Some years ago Charles G. Sydnor made a rather revolutionary interpretation of politics in the ante-bellum South. He argued that the location of political power was for themost part to be found in the counties and, more particularly, in the county courts, which were usually the governing bodies of the counties. He, furthermore, suggested that county government was in many ways the most influential and meaningful government for the majority of the southern citizenry. Not many people, he contended, had direct dealings with either state or national governments because of the limitations and locations of power, the problems of communication and transportation and the essential provincialness of most of the nation. The business of most was with the various agencies and agents of county government. Regrettably scholars have ignored Sydnor's imaginative interpretation and its implicit challenge to investigate more completely the workings of county government in the South. Few revealing accounts have been published on the political realities of local government below the Mason-Dixon line. This article will seek partially to correct this historiographical deficiency by attempting to identify and explain the majorthemes of the politics of county government in antebellum Kentucky.