Nelson Sledd Elected to the Kentucky Legislature in 1859


The results were published in the Louisville Daily Courier of 6 August 1859. There had been an election in Kentucky.

In addition to voting for federal offices, elections were held governor, other statewide offices, and for the Kentucky Legislature. It was the elections to the legislature that held particular interest for me. Nelson Sledd my uncle with a slew of greats in front of the word “uncle” won the election.

Nicholas County elected Democrat Nelson Sledd as their choice with 927 votes, beating Opposition candidate D. P. Bedinger who had 633 votes and Thomas E. Quisenberry an Independent with 120 votes.


I’m not certain what propelled the Nicholas County farmer into politics. It is possible that the impending US Civil War spurred him into running for office. The 1859 election appears to have been the only one in which he participated and I need to be careful that I don’t interpret his 1859 party affiliation with the present-day party of the same name. Times have changed. The reference to his election was located on

I’ve not done a comprehensive search of newspapers for references to Nelson’s political career. It is possible that there are additional references to his politics in newspapers that were local to Nicholas County. State-wide newspapers only tend to report on issues of a national or a regional nature. Sites such as on do not always have newspapers for rural, out-of-the-way places. My search for more about Nelson’s political career should continue in local newspapers and contemporary books.

Locating Nelson in a statewide newspaper was unexpected and it goes to show that searches of newspapers need to include more than just the immediate area where the person lived.

This reference gave me a somewhat closer and personal history lesson regarding Kentucky and the Civil War.

We will discuss that in a future post.

Nelson Sledd was born around 1814 in Kentucky–probably Bourbon County–the son of Thomas and Sarah/Sally (Tinsley) Sledd. The Sledds are my 5th great-grandparents.


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