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William Campbell Preston Breckinridge
A white-haired man with a beard and mustache, facing left. He is wearing a white shirt, black vest and black jacket
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1895
Preceded by Joseph Clay Stiles Blackburn
Succeeded by William Claiborne Owens
Personal details
Born (1837-08-28)August 28, 1837
Baltimore, Maryland
Died November 18, 1904(1904-11-18) (aged 67)
Resting place Lexington Cemetery
Political party Democratic
Relations Cousin of John C. Breckinridge
Children Sophonisba Breckinridge and Desha Breckinridge
Alma mater Centre College
University of Louisville
Profession Lawyer
Signature Wm. C. P. Breckinridge
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate States Army
Rank Colonel
Battles/wars American Civil War

William Campbell Preston Breckinridge

William Campbell Preston Breckinridge (August 28, 1837 – November 18, 1904) was a Democratic U.S. Representative from Kentucky, a Member of the Masonic Lodge, and a Member of the Knights Templar. He was the first cousin of Vice President of the United States John C. Breckinridge.

He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky in 1855. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor from the University of Louisville in 1857. He returned to Lexington, Kentucky to engage in the practice of law.

He entered the Confederate Army in 1861 as a Captain under John Hunt Morgan, and by the end of the war held the rank of Colonel.

Following the war, he returned to Lexington, Kentucky where he resumed the practice of law, taught jurisprudence at the University of Kentucky, and was ultimately elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1885. He held that position through five Congresses (the 49th Congress through the 53rd Congress). A Breach of Promise suit filed by a former mistress in 1894 may have ruined his political career.

At the November 1901 Convention of the State Federation of Labor in Lexington, Breckinridge delivered an eloquent speech in which he extolled the virtues of a six day work week, opposed violent strikes, and encouraged negotiations. The following day, the vice president of the group, James D. Wood, took over the convention and helped pass resolutions which called Breckinridge an "enemy of the trade and labor organizations of the state." The controversy which followed split the federation's membership.

Breckinridge, a member of the Breckinridge political family, died November 18, 1904, and is interred in Lexington Cemetery.

W.C.P. Breckinridge was the father of Sophonisba Breckinridge and Desha Breckinridge.


External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Joseph C.S. Blackburn
United States Representative from Kentucky's 7th District
Succeeded by
William C. Owens

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