Joseph Desha (1768-1842)

Old Main Street, Washington, KY


Photo taken by Bill Eichelberger




"As governor, Desha became major proponent of debtor relief. The Pa. native, under Wayne and Harrison, fought Indians and led troops at Battle of Thames, 1813. Elected from Mason Co. to Ky. legislature and Congress. During his 1824-28 term as governor, he favored the controversial reorganization of Ky. Court of Appeals. Desha was buried in Georgetown, Ky. Over.

(Reverse) Old Court-New Court Issue - After Panic of 1819 and depression, the Ky. Court of Appeals struck down numerous relief measures as unconstitutional. Prorelief Desha forces in state legislature abolished Old Court and created a New Court. Angered, Old Court refused to vacate. Both courts sat simultaneously. By 1826, New Court canceled and court reorganization repealed. Issue gradually faded."

Update Log 

  • July 25, 2012: Added by Bill Eichelberger