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MAGOFFIN, Beriah, governor of Kentucky, born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, 18 April, 1815; died there, 28 February, 1885. He was graduated at Center college, Danville, Kentucky, in 1835, and at the law department of Transylvania university in 1838, began practising law at Jackson, Mississippi, in 1839, and was elected reading-clerk of the Mississippi senate, but returned to Harrodsburg the same year, and practised until he was appointed police judge in 1840. In 1850 he was elected to the Kentucky senate. He was a presidential elector in 1844, 1848, 1852, and 1856, arid a delegate to the National Democratic conventions of 1848, 1856, and 1860. He was defeated in 1855 as a candidate for lieutenant-governor, but was elected governor for the term of four years beginning 1 September, 1859. In a correspondence with commissioners from Alabama relative to co-operation with the southern states, he proposed in 1860 that the slave states should agree on amendments to the United States constitution that would meet with the approbation of Democrats at the north. In his message in February, 1861, he recommended a convention of the border states. He replied on 15 April, 1861, to the president's call for 75,000 men, that Kentucky would "furnish no troops for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister southern states." In May he issued a proclamation forbidding either the United States or the Confederate government to undertake any movement of troops or occupy any post on Kentucky soil, and warning the citizens of the state against taking part in hostilities. In August he sent letters to President Lincoln and to Jefferson Davis declaring the neutrality of Kentucky, and requesting the former to withdraw National troops from the state. When Gem Leonidas Polk occupied Columbus, the legislature passed a resolution directing the governor to demand by proclamation the evacuation of Kentucky soil by the Confederate forces. He vetoed this resolution, but it was passed over his veto, and he issued the proclamation. Resolutions inviting General Robert Anderson to enroll a volunteer force and expel the invaders, and requesting the governor to call out the militia and place General Thomas L. Crittenden in command, were likewise carried in spite of his veto. In 1862 he vetoed an act to disfranchise citizens that entered the Confederate sin, vice, and other measures, and in August, calling an extra session of the legislature, resigned his office. In 1867 he was elected to the State house of representatives.
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