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John White (February 14, 1802 – September 22, 1845) was a prominent US politician during the 1840s.

John White
John White.jpg
15th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
In office
May 31, 1841 – March 4, 1843
Preceded byRobert M. T. Hunter
Succeeded byJohn W. Jones
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky
In office
March 4, 1835 – March 3, 1845
Preceded byJames Love (9th)
Willis Green (6th)
Succeeded byRichard French (9th)
John Preston Martin (6th)
Constituency9th district (1835–43)
6th district (1843–45)
Member of the Kentucky House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
BornFebruary 14, 1802
Middlesboro, Kentucky
DiedSeptember 22, 1845(1845-09-22) (aged 43)
Richmond, Kentucky
Political partyWhig

White was a native of Kentucky and practiced law there. White was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1832. He served as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1841 to 1843, and was a member of the United States Congress from 1835 to 1845.

On April 23, 1844, White was involved in a physical confrontation on the House floor with Democratic Congressman George O. Rathbun of New York. White was delivering a speech in defense of Senator Henry Clay, the Whig nominee for President in that year's presidential election, and objected to a ruling from the Speaker denying him time to conclude his remarks. When Rathbun told White to be quiet, White confronted him and their disagreement lead to a fistfight between the two with dozens of their colleagues rushing to break up the fight. During the disturbance, an unknown visitor fired a pistol into the crowd, wounding a police officer. Both White and Rathbun subsequently apologized for their actions.[1]

White was appointed judge of the nineteenth judicial district of Kentucky and served in that capacity from February 8, 1845, until his death in Richmond, Kentucky on September 22, 1845.

White's 1st cousin, Addison White was a congressman from Kentucky as the same time representing the 6th District. Their shared nephew, John D. White, would also go on to represent Kentucky's 9th district in the late 1870s.

White is buried in the State Cemetery at Frankfort, Kentucky.


  1. ^ Long, Kim. "The Almanac of Political Corruption, Scandals & Dirty Politics, (2008). ISBN 0307481344.
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert M.T. Hunter
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
May 31, 1841 – March 4, 1843
Succeeded by
John W. Jones
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James Love
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
Richard French
Preceded by
Willis Green
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
John Preston Martin