John Young Brown
(June 28, 1835 – January 11, 1904) was a politician from the U.S. Commonwealth of Kentucky
. He represented the state in the United States House of Representatives
and served as its 31st governor
. Brown was elected to the House of Representatives for three non-consecutive terms, each of which was marred by controversy. He was first elected in 1859, despite his own protests that he was not yet twenty-five years old; the minimum age set by the Constitution
for serving in the legislature. The voters of his district elected him anyway, but he was not allowed to take his seat until the Congress'
second session, after he was of legal age to serve. After moving to Henderson, Kentucky
, Brown was elected from that district in 1866. On this occasion, he was denied his seat because of alleged disloyalty to the Union during the Civil War
. Voters in his district refused to elect another representative, and the seat remained vacant throughout the term to which Brown was elected. After an unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 1871, Brown was again elected to the House in 1872 and served three consecutive terms. During his final term, he was officially censured
for delivering a speech excoriating Massachusetts
Representative Benjamin F. Butler
. The censure was later expunged from the congressional record.
After his service in the House, Brown took a break from politics, but re-entered the political arena as a candidate for governor of Kentucky in 1891. He secured the Democratic
nomination in a four-way primary election
, then convincingly won the general election over his Republican
challenger, Andrew T. Wood. Brown's administration, and the state Democratic Party, were split between gold standard
supporters (including Brown) and supporters of the free coinage of silver
. Brown's was also the first administration to operate under the Kentucky Constitution of 1891
, and most of the legislature
's time was spent adapting the state's code of laws to the new constitution. Consequently, little of significance was accomplished during Brown's term. (Full article...