Rowan, John, 1773-1843

Alternative names
Birth 1773-07-12
Death 1843-07-13

Biographical notes:

John Rowan was a jurist and congressman born in York, Pa. He moved to Louisville in 1783 and Bardstown in 1790. He held several state political post before being elected to the Senate in 1825. He is best remembered for building Federal Hill (My Old Kentucky Home).

From the description of Rowan, John, 1773-1843 1828 April 14 Letter. (Filson Historical Society, The). WorldCat record id: 49235818

Rowan was born in York, Pennsylvania. His family moved to Kentucky in 1783, settling in Louisville, and moving to Bardstown seven years later. After studying law under Kentucky Attorney General George Nicholas, Rowan gained admission to the bar in 1795. He began a political career in 1799 as a delegate from Nelson County to the constitutional convention of that year. In 1804 he received appointment as Kentucky secretary of state. Two years later Rowan won election to a term in Congress from Nelson County. Rowan represented Nelson County in the Kentucky General Assembly in the 1810s and Jefferson County in the 1820s. From 1819 to 1821 Rowan held a seat on the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He was elected to one term in the U.S. Senate in 1824. He divided his time between homes in Bardstown and Louisville when he returned to the commonwealth. His home in Bardstown, Federal Hill, begun in 1795, is now My Old Kentucky Home State Park. Rowan was elected president of the Kentucky Historical Society in 1838 and held the office to his death in 1843.

From the description of John Rowan papers, 1805-1829. (Kentucky Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 42837326

U.S. senator and U.S. representative from Kentucky, public official of Kentucky, and jurist.

From the description of Papers of John Rowan, circa 1826-1849. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71015413

Kentucky lawyer, jurist, U.S. congressman and senator.

From the description of John Rowan : miscellaneous papers, 1807-1841. (Filson Historical Society, The). WorldCat record id: 49310576


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  • Frontier and pioneer life
  • Nullification (States' rights)--History--19th century
  • Voyages and travels--19th century
  • Cabinet officers--Correspondence
  • Fraud
  • Diplomats--Selection and appointment
  • Business failures--Law and legislation--History--Sources
  • Nullification (States' rights)--History--Sources
  • Elections
  • Business failures--Law and legislation--History--19th century


  • Senators, U.S. Congress--Kentucky
  • Representatives, U.S. Congress--Kentucky
  • Jurists
  • Public officials--Kentucky


  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Washington (D.C.) (as recorded)
  • Kentucky (as recorded)
  • Nelson County (Ky.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Kentucky (as recorded)