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French, Richard

Born: 1792-06-20 Madison County, Kentucky

Died: 1854-05-01 Covington, Kentucky

Flourished: Kentucky

Richard French was an attorney, state politician, and U.S. representative from Kentucky. Born near Boonesborough, Kentucky, French received his early education at private schools. He read law, earned admittance to the Kentucky bar in 1820, and started a practice in Winchester. From 1820 to 1826, he was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives. In 1829, he served as judge of the circuit court. In 1834, French won election as a Jacksonian Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from March 1835 to March 1837. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1836. Four years later, French failed to win the Kentucky governorship as a Democrat. In 1842, he secured another term in the U.S. House, serving until March 1845. French again failed to win a second term in 1844. Two years later, French returned to the U.S. House, holding his seat from March 1847 to March 1849, serving alongside Abraham Lincoln in the Thirtieth Congress. After his term ended, French resumed his law practice. In 1850, he owned real estate valued at $18,217.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 1060; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), District 1, Montgomery County, IL, 11.