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Robert Wickliffe 1856-1860

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Born: January 6, 1819 in Bardstown, Kentucky
Political Affiliation: Democrat
Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian
Education: Centre College of Kentucky
Career Prior to Term: Lawyer and State Senator
How He Became Governor: Elected in 1856
Career after Term: Served with the national Democratic Party
Died: April 18, 1895 in Bardstown, Kentucky

Robert Wickliffe opposed the rise of the "Know-Nothing" Party in Louisiana, which reached its peak of strength during his administration. The "Know-Nothings", or the American Party, was formed to oppose Catholicism and Irish and German immigration.

Wickliffe wrestled with John Slidell over control of the state Democratic Party; he lost political favor when his candidate for congress lost to Slidell's and when Slidell's choice for President, John C. Breckinridge, carried Louisiana in 1860 against Wickliffe's candidate, Stephen Douglas.

Wickliffe reduced funds for public education, imposed restrictions on New Orleans to curb electoral violence and advocated the spread of slavery to the Caribbean where he believed the U. S. should expand.

Wickliffe stayed out of the secession conflict and did not fight in the War Between the States. After the war, he remained active in Democratic Party politics until he retired to his hometown of Bardstown, Kentucky where he died in 1895.  

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