Who Was Col. Trigg?


Stephen Trigg (c. 1744 – August 19, 1782) was an American pioneer and soldier from Virginia. He was killed ten months after the surrender of Cornwalis at Yorktown in one of the last battles of the American Revolution while leading the Lincoln County militia unit at the Battle of Blue Licks in present-day Kentucky.

Born the son of William and Mary (Johns) Trigg, Trigg mainly worked as a public servant and militia officer during the early years of the frontier counties in southwest Virginia and those portions that would later form Kentucky. He was one of the wealthiest men on the frontier at the time.   He was a delegate to the first Virginia Revolutionary conventions and was a member of the Fincastle Committee of Safety that drafted the Fincastle Resolutions, a precursor to the Declaration of Independence made by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. He was also elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

Trigg was appointed to the Virginia Land Court Commission in 1779, charged with settling titles to land on the Kentucky frontier. After completing his duties on the court, he settled in Kentucky and continued his public service. In 1782, Shawnee Indians led by British officers attacked Bryan Station, Kentucky, but were driven off. Kentucky militia companies joined forces to pursue them. Trigg commanded one wing, Daniel Boone the other. Despite Boone’s warnings, the militiamen charged into an ambush at Blue Licks. Trigg and many others, including Boone’s youngest son Israel, were among those killed. Trigg’s body was later found cut into pieces.  The Kentucky Militiamen who died in this battle were buried together in a common grave.

Trigg Grave

This headstone at the Blue Licks Battlefield State Park marks the mass grave where Trigg and his men were buried.

Blue Licks Battle Monument

Blue Licks Battle Monument

Officers on the Blue Licks Monument

Officers on the Blue Licks Monument

In recognition of his role in the formation of Kentucky, Trigg County, Kentucky, was named in honor of Stephen Trigg.


Probate Records for Stephen Trigg Estate

Order Book A, Virginia Supreme Court-District of Kentucky, - Mar. 11, 1783 (p.1)

Order Book A, Virginia Supreme Court-District of Kentucky, – Mar. 11, 1783 (p.1)

Order Book A, Virginia Supreme Court-District of Kentucky, - Mar. 11, 1783 (p.2)

Order Book A, Virginia Supreme Court-District of Kentucky, – Mar. 11, 1783 (p.2)

The location of Stephen Trigg’s Station is at 1305 Handy Road, near Harrodsburg, Kentucky.  GPS coordinates are 37.77445, -84.76395.

Trigg's Station Historical Marker

Trigg’s Station Historical Marker

4 Responses to “Who Was Col. Trigg?”

  1. Beverly Trigg Bowie Says:

    I am finally going to see this burial ground of my relative.I heard the story about the bravery of this relative. I am in his brothers’ John Johns Trigg direct line.I am so proud of the bravery and courage of these men that fought to the death for our freedom .

    • Ann Benson Trigg Says:

      Hi, Beverly. You and my husband Gary must be cousins. He is also a direct descendant of John John’s Trigg. It’s something to be proud of.

      Ann Benson Trigg

  2. Ann Benson Trigg Says:

    This is very interesting information. My husband, Gary Trigg, is a direct descendant of John Johns Trigg, and Col. Stephen Trigg would be a ? times great uncle of Gary. In fact, Garys grandfather, of Higginsville, MO, was also named Stephen Trigg. I would like to pursue getting a membership in the Stephen Trigg Chapter of S.A.R. for my husband and his son. We visited the Memorial several years ago. Also tried to find Triggs Station, but we’re not successful. Thank you for posting these great photos.

  3. Bill Harter Says:

    Stephen Trigg’s elder brother: Col. William Trigg, was my 4th Gr. Grandfather. I suppose that makes Stephen Trigg my 5th Gr. Uncle.
    Great to see some “Trigg Cousins”!

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