Gov. Christopher Greenup

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Christopher Columbus Greenup

Birthdate: (68)
Birthplace: Loudin County, Virginia
Death: April 27, 1818 (68)
Blue Lick Springs, Center, Kentucky, USA
Place of Burial: Frankfort, Greenup, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Greenup and Elizabeth Bean Witten
Husband of Mary Catherine Greenup
Father of Wilson Pope Greenup; Christopher Columbus Greenup; Nancy Peyton Gamble; Lucetta Greenup; William Greenup and 2 others
Brother of Thomas Greenup
Half brother of Susannah Dickerson; Jane Stratton; Philip W. Witten; Jeremiah Witten; Keziah Cecil and 11 others

Occupation: Lieutenant in the Continental Line, Colonel of Militia; United States Representative from Kentucky, 1792-1797; Govenor of Kentucky 1804-1808; previously a Surveyor, Lawyer, and Land Speculator
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Gov. Christopher Greenup

Governor 1804-1808 , Kentucky

Governor Christopher Greenup

Term: 1804-1808

Party: Jeffersonian Republican

Resident KY County: Mercer/Fayette

Election Returns:

Christopher Greenup (Unopposed) 25,917

Members of Administration

Born: ?/?/1750

Died: 4/17/1818

State/County of Birth: Virginia

Former Occupation(s): Surveyor, Lawyer, Land Speculator

Accomplishments as Governor

Directed public affairs Initiated the state’s charter and purchase of stock in the Ohio Canal Co. and the Bank of Kentucky Notes

“Spanish Conspiracy” and Aaron Burr’s activities revealed during his term For whom Greenup County was named. (1804)


Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005 about Christopher Greenup

Name: Christopher Greenup

Date of Birth: 1750

Date of Death: 27 Apr 1818

Elected Office(s): Representative, Delegate, President

State: Kentucky, Virginia

Country: USA

Biography: a Representative from Kentucky; born in Westmoreland County, Va., in 1750; completed academic studies; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1783 and commenced practice in Fayette County, Ky. (then a part of Virginia); clerk of the district court at Harrodsburg 1785-1792; served in the Revolutionary War and attained the rank of colonel; member of the Virginia house of delegates in 1785; member of the conventions at Danville, Ky., in 1785 and 1788 to consider separation from Virginia; moved to Frankfort, Ky., in 1792; upon the admission of Kentucky as a State into the Union was elected to the Second Congress; reelected to the Third Congress and as a Republican to the Fourth Congress and served from November 9, 1792, to March 3, 1797; member of the State house of representatives in 1798; clerk of the State senate 1799-1802; appointed judge of the circuit court in 1802; Governor of Kentucky 1804-1808; presidential elector on the Madison and Clinton ticket in 1808; justice of the peace in Franklin County in 1812; one of the original trustees of Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky.; died in Frankfort, Ky., April 27, 1818; interment in State Cemetery.


Military Service: Revolutionary War. Initially served as a Lieutenant in the Continental Line, than as a Colonel of Militia.

Governor of Kentucky from 1804 to 1808.

Greenup, Kentucky, was named after Christopher Greenup


There seems to be some confusion about Christopher's parentage and about the date of his birth. Some sources state that he was the son of John Greenup and Elizabeth Witten while another source believes he was the son of John Greenup and Ann, which made him the younger brother of John Greenup. Most sources place his birth at 1750 and his death on April 27, 1818. Another source places his birth at 1770, which would be more likely if he is the son of younger John Greenup.

Christopher served in the Continental Army as a Lieutenant and in the Virginia militia as a Colonel. After serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from from Kentucky from November, 1792, to March, 1797. He helped in the separation of Kentucky from Virginia in 1792.

Christopher became the fourth governor of Kentucky in 1804. He was highly esteemed. A county, which borders on the Ohio below the mouth of Big Sandy River, and its county seat were both named after him.

'He married Mary Catherine Pope. They had at least two children: Nancy and William.

Birth: 1750

Westmoreland County

Virginia, USA

Death: Apr. 27, 1818


Franklin County

Kentucky, USA

Colonel in the Revolutionary War; United States Representative from Kentucky, 1792-1797; Governor of Kentucky, 1804-1808.

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Frankfort Cemetery


Franklin County

Kentucky, USA

Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

Maintained by: Find A Grave

Record added: Oct 21, 2002

Find A Grave Memorial# 6864629


Governor's Information

printable version

Kentucky Governor Christopher Greenup

Born: January 1, 1750

Died: April 27, 1818

Birth State: Virginia

Party: Jeffersonian Republican

Family: Married Mary Catherine Pope; two children

Periods in Office: From: September 5, 1804

 To: September 1, 1808 

State Web Site

Higher Office(s) Served: Representative

Military Service: National Guard

War(s) Served: Revolutionary War

CHRISTOPHER GREENUP was born in Loudoun County, Virginia in 1750. He studied law with Colonel Charles Binns, was admitted to the bar in 1783, and established a legal career in Fayette County, Kentucky (which was then a part of Virginia). During the Revolutionary War, he served as a lieutenant in the 16th Virginia Regiment, and later was commissioned colonel of a Virginia militia regiment. Greenup entered politics in 1785, serving as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. He also was clerk of the district court at Harrodsburg from 1785 to 1792, was a member of the 1785 and 1788 conventions, and served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from November 9, 1792 to March 3, 1797. He served as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1798, was clerk of the Kentucky State Senate from 1799 to 1802, and served on the bench of the Frankfort circuit court in 1802. Greenup won election to the Kentucky governorship in 1804. During his tenure, a state bank in Frankfort was organized, a canal was planned near the falls in Louisville, commercial prospects were developed coinciding with the opening of U.S. navigation on the Mississippi River, and the appointment of honest administrators in key governmental positions was endorsed. After finishing his term, Greenup returned to his legal career, serving as the Franklin County justice of the peace in 1812. He also served as a presidential elector in 1808, and was one of the original trustees of Transylvania University. Governor Christopher Greenup died on April 27, 1818, and was buried in the State Cemetery, in Frankfort, Kentucky.

