William Orlando Butler (1791 - 1880)

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Birthplace: Jessamine, Ky
Death: Died in Carrollton, Carroll, kentucky
Managed by: Mary Kathleen Arnold (Butler)
Last Updated:

About William Orlando Butler

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Orlando_Butler

William Orlando Butler (April 19, 1791 – August 6, 1880) was a U.S. political figure and U.S. Army major general from Kentucky. He served as a Democratic congressman from Kentucky from 1839 to 1843, and was the Democratic vice-presidential nominee under Lewis Cass in 1848.


Early life


Butler was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky, and graduated from Transylvania University in 1812. After graduating from Transylvania University in 1812, he studied law under Robert Wickliffe.


The War of 1812


When the War of 1812 began, Butler volunteered as a private to fight the British and the Indians. He took part in the Battle of the River Raisin. During the battle, Butler and fellow soldiers defended themselves behind a fencerow. The Indians poured such an intense fire on the fencerow that when it was over Butler found that his clothes were riddled with bullets.


The Indians captured Butler and sent him to Fort Niagara where he remained until the British freed him on parole. He returned to Kentucky only to join the American forces that met the British and Indians at the Battle of the Thames. During the battle, Butler volunteered to set a barn on fire where the enemy had taken shelter. He successfully did so and received the rank of colonel for his bravery. Butler and his men were sent to New Orleans to assist Andrew Jackson in the city’s defense. Again he acquitted himself heroically.


Political career


After the end of the War of 1812, Butler returned to Kentucky. From 1817-1844, he worked as a lawyer and a politician. From 1839 to 1843, he served as a congressman. In 1844, he received a unanimous nomination of the Democratic Party for governor. Described as the most formidable candidate that the Democrats had ever nominated for governor, Butler’s race against Whig candidate William Owsley was close. Owsley won with 59,680 votes to Butler’s 55,056.


The Mexican War


When the Mexican War broke out, Butler again joined the army. On June 29, 1846, he was appointed major general of volunteers and commanded the 1st Volunteer Division in the Army of Occupation. He served as second-in-command to Zachary Taylor during the Battle of Monterrey, in which he was wounded. On February 18, 1848, he superseded General Winfield Scott as the commanding general of the American army. He left the service on August 18, 1848, after he had been nominated as the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee.


Election of 1848


In 1848, Butler was the Democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States. Francis P. Blair was a leader of the movement to put Butler on the Democratic ticket with Lewis Cass. Butler and Cass were defeated by Whig candidates Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore.


Later Years


Butler turned down the governorship of the Nebraska Territory in 1855.


Politically, Butler was a moderate. Although a slaveholder, he was opposed to the extension of slavery and favored gradual legal emancipation. He stood firmly for the preservation of the Union and was a Union Democrat during the Civil War.


He published a collection of poems entitled, The Boatman's Horn and Other Poems, and he was present at the peace conference of 1861, a gathering of political leaders that met in Washington, D.C. in an attempt to avert the impending American Civil War. Butler returned to his home in Carrolton where he remained until his death. He died in 1880 aged 89 of natural causes. His remains were interred in the Butler family cemetery.


Butler County, Iowa, and Butler County, Missouri, were named for General Butler, as well as General Butler State Resort Park near Carrollton, Kentucky. Butler Township, County of Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, is also named for him.


Trivia

Butler was the first non-incumbent Democratic vice presidential candidate to lose election.

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http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark%3A%2F13960%2Ft6f19d82r;q1=%22Thomas%20Butler%22;start=1;size=100;page=root;view=image;seq=3

"Biographical Sketch of General William O. Butler" by Francis P. Blair, Washington D.C., June,1848.

_____________________________________________________

History of Butler-Turpin Historic House Established in August 12, 1931

The Butler-Turpin State Historic House located at General Butler State Resort Park is a place of remembrance for one of Kentucky’s foremost military families from Colonial times, through the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the great Civil War.

Thomas Butler brought his family to America from St. Bridget’s Parish in Dublin, Ireland as a result of a rebellion in the 1740s. Butler and his sons were already opportunely engaged in the gunsmith trade when the American Revolution became war. His gunsmith shop still stands today as an historic landmark in the town of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Thomas and his five sons, referred to as the “Gallant Butlers” or the “Fighting Butlers," fought in the Revolutionary War at Valley Forge, under Washington, and at Monmouth. This is a family to whom Washington made his toast, “To the Butlers and their five sons.” Lafayette presented the youngest son, Colonel Percival Pierce Butler, with a sword and added, “When I wanted a thing done well, I ordered a Butler to do it.”

