Kentucky Historical Society
KHS Secures GOLD Grant to Restore Governor’s Grave
Frankfort, KY - The Kentucky Historical Society’s Cemetery Preservation Program has received a $2,500 grant from the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) to restore Governor Thomas E. Bramlette’s tombstone in Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery.
According to Ann Johnson, coordinator of the Historical Society’s cemetery preservation program, plans to restore Bramlette’s tombstone have been in the works since 2001, when the Civil War governor’s tombstone was last assessed. Johnson said that Bramlette’s stone is cracked and also needs to be straightened and cleaned. The GOLD funding will pay for this work and will also provide seed money for future signage at the gravesite.
Since Bramlette’s tombstone does not mention his service as governor, the Kentucky Historical Society hopes to place a Historical Highway Marker at his grave, detailing his life and career.
As one of Kentucky’s Civil War governors, Bramlette frequently disagreed with President Abraham Lincoln’s wartime policies, including the enlistment of African American troops and military arrests. Although he differed with Lincoln politically, after the president’s assassination, Bramlette stated that “experience and time has demonstrated that his was the only line of salvation for our country.”
“With events commemorating the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s Kentucky birth beginning in February 2008, more focus will be given to Governor Bramlette and his contentious relationship with Lincoln,” says Warren Greer, program coordinator for the Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, of the timing of the restoration.
Bramlette, governor of Kentucky from 1863 to 1867, was born on January 3, 1817, in what is now Clinton County. A lawyer and state legislator, Bramlette also served as a Union soldier during the Civil War. He died in Louisville on January 12, 1875, and was buried in Cave Hill Cemetery.
Bramlette’s tombstone will be restored in 2007. Once the work is complete, a rededication will be held. Johnson is currently looking for Bramlette descendants to participate in the rededication ceremony. She can be reached at (502) 564-1792, ext. 4404, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
An agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, the Kentucky Historical Society, since 1836, has provided connections to the past, perspective on the present, and inspiration for the future. KHS operates the Old State Capitol, the Kentucky Military History Museum and its seven-year-old headquarters, the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. Since 1999, the $30 million Center for Kentucky History has welcomed almost one million visitors. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit the Web at http://history.ky.gov.