He served on the two most important committees, Ways and Means and Appropriations. In the campaign of 1896 he was a leader in the movement known as “sound money wing” of the democratic party. While it is superlative praise, there is no doubt that Colonel Breckinridge was among the most eloquent orators and advocates of his generation. On this score the following tribute would perhaps express a consensus of estimate: “He was recognized as one of the most gifted orators in the house of representatives and his eloquence and masterful understanding of the issues discussed won him a national reputation. In the trial of criminal charges involving the penalty of death, Colonel Breckinridge's voice was often raised in behalf of mercy and in defense of men so charged he was exceptionally successful in securing acquittals, his addresses to a jury in such cases being models of oratory calculated to awaken every human instinct of the heart and appeal not only to the sense of right but also to those higher and nobler traits of the mind that find expression in the conviction that it is more divine to forgive than to punish.”

Colonel Breckinridge for a number of years was professor of Law in the University of Kentucky. Among other social attachments he was a Royal Arch and Knight Templar Mason and for a number of years beginning with the political campaign of 1896 he was associated with his son Desha Breckinridge as an editor of the Lexington Herald. Colonel Breckinridge died at Lexington November 19, 1904.

His first wife was Lucretia Hart Clay, daughter of Thomas Hart Clay and granddaughter of Henry Clay (see Clay Family sketch). For his second wife Colonel Breckinridge married Issa Desha. She was a daughter of Dr. John R. and Mary (Curry) Desha. Her grandfather Joseph Desha was governor of Kentucky from 1824 to 1828. After her death Colonel Breckinridge married Mrs. Louise (Scott) Wing, widow of Rumsey Wing and daughter of Robert W. Scott. The four children of Colonel Breckinridge were Eleanor Breckinridge Chalkley, Miss Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge, Desha (whose sketch follows this) and Curry Desha Breckinridge. His daughter Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge since 1908 has been a member of the faculty of the University of Chicago, as Dean of Women and Dean of the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy.

FILE: 92CWPBreck.wrd


* Taken from the Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century. Published by J. M. Armstrong & Company, Cincinnati, Ohio 1878.


Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge (April 1866 - July 1948)

