Joseph Mackey Brown

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Joseph Mackey Brown.

Joseph Mackey Brown (December 28, 1851 – March 3, 1932) was an American politician and implicated as one of the ringleaders in the lynching of Leo Frank. He served two non-consecutive terms as the 59th Governor of Georgia, the first from 1909 to 1911 and the second from 1912 to 1913.

Early life[edit]

Brown was born in Canton, Georgia and was the son of Georgia's Civil War Governor Joseph E. Brown. The family nickname of the younger Brown was "Little Joe Brown".

After graduating from Oglethorpe University in 1872 (where he joined Chi Phi Fraternity), Brown attended Harvard University for a time to study law. He continued his studies at his brother's Georgia law practice and passed the bar in 1873; however, he never practiced law due to failing eyesight. He continued his studies at an Atlanta, Georgia business college and became a clerk with the Western and Atlantic Railroad. During his career at the railroad he rose to the position of traffic manager for the company, and he married Cora Annie McCord.

Career[edit]

In 1904, Brown was appointed to the Georgia State Railroad Commission by then-Governor Joseph M. Terrell. That appointment was rescinded in 1907 when the new Governor, Hoke Smith, removed Brown over disagreements about passenger fares.

Brown exacted revenge by running against Smith in the 1908 gubernatorial election and winning. Smith again won the governorship in the election of 1910 by beating Brown in the democratic primary and in the general election in which Brown ran as an independent. Smith left before the end of his second term to assume the United States Senate seat that became vacant upon the death of Alexander S. Clay, and Brown ran unopposed to become Governor again for the rest of Smith's original term.

Brown faced Smith once again in the 1914 election for the Senate seat previously filled by Smith. Smith won that election.

Brown also authored two books, The Mountain Campaigns in Georgia (1886) and Astyanax (1907), served as director and vice president of the First National Bank of Marietta, and owned and operated Cherokee Mills in Marietta.

Since his death, Brown has been implicated as one of the ringleaders in the lynching of Leo Frank in 1915. [1][2]

Death[edit]

Brown died in 1932 in Marietta, Georgia and is buried in the historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alphin, Elaine Marie An Unspeakable Crime: The Prosecution and Persecution of Leo Frank Carolrhoda Books, 2010, p. 117
  2. ^ Oney, Steve (2004), And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank, New York and Toronto: Pantheon Books, ISBN 978-0-679-42147-4

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Hoke Smith
Governor of Georgia
1909–1911
Succeeded by
Hoke Smith
Preceded by
John M. Slaton
Governor of Georgia
1912–1913
Succeeded by
John M. Slaton