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James Hilary Mulligan Edit Profile

lawyer , politician

James Hillary Mulligan was a judge, politician, and poet from Kentucky.


Mulligan, James Hilary was born on November 21, 1844 in Lexington, Kentucky, United States. Son of Dennis and Ellen Alice (McCoy) Mulligan.


He graduated from St. Mary's College (Collège Sainte-Marie de Montréal) in 1864 and received his law degree from Kentucky University (now Transylvania University) in 1869.


Judge Mulligan was an editor, attorney, judge, legislator (Kentucky House 1881-1889 and Senate 1889-1893), consul-general to Samoa (1894–1896), and orator. While in Samoa, he befriended English novelist Robert Louis Stevenson. Mulligan was himself an editor and poet.

His poem "In Kentucky" is perhaps the best known poem about the state, which he delivered at the close of a speech at the Phoenix Hotel in Lexington in 1902. Mary Mulligan died in 1876. Judge Mulligan married Genevieve Morgan Williams in 1881 and they had six children.

His home, Maxwell Place, is now the official residence of the president of the University of Kentucky. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Lexington.


  • Other Work

    • Author: Samoa, Government, Commerce and People (United States Government publication), 1896. Collaborated with Lloyd Osborne, in booklet announcing death of Robert Louis Stevenson, 1894. Writer of miscellaneous prose and verse, including “In Kentucky”.


Member Ky.


Married Genevieve Morgan Williams, October 5, 1881.

Dennis Mulligan

Ellen Alice (McCoy) Mulligan

Genevieve Morgan Williams