UNDERWOOD, Joseph Rogers

UNDERWOOD, Joseph Rogers
Western Kentucky University


UNDERWOOD, Joseph Rogers, (brother of Warner Lewis Underwood & grandfather of Oscar Wilder Underwood), a Representative and a Senator from Kentucky; born in Goochland County, Va., October 24, 1791; moved to Barren County, Ky., in 1803 and lived with his uncle; attended the common schools and graduated from Transylvania College, Lexington, Ky., in 1811; studied law in Lexington; served in the War of 1812 as a lieutenant in the Thirteenth Regiment, Kentucky Infantry; admitted to the bar in 1813 and commenced the practice of law in Glasgow, Ky.; served as town trustee and county auditor until 1823; member, State house of representatives 1816-1819; moved to Bowling Green, Ky., in 1823; member, State house of representatives 1825-1826; unsuccessful candidate for lieutenant governor of Kentucky in 1828; judge of the court of appeals 1828-1835; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-fourth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1835-March 3, 1843); chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of State (Twenty-sixth Congress); chairman, Committee on the District of Columbia (Twenty-seventh Congress); declined to be a candidate for renomination; resumed the practice of law; presidential elector on the Whig ticket in 1844; member, State house of representatives 1846, and served as speaker; elected as a Whig to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1847, to March 3, 1853; was not a candidate for reelection; member, State house of representatives 1861-1863; resumed the practice of law and also engaged in agricultural pursuits; died near Bowling Green, Ky., August 23, 1876; interment in Fairview Cemetery, Bowling Green, Ky.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 1 letter.

Filson Club Historical Society

Louisville, KY
Papers: 1813-1867. 12 letters. Other letters and references scattered in various collections.

University of Kentucky Libraries
Special Collections and Archives

Lexington, KY
Papers: 3 items (1849-1873) in various collections.

University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library

Rochester, NY
Papers: 1 letter by and 2 to Underwood (1842-1863) in various collections. Finding aid.

Virginia Historical Society

Richmond, VA
Papers: Miscellaneous items. Finding aid.

Western Kentucky University Library
Special Collections

Bowling Green, KY
Papers: In Joseph Rogers Underwood family papers, 1791-1912. 2 feet. Includes correspondence (1849-1853) with his wife reflecting social and political life in Washington, DC, and family business on their Kentucky farm; journal (1825-1832); documents; photographs; family register; and a master's thesis (1968). Finding aid.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Priest, Nancy L. "Joseph Rogers Underwood: Nineteenth Century Kentucky Orator." Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 75 (October 1977): 286-303.

Stickles, Arndt M., ed. "Joseph R. Underwood's Fragmentary Journal on the New and Old Court Contest in Kentucky." Filson Club History Quarterly 13 (October 1939): 202-10.

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