GOV. CHARLES ANDERSON. In the latter part of the seventeenth century, Robert Anderson came to America from Scotland, and purchased an estate, in what is now Hanover County, Va., called "Goldmines" from the fact that some earlier settlers had there made search for the precious metal. His son Robert, born January 1, 1712, succeeded him in possession of the property and was known, and is remembered as "Anderson of Goldmine." Richard Clough Anderson was the fifth child of this second Robert and Elizabeth Clough, whose father, Richard Clough, was a colonist from Wales. He was born January 12, 1750, and like his father was a great lover of field sports. At sixteen he entered the family of Patrick Cootes, a wealthy merchant, against the protest of his father, who never forgave him. While with Cootes, and acting as supercargo on a tobacco ship, he saw the tea thrown overboard in Boston Harbor, and at the breaking out of hostilities, he espoused the cause of the colonies, his employer siding with the British, but the two were always friends. He was made paymaster-general of the Virginia forces by Gov. Patrick Henry, but by his own personal request was, January 6, 1776, appointed a captain of regulars from Hanover County, and in March following was commissioned to that grade in the Fifth Virginia Continental Regiment, under Col. Peachy and Lieut. Col. William Crawford. He was reputed for his bravery, and was often selected for special duties, when judgment and discretion were required. December 24, 1776, by order of Gen. Stephens, he reconnoitered Trenton; was discovered by the British and driven off, thus temporarily spoiling a contemplated attack of Washington. But this blunder brought success to the American army, for the enemy, relaxing their vigilance, were attacked and surprised the next day in full force, and an easy victory won. In this battle Capt. Anderson was severely wounded, and taken to Philadelphia Hospital. He served with the Fifth Virginia in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, and February 10, 1776, was promoted to major of the First Virginia, and with his regiment took part in the battle of Monmouth. While with Count D'Estaing in the attempted reduction of Savannah, he was wounded by a saber thrust through his shoulder. At Charleston he was taken and held a prisoner for nine months; upon his release joined Gen. Morgan, and went to Richmond; then joined La Fayette, with whom he served six months, the two becoming personal friends. Anderson next assisted Gov. Nelson in organizing the Virginia State troops.
During the campaign against Cornwallis, Richard C. Anderson was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in the Continental army, and at the same time brigadier-general of Virginia militia. In April, 1783, the army being disbanded, Anderson was chosen by brother officers and confirmed by the State legislature, as surveyor-general of lands reserved to pay the Virginian Continental Line, within the present States of Ohio and Kentucky, and in June, 1784 opened his office at the falls of the Ohio River, since called Louisville, and here, on Main and Fifth Streets, he built the first house in Louisvile—perhaps in Kentucky—which was not made of logs—a small stone office. In 1787, Gen. Anderson married Elizabeth Clark, a sister of Gen. George R. Clark, of Kentucky, and the following year, settled in the wilderness, ten miles from Louisville, and called the place "Soldier's Retreat," and in 1793, built a fine stone residence. In 1824, on the occasion of La Fayette's visit to America, he was one of the veteran soldier companions of the national guest, chosen to accompany him in his tour through Kentucky. The first wife of Gen. Anderson died January 15, 1785, leaving one son, Richard C. Anderson, Jr., who represented his district in congress, and the nation as its first minister to Columbia, and as commissioner to the congress of American States at Panama; on his way to meet that congress, he died at Carthagena in June, 1826. His father's death occurred at Jefferson County, Ky., on October 16, 1826. Col. Richard C. Anderson was twice married: his second wife was Sarah Marshall, who survived him, and died in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1852. Gov. Charles Anderson is the youngest of a large family born of this marriage, at "Soldier's Retreat." Among those were Larz Anderson, of Cincinnati, "a scholar and the conscientious steward of his large fortune;" Gen. Robert Anderson, of Ft. Sumter fame; William M. Anderson, who, when over sixty years of age, made a scientific exploration in northern Mexico; John R. Anderson, of Chillicothe, and Charles Anderson. Gov. Anderson was born June 1, 1814, at "Soldier's Retreat," Ky. In 1829, he was sent to Miami University, Ohio, and graduated in 1833, from that institution. When a youth he was distinguished among his fellow students for nothing so much as his earnest national patriotism, and the climax of his graduating speech was an encomium on George Washington, as the founder of the national Union, and all its priceless principles and privileges. This sentiment seems, indeed, to have always been almost a religion with him, and is a clear key-note to his whole conduct and character. Whoever threatened the Union, at any time or place, directly or indirectly, was sure to find in him an open, ardent opponent. After taking his degree of A. B., he returned to Kentucky. At nineteen, after exploring several counties of his native State for the selection of a farm, he visited his brother, Robert, then a lieutenant in the United States army, at the arsenal near St. Louis, Mo. There, in partnership with his brother, in the winter of 1834, he purchased and settled on a farm on Gravois Creek, near Jefferson Barracks, at present, the property of the late Gen. Grant. At this post he made the acquaintance and personal friendship of Jefferson Davis, whom he then much admired.
