General Samuel Hopkins

Historical Marker #717 in Henderson County commemorates General Samuel Hopkins, a Revolutionary War veteran who helped establish Henderson County.

Born in Albermarle County, Virginia, in 1753, Samuel was the son of Dr. Samuel Hopkins and Isabella Taylor Hopkins. Samuel first traveled to Kentucky as an agent and attorney for the Transylvania Land Company. Before that time he played substantial role in the Revolutionary War.

Hopkins, whose service was recognized by General George Washington, was badly wounded at the Battle of Germantown when his battalion was nearly annihilated. As the leader of a regiment defending Charleston, South Carolina, he was taken prisoner and transferred back to Virginia in 1780.

Hopkins settled in Kentucky in 1797. There, he embarked on an impressive political career. Hopkins served in both houses of the Kentucky legislature, was a U.S. Congressman, and served as a presidential elector, voting for James Madison in 1809. During this time he served as an agent of the Transylvania Company, and Hopkins was instrumental in the surveying and establishing Henderson County.

In 1812, when war with Great Britain erupted for a second time, Hopkins' reputation placed him in charge of a group of volunteers. Hopkins led his troops in several attacks against Indian villages in Indiana and Illinois before his unit was disbanded later in the year.

After the War of 1812, Hopkins retired to his farm in Henderson County. He died there on September 16, 1819.


Samuel Hopkins

Samuel Hopkins

Samuel Hopkins, portrayed here with the Transylvania Company's land surveyor, is credited with helping to establish Henderson County. Courtesy of the University of Kentucky. View File Details Page

Hopkins County Courthouse

Hopkins County Courthouse

Both Hopkinsville and Hopkins County are named in honor of General Samuel Hopkins. Courtesy of the University of Kentucky. View File Details Page

Hopkins Handbill

Hopkins Handbill

Samuel Hopkins was a member of the United States Congress from 1813-1815. Pictured, is a letter Hopkins wrote to his constituents in the fifth district of Kentucky. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

McKenzie Martin, “General Samuel Hopkins,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed June 24, 2017,
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