In 1792, when Kentucky received statehood, Governor Isaac Shelby appointed Percival Butler as Kentucky’s first Adjutant General. Butler conducted the duties of the position for 24 years, longer than any A.G. in Kentucky’s history. Today the Adjutant General presides over the National Guard but during Percival’s day it was the Kentucky Volunteers and the Militia.

Colonel Butler came to the mouth of the Kentucky River in the 1790s when the area was still considered the frontier. The land located along the confluence of the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers was the site for the new settlement that Percival would help build. This would be his family’s new home and it would also be where he would perform the duties of Adjutant General. However there was considerable danger, for all of the land along the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers and far into what is now called northern Kentucky was Native American hunting ground.

The settlement of Port William was little more than a blockhouse for defense against the Native Americans that were outraged by the intrusion of the white settlers. It was too volatile to venture outside the settlement to build homes on the farms. Advertisements that appeared in the Lexington Gazette read “inlots and outlots for sale at the mouth of the Kentucky River… come at your own peril”.

Despite the danger, river commerce provided opportunity with the importing and exporting of goods. The area also served as the radiating point for trappers and traders. Potential business endeavors between the white settlers and the Native Americans resulted in more peaceful living conditions for families like the Butlers, allowing them to eventually build on their land outside the settlement.

Working alongside their slaves, Percival and his wife, Mildred Hawkins Butler, built a two-story log home. The Butler Family Cemetery is located a short distance from where the log house once stood. At this home, the couple raised their five sons and five daughters. Three archaeological digs have been conducted at the log house site resulting in over 1000 artifacts.

In addition to this family of soldiers steeped in military heritage, we also pay tribute to the contributions and sacrifices of the enslaved that lived and worked on the farm named “Butler Hill.” The Butler slaves, like other slaves, were skilled craftsmen, farmers, inventors, and caregivers. Some were exceedingly talented in the preparation of food, introducing their own customs into American households. Weaving, quilting, and pottery making were also among their artistic skills. Last, but not least, there was their music.

The slaves helped forge a new life at Port William Settlement for the Butler family. They constructed the houses and the dependency buildings that were necessary for the workings of the farm. They raised the crops, cooked the meals, and cared for the children and the infirmed.

The Butler’s owned slaves, but they also emancipated their slaves, from the early 1830s throughout the late 1840s. Many of these slaves became active in the Underground Railroad, along the Ohio River at Hunter’s Bottom, escaping to the freed community of “Georgetown” in Madison, Indiana.

Throughout this time Butler slaves are very much suspected of working with Elijah Anderson and Chapman Harris in the Underground Railroad. Sandy Dean was one of them. The UGRR annals at Madison also refer to William Orlando Butler.

William O. Butler was the second eldest son to Percival Butler. He gained early notoriety for his bravery during the War of 1812: at the Battle of the River Raisin and the Battle of New Orleans. William wrote poetry about the hardships of war and fallen soldiers. He was one of the six Major Generals and the last Commander-in-chief of the Mexican War. His last call to serve was to represent Kentucky at the Peace Conference just before the Civil War. But more importantly, William O. Butler was a man that understood freedom.

Sandy Dean, a former slave emancipated by William O. Butler, lived in the Georgetown section of Madison, Indiana. This was a gathering point for leaders of the Underground Railroad during the 1840s and 50s and likely formed a liaison to free blacks and plantation slaves in Carroll County, Kentucky.

Deeds of Manumissions can be found among the court documents of Carroll County’s history involving both the Butler men and, surprisingly enough, the Butler women as well. The names of Eleanor Butler, Caroline L. Butler, Frances M. Butler, and Mary L. Butler (maiden names only) appear in testimony to set free their Negro man slave Peter, in 1840.

In 1859, just before the Civil War, the second generation Butler home was built on the family farm, known today as the Butler-Turpin State Historic House. It was the home to Percival’s oldest son, Major Thomas Langford Butler, known for his military service prior to and during the War of 1812. A house museum today, it contains furniture, objects, and documents that give a unique glimpse into the lives of family in pursuit of freedom.

Built in the Greek Revival style, it was home to Thomas, his daughter Mary Ellen, his son-in-law Philip Turpin, his grandchildren, and the slaves. Although the names of these slaves are not known, what is known is that based on the ages and gender of these men, women, and children it appeared to be a family of three generations.

