Linn Boyd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Linn Boyd
24th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
In office
December 1, 1851 – March 4, 1855
President Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
Preceded by Howell Cobb
Succeeded by Nathaniel P. Banks
Member of U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1835 – March 3, 1837
March 4, 1839 – March 4, 1855
Preceded by Chittenden Lyon
John L. Murray
Succeeded by John L. Murray
Henry C. Burnett
16th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
In office
Governor Beriah Magoffin
Preceded by James G. Hardy
Succeeded by Richard T. Jacob
Personal details
Born November 22, 1800
Nashville, Tennessee
Died December 17, 1859 (aged 59)
Paducah, Kentucky
Political party Democratic-Republican
Spouse(s) Alice Bennett
Anna (Rhey) Dixon
Relations Abraham Boyd (Father)
Elizabeth Linn Boyd (Mother)
Children Butler Boyd
Linn Boyd Jr.
Felix Boyd
Rhey Boyd
Profession Politician

Linn Boyd (November 22, 1800 – December 17, 1859) (also spelled "Lynn") was a prominent US politician of the 1840s and 1850s, and served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1851 to 1855. Boyd was elected to the House as a Democrat from Kentucky from 1835 to 1837 and again from 1839 to 1855, serving seven terms in the House. Boyd County, Kentucky is named in his honor.[1]

Boyd served in the Kentucky House of Representatives after first winning election in 1827. He represented Calloway County and his father represented neighboring Trigg County. In 1831 Boyd moved to Trigg County and was elected to the House again from there.

In 1833 Boyd lost his first campaign for the United States House of Representatives. In 1835 he was elected to the House and served there until 1837 when a Whig landslide cost him his seat. Boyd soon returned to the House, serving from 1839 through 1855. He was a strong supporter of President Andrew Jackson. Boyd played a key role in maneuvering the annexation of Texas through Congress during the term of President John Tyler in 1845. Boyd was also important in getting the Compromise of 1850, chiefly credited to Henry Clay, passed through Congress. Largely though his prominence in shepherding the Compromise of 1850 to passage, Boyd was elected Speaker of the House in 1851 and held that office until 1855.

Boyd got his party's nomination for Governor of Kentucky in 1848, but had declined to run and was replaced by Lazarus W. Powell. His name was also put forth as a candidate for Vice President of the United States at the 1856 Democratic National Convention, but was never officially nominated, the eventual nominee being fellow Kentuckian John C. Breckinridge.

Boyd was elected the 16th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky in 1859 but died shortly thereafter. This became significant with the onset of the Civil War. Governor Beriah Magoffin, supportive of slavery, secession and states' rights, became increasingly unpopular and distrusted as Kentucky sought to maintain a neutral course between the Union and the Confederate States of America. Unionists held a two-thirds majority in both houses of the Kentucky General Assembly in summer 1861 and frequently overrode Magoffin's vetos. By August 1862 Magoffin made it clear that he was willing to resign the governorship. However, due to Linn Boyd's death, the person next in line to become Governor of Kentucky was Speaker of the Senate John F. Fisk, who was unacceptable to Magoffin. Fisk resigned as Speaker and was replaced by James F. Robinson. Magoffin resigned; Robinson became governor and Fisk was reinstalled as Speaker of the Senate.


  1. ^ The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 1. Kentucky State Historical Society. 1903. p. 34. 
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Chittenden Lyon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1835 – March 3, 1837
Succeeded by
John L. Murray
Preceded by
John L. Murray
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 1st congressional district

March 4, 1839 – March 3, 1855
Succeeded by
Henry C. Burnett
Political offices
Preceded by
Howell Cobb
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
December 1, 1851 – March 4, 1853;
December 5, 1853 – March 4, 1855
Succeeded by
Nathaniel P. Banks
Preceded by
James G. Hardy
Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
Succeeded by
Richard Taylor Jacob