Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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UNDERWOOD, Joseph Rogers, senator, born in Goochland county, Virginia, 24 October, 1791; died near Bowling Green, Kentucky, 23 August, 1876. He is a descendant of William Thomas Underwood, who settled in Virginia about 1680. His family being in adverse circumstances, he was adopted by his maternal uncle, Edward Rogers, a soldier of the Revolution, who had emigrated to Kentucky in 1783 Removing to that state in 1803, the boy was educated in various schools and was graduated at Transylvania in 1811, after which he studied law in Lexington, Kentucky. He was the first volunteer to be attached to the regiment of Colonel William Dudley for co-operation with the northern army on the Canada border, was made a lieutenant, and when the captain of his company was killed in Dudley's defeat, 5 May, 1813, the command devolved upon him. Underwood was wounded, and with the remnant of Dudley's regiment was forced to surrender. After undergoing cruel treatment from the Indians, he was released on parole and returned to his home. He was admitted to the bar in the same year, and settled in Glasgow, Kentucky, where he was also trustee of the town and county attorney until he removed to Bowling Green in 1823. He served in the legislature in 1816-'19 and again in 1825-'6, was a candidate for lieutenant-governor in 1828, and from that year till 1835 was judge of the court of appeals. Being elected to congress as a Whig, he served from 7 December, 1835, till 3 March, 1843, and in 1845 was chosen to represent Warren county in the legislature, serving as speaker of the house. He was elected a United States senator as a Whig, and, after serving from 6 December, 1847, till 3 March, 1853, again practised his profession. In 1824 and 1844 he was a presidential elector on the Henry Clay ticket, and he was a delegate to the National Democratic convention at Chicago in 1864.--His brother, Warner L., born in Goochland county, Virginia, 7 August, 1808, was graduated at the University of Virginia in 1830, served in the Kentucky legislature in 1848-'9, and was elected to congress, as an American, serving from 3 December, 1855, till 3 March, 1859.--Joseph R.'s son, John Cox, engineer, born in Georgetown, D. C., 12 September, 1840, removed to Kentucky with his father. After graduation at Rensselaer polytechnic institute in 1862, he entered the Confederate army and served as a military engineer in Virginia, but was captured in 1863 and confined in prisons in Cincinnati and Boston until the close of the war. He then returned to Kentucky, where he has since engaged in engineering, and has contributed to the improvement of his part of the state. He was engineer in charge of the public works of Warren county, city engineer of Bowling Green in 1868-'75, and mayor of that town in 1870-'2. He was active in the reorganization of the Democratic party in Kentucky, was a member of the state executive committee, speaker of the senate in 1876, where his casting-vote defeated the whipping-post bill, and in 1876-'80 was lieutenant-governor of Kentucky. Mr. Underwood established the "Kentucky Intelligencer" in Bowling Green, but transferred this journal to Louisville, and consolidated it with the "Post." In 1881 he removed to Covington, and organized a daily newspaper publishing company in Cincinnati, Ohio, where in 1882 the "Daily News," of which he was general manager, began to be issued. He has published various official documents in the form of pamphlets and reports.
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