Thomas Langford Butler’s direct promotions document signed by sitting President James Madison, dated 1809, hangs in his bedchamber. This document exemplifies the military accomplishments of this man who is known for sounding the first call at the Battle of New Orleans as aide to Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812.

Standing on a knoll tucked away on the west side of the park, with a commanding view of the Kentucky River Valley, is the house that pays homage to generations of the Butler family. The home retains many of its original features, which includes the woodwork, the fireplace mantels, the staircases, and the wood floors in the upstairs hall and bedrooms.

With the historic house as the main attraction, the park opened to the public as Butler Memorial Park in 1931. Over the next few years, along with an extensive restoration of the historic house, known then as the Butler Mansion, the Civilian Conservation Corp. built the roads, the shelter houses, the ranger stations, the cottages, and recreational trails. After a complete restoration the historic house opened to the public in 1933 interpreting the legacy of the Butler family, as it continues today.

The house received few changes until 1990 when it underwent both an interior and exterior renovation. Since that time, improvements have continued. The collection has grown in both interpretive and original family pieces. Historic reproduction carpets, textiles, and wallpapers are now an integral part of the interior. In 2009, the park received a lost portrait of General William Orlando Butler, the man for whom General Butler State Resort Park is named. The original portrait hangs in the Parlor keeping company with other family portraits in the home that once belonged to his older brother Thomas. Together they bring to life the story of the Butler family and their fight to win freedom for all. _____________________________________________

From Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce:  

In the southeast lowlands of Missouri a new county was established in 1849. It was formed from the lower half of Wayne County, an area too large to meet the growing needs of all its residents. The new county, approximately 36 miles long and 26 miles wide, sits at the top of the boot heel of Missouri with a comparatively small portion of the northwest section in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. And an interesting county it was. The land was covered with swamplands and forests of hardwood trees. It was sparsely settled by families from Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana. Unlike the many French and German settlers in Missouri, these were primarily folks of English, Scotch and Irish ancestry - hard working, brave farmers looking for a better life for their families.

The county was named for one of the heroes of these people, native of Kentucky, Gen. William O. Butler. William Orlando Butler was a member of a family of military distinction. His grandfather, Thomas Butler, was a Revolutionary War hero. Thomas' five sons also served in the Revolutionary War and were known as "the Gallant Butlers." One of these five, Percival, was the father of William O. Butler.

Following the war Percival was sent to Carrollton, Ky., as adjutant general (non military) to the territory, and there he and his family made their home. William distinguished himself in the War of 1812 by rising from private to major. At the time Butler County was organized, Gen. Butler was at the peak of his popularity for his service in the war with Mexico in which he served as a major general. He was commander of all American armies in Mexico. Gen. Butler was a lawyer by profession. He ran for vice president on the Democratic ticket with presidential candidate Lewis Cass in 1848. They were defeated by Zachary Taylor, also a Mexican war hero, and Millard Fillmore.

General Butler died in 1880 at the age of 90. The general is honored in his home state by a state park named for him. The General Butler State Resort Park is between Louisville and Cincinnati at Carrollton on highway I-75. The 19th century historic Butler-Turpin home is in the park and contains the furnishings of the Butler family.

People and trees are the sources of most of the names of towns, villages and communities in Butler County. We began with the county, named for a illustrious man.

Poplar Bluff was an uninhabited bluff on Black River on which to place the town that would contain their governing offices, and they named it for the beautiful poplar trees that grew profusely on that bluff. They called it Poplar Bluff and they set out to build a town, their county seat. By the end of 1850 a town had been started and some ten families lived in Poplar Bluff. In 1855 the first court house was built and the town grew, and finally, on Feb. 9, 1870, Poplar Bluff was incorporated.

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s/o Percival and Mildred (Hawkins) Butler

BUTLER, William Orlando, (1791 - 1880) Cigar box label, 19th century, Collection of U.S. House of Representatives BUTLER, William Orlando, a Representative from Kentucky; born in Jessamine County, Ky., April 19, 1791; moved with his parents to Maysville, Ky.; pursued preparatory studies; was graduated from Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky., in 1812; studied law at Lexington; during the War of 1812 served as captain, and was brevetted major for distinguished service in the Battle of New Orleans; aide to General Jackson in 1816 and 1817; was admitted to the bar in 1817 and commenced practice at Carrollton, Ky.; member of the State house of representatives in 1817 and 1818; elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1839-March 3, 1843); was not a candidate for reelection; during the war with Mexico was commissioned major general of Volunteers June 29, 1846; received the thanks of Congress and a sword for gallantry in the storming of Monterey, Mexico; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Vice President in 1848; declined appointment as Governor of Nebraska Territory in 1855; delegate to the peace convention held in Washington, D.C., in 1861 in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; died in Carrollton, Ky., August 6, 1880; interment in a private burying ground at the foot of Butlers Hill, near Carrollton, Ky. Bibliography Roberts, G.F. “William O. Butler.” Master’s thesis, University of Kentucky, 1962. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=B001197

