Ratliff Boon

Infobox Politician
name = Ratliff Boon

caption =Ratliff Boon in "Who What When Book?", 1900
order3 =2nd
office3 =Governor of Indiana
term_start3 =September 12, 1822
term_end3 =December 5, 1822
lieutenant3 = Vacant
predecessor3 = Jonathan Jennings
successor3 = William Hendricks
office4 =United States House of Representatives
term_start4 =March 4, 1825
term_end4 =March 3, 1827
term_start5 =March 4, 1829
term_end5 =March 3, 1839
office =Indiana House of Representatives
term_start =December 5, 1816
term_end =December 4, 1817
office1 =Indiana State Senate
term_start =December 5, 1818
term_end =December 4, 1819
office1 =2nd Lieutenant Governor of Indiana
predecessor = Christopher Harrison
successor = John H. Thompson
term_start1 =December 5, 1819
term_end1 =September 12, 1822
term_start2 =December 5, 1822
term_end2 =January 30, 1824
birth_date= January 18, 1781
birth_place= Franklin County, North Carolina
death_date= November 20, 1844
death_place= Louisiana, Missouri
party = Democratic-Republican

Ratliff Boon (b. January 18 1781, Franklin County, North Carolinandash d. November 20 1844, Louisiana, Missouri) was the Governor of Indiana from September 12 to December 5 1822, after Governor Jonathan Jennings' election to Congress.


Ratliff Boon was born January 18, 1781 in Franklin County, North Carolina. At a young age he moved with his parents to Warren County, Kentucky where he attended a public grade school and later apprenticed as a gunsmith in Danville, Kentucky.Woollen, p. 42] In 1809 he moved to what is now Boon Township of Warrick County, Indiana. Boonville, Indiana, the county seat, was later named in his honor. At the outbreak of the War of 1812, Boon joined the militia and eventually rose to the rank of colonel of the state militia. [Woollen, p. 49]

The Warrick County was organized in 1813 and Boon was appointed to the position of County Treasurer. In 1816 he was elected to the first state legislature were he served until 1817. He was elected to the state senate in December 1818 but resigned after winning the election to become Lieutenant Governor in December 1819. In 1820 the legislature passed laws aiming to to lower the wolf population which was creating havoc on the frontier. They offered a premium reward for wolf pelts, Boon capitalized on the new law and earned more than seven-hundred dollars for killing wolves. His success led to the rapid repeal of the law which quickly became a drain on the state's resources. [Woollen, 50]

When Gov. Jonathan Jennings resigned, Boon became the second governor of the state from September 12, 1822 to December 5, 1822. In 1822 he was re-elected as Lieutenant Governor on the ticket with William Hendricks. Boon continued that position until January 30, 1824 when he resigned after winning the election to the United State House of Representatives. His resignation occurred just days before Hendricks and he narrowly avoided become governor yet again. His prior resignation caused the governorship to devolve to James B. Ray, the only Senate-Pro-Tempore to be be elevated to the position of governor.Woollen, p. 43]

Boon was elected as a Jacksonian and served in Congress from March 4, 1825–March 3, 1827. He was unsuccessful in his re-election attempt in 1826, defeated by Thomas H. Blake. He ran again for the office in 1828, and won. He served in Congress again from March 4, 1829 to March 3, 1839. While in congress he was chairman of the Committee on Public Lands from 1835 until 1839. He again ran unsuccessfully for re-election in 1839, and was defeated by Oliver H. Smith. The same year of his defeat, Boon moved to Louisiana, Missouri. In Missouri he quickly rose in prominence and became a fierce opponent of Thomas H. Benton and the pro-slavery party. In 1844 he ran for Congress again, hoping to defeat the pro-slavery candidate, but he became ill and withdrew from the race. Boon remained sick and died shortly after hearing of his party's victory in the election. where he died in November 20, 1844. His interment is in Riverview Cemetery of Louisiana, his son, Baily Hart Boon, erected a monument over his grave. [Woollen, p. 47]



*cite book|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=PCbZ8rS-84gC|title=Biographical and Historical Sketches of Early Indiana|author=Woollen, William Wesley|publisher=Ayer Publishing|year=1975|isbn=0405068964

External links

* [http://www.statelib.lib.in.us/www/ihb/govportraits/boon.html Biography from Indiana State Library]

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