Underwood, Joseph R.
Born: 1791-10-24 Goochland County, Virginia
Died: 1876-08-23 Warren County, Kentucky
Born in Goochland County, Virginia, Underwood moved to Barren County, Kentucky in 1803 and lived with his uncle. He attended common schools and graduated from Transylvania College in 1811. He studied law in Lexington. Underwood served in the War of 1812 as a lieutenant in the Thirteenth Regiment, Kentucky Infantry. He earned admittance to the bar in 1813 and started a practice in Glasgow. Underwood served as a town trustee and county auditor until 1823. He served as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1816-1819. He moved to Bowling Green in 1823, and served in the Kentucky House of Representatives again from 1825-1826. Underwood ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor of Kentucky in 1828. He served as judge of the court of appeals from 1828-1835. He won election, as a Whig, to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1835 and reelection to the three following Congresses and served until 1843. Underwood returned to his law practice and ran as a presidential elector, as a Whig, in 1844. He served as a member and speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1846. Underwood won election, as a Whig, to the U.S. Senate in 1847 and served until 1853, alongside Abraham Lincoln. He again served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1861-1863. Underwood returned to his law practice and also worked in agricultural pursuits.
Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1961 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1961), 1739; Gravestone, Fairview Cemetery, Bowling Green, KY.