John Y. Brown (politician, born 1835)
John Young Brown was a politician from Kentucky. He represented the state in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as its 31st governor. Brown was the legal counsel for former Kentucky Secretary of State Caleb Powers, an accused conspirator in the assassination of William Breckinridge.
About John Y. Brown (politician, born 1835) in brief
John Young Brown was a politician from Kentucky. He represented the state in the U.S. House of Representatives and served as its 31st governor. Brown was elected to the House for three non-consecutive terms, each of which was marred by controversy. Brown died in Henderson on January 11, 1904. He was the legal counsel for former Kentucky Secretary of State Caleb Powers, an accused conspirator in the assassination of William Breckinridge, president of the Confederate States of America. Brown’s father served in the state legislature and was a delegate to the 1849 state constitutional convention. Two of his uncles, Bryan Rust Young and William Singleton Young, served as U. S. Representatives. Brown married Lucie Barbee in 1857, but she died the following year. In September 1860, he married Rebecca Hart Dixon, the daughter of former U. S. Senator Archibald Dixon. The couple had eight children. Brown served as governor of Kentucky from 1891 to 1894. He also served as a member of the Douglas National Committee in 1860 and engaged in a series of debates with supporters of John C. Breckenridge for president, including William Campbell Breckridge. Brown also served in Congress from 1859 to 1872. He served as mayor of Henderson, Kentucky, from 1864 to 1866. He died on January 10, 1904, at the age of 83. He is buried in the University of Kentucky’s College Park Cemetery. His son, Thomas Dudley Brown, was also a politician, serving in the Kentucky legislature from 1849 to 1871.
Brown is survived by his wife, Lucie, and their eight children, all of whom were born in Hardin County, Kentucky. In 1859, Brown nominated Joshua Jewett for Jewett’s seat in the House. Despite Brown’s protests that he was more than a year younger than the legal age to serve, he was elected by about two thousand votes. He did not take his seat until the second congressional session because of his age because of the early recounts in Stovepipe Johnson. In his final term, Brown was officially censured for delivering a speech excoriating Massachusetts Representative Benjamin F. Butler. Brown hoped the legislature would elect him to the Senate following his term as governor. However, the deaths of two of Brown’s children ended his interest in the gubernatorial race and his own senatorial ambitions. He backed Cassius M. Clay, Jr. for the Democratic nomination in the upcoming gubernatorial election. He later backed gold standard candidate Cassius Clay, who was later assassinated by a disgruntled faction of the Democratic Party. Brown supported the free silver faction of his party, and most of the legislature’s time was spent adapting the state’s code of laws to the new constitution. His administration, and the state Democratic Party, were split between gold standard supporters and supporters of the free coinage of silver. His was also the first administration to operate under the Kentucky Constitution of 1891.
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