The panic in the financial affairs of the country, prevented the brothers from meeting the payment of the farm, and so frustrated the cherished plans of both, to live and die among the quiet scenes and privacy of rural life. Upon this disappointment, Mr. Anderson returned to Kentucky, and began the study of law in the office of Pirtle & Anderson, at Louisville. On the completion of his professional studies, and procuring his license, he was married in the fall of 1835, to Miss Eliza J. Brown, of Dayton, Ohio, in which place he settled and lived ten years, "half lawyer and half farmer." The living children of this marriage are a son and two daughters. The son, Col. Latham Anderson, is a graduate of West Point, and was captain of the Fifth Artillery, United States army. He was in several engagements with the rebels, notably among which was the battle of Valverda, N. Mex., where he quite distinguished himself, as also afterward, in many campaigns against the Novajos and Appache Indians. In early life, Gov. Anderson was an ardent Jackson boy, but having heard Henry Clay in June, 1829, deliver one of his great speeches, at Hamilton, Ohio, he became a sudden and ardent convert to the principles of that great statesman, which, of course, threw him into the Whig party, and the only party, without exception, to which he ever professed to belong. Since its dissolution he habitually disowns all party allegiance whatsoever, and fights with every or any body who is for the national Union and against all who in any way oppose it. Owing to the pronounced friendship of Mr. Anderson for the common school system, upon the passage of the "new school law" in 1836, and for the purpose of carrying it thoroughly into effect, he was elected township clerk for Dayton Township. He was next elected prosecuting attorney of Montgomery County, and during his term of office persistently caused the grand juries to present the old court house as a nuisance, and thereby compelled the commissioners to build their present most beautiful and classic edifice.
In 1844, he was elected to the State senate from the district of Montgomery and Warren. In that body he was distinguished in being the first member from southern Ohio, who dared to propose and vote for the repeal of the provision disqualifying all negroes and mulattoes as witnesses in legal trials, civil and criminal. He was in advance of others in the advocacy of railroads, and was instrumental in the passage of nearly all the original railroad charters for the road centering in and passing through Dayton. The late Daniel Becket was the sole one of his constituents, who ever encouraged him in this course of legislation. He was also a very zealous and successful advocate in revising the act for erecting the new State House.
On account of infirm health, Mr. Anderson was compelled to visit Europe in 1845. He went by way of New Orleans and Havana, in a sailing vessel, to Spain; thence traveled through the northern part of Spain and southern part of France, and down the Rhone; around the Mediterranean shores through Italy, Sicily, Greece, into Asia Minor and Turkey, by way of the Black Sea, and the Danube through Germany, through the north of France and England to Boston. Upon his return to the United States, and the completion of his senatorial term, he settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, in a law partnership with Rufus King, Esq. There he lived ten years, until feeling again a decline in health, especially troubled with a bronchial affection, he abandoned his profession and sought a home in some healthy Southern clime, where he could pursue his favorite rural vocations. In 1858, he went to Texas and finally settled on the river, four miles north of San Antonio. There he purchased and improved a ranche which he called "River Springs," one of the most picturesque and beautiful country seats on the globe. Gov. Anderson was always a zealous Whig, and an earnest opponent of that party's dissolution, as well as of the Know-nothing and Republican parties that were successively organized from its ruins. When it came to the issue between the Republicans running the Democrat, John C. Fremont, and the Democrats, James Buchanan as their candidate, Mr. Anderson, as a strictly Union man, thought it more consistent for him to support the latter Democrat, as his party had the merit to have an existence throughout the country, whereas the former could, at that crisis, be none other than sectional. This course, however, he took under a published protest, that he acted merely as an ally of that party, and was not and never was expected to be a member of the Democratic party. He severely denounced the "infamous" repeal of the Missouri compromise, and fully justified the Republicans in their denunciation of the Democrats for that colossal crime against the Union. Looking upon this question in its then light, it is perhaps difficult to imagine how Gov. Anderson could with consistency have acted differently. He could scarcely have been expected to foresee, what nobody else foresaw, all the intervening course of events. Gov. Anderson has since been heard in public speeches to denounce President Buchanan as either a "senile dupe," or a "hoary-headed traitor," and to admit that the defeat of Fremont was a great public calamity. But the published documents of 1884, show this accusation of President Buchanan to have been rather unjust. Gov. Anderson was tendered the appointment of assistant-secretary of State under Buchanan, but declined the offer. Before treating of those events in Gov. Anderson's Texas life, we deem it proper to show how early, earnest and persistent he has been in his peculiar devotion to what may be called his nationality in politics. In an address delivered before the society of alumni of Miami University, at their anniversary, August 13, 1837, we find the following: "One of the first reflections which presses itself upon the observations of our reviewing its history is, that the original design of those who gave life to this university was part of a great national scheme. The grandeur of whose conception, has in the history of man, only been equaled by its rapid and complete accomplishment, etc." Again, in a funeral oration on the character, life and public service of Henry Clay, delivered in Cincinnati, November 2, 1852, at the request of the Clay Monument Association, he gave expression to sentiments on this subject far in advance of the times. In this same address he says: "Of all the public men of our country, this man (Clay) was too (and this is his highest eulogy) the most essentially and intensely National-American, etc." Again in an address on Anglo-Saxon destiny before the Philomathesian Society of Kenyon College, Ohio, August 8, 1849, he was no less decisive on the same principle. Having shown Gov. Andersen's intense nationality in political principles, we find him, in 1860, in the State of Texas, "an absolute witness of a conspiracy to dissolve the Union." Accordingly, we hear him declaring himself in a speech at a meeting of the people of Bexar County, at San Antonia, Tex., November 24, 1860, called for the purpose of discussing the question of seceding from the Union. Of the Union, he said: "Oh may it stand, my friends, as deep in the earth and as high in the heavens as the grandest mountain, as wide and glorious as old ocean, and as all enclosing and vitalizing to its generations, as the circumambient air. Whilst ever these fair, blue and blended skies, with their kindling lights of day and night, shall surround our earth, Oh! may this dear Union of our native land—the next most Wise and pure and grand of all the creations—alike continue to encompass us and ours forever." In the same speech, he said: "We are here and now informed, as a fixed and certain fact of history, that our national destiny is fulfilled; that like dead leaves in the wind, our institutions have drifted away into the past forever, and that we are not here assembled to consider of their further existence or perpetuity, but to divide the spoils and take administration of the effects. Whilst we were so entertained with the vast and various thoughts and feelings and images of horror, that trooped thronging through my brain and heart, thrilling me with chilliness from scalp to soles, there was always mingled one sad and dreadful picture—the children of our loving mother—a mother hale and well, though not happy, with the bloom yet in her fair cheek, the lovelight yet in her calm eye, a gray hair only here and there silvering with a single thread her radiant locks, (God bless the mother who bore us!) and the daughters born of such a mother, circling in a conclave over a plan of matricide and the parting of her raiment among them. And yet, in all this tide of new and sudden emotions, whilst he so calmly spoke, there came to me no flush of fiery anger, no choking o£ bursting indignation, no throb for instant vengeance. A deep and bitter grief—a most melting pity and sadness—filled me until I thought I could weep—weep tears of blood—to see such treason in such men." This and other bold denunciations of the course of the seceding States, made it impossible for him to live there. He was, therefore, a "marked and doomed man." He remained in Texas ten months longer. During that time, he talked, thought, wrote, published and even conspired in the "holy cause of the Union." At length the Confederate congress passed an act called "the forty days' alien enemy act." This gave him forty days in which to leave the South. Disposing of his goods and property as best he could, be started for the United States, by way of Mexico. He was, nevertheless, pursued by an armed force, captured, brought back to San Antonio and thrown into prison. A month later he escaped and went to Europe. Returning to the United States, he raised the Ninety-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry, of which he was colonel. It very greatly distinguished itself at the battles of Stone River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga and many other battles. The Colonel himself was twice wounded, and was compelled by ill-health, after the battle of Stone River, to leave the service. Upon resigning his commission he was, contrary to his expressed wishes, nominated and elected lieutenant-governor of Ohio. This office he held until the death of Gov. Brough, when he was installed governor. After the expiration of his gubernatorial office, in an attempt to regain his shattered fortunes, he bought a large tract of land in Lyon County, Ky., for the purpose of stock raising. The location struck him as favorable for a town, and accordingly he laid out himself the now beautiful little city of Kuttawa. The town is located on the east bank of the Cumberland River, on a level plain extending northeast to the base of some small picturesque mountains. The Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad runs through the town. It has a population of about 900. Mr. Anderson has made an artificial lake, embracing several acres, aside from opening a very tasty park. He has been moderately successful of late years in financial affairs, and now lives in a quiet and contented retirement.
Source: J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin, & G. C. Kniffin. Kentucky. A History of the State. Louisville, KY, Chicago, IL: Battey, 1885. Pages 845-849.