John Burton Thompson

John Burton Thompson (December 14, 1810 – January 7, 1874) was a United States Representative and Senator from Kentucky.

John Burton Thompson
A round-faced man with wispy, dark hair wearing a dark jacket, white shirt, and dark tie with a large knot at the neck
United States Senator
from Kentucky
In office
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1859
Preceded byJoseph R. Underwood
Succeeded byLazarus W. Powell
15th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
In office
September 2, 1851 – 1853
GovernorLazarus W. Powell
Preceded byJohn L. Helm
Succeeded byJames Greene Hardy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 5th district
In office
December 7, 1840 – March 3, 1843
March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1851
Preceded bySimeon H. Anderson
Bryan Young
Succeeded byJames W. Stone
Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives
In office
Member of the Kentucky Senate
In office
Personal details
Born(1810-12-14)December 14, 1810
Harrodsburg, Kentucky, US
DiedJanuary 7, 1874(1874-01-07) (aged 63)
Harrodsburg, Kentucky, US
Political partyWhig, Know Nothing
RelativesMaria T. Daviess (sister) Philip B. Thompson Jr. (son)
ProfessionPolitician, Lawyer
SignatureJ. B. Thompson

Early lifeEdit

Born near Harrodsburg, Kentucky, Thompson completed preparatory studies and studied law. He was admitted to the bar and practiced in Harrodsburg, becoming the Commonwealth's Attorney.

Political careerEdit

Kentucky LegislatureEdit

Thompson was elected to the Kentucky Senate in 1829 and served until 1833. In 1835, Thompson was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives where he served two, two-year terms.

House of RepresentativesEdit

In 1840, Thompson was elected as a Whig to the United States House of Representatives to fill the vacancy in Kentucky's 5th District caused by the death of Simeon H. Anderson. He was subsequently reelected in 1842 and served until March 3, 1843. After a time out of Congress, he was again elected to represent the same district, serving this time from March 4, 1847 to March 3, 1851. During this time he was chairman of the U.S. House Committee on the Militia.

Lieutenant GovernorEdit

Thompson was the 14th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky in 1852.

United States SenateEdit

In 1852, Thompson was elected to the United States Senate as a member of the Know-Nothing party. He served from March 4, 1853 to March 3, 1859.


Thompson died in Harrodsburg and was interred in Spring Hill Cemetery.[1]

John B. Thompson, photograph by Mathew Brady


  • United States Congress. "John Burton Thompson (id: T000208)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.


  1. ^ "Biography of John Thompson". Retrieved 20 April 2017.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 5th congressional district

December 7, 1840 – March 3, 1843
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 5th congressional district

March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1851
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 2) from Kentucky
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1859
Served alongside: Archibald Dixon, John J. Crittenden
Succeeded by