skip to main content

 
Rep. Matthew Lyon

Former Representative for Kentucky’s 1st District

Lyon was the representative for Kentucky’s 1st congressional district and was a Republican. He served from 1807 to 1811.

He was previously the representative for Kentucky’s 1st congressional district as a Republican from 1805 to 1807; the representative for Kentucky’s 1st congressional district as a Republican from 1803 to 1805; the representative for Vermont’s 1st congressional district as a Republican from 1799 to 1801; and the representative for Vermont’s 1st congressional district as a Republican from 1797 to 1799.

Misconduct/alleged misconduct

Lyon faced an allegation of violating Sedition Act on October 9, 1798 by accusing President John Adams of having a taste for excessive pomp, for which he was convicted and fined and served four months in prison while a member of the House. On Feb. 22, 1799, the House of Representatives failed to expel him, 49-45. In 1799, he was re-elected after conviction and while still in jail.

Feb. 22, 1799 House of Representatives failed to expel, 49-45
1799 Re-elected after conviction and while still in jail.

Lyon faced an allegation of “disorderly behavior” when, incensed that the House failed to expel Lyon for spitting tobacco juice at him in January and unsatisfied with Lyon's apology, Griswold attacked Lyon on February 15, 1798 with a cane while Lyon defended himself with a pair of fireplace tongs. On Feb. 23, 1798, the House of Representatives failed to censure either member, 47-48.

Feb. 16, 1798 Both members pledged to keep the peace.
Feb. 20, 1798 Committee on Privileges recommended against expulsion
Feb. 23, 1798 House of Representatives failed to censure either member, 47-48

Lyon faced an allegation of spitting tobacco juice at Griswold on January 30, 1798. On Feb. 2, 1798, the Committee on Privileges recommended expulsion. On Feb. 1, 1798, he sent a letter of apology. On Feb. 12, 1798, the House of Representatives failed to censure him, 44-52 and failed to expel him, 52-44.

Feb. 2, 1798 Committee on Privileges recommended expulsion
Feb. 1, 1798 Letter of apology.
Feb. 12, 1798 House of Representatives failed to censure him, 44-52 and failed to expel him, 52-44

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Jun 1797 to Mar 1811, Lyon missed 391 of 1,069 roll call votes, which is 36.6%. This is much worse than the median of 19.5% among the lifetime records of representatives serving in Mar 1811. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: