Brown, Joseph Emerson

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Brown, Joseph Emerson

Joseph Emerson Brown was born April 15, 1821, in Pickens District, South Carolina. He was a graduate of the Yale Law School class of 1846, and was admitted to the Georgia bar.

In 1849 Brown entered politics and served in the Georgia Senate. In 1852 he was a presidential elector and in 1855 he served as a circuit judge.

Brown became governor of Georgia in 1857 and, for the next eight years, voiced his opposition to Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, concerning involuntary service in the Armed Services and the elimination of the writ of Habeas Corpus. He was a strong supporter of States' Rights and often spoke out against the authority of a centralized government. In 1865 he was imprisoned but was released by President Andrew Johnson shortly afterwards.

From 1868 to 1870 Brown again served in the judiciary, presiding as chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court.

Brown entered federal government service in 1880, representing Georgia in the U.S. Senate for an eleven-year period, retiring in 1891. He died November 30, 1894, in Atlanta.