Breckinridge, Sophonisba Preston, .educator, social worker, and social reformer, was born in Lexington, KY., April 1, 1866, daughter of William Campbell Preston and Issa (Desha) Breckinridge. Her father (q.v. for ancestry) was a lawyer, editor, and U.S. congressman. Miss Breckinridge received her preliminary education in Lexington, and was graduated S.B. at Wellesly College in 1888. Subsequently she taught mathematics in a Washington (D.C.) high school for a few years, and then returned to Kentucky to study law in her father's law offices. In 1895 she was admitted to the Kentucky bar, being the first woman so honored. She was a graduate student in 1895, a fellow in political science, 1901-03, at the University of Chicago. In 1902 she was assistant dean of women of the university, serving under Marion Talbot (q.v.). With her thesis on “The Administration of Justice in Kentucky” she secured a Ph.M. degree in 1897 and in 1901 she was awarded a Ph.D. degree in political science with a thesis on legal tender. She then entered the university law school, graduating J.D. in 1904. Miss Breckinridge was the first woman to receive a law degree from the university and the first to be admitted to Coif, honorary legal scholastic society. In 1903 she was named an instructor at the University of Chicago, and she served successively as assistant professor of social economy, 1909-20, associate professor of that subject, 1920-25, professor, 1925-29, and dean of pre-professional social service students and Samuel Deutsch professor of public welfare administration, 1929-33. During 1923-29 she was also dean in the College of Arts, Literature and Science. Following her retirement in 1933 as professor emeritus, she continued teaching courses in public welfare until 1942. Early in her career she developed an interest in the socio-________ aspects of law and throughout her life-_______ advocated labor and social welfare legislation. An enthusiastic supporter of woman's suffrage, she served as vice-president of the National Woman's Suffrage Association in 1911 and president of the newly-organized Woman's City Club of Chicago. She assisted Julia C. Lathrop _______ in organizing the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy in 1907 and became its first and only dean. She was able to incorporate this school into the University of Chicago in 1920 as the Graduate School of Social Service Administration, developing it into one of the most outstanding schools of its kind in the world. Miss Breckinridge lived at hull House part of each year from 1907 to 1920 and devoted much of her time to publicizing the need for social work in the ______, the extension of civil service in government positions, and adequate care for persons in state institutions. In 1908 she organized the Immigrants' Protective League and after serving as its first director for several months, became secretary of the board, in which capacity she served until 1942. With Jane Addams (q.v.) she was sent as an American delegate to the Women's Peace Congress at The Hague in 1915 and was one of those who organized the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, which continues (1950) to function. Miss Breckinridge was a delegate to the International Penal and Prison Congress at London in 1925 and Prague in 1930. She was also a delegate to the first International Child Welfare Congress at Geneva in 1925. In 1928 she was a member of the First International Conference of Social Work, which met at Paris. Two years later she was one of the delegates from the United States to the Pan-American Child Congress in Lima, Peru, and in 1933 was a member of Cordell Hull's (q.v.) delegation to the Pan-American Congress at Montevideo, being the first woman delegate to represent the United States at this conference. She was the author of “The Delinquent Child and the Home” with Edith Abbott (q.v.) (1912); “the Modern Household” with Marion Talbot (q.v.) (1912); “Truancy and Non-Attendance in the Chicago Schools” with Miss Abbott (1917); “New Homes for Old” (Americanization Studies, 1921); “Madeline McDowell Breckinridge, A Leader in the New South” (1921); “Family Welfare Work in a Metropolitan Community: Selected Case Records” (1924); “Public Welfare Work in a Metropolitan Community: Selected Case Records” (1924); “Public Welfare Administration: Select Documents” (1927, 2d ed. 1938); “Marriage and Civic Rights of Women: Separate Domicile and independent Citizenship” (1931); “Women in the Twentieth Century: A study of Their Political, Social and Economic Activities” (1933); “The Family and the State: Select Documents” (1934); “Social Work and the Courts: Select Statutes and Judicial Decisions” (1934), and “ The Illinois Poor Law and Its Administration” (1939). She was a founder of the Social Service Review and served as one of its editors during 1927-48, writing or editing a long series of monographs. She also edited the Social Service Series, making available documentary material in the social service field for advanced students. As president of the American Association of Schools of Social Work in 1934 she was a leader in raising the standards of professional schools of social work. She was a member of the National Conference of Social Work for forty years, a charter member of the Chicago branch of the American Association of Social Workers (pres. Chicago branch 1933-34), and member of the American Association of University women, Women's Trade Union League, League of Women Voters, Hull House Association, Illinois Welfare Association for a Democratic German, Illinois Citizens Political Action Committee, and the National Consumers League. She also belonged to the Illinois Child Labor Committee, National Child Labor Committee, Urban League, Vocational Supervision League, American Political Science Association, National Probation Association, Phi Beta Kappa, and the American Sociological Society. She was awarded the honorary degree of LL.D. by Oberlin College in 1919, University of Kentucky in 1925, Tulane University in 1939, and the University of Louisville in 1940. At its 51st Annual Meeting, the Illinois State Welfare Association, of which she had twice been president voted her a special citation for her social work. Her religious affiliation was with Presbyterian church, and in politics she was an independent Democrat. She died, unmarried, in Chicago, July, 1948.

FILE: 95SPBreck.wrd


Desha Breckinridge (August 1867 - 1935)

Desha Breckinridge* son of Col. William C. P. Breckinridge and Issa (Desha) Breckinridge, was prepared for the profession in which so many Breckinridges have been distinguished, the law, but for a quarter of a century has been better known in his work as an editor and publisher and business man.

He was born at Lexington August 5, 1867. His early education was largely supervised by the eminent Kentucky author James Lane Allen. He attended the Lawrenceville Preparatory School of New Jersey, and later Princeton University and the University of Virginia. Mr. Breckinridge was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1893 and from that year until 1900 was a member of and associated of the law firm of Breckinridge and Shelby, in which his father was senior.

Beginning in the sound money Democratic campaign of 1896 Mr. Breckinridge became interested in the editorial work of the Lexington Herald, became publisher of that great Kentucky journal in 1897, and since 1904 has also combined the duties of editor. He is president of the Lexington Herald Company. During the Spanish-American was he served as a lieutenant in the Third Volunteer Engineers and as aide de camp to Maj. Gen. J. C. Breckinridge, his uncle. Desha Breckinridge is a director of the First and City National Bank, the Fayette Home Telephone Company, Phoenix Hotel Company. He is a democrat, but as an editor has been distinguished by his independent advocacy of men and measures who best expressed his ideals of the Princeton Club of New York, the Lexington, University and Country Club of Lexington.

