Isaac Shelby

Isaac Shelby

Frederick County, Maryland, USA
Death 18 Jul 1826 (aged 75)
Lincoln County, Kentucky, USA
Burial Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky, USA
Memorial ID 11823 · View Source
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Revolutionary War Continental Army Officer, War of 1812 Militia General, 1st Kentucky Governor. He was born near the North Mountain in Frederick (now Washington County, Maryland, the son of Evan and Letitia (Cox) Shelby, and was brought up to the use of arms, becoming inured to the dangers and hardships of frontier life. He received a fair English education, worked on his father’s plantation, and was occasionally employed as a surveyor. He was appointed First surveyor, then Deputy Sheriff of Fredrick County (now Washington). About 1773, the Shelby family moved to the Holston region of Southwest Virginia, now East Tennessee, where they established a new home. After the start of the American Revolution, he served as a Lieutenant in his father’s Fincastle Company. At the battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774, he distinguishing himself by his skill and gallantry; his report of the action is one of the best contemporary accounts now in existence (printed in the work Lord Dunmore's War). Served as Second in command of the garrison at Fort Blair, erected on the site of the battle, until July 1775, when he visited Kentucky and marked and improved lands on his own account, and also perfected military surveys previously selected and entered by his father. In July 1776, he was appointed by the Virginia committee of safety captain of a company of minutemen. In 1777 Governor Patrick Henry made him commissary of supplies for a body of militia detailed to garrison frontier posts. He attended the Long Island Treaty with the Cherokees, concluded at Fort Patrick Henry, on July 20, 1777, at which his father was one of the Virginia commissioners. In 1778, he headed the furnishing of supplies for the Continental Army and for the expedition projected by General Lachlan McIntosh against Detroit and the Ohio Indians. The following year, he provided boats for Clark’s Illinois campaign and collected and furnished supplies - mainly upon his own personal credit - for the successful campaign waged about the same time against the Chickamauga Indians. In the spring of 1779, he was chosen a member for Washington County of the Virginia legislature, and the ensuing days Governor Thomas Jefferson made him a Major in the escort of guards for the commissioners appointed to run the western boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina. After various adventures in North Carolina and Kentucky, he went regularly into the army in 1780 and he distinguished himself, as commander of a body of three hundred men whom he had enlisted, in the warfare in Western North Carolina and Tennessee. On July 30, 1780 he captured Thicketty Fort, South Carolina from British. For his service at the Battle of King’s Mountain, he received the thanks of the legislature of North Carolina with a beautiful sword. In 1782, he was a member of the legislature of North Carolina and later served as commissioner to settle claims on the Cumberland River and to lay off solders’ lands near the site of Nashville. Then he went to Boons borough, Kentucky, where he married Susanna Hart, Daughter of General Nathaniel Hart. He was a member of the convention which framed the first constitution of Kentucky, participated in the separation of the State from Virginia, and was elected the first Governor of Kentucky. He was again elected in 1812, and served four years. In 1813, he headed a body of 4,000 troops under General William H. Harrison and marched into Canada. He was then sixty-three years of age, but for his gallantry at the Battle of the Thames, Congress gave him a gold medal. In 1817, President James Monroe offered to appoint him Secretary of War, but he declined. He died 1826. No less than nine counties in as many States have been named after him as well as a number of towns.

Bio by: K M

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 22 Aug 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11823
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Isaac Shelby (11 Dec 1750–18 Jul 1826), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11823, citing Shelby Traveller's Rest Burying Ground, Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .