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DIXON, Archibald, senator, born in Caswell County, N. C., 2 April 1802; died in Henderson, Kentucky, 23 April 1876. His grandfather, Colonel Henry, reeeived a wound at the battle of Eutaw which caused his death; and Wynn, his father, served gallantly through the Revolutionary war. In 1805 he removed with his father to Henderson County, Kentucky, where he received a common school education, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1824, and attained high rank as a criminal lawyer. He was a member of the legislature in 1830 and 1841, of the state senate in 1836, and lieutenant governor in 1843'7. In 1848 he was the choice of a majority of the Kentucky Whigs for governor; but on the nomination of John J. Crittenden by a section of them he withdrew from the candidacy, in order to heal dissensions in the party. When a candidate for governor he defended the American protective policy, and made that the principal subject of his discussions.
In 1849, when the proposition for gradual emancipation of the slaves was before the people, he vehemently opposed the scheme, and, being chosen a member of the Constitutional convention, proposed a resolution, which was substantially incorporated in the new constitution, declaring that whereas the right of the citizen to be secure in his person and property lies at the bottom of all governments, and slaves, and children hereafter born of slave mothers, are property, therefore the convention has not the power nor the right to deprive the citizen of his property except for the public good, and only then by making to him a just compensation, He was the Whig candidate for governor in 1851, but the Whigs who were emancipationists withdrew their support on account of his views on the slavery question, and put in nomination Cassius M. Clay, which resulted in the election of a Democrat. He had endeavored to unite the party by declining the nomination; but his friends in the convention insisted upon his taking it. His canvass was contemporaneous with the agitation for the dissolution of the Union, and he eloquently seconded before the people the appeals for its preservation uttered in Washington by Clay and Webster. He and Mr. Crittenden were rival candidates before the legislature for the next seat that fell vacant in the U. S. Senate: but both withdrew for the sake of harmony. When Henry Clay died, shortly afterward, Mr. Dixon's friends elected him for the unexpired term. He took his seat on 20 December 1852, and served till 3 March 1855. During the civil war he was an advocate of peace, and in 1863 was a delegate to the peace convention held at Frankfort, Ky.
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