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Below is a family biography from the book, History of Kentucky, Edition 8a by J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin and G. C. Kniffin and published by F. A. Battey Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HON. LUKE P. BLACKBURN, deceased, was born in Woodford County, Ky., June 16, 1816, and was a son of Edward M. Blackburn, a prominent farmer and stock-raiser. The subject of this sketch was well educated, and graduated in medicine from Transylvania University, at Lexington, where he located and commenced the practice of his profession. In 1835, when the cholera broke out in this country, it raged at Versailles, carrying death to many homes. Dr. Blackburn, after the death of some of the physicians of the place, and the flight of others, went there, and alone fought the disease until health was restored to the stricken town. This dangerous service was rendered without pecuniary reward. He finally removed to Versailles, where he established a large and lucrative practice. He became considerably involved in manufacturing enterprises through the financial depression of 1837-39, and in 1846 removed to Natchez, Miss., where he soon built up an extensive practice. When the yellow fever made its appearance in New Orleans in 1848, the city authorities directed him, as health officer of Natchez, to establish quarantine, which he did effectually. He became so interested in the sufferings of the marines, for whom the general government did not provide, as well as hundreds of others, that he built a hospital, at his own expense, in which he again established a reputation for personal professional daring, skill, and genuine philanthropy. Mainly through his efforts and influence, a bill was passed by the Congress of the United States, providing for the erection of the Natchez hospital, of which, when completed, Dr. Blackburn was appointed surgeon, holding the position for many years, both of the State and Marine Hospital. He early advanced the theory of exemption from Asiatic cholera, by the use of pure soft water; has long been a believer in the transmissibility and infection of yellow fever; and in 1854, protected Natchez from that disease, by a rigid quarantine, when it prevailed in the surrounding country. The legislature of Mississippi commissioned him to visit the legislature of Louisana, and urge that body to establish a quarantine below New Orleans. This he did so intelligently before both branches of the legislature that he was authorized to establish, below New Orleans, the present quarantine system. In 1857 he visited the hospitals of England, Scotland, France and Germany, and returning to America located in New Orleans, where he resumed the practice of his profession with his usual success and popularity. The year previous to his visit to Europe, the yellow fever broke out from an infected ship, in the vicinity of Fort Washington on Long Island, N. Y., and Dr. Blackburn, being in New York City, was invited by the mayor to give his aid to the afflicted district, which he did, refusing the proffered compensation for his services. When the civil war broke out in 1861, he was an ardent friend and sympathizer of the South; he was the political friend and physician of Gen. John A. Quitman. As surgeon, he was attached to the staff of Gen. Sterling Price, and the legislature of Mississippi put $50,000 in his hands to be applied to the benefit of the suffering soldiers of that State. In 1864, by the request of the Governor-General of Canada, whither his duties had called him, he repaired to the Bermuda Islands, to look after the suffering citizens and soldiers. In 1867 he returned to the United States, and engaged in planting in Arkansas, where his wife owned a plantation. When the yellow fever last visited Memphis, true to the benevolence of his disposition, he volunteered his aid, and rendered great service to the suffering city. It was one of the great pleasures of his life to aid those in extreme danger, and he never refused to respond to the call of the sick and distressed, and he combated more epidemics of cholera and yellow fever than almost any other physician. Dr. Blackburn was first married to Ella Guest Boswell, a daughter of Dr. Joseph Boswell, of Lexington, Ky. She died in 1855, and in November, 1857, he married Julia M. Churchill, of Kentucky, who, with his only child, Dr. Cary B. Blackburn, survives him. Dr. Blackburn was elected to the Kentucky legislature in 1843, and in 1879 was elected governor of the Commonwealth, serving four years. He died September 14, 1887, in the seventy-first year of his age.

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This family biography is one of 195 biographies included in the Jefferson County, Kentucky section of the book, The History of Kentucky, Edition 8a published in 1888 by F. A. Battey Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: History of Kentucky, Edition 8a

View additional Jefferson County, Kentucky family biographies here: Jefferson County, Kentucky Biographies

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