Noted Historian

Historical Marker #1488 in Kenton County remembers noted historian Richard Henry Collins.

Collins was born on May 4, 1824, in Maysville, Kentucky, to Lewis and Eleanor Collins. His father, a judge and journalist, had also authored the "most extensive and best known history" of Kentucky at the time. The younger Collins was educated at Maysville seminary before attending Centre College in Danville. Collins continued his education at Transylvania University, where he received a law degree in 1846.

Upon his graduation from Transylvania, Collins married Mary Cox and went to work for the "Maysville Eagle," newspaper, where he rose from assistant editor to editor. Collins opened his first law practice in Maysville from 1851 to 1853. He moved to Covington in 1862 and again practiced law in Covington and Cincinnati.

The younger Collins' greatest contribution to Kentucky history came when he expanded his father’s 1847 work, "Historical Sketches of Kentucky." Beginning in 1870, the younger Collins spent four years working on a new edition of his father’s book. In the end, he increased the original one-volume work of 560 pages into two volumes of 1,600 pages of Kentucky history. The new edition spanned from the beginnings of Kentucky to 1874, the year of publication.

Collins died at his daughter's home in Missouri on January 1, 1888. He was buried in Maysville.

Images

 Richard Henry Collins

Richard Henry Collins

The son of historian Lewis Collins, Richard Collins made his own mark on Kentucky history by expanding his father's work into a two-volume second edition from 1870 to 1874. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Historical Sketches of Kentucky, 1847

Historical Sketches of Kentucky, 1847

An excerpt from Lewis Collins's first edition of Historical Sketches of Kentucky details Maysville, Kentucky, the birthplace of his son Richard Collins, who expanded upon his father's work in Kentucky history. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

View of Cincinnati from Covington

View of Cincinnati from Covington

Richard Collins moved to Covington, Kentucky in 1862. He practiced law there and across the river in Cincinnati for around a decade. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Administration Building, Centre College

Administration Building, Centre College

Richard H. Collins attended Maysville Seminary before earning a bachelor's and master's degrees from Centre College in Danville. Courtesy of the University of Kentucky. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

McKenzie Martin, “Noted Historian,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed July 24, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/350.

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