  • Note: exact date of birth is not known.


Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.


Secretary of State

Christopher Greenup

Term of Office February 3, 1813 - March 13, 1813

Party Jeffersonian-Republican

Significant Accomplishments He served in two of the Danville conventions that led to Kentucky's statehood in 1792. He served as Governor of Kentucky (1804-1808).

Governor during his term of Office Gov. Isaac Shelby

Assistant Secretary of State Fleming Trigg

Education Admitted to the Bar in 1783, opening his law practice in Fayette County.

Spouse(s) Mary Catherine Pope

Residence Kentucky (Fayette County; Franklin County)

Occupation Attorney; Land Surveyor & Speculator

Birth Date 1/1/1753

Birth Place Virginia (Westmoreland or Loudon Co.)

Date of Death 4/17/1818

Place of Death Kentucky (Frankfort, Franklin County)

Place of Burial Kentucky (Frankfort Cemetery, Franklin County)

National Offices U.S. Congress (1792-1797)

Other State Offices Held State Elector; Member of the Court of Oyer & Terminer; Clerk of the District Court at Harrodsburg (1785-1792); House of Representatives (1798); Senate Clerk (1799-1802); Ky. Governor (1804-1808); Asst Secretary of State (Aug. 1812- prob. 2/3/1813)

County Offices Held Judge of the Franklin Circuit Court (1802); Franklin County Justice of the Peace (1812).

Military Service Revolutionary War: Lieutenant (Continental Army) & Colonel (Virginia Militia)

Note Born circa 1750 in Westmoreland or Loudon County, Va. (Note: Please disregard 1/1/1753 date of birth). Some resources list his date of death as April 27, 1818.

Historical Firsts One of the original Trustees of Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky.

First former Governor to be appointed Kentucky Secretary of State. 
Greenup County and the county seat, Greenup, are named in honor of Christopher Greenup's service to the Commonwealth. 

Christopher Greenup was born circa 1750, in Loudoun or Westmoreland County, Virginia. His parents are unknown. He studied surveying and the law before seeing service as a colonel of the Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War. He also served as an officer in the Continental Army. In 1781, he moved to Lincoln County in what was then trans-Appalachian Virginia where he practiced law while also engaged in surveying and land speculation.

He held a variety of political and judicial posts in the 1780s. In 1787, while in Virginia, he married Mary Catherine Pope, a daughter of Nathaniel and Lucy Fox Pope. Greenup moved to Frankfort in 1792 where he served as a state elector and as a member of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. He resigned this judicial position to run for the U. S. Congress as a Jeffersonian-Republican in 1792. He was elected and served two terms from 1792 to 1797. In 1798, he was elected to the Kentucky House and then served as clerk of the Kentucky Senate from 1799 to 1802.

He ran for Governor in 1800 and finished second in a four-man race. In 1804, he ran for Governor unopposed. Although he had a good relationship with the General Assembly, he was not able to win approval for his reform proposals, including state support for education.

After he left office, Greenup pursued his various business enterprises. In August 1812, Secretary of State Martin D. Hardin, with the approbation of Governor Isaac Shelby, appointed Christopher Greenup, Esquire, to serve as Assistant Secretary of State. (Ref: Governor Isaac Shelby's Executive Journal, 1812-1818, pg 4.)

On December 15, 1812, Martin Hardin resigned his office. On February 3, 1813, Governor Isaac Shelby nominated Christopher Greenup to serve as Kentucky’s Secretary of State. On February 4, 1813, Christopher Greenup, Esquire, was commissioned Secretary “with the approbation of the Senate” to serve "during good behaviour and the present Governor’s term.” (Ref: Governor Isaac Shelby’s Executive Journal, 1812-1818, pg. 53)

On March 13, 1813, Governor Isaac Shelby received the resignation of Christopher Greenup, Esquire, as Secretary of State. Upon receipt of Greenup’s resignation, Martin D. Hardin was commissioned a second time to serve as Governor Shelby’s Secretary of State. (Ref: Governor Isaac Shelby’s Executive Journal, 1812-1818, pgs. 63-64.)

Christopher Greenup died at his home in Frankfort on April 17, 1818, and was buried in the Frankfort Cemetery.


"Biographical Cyclopedia", (1896), pgs 577-78;

"Biographical Encyclopedia", (1878), pgs 200-201;

Collins, "History of Kentucky", (1874), Vol. II, pgs 203-4;

Harrison, ed., "Kentucky Governors", (2004), pgs 12-15;

"Kentucky Encyclopedia", (1992), pgs 388-89;

Governor Isaac Shelby's Executive Journal, 1812-1818, pgs 4, 53, 63-64.


Gov. Christopher Greenup, who served from 1804-1808, held the first inaugural ball for his wife, Mary Catherine Pope Greenup. She died in 1807, and according to legend, her ghost walks the halls at night carrying a candle, Collins said.

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Gov. Christopher Greenup's Timeline

Loudin County, Virginia
Age 38
Frankfort, Kentucky
Age 41
Age 41
Age 56
April 27, 1818
Age 68
Center, Kentucky, USA