RECORD:

1. wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Orlando_Butler. " William Orlando Butler Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky's 13th district In office March 4, 1839 – March 3, 1843 Preceded by William W. Southgate Succeeded by (none)


Born April 19, 1791 Jessamine County, Kentucky, U.S. Died August 6, 1880 (aged 89) Carrollton, Kentucky, U.S. Political party Democratic Profession Politician, Lawyer

William Orlando Butler (April 19, 1791 – August 6, 1880) was a U.S. political figure and U.S. Army major general from Kentucky. He served as a Democratic congressman from Kentucky from 1839 to 1843, and was the Democratic vice-presidential nominee under Lewis Cass in 1848.

[edit] Early lifeButler was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky, and graduated from Transylvania University in 1812. After graduating from Transylvania University in 1812, he studied law under Robert Wickliffe.

[edit] The War of 1812When the War of 1812 began, Butler volunteered as a private to fight the British and the Indians. He took part in the Battle of the River Raisin. During the battle, Butler and fellow soldiers defended themselves behind a fencerow. The Indians poured such an intense fire on the fencerow that when it was over Butler found that his clothes were riddled with bullets.

The Indians captured Butler and sent him to Fort Niagara where he remained until the British freed him on parole. He returned to Kentucky only to join the American forces that met the British and Indians at the Battle of the Thames. During the battle, Butler volunteered to set a barn on fire where the enemy had taken shelter. He successfully did so and received the rank of colonel for his bravery. Butler and his men were sent to New Orleans to assist Andrew Jackson in the city’s defense. Again he acquitted himself heroically.

[edit] Political careerAfter the end of the War of 1812, Butler returned to Kentucky. From 1817-1844, he worked as a lawyer and a politician. From 1839 to 1843, he served as a congressman. In 1844, he received a unanimous nomination of the Democratic Party for governor. Described as the most formidable candidate that the Democrats had ever nominated for governor, Butler’s race against Whig candidate William Owsley was close. Owsley won with 59,680 votes to Butler’s 55,056.[1]

[edit] The Mexican War

Cass/Butler campaign posterWhen the Mexican War broke out, Butler again joined the army. On June 29, 1846, he was appointed major general of volunteers and commanded the 1st Volunteer Division in the Army of Occupation. He served as second-in-command to Zachary Taylor during the Battle of Monterrey, in which he was wounded. On February 18, 1848, he superseded General Winfield Scott as the commanding general of the American army. He left the service on August 18, 1848, after he had been nominated as the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee.

[edit] Election of 1848In 1848, Butler was the Democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States. Francis P. Blair was a leader of the movement to put Butler on the Democratic ticket with Lewis Cass. Butler and Cass were defeated by Whig candidates Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore.

[edit] Later Years

Butler in his later years.Butler turned down the governorship of the Nebraska Territory in 1855.

Politically, Butler was a moderate. Although a slaveholder, he was opposed to the extension of slavery and favored gradual legal emancipation. He stood firmly for the preservation of the Union and was a Union Democrat during the Civil War.

He published a collection of poems entitled, The Boatman's Horn and Other Poems, and he was present at the peace conference of 1861, a gathering of political leaders that met in Washington, D.C. in an attempt to avert the impending American Civil War. Butler returned to his home in Carrolton where he remained until his death. He died in 1880 aged 89 of natural causes. His remains were interred in the Butler family cemetery.

Butler County, Iowa, and Butler County, Missouri, were named for General Butler, as well as General Butler State Resort Park near Carrollton, Kentucky. Butler Township, County of Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, is also named for him.

[edit] Trivia•Butler was the first non-incumbent Democratic vice presidential candidate to lose election. [edit] References1.^ William Orlando Butler at Kentucky State Parks."

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7247078

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Gen. William Orlando Butler, US Congress's Timeline

1791
April 19, 1791
Jessamine, Ky
1817
April 19, 1817
Age 26
1880
August 18, 1880
Age 89
Carrollton, Carroll, kentucky
August 1880
Age 89
Butler Family Cemetery, General Butler State Park, Carroll, Kentucky
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