Robert C. Wickliffe


Robert Wickliffe portrait
  • Born: Bardstown, Kentucky, 1819
  • Education: Augusta College, St. Joseph's College, Centre College of Kentucky
  • Career: Lawyer, State Senator
  • Died: Bardstown, Kentucky, 1895

When Wickliffe's father moved the family to Washington, D.C. to accept the position of Post Master General, Wickliffe had the opportunity to study law under the Attorney General for the United States. He returned to Kentucky where he was admitted to the bar and began practicing law.

In 1843, he was married to Anna Dawson, a Louisiana native and niece of Governor Isaac Johnson. Wickliffe and his wife moved back to Dawson's cotton plantation in St. Francisville to help Wickliffe recover from pneumonia. In 1846 he briefly resumed his law practice there before serving with the army in the Mexican War, for which he won a brevet colonelcy for gallantry.

In 1851, Wickliffe was elected to the state Senate, where he remained for three terms. While in the Senate, Wickliffe was made Chairman of the Committee on Public Education and his fellow senators elected him President Pro Tem of the Senate. Wickliffe was elected governor in 1856 and during his tenure he focused on the rights of southern states, railroads, and the banking industry.

After his term as governor, Wickliffe returned to his law practice. In 1866, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. However, after arguments in Washington over Reconstruction laws, and upon refusing to take the required oath, he was refused admittance. When Wickliffe returned to St. Francisville, he was initiated an Entered Apprentice in the Feliciana Lodge No. 31 in 1867. The next year he passed to the degree of Fellowcraft and was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. In 1870, Wickliffe served as Senior Warden, and in 1872, he served as Worshipful Master of the lodge. Wickliffe eventually returned to Kentucky and died in his hometown in 1895.

Click on thumbnails below to view a full-size image:

Entered Apprentice, Feliciana Lodge No. 31, Work & Returns, 1868

Wickliffe initiated as entered apprentice in Feliciana Lodge No. 31, Grand Lodge Past Proceedings, 1869

Senior Warden, Feliciana Lodge No. 31, Work & Returns, 1870

Wickliffe passed to the the degree of Fellowcraft and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, Feliciana Lodge No. 31, Grand Lodge Past Proceedings, 1870

Worshipful Master Wickliffe, Feliciana Lodge No. 31, Grand Lodge Past Proceedings, 1872

In Memoriam, Grand Lodge Past Proceedings, 1896