William Gay Brown

William Gay Brown

Birth
Kingwood, Preston County, West Virginia, USA
Death 19 Apr 1884 (aged 83)
Kingwood, Preston County, West Virginia, USA
Burial Kingwood, Preston County, West Virginia, USA
Plot Brown Family Plot
Memorial ID 7782050 · View Source
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US Congressman. A prominent Democratic politician during the Civil War, he played a key role in West Virginia breaking away from the Confederacy, and its admission to statehood in 1863. Brown was born in Kingwood, Preston County, Virginia, where he studied law independently and was admitted to the bar in 1823. After membership in the Virginia House of Delegates (1832, 1840 to 1843), he was elected as a Democrat to the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth US Congresses, serving from 1845 to 1849; in addition he was a delegate to the State Constitutional Conventions in 1850 and 1861, and a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions at Charleston and Baltimore in 1860. Brown was involved in the sectional disputes between Virginia's pro-Union western counties (including Preston) and the state government at Richmond. In 1860 he made his allegiances clear by successfully running for the Thirty-seventh Congress (1861 to 1863) as a Unionist. At the Virginia Secession Convention (February 1861) he voted against leaving the Union, and when the state did secede in April he joined other western county politicians in declaring independence for their region. They formed a government they called the Restored Government of Virginia, changing the name to West Virginia in November. Congress admitted West Virginia to the Union as the 35th state on June 20, 1863, and Brown became one of its first representatives when he was reelected to the US House as an Unconditional Unionist later that year. He did not seek a fifth congressional term and after the Civil War, his work on the national stage done, he returned to his law practice in Kingwood. He was the father of US Congressman William Gay Brown, Jr..

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 20 Aug 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7782050
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Gay Brown (25 Sep 1800–19 Apr 1884), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7782050, citing Maplewood Cemetery, Kingwood, Preston County, West Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .