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Richard Menefee

American politician

Died when: 31 years 79 days (374 months)
Star Sign: Sagittarius


Richard Menefee

Richard Hickman Menefee (December 4, 1809 – February 21, 1841) was a U.S.Representative from Kentucky.Due to his oratory skill, he was dubbed "the young Patrick Henry of the West." He was presumed the successor to Henry Clay as leader of the Whig Party until his death at age thirty-one.

Menefee received a meager education in his early life.A dispute with his stepfather caused him to leave home in his mid-teens.

He worked as a teacher to support himself and pay to finish his education.He graduated from Transylvania University and studied law.

In 1831, he was appointed Commonwealth's Attorney for Kentucky's eleventh district and was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives the following year.

In 1836, Menefee was elected to the House of Representatives.His best known speech in that body urged restraint in the Caroline affair with the British.

His reputation, and that of fellow Kentuckian John J.Crittenden, were tarnished due to their involvement in a duel between Representatives William J.

Graves and Jonathan Cilley in which the latter was mortally wounded.He did not stand for re-election following his term in office and returned to his legal practice.

In 1841, he was elected to the U.S.Senate, but died five days later before he could take office.Menifee County, Kentucky, despite the spelling discrepancy, is named in his honor.

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