Linn Boyd Home

Historical Marker #1105 in McCracken County marks the place where Kentucky politician Linn Boyd's home stood. Boyd, who moved to Paducah in 1852, built this brick home and called it Oaklands.

Boyd was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 22, 1800. Shortly after his birth, Boyd's family moved to what is now Trigg County. With little schooling, Boyd grew up as a laborer. At seventeen years old, however, he worked closely with Andrew Jackson, negotiating with the Chickasaw Indians for what would become the Jackson Purchase. In 1826, he moved to a farm in Calloway County and was elected to the Kentucky legislature the following year.

Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1835, he served one term until he was unseated in 1837, when the Whigs swept the state. The Democrats regained control of the 1st District in Kentucky and Boyd was again elected to the House, where he served from 1839 to 1855, sometimes running for reelection without opposition.

A staunch supporter of Andrew Jackson, Boyd took an active part in the annexation of Texas after the Mexican-American War. Additionally, although often overlooked with most of the credit given to Henry Clay, Boyd was instrumental in the Compromise of 1850. Clay and Boyd were both committed to Southern rights but insisted on maintaining the Union. As a result of his efforts in the Compromise of 1850, Boyd was elected Speaker of the House from 1851 to 1855. In 1856, he was the favorite for the vice-presidency but was unsuccessful. Three years later, he was elected lieutenant-governor of Kentucky, to serve with Governor Beriah Magoffin.

In December 1859, Boyd died after complications of inflamed kidneys at Oaklands in Paducah. He was elected lieutenant-governor but died before he could fill the position. At the onset of the Civil War, Magoffin increasingly became more unpopular in Kentucky and he offered to resign his position. However, because of Boyd’s death, the next in line to become governor was John Fisk, the Senate Speaker, who Magoffin would not allow to succeed him. Magoffin agreed to resign if James Robinson was elected Speaker over Fisk, which would put Robinson in line for the governorship. This was done and in August of 1862, James Robinson became the next governor of Kentucky.