Letcher County, Kentucky

Kentucky Historical Marker #809 recognizes Letcher County being named for Governor Robert P. Letcher, a War of 1812 veteran.

Born in Virginia in 1788, Letcher moved with his family to Garrard County. After studying law, he opened up a practice in Garrard County. During the War of 1812, Letcher served as judge advocate in a Kentucky mounted infantry regiment. Although his wartime career was likely brief, his military service and his good reputation led to his election to the state legislature and the U.S. Congress.

Letcher, known as "Black Bob," ran for governor as a Whig and was elected by a solid majority. Following his term he practiced law, unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate, and was U.S. minister to Mexico. He died in January 1861, and was buried in Frankfort.

When Letcher County was formed in 1842, it was named in his honor.

The marker reads:

County Named, 1842

For Robert P. Letcher, during term as Governor of Kentucky, 1840-1844. Born Va., 1788; came to Ky. in 1800. Ky. Mounted Militia, War of 1812. Legislature, 7 years, Speaker of House, two years. U.S. Congress 1823-1835. Presidential elector in 1836. During term as governor he proclaimed first Thanksgiving. Minister to Mexico, 1849-1852. Died 1861; buried Frankfort Cemetery.

Originally installed July 19, 1965.