Frankfort, Kentucky

City: Frankfort

County: Franklin

State: Kentucky

Lat/Long: 38.2000, -84.8667

Located on a double curve of the Kentucky River, Frankfort is the county seat of Franklin County and capital of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. English explorers first arrived in the area in the 1750s, and settlers continued to trickle into the region before and after the American Revolution. In 1786, General James Wilkinson purchased 260 acres on the north side of the Kentucky River, and soon thereafter the Virginia legislature designated part of Wilkinson's land as Frankfort. When Kentucky became a state in 1792, Frankfort became the state capital. Growing slowly during the first twenty years of its existence, Frankfort experienced considerable growth and development between the War of 1812 and the Civil War. The population expanded from 1,099 in 1810 to 3,702 in 1860. Factories producing hemp, glass, and other commodities sprang up, and Frankfort became the hub of river commerce between Louisville and Central Kentucky. The sectional crisis leading to the Civil War divided Frankfort, with some leading families backing the Confederacy and others the Union. In September 1862, Confederate forces captured and occupied Frankfort, forcing the state government to flee to Louisville. The Confederates abandoned Frankfort after the Battle of Perrysville, but made another abortive attempt to capture it in June 1864.

Carl E. Kramer, "Frankfort," The Kentucky Encyclopedia, ed. by John E. Kleber (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1992), 352-53.