Kentucky War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission named

By Mark Shuller - Email

FRANKFORT, KY (FOX19) — The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) has been named the administrator of the Kentucky War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, which was recently appointed by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.

The 18-member commission, which includes state agencies and at-large members, will work on a broad range of educational programs that will commemorate Kentucky's role in the War of 1812, which is sometimes called "America's Second Revolution."

"We hope to make this bicentennial a statewide commemoration," said Stuart Sanders, who administers the commission for KHS. "While the battles were fought elsewhere, Kentuckians played a major role in the conflict."

Although the War of 1812 is largely forgotten today, many Kentuckians played important military and political roles in the conflict. Henry Clay helped negotiate the treaty that ended the war and Gen. John Adair, who later became Governor of Kentucky, led the Kentucky troops at the Battle of New Orleans.

In addition, nearly 60 percent of the war's total casualties were Kentuckians, and the Commonwealth lost more men than all of the other states combined.  For example, dozens of Kentuckians were slain at the Battle of River Raisin, fought in present-day Michigan, and "Remember the Raisin!" became a rallying cry for the remainder of the conflict.

Today, memories of the War of 1812 survive in many Kentucky counties, with 30 of these counties being named after prominent casualties or officers.  According to Sanders, the commission will recognize these counties and will work with local history organizations, public libraries and museums to educate the public about Kentucky's role during the entire war.

To find out more about KHS and its commissions, visit