November 17, 1898, Desha Breckinridge married Madeline McDowell, daughter of Maj. Henry Clay and Ann (Clay) McDowell.

FILE: 91DBBreck.wrd


* Taken from the Biographical Encyclopaedia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century. Published by J. M. Armstrong & Company, Cincinnati, Ohio 1878.


LONG, [Samuel Miller] Breckinridge (May 1881 - September 1958)

LONG, [Samuel Miller] Breckinridge, lawyer and diplomat, was born in St. Louis, Mo., May 16, 1881, son of William Strudwick and Margaret Miller (Breckinridge) Long. His father was a businessman. Breckinridge Long was graduated B.S. at Princeton University in 1904 (M.A. in 1909) and during 1905-06 studied at the St. Louis Law School (later Washington University). In 1906 he was admitted to the bar in Missouri, and he opened an office in St. Louis in 1907 and practiced law independently until 1917. During 1914-15 he was a member of the Missouri Code Commission on Revision of Judicial Procedure. Long waged a political battle in Missouri for the League of Nations and Wilsonian Democracy for five years. At the Democratic National Convention in St. Louis in 1916 he aided in drafting the foreign policy plank which favored a league of nations and provided the basis for the “he kept us out of war” slogan that was credited with winning re-election for Woodrow Wilson (q.v.). Following the election, Long Long was appointed in 1917 by Wilson as third assistant U.S. secretary of state in charge of all Far Eastern matters, a post he filled until 1920. For brief periods he was acting secretary of state and on various occasions of state he served as personal representative of the President. In 1917, after von Bernstorff, the German ambassador, handed Wilson the fateful note declaring Germany's determination to carry on unrestricted U-boat warfare, Long was assigned to escort the ambassador to New York city to board ship for German. He also conducted the negotiations for the 1919-1920 Consortium. Upon resigning from government service in 1920 he opened a law office in Washington, where he specialized in international law until his retirement in 1938. From 1933 to 1936, by appointment of Franklin D. Roosevelt (q.v.), he held the post of U.S. Ambassador extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Italy, and during that period he conducted negotiations for the United States concerning the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. Further diplomatic services which he performed were as a member of a special mission to Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay in 1938; member of the commission under the treaty with Italy for the advancement of peace in 1939; and as adviser to the U.S. Department of State, also in 1939. From September, 1939 to January, 1940, he served as special assistant to the secretary of state being assigned to the special division of the state department which was charged with handling war emergency matters, including the evacuation of United States nationals from was areas. Roosevelt appointed him assistant secretary of state in 1940, and he continued in that capacity until his resignation in 1944. Additionally, he was a member of the Board of War Communications during 1941-42 and U.S. delegate to the Dumbarton Oaks Conference in 1944. At the Democratic National Convention of 1924 he was floor manager for William G. McAdoo (q.v.) and at the 1928 convention he was a member of the resolutions committee. In 1932 he was floor leader for Roosevelt at the Chicago convention. Long collaborated in the writing of and edited the booklet, “The League of Nations” (1919), and was author of “Genesis of the Constitution of the United States” (1925) and of numerous pamphlets containing speeches on political and governmental topics. During 1937-41 he was a trustee of Princeton University, and he represented the U.S. government on the Princeton Bicentennial Commission in 1946-47. He was a member of the board of directors of the American Peach Society and the Jefferson Memorial Foundation and during 1941-45 was a member of the Jefferson Bicentennial Commission. For some time prior to 1956 he was a trustee of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. He was the recipient of an honorary LL.M. degree from Washington University in 1920 and an honorary LL.D. degree from Lincoln Memorial University in 1945. His foreign decorations included those of Grand Officer of the Crown of Belgium in 1920 and chevalier of the Order of Saints Moritz and Lazarus, with grand cordon, of Italy. Long was a member of the American Society of international Law, the American, St. Louis, and District of Columbia bar associations, Phi delta Phi, Society of the Cincinnati, American Academy of Political and Social Science, American Historical Association, Missouri Historical Society, Princeton Club of New York city, the Metropolitan and Chevy Chase clubs of Washington, D.C., Jefferson Islands Club, and the Everglades and the Bath and Tennis clubs of Palm Beach, Fla. In religion he was a Presbyterian. His special interests included the collection of antiques, paintings and American ship models. He maintained a stable of race horses and was a director of the Laurel Park (Md.) Race Track, and he enjoyed fox hunting, fishing, and sailing. He was married in St. Louis, June 1, 1912, to Christine Alexander, daughter of Benjamin Brown Graham of that city, a banker and manufacturer, and had a daughter, Christine Blair, who married Arnold Augur Willcox. Breckinridge Long died in Laurel, Md., Sept. 26, 1958.

