No Destination: Gen. William O. Butler

Born in Jessamine County, General William Butler was a Mexican War hero who practice law and ultimately died in Carrollton.

The Presidential election of 1848 was full of Kentucky connections and is evidence of Kentucky’s political prowess of old. In the race, Zachary Taylor (interred in Kentucky) defeated Kentuckian Henry Clay for the Whig nomination. In the general election, Taylor/Filmore defeatedthe Democratic ticket of Cass/Butler.

Significantly, Butler represented Kentucky in the oft-forgotten 1861 peace conference which took place in Washington, D.C. as an attempt to stave off civil war. Another Kentuckian, Senator John J. Crittenden, emphasized his crazy proposals for six Constitutional amendments to prevent war. Of course, Crittenden would have permanently recognized slavery in the U.S.

Kentucky Historical Marker #634, the only state historic marker on the Carroll County courthouse lawn, reads:

Gen. William O. Butler, born Kentucky 1791, died here, 1880. War of 1812: River Raisin, Pensacola, and New Orleans. Gen. Andrew Jackson’s staff 1816-17. Cited for heroism in Mexican War 1846-48. Practiced law here. Congressman 1839-43. Defeated as candidate for Governor 1844, Vice President 1848 and US Senate 1851. A Kentucky Commissioner to Peace Conference in Feb. 1861.

Named after General Butler is a state park just southeast of Carrollton, as well as counties in both Iowa and Missouri.