John Pope, 1770-1845

Historical Marker #930 in Springfield commemorates John Pope (February 1770 – July 12, 1845), a United States Senator, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kentucky Secretary of State, and the third governor of Arkansas Territory.

Pope was born in Prince William County, Virginia, in 1770. He lost an arm during his youth and was known as "One-Arm Pope.” He graduated from William and Mary College, studied law, and moved to Springfield, where he was admitted to the bar. He practiced law in Washington, Shelby, and Fayette counties.

Pope served as the presidential elector from Kentucky in 1801, and was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1802. He served in the House again from 1806 to 1807. He was then elected as a Jeffersonian Republican to the United States Senate, serving from 1807 to 1813. Pope also served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Eleventh Congress. He also served as Secretary of State of Kentucky from 1816 to 1819, under Governor Gabriel Slaughter.

Pope served as a member of the Kentucky Senate from 1825 to 1829, and was elected three times as a Whig to the United States House of Representatives serving Kentucky's District 7 between 1837 and 1843. From 1829 to 1835, he served as the Governor of the Arkansas Territory. During his term as governor he arranged for the construction of the Old State House which remains the oldest surviving state capitol west of the Mississippi River.
Pope was married to the sister-in-law of President John Quincy Adams. He was also the brother of Nathaniel Pope, a prominent figure in early Illinois Territory, and was the uncle to both John Pope, Union general in the Civil War, and Daniel Pope Cook, another prominent politician in the early history of the state of Illinois.

John Pope died in Springfield, Kentucky, and is buried in the Springfield Cemetery.