FILE: 98BLong.wrd

Henry Breckinridge (May 1886 - May 1960)

Breckinridge, Henry, lawyer, .was born in Chicago, ILL., May 25, 1886, son of Joseph Cabell and Louise Ludlow (Dudley) Breckinridge. His first paternal American ancestor was Alexander Breckinridge, a native of Northern Ireland of Scotch ancestry, who came to this country in 1728 and settled in Pennsylvania, but later, in 1740, moved to Augusta County, VA. From him and his wife, Jane, the descent was through Robert and Letitia Preston, John and Mary Hopkins Cabell, and Robert Jefferson and Ann Sophonisba, who were the grandparents of Henry Breckinridge. His father was a U.S. Army officer. The son was graduated B.A. at Princeton University in 1907 and LL.B. at Harvard University in 1910. Admitted to the Kentucky bar in the latter year, he practiced his profession in Lexington for three years. In 1913 he was named the assistant secretary of war during the first term of Woodrow Wilson (q.v.), and while serving in that post he took $3,000,000 in gold abroad on the cruiser “Tennessee” for the relief of United States citizens stranded in the warring countries. In 1916 both he and the secretary of war tendered their resignations. He then served as first vice-president of the Pacific Hardware & Steel Co., San Francisco, Calif., in 1916-1917. With the entry of the United States into the First World War, Breckinridge was commissioned major in the U.S. Army Infantry and during his service was advanced to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He went overseas with the AEF as a battalion commander and saw action in the Vosges, St. Mihiel, and Meuse-Argonne sectors. Honorably discharged in 1919, he practiced law in Washington, D.C., until 1922. He then moved to New York city, where he conducted a law practice until the close of his life. He was attorney for Charles A. Lindbergh and participated as an intermediary in the futile ransom negotiations for the return of the Lindbergh child, who had been kidnapped in 1932. Breckinridge took part in numerous civic and political activities. He was president of the Navy League of the United States from 1919 to 1921 and at that time organized the first Navy Day, which was celebrated in 1920. In 1933 he was counsel to the Joint Congressional Committee to Investigate Dirigible Disasters. He entered the Democratic preferential primaries under the auspices of the Association for the Defense of the Constitution in four states in 1936, to challenge the New Deal policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt (q.v.), and in the campaign that fall he gave support to the Republican candidate, Alfred M. Landon. He was the author of “. . .shall not perish . . .” (1941), a book resulting from his vigorous support of the United States intervention in the Second World War on the side of Great Britain and France. Honorary LL.D. degrees were conferred on him by the University of Kentucky in 1915 and Tusculum College, Greeneville, Tenn., in 1935, an honorary Master of Physical Education degree by the International YMCA College in 1929, and an honorary D.C.L. degree by Bishops' University, Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada in 1940. He was a member of the American, New York State, and New York County bar associations, American Law Institute, Amateur Fencers League of America (pres. 1925-30), Sons of the American Revolution, Military Order of the World War, American Legion, Loyal Legion, the Metropolitan and the Army and Navy clubs of Washington, D.C., and the Princeton and Fencers clubs of New York city. His religious affiliation was with the Presbyterian church. Fencing was one of his early interests, and he was a member of the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team competing in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1920 and captain of the same team in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1928, and in 1921, 1923, and 1926 he was a member of the American International Fencing Team. Playing tennis was another of his recreations. Breckinridge was married three times: (1) in Geneva, Switzerland, July 7, 1910, to Ruth Bradley, daughter of Edgar Woodman of Concord, N.H., a lawyer, and by this marriage had two daughters: Elizabeth Foster, who married John Stephens Graham, and Louise Dudley; he was divorced from his first wife in 1925; (2) in Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 1927, to Aida de Acosta Root; he was divorced from his second wife in 1947; (3) in Carson City, Nev., Mar. 27, 1947, to Margaret Lucy, daughter of John Raymond Smith of Gloucestershire, England, a horticulturist, and by this marriage had a daughter, Madeline Houston. His death occurred in New York City, May 2, 1960.

FILE: 94HBreck.wrd