Breckinridge, Colonel William Cabell Preston (1837-1904)

TITLE OF VIDEO CLIP Breckinridge Family

Section O, Lot 126
He was a lawyer, soldier, editor, and statesman, known as the "silver-tongued orator of Kentucky." His downfall was the publicity he received from a breach of promise suit brought in 1894 by Madeline Pollard against him. It was front- page news nationwide for six weeks. The court awarded Pollard $15,000 in damages, then Colonel Breckinridge announced his candidacy for a sixth consecutive term in Congress immediately thereafter.

The Suffragettes were aroused and publicly opposed him. The National Christian League for the Promotion of Social Purity sent a letter to Congress in protest. They also sent a letter to Col. Breckinridge's wife asking her, in the name of womanhood, to renounce her husband and refuse to live with him. When he arrived in Lexington to campaign in May, 1894, Laura Clay had organized an "anti- Breckinridge" rally at the Opera House. It was attended by the "best people in Fayette County" and among them were 1,000 women who loudly made their feelings known. Breckinridge lost the election and his political career was over. Without the ability to cast a single vote, the women defeated him.

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Cladrastis lutea
(Virgilia, Sweetleaf, Horse-sugar)


The wood from this tree gives it its name. The hard wood is bright yellow when first cut, but it mellows into a satiny light brown which is prized for gun stocks. Pioneer women soaked wood chips to make a yellow dye to color their homespun. It is a native along ridges and cliffs in Appalachia. The yellowwood makes a handsome medium -sized ornamental especially in spring. In May wisteria-like white flowers droop in long clusters, and the tree seems to be raining white. Long, flat seed pods drop in the fall.

Weeping Mulberry

Morus alba peridula

This is the weeping variety of what is colonial times were called the silkworm tree. American settlers  including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, planted mulberry freely, hoping to start a silk industry. But, for Americans, it was too time consuming to pick and feed leaves to silk worms at just the right moment. The worm will only eat them slightly wilted, rejecting a fresh leaf or one that is bodily wilted. It takes a ton of leaves to make a few pounds of silk. The mulberry is not a good landscape tree. It has neither showy flowers or pretty fall color. The fruits are black berry-like and are enjoyed by most birds.

White Pine

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Weeping Cherry

Prunus subhirtella

A native to Japan, the weeping cherry is very popular in this area. It is small ornamental tree with gracefully falling twig-like branches. In late March or early April, clusters of light pink flowers cascade from the tree. This cherry is reproduced by grafting. The first weeping cherry trees were gifts from Japan to the United States in the 1800s. These were planted after World War II. They are fast-growing and short-lived.