Library Catalog - Kentucky Historical Society

Object Record

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Object Name Ladle, Punch
Catalog Number 1908.13
Maker Ayres, Samuel
Date ca. 1805
Material(s) Silver
Dimensions H-14 W-4 D-2.5 inches
Description This silver ladle has a curved handle that is 12 2/8 inches long. The handle widens and flattens at opposite end of bowl. The bowl is round, smooth and shallow. There are three initials inscribed at flat section of handle. A maker's mark is on the back "S. Ayers."
Notes Susan H. Slaughter, granddaughter of Kentucky Governor Gabriel Slaughter, noted upon the donation of this ladle that it was used by the Governor during his administration (1816-1820).

GABRIEL SLAUGHTER was born in Culpeper County, Virginia on December 12, 1767. As a young child, he moved with his family to Kentucky, where he was educated in the rural schools. Slaughter worked as a farmer until 1795, when he secured an appointment as the Mercer County justice of the peace. His military career began in 1803, as lieutenant colonel of the 5th Regiment, 8th Brigade of the Kentucky Militia. He was recognized for his valiant service in the Battle of New Orleans. Slaughter entered politics in 1797, serving as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, a position he held until 1800. He also served as a member of the Kentucky State Senate from 1801 to 1808, and was the lieutenant governor of Kentucky from 1808 to 1812, a position he was reelected to in 1816. On October 14, 1816, Governor George Madison passed away, and Slaughter, who was lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. However, the legality of this action was questioned, due to the fact that Madison was the first governor to die in office. The legislature did not support the calling of a special election, and the decision for the lieutenant governor to fill the unexpired gubernatorial term prevailed. During Slaughter's tenure, the development of internal improvements was endorsed, and educational advancements were advocated for. Also, during Slaughter's term, the Panic of 1819 and the controversial removal of Charles S. Todd as secretary of state were both dealt with. Three years after leaving office, Slaughter was reelected to the Kentucky House of Representatives. He died on September 19, 1830, and was buried at the family graveyard in Mercer County, Kentucky.

Sources: Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Samuel Ayres was born in 1767 and emigrated to Kentucky in 1784. He was a jeweler and silversmith in Lexington, Ky., starting in 1790. His silversmith business is listed in the 1806 Lexington City Directory as being on High Street and he apparently lived at the same address. In 1810 he built a home/shop on Main Street. In 1813, he entered into a partnership with another silversmith, John G. Hiter. This partnership apparently lasted until 1818. Ayres moved to Danville, Ky., in 1823 and died there in 1824.
Collection Susan H. Slaughter Collection
People Ayres, Samuel
Slaughter, Gabriel
Subjects Silver
Silver services
Search Terms Lexington (Ky.)
Frankfort (Ky.)
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS