John Littlejohn

Historical Markers #871 and #2275, both in Logan County, commemorate the life and burial site of John Littlejohn, the "Guardian of the Declaration of Independence" during the War of 1812.

Born in England in 1756, Littlejohn immigrated to America in 1767. At age 20, he became a Methodist preacher and rode circuits in Virginia and Maryland. During the War of 1812, Littlejohn was a sheriff and collector of internal revenue in Loudon County, Virginia. When the British advanced on Washington, DC, in August 1814, President James Madison ordered that that the national archives be sent thirty-five miles away, to Loudon County. There, Littlejohn helped hide these archives. Although much of Washington was burned, the documents were kept safe.

Littlejohn moved to Kentucky in 1818 and lived in Louisville and Warren County before settling in Logan County. He died in 1836 and is buried in Russellville.


British Troops Attack Washington, D.C.

British Troops Attack Washington, D.C.

Print shows a view from the Potomac River, of Washington, D.C. under attack by British forces under Major General Ross, August 24, 1814. Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress View File Details Page

Kentucky War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission Logo

Kentucky War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission Logo

The Kentucky Historical Society is the administrative agency for the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, an 18-member body established by the Kentucky legislature in 2010. Image Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Sanders, “John Littlejohn,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed June 24, 2017,


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