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LEXINGTON, capital of Fayette county, Kentucky, is situated near the centre of the State, in the midst of a table-land 1100 feet above the sea, known as the Blue Grass region. It stands on a small subtributary of the Kentucky river, 79 miles south of Cincinnati, and 94 miles east by south of Louisville. The population (3584 in 1850, 7424 in 1860, and 13,600 in 1874) in 1880 was 16,656, including about 8000 negroes. Lexington is an important railway junction, has an extensive trade, and manufactures whisky, flour, bagging, ropes, carriages, and machinery. Two railroads, completed in 1882, give access to the mountainous eastern region of the State, from which iron, coal, and timber are obtained in abundance. The surrounding district is characterized at once by beauty and fertility, and the town has been laid out in a spacious and attractive style. It is the seat of the State university (chartered in 1858, originally opened at Harrodsburg in in 1859, and removed to Lexington and incorporated with the Transylvania university in 1865), the State agricultural college, and one of the State lunatic asylums (625 patients). Besides the university library, there is a public library of 15,000 volumes.

Lexington was founded by Colonel Robert Patterson in 1775, and received its name in honour of the first contest in the war of American independence, fought in April of that year at Lexington, Middlesex county, Massachusetts.

Lexington in Kentucky must not be confounded with (1) Lexington, the capital of Lafayette county, Missouri, with a population in 1880 of 3996; or (2) Lexington, capital of Rockbridge county, Virginia, a place of 2771 inhabitants, and the seat of the Washington and Lee university (founded in 1749; professors in 1880, 9; students, 300; library, 15,000 volumes), and of the Virginia military institute, founded in 1839, under the patronage of the State, with 12 professors and 300 students.