Henry Cornelius Burnett
Henry Cornelius Burnett was an American politician. He served as a Confederate States Senator from Kentucky from 1862 to 1865. Burnett served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1855 to 1861. He was indicted for treason after the war, but never tried. He died of cholera in 1866 at the age of 40.
About Henry Cornelius Burnett in brief
Henry Cornelius Burnett was an American politician. He served as a Confederate States Senator from Kentucky from 1862 to 1865. Burnett served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1855 to 1861. He was indicted for treason after the war, but never tried. He died of cholera in 1866 at the age of 40. Burnett supported fellow Kentuckian John C. Breckinridge for president in the 1860 presidential election. His victory resulted in seven Southern states declaring their secession from the Union. Burnett’s actions were deemed treasonable by his colleagues in Congress, and he was expelled from the House in 1861. The younger Henry C. Burnett became a successful lawyer in Paducah and, later, Louisville. He owned five slaves in Trigg County in 1850. In 1860, in 1860, Burnett owned seven slaves in Cadiz, as well as leased three slaves to J. L. Parrish in Christian County. In the first election following the ratification of the Kentucky Constitution of 1850, he defeated James E. Thompson for clerk of the circuit court. Burnett resigned in 1853 to run for Congress. Later that year, he was elected as a Democrat to the 34th Congress, succeeding Speaker of the House Linn Boyd. He chaired the Committee of Enquiry regarding the sale of Fort Snelling and served on the Committee on the District of Columbia. Burnett endorsed the ill-fated Peace Conference of 1861, which led to the rapid secessions of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, and Louisiana.
He also endorsed the army and navy and raising funds for the nation by strengthening the treasury and raising the funds for war. However, on May 4, 1861, he proposed an amendment stipulating that none of these new appropriations could be used to subdue or make war against the southern states. To avert war, Kentucky’s General Assembly called for a meeting of states to convene in Frankfort on May 27, after the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter on June 4, and then called for the meeting on June 6, after Sumter was fired on. Burnett was elected to Congress in 1855 and re-elected to the three succeeding Congresses. He is one of only five members of Congress ever to be expelled. After his expulsion, Burnett served in the Provisional Confederate Congress and the First and Second Confederate Senates. In 1861, Burnett also raised a Confederate regiment at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and briefly serve in the Confederate States Army. In 1853, Burnett married Mary A. Terry, the daughter of a prominent Cadiz merchant. The couple had four children: John, Emeline, Henry, and Terry. They had a four-year-old son, John, who was born in 1847, and later died in 1858. In his early childhood, the family moved to Cadiz.