Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Famous Kentuckian

Have you heard of John J. Crittenden? There's a road named for him in Louisville. I read about him this week in volume one of the great Civil War Trilogy by Shelby Foote. Though I've only read 90 of the 2400 pages in the combined three volumes, I'm already convinced that this must be one of the finest pieces of historical writings in existence.

Back to Crittenden: He was Governor of KY, a U.S. Senator, and even served as Attorney General. This description appears about him on a KY historical highway marker in Frankfort:

"John Jordan Crittenden, 1787-1863, lived here [Frankfort House], 1819-1863. Legislator, 15th Kentucky Governor. Attorney General under three Presidents. Five times a U.S. Senator. Noted for Crittenden Compromise, 1860, futile effort to avert Civil War and preserve the Union. His last words: 'Let all the ends thou aimest at be thy country's, thy God's and truth's.' "

3 comments:

Michael said...

He seems an impressive man, that's for sure. If only we spoke with such certainty today. We are a culture caught deep in cynicism and flippancy within our speech. Great post.

John and Pam said...

Do you own that volume, or did you get it from the library? Ours just has the audio recordings.

John C. Majors said...

I own all three (I believe they were a gift from my wonderful parents). You can usually purchase them in hardback individually at B&N or Borders in the discount book section (near the front) for $10 or so. (which is a super steal - used to be $55 each). Of course, you're welcome to borrow mine when I finish...