Should Breckenridge, CO Change Its Name Due To Its Eponym?

Should Breckenridge, CO Change Its Name Due To Its Eponym?

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Should Breckenridge, CO Change Its Name Due To Its Eponym?

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With talk of Squaw Valley, CA possibly changing its name, is it time for Breckenridge, CO to also look at the potential of renaming the ski hill and possibly the town as well?

In case you are unaware, the town and ski hill are named after John Cabell Breckinridge. Breckinridge served as Vice President of the United States but went on to fight for the Confederacy.

For some more history of the naming of Breckenridge, CO we turn to the ski resorts official blog:

“Breckenridge Resort‘s namesake went from being Vice President of the United States to fleeing on a boat to Cuba. Find out why the town changed the spelling of his name.  And find out how to get to the oldest bar west of the Mississippi.

The man named Breckinridge

John Cabell Breckinridge is the youngest man to serve as Vice President of the United States. The lawyer from Kentucky was elected at age 35, the minimum age required by the Constitution, to serve beside President James Buchanan in 1856.

Breckinridge ran for President four years later and lost to Abraham Lincoln. He returned to Kentucky and became a State Senator until being expelledin 1861 (less than a year after being elected) for remaining loyal to the Confederacy while Kentucky voted to stay in the Union.

Fleeing possible arrest, he escaped to the South and became a general for the Confederate Army during the Civil War.  He was later made the Confederate States Secretary of War.

After the war, Breckinridge used a tiny boat to escape to Cuba in fear of being put on trial for treason.  He persisted to the United Kingdom and Canada before being granted amnesty and returning to the United States years later.  He died of cirrhosis in 1875 at the age of 54.

How the town of Breckenridge got its name

In 1859, a town for gold miners was set up along the Blue River in Colorado. The town was called “Breckinridge” in hopes of flattering Vice President John Breckinridge in order to get a post office. The plan worked and Breckinridge became the first town between the Continental Divide and Salt Lake City to get a post office for its 8,000 residents.

When John Breckinridge joined the Confederate Army two years later, the outraged citizens voted to change the spelling of their town name. They swapped the first “i” with an “e” to make their home forever known as Breckenridge.”

 

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