Kentucky Historical Society


Moments in Kentucky
Legislative History

58. Matthew Lyon (1954)

The General Assembly passed a joint resolution on March 22, 1954, honoring the many contributions of Matthew Lyon (1749-1822). After distinguished service in the Revolutionary War and courageous defense of democratic principles during the era of the Alien and Sedition Acts (1798), he moved to Kentucky from Vermont in 1799. He sought out a "new location in the unsettled area of western Kentucky" where he founded the town of Eddyville which he made into a commercial center, largely through his own enterprises. He was particularly noted for his paper-manufacturing which made him "worthy of consideration along with Benjamin Franklin and Eli Whitney and other early American inventors." The resolution authorized the State Historical Society to "cause to be erected at his grave a suitable and appropriate marker and to refurbish his grave and the stone now marking it and also the graves and marking stones of his immediate family descendants."

Matthew Lyon letter, March 23, 1813.

Matthew Lyon letter, March 23, 1813. This letter, written at Eddyville, Kentucky, was sent by Lyon to Governor Isaac Shelby concerning protection of white settlers in that area. Lyon wrote to Shelby seeking a guard near the Cumberland River, because of the settlers' alarm over the proximity of the Creek and Chickasaw Indians. "Your candour will parden this intrusion when you recolect my Situation, on the bank of Cumberland within ten miles of the Tennessee, and amoung a people alarmed for the safety of their families." He also complained that the state of Tennessee afforded greater protection to its citizens in the area than did Kentucky. Lyon wanted a share of the militia called out south of the Green River to be employed on the Kentucky side of the state line. Kentucky Historical Society Collections.

Kentucky Unbridled Spirit

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