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Henderson in Henderson County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Powell-Martin House

 
 
Powell-Martin House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, April 25, 2021
1. Powell-Martin House Marker
Inscription.  Born in Henderson on October 6, 1812, Lazarus Whitehead Powell served as Governor of Kentucky from 1851-1855 and as a U.S. Senator during the Civil War. Powell attended private schools in Henderson until the age of 14, later graduating from St. Joseph's College in Bardstown, Kentucky in 1833. Powell then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1835. He returned to Henderson where be opened his first law office, forming a partnership with Archibald Dixon which lasted until 1850.

In 1836 Powell was elected to the Kentucky Legislature, but returned to law after failing to be reelected. By 1851 he had attained a prominence that won him the gubernatorial race against his former law partner and friend Archibald Dixon.

From 1859 to 1865 Powell served as a U.S. senator, representing Kentucky, during the turbulent years of the Civil War. Dedicated to neutrality, Powell campaigned against the secession of Kentucky and also opposed the use of military might to preserve the Union, preferring compromise on the floors of Congress to resolve the conflict.

Powell's dedication to neutrality led to accusations of disloyalty. In October
Powell-Martin House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, April 25, 2021
2. Powell-Martin House Marker
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of 1861, the Kentucky Legislature requested his resignation; in February of 1862a resolution of expulsion against Powell was presented to the Senate by the Hon. Garrett Davis, also from Kentucky. Davis argued that the neutrality advocated by Powell "was not the neutrality of Union men." The Committee on the Judiciary advised against the resolution and the attempted expulsion failed.

Powell was ultimately vindicated before the war's end when Davis retracted his accusation of disloyalty. At the close of the war, Powell resumed his law practice in Henderson. he died at his home near Henderson in May of 1867, six months after losing his final senatorial bid to Garret Davis. A year after Powell's death, the state voted to erect a monument over his grave and to pay for the publication of 3,800 copies of his biography. Lazarus Whitehead Powell is buried in Fernwood Cemetery in Henderson, where the monument still stands.

“...Kentucky has assumed a position of neutrality, and I only hope that she may be able to maintain it. She has assumed that position because there is no impulse of her patriotic heart that desires her to imbrue her hands in a brother's blood, whether he be from the North or the South.” — Lazarus Whitehead Powell
Captions:
Top left: As a Union Democrat, Powell supported the Union and
Lazarus W. Powell image. Click for full size.
Brady-Handy photograph collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division/Public domain
3. Lazarus W. Powell
slavery. Courtesy Kentucky Historical Society
Bottom left
: The question of Powell's loyalty is now resolved, and a state-sponsored monument marks his grave.
Right: Davis argued that Powell's dedication to Kentucky neutrality was indicative of disloyalty to the Union. Courtesy Kentucky Historical Society
 
Erected by Kentucky Ohio River Civil War Heritage Trail.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & PoliticsWar, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is October 6, 1812.
 
Location. 37° 50.137′ N, 87° 35.629′ W. Marker is in Henderson, Kentucky, in Henderson County. Marker is on South Elm Street south of Powell Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 215 South Elm Street, Henderson KY 42420, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Home of Lucy Furman (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The African Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Workers Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Henderson County Vietnam Veterans (approx. 0.2 miles away); Central Park Fountain (approx. 0.2 miles away); County Formed, Named (approx. 0.2 miles away); They Served with Honor for Freedom (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. Paul's Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Henderson.
 
Regarding Powell-Martin House.
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While Davis wrote the resolution seeking to expel Powell, it actually was Sen. Morton Wilkinson of Minnesota who introduced it in the Senate.
 
Also see . . .
1. Expulsion Case of Lazarus W. Powell of Kentucky (1862). U.S. Senate synopsis of the case. (Submitted on April 27, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) 

2. Governor Lazarus Powell House, Henderson, Kentucky. Compilation of Historic American Buildings Survey data pages and photographs of the 1818 house. (Submitted on April 27, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 27, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 27 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 27, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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May. 11, 2021