Brackenridge, H.M. (Henry Marie), 1786-1871

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Henry Marie Brackenridge was an American author, politician, traveler, and judge. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, son of jurist and author Hugh Henry Brackenridge, he worked as a lawyer and journalist in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Louisiana, where he became a district judge, and Florida. Returning to Pennsylvania in 1832, he founded the town of Tarentum, and served in the State House of Representatives. He served on several commissions, and published numerous books, mostly history, polemics, and travel writings, including his seminal work, Views of Louisiana, published in 1814.

From the description of H.M. Brackenridge letter to Carey & Hart, 1846 Jan. 26. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 62736212

Henry Marie Brackenridge was born on May 11, 1786, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Brackenridge's varied career as a lawyer, judge and diplomat would take him to locations throughout the Western Hemisphere and led to contacts with many notable politicians of his day. Henry Marie's travels began early when his father, writer and judge, Hugh Henry Brackenridge, sent him to Louisiana to receive a French education. Taking after his father, Henry Marie pursued an education in law, eventually returning to his hometown to attend the Pittsburgh Academy. After gaining admittance to the bar in 1806, Brackenridge worked as a lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland, Somerset, Pennsylvania, and St. Louis, Missouri. Brackenridge returned to Louisiana in 1811 as district attorney general for the Orleans Territory. When Louisiana entered the Union the following year, he helped shape the new state's legal code. During the War of 1812, Brackenridge provided intelligence to the Madison administration concerning developments in Louisiana. He later wrote a book on the subject, History of the Late War, between the United States and Great Britain, published in 1816. In 1817, President James Monroe selected Brackenridge to participate in a fact-finding mission to South America, in order to report on the rebellious Spanish colonies. The Monroe administration hoped the mission would help decide the matter of whether or not to officially recognize any independent governments that should form after these conflicts. Brackenridge's resulting publication on the trip, Voyage of South America, Performed by Order of the American Government in the Years 1817 and 1818, expressed views largely in favor of the colonies establishing their independence. The work found an ardent supporter in Speaker of the House Henry Clay and explored ideas that are thought to have influenced what would later become known as the Monroe Doctrine. Upon returning to the United States, Brackenridge was elected to the Maryland State Legislature. Along with another representative, he introduced a bill that would grant Jews the right to vote. The proposed legislation proved unpopular but revealed Brackenridge's belief in the importance of the separation between church and state. A chance meeting with Andrew Jackson in 1821 led to Brackenridge's employment as the general's Spanish translator and secretary for a mission to the Florida territories. Through Jackson's influence, Brackenridge was appointed judge of West Florida. He presided over the region during its transition from a Spanish holding to a United States territory. In 1827, Brackenridge married Caroline Marie, a family friend whom he had known since childhood. The difficulties of frontier life and the potential for outbreaks of yellow fever kept the couple apart, with Caroline remaining in Pennsylvania while Brackenridge continued his tenure in Florida. Following his dismissal as judge of West Florida in 1832, Brackenridge wrote a series of public letters criticizing the Jackson administration. Jackson responded, and the dispute continued in various newspaper editorials. Brackenridge argued that Jackson had replaced him with a political ally of the administration and accused the president of radically expanding the powers of the executive branch. Brackenridge returned to Pennsylvania and settled into his wife's land near Pittsburgh, where the family established the towns of Natrona and Tarentum. In 1840, he was elected as a Whig to the United States Congress, replacing Richard Biddle. His attempt at re-nomination failed, but he was later elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Brackenridge continued to write and express his views until his death in 1871.

From the description of Papers of Henry Marie Brackenridge and family, 1816-1889. (University of Pittsburgh). WorldCat record id: 31452629

From the description of Papers of Henry Marie Brackenridge and family, 1816-1889 [electronic resource]. (University of Pittsburgh). WorldCat record id: 671399957

American lawyer and author.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Tarentum, Pennsylvania, to William Makepeace Thackeray, 1853 Feb. 10. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270875785

Lawyer, author, local officeholder, and diplomat.

In 1821 Henry Marie Brackenridge moved to Florida where he served under then governor Andrew Jackson as secretary and later was appointed judge. In 1828 Brackenridge was appointed superintendent of the U.S. navy's live oak plantation at Deer Point on the Santa Rosa Peninsula near Pensacola, and was authorized to employ an overseer and laborers. Although a successful and economical operation, the project was a victim of politically inspired controversy. Brackenridge left Florida in 1832.

From the description of Letter : Cincinnati, [Ohio], to Richard Smith, Washington City, 1831 Apr. 30. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 36374250

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845. Letters, 1814-1823. University of Florida
creatorOf Brackenridge family. Brackenridge family papers 1796-1963. Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, Heinz History Center Detre Library and Archives
creatorOf Brackenridge, Henry Marie, 1786-1871. Autograph letter signed : Tarentum, Pennsylvania, to William Makepeace Thackeray, 1853 Feb. 10. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. Thomas Jefferson note to Henry Marie Brackenridge [manuscript], 1814 Mar.16. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Brackenridge, Henry Marie, Papers, 1821-1832 University of West Florida Libraries
referencedIn John Vaughan papers, 1768 - Circa 1936, 1768 - Circa 1936 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Darlington family. Darlington family papers, 1753-1921. University of Pittsburgh
referencedIn Pensacola Letters, 1825-1852 University of West Florida Libraries
referencedIn Darlington family. Darlington family papers, 1753-1921 [electronic resource]. University of Pittsburgh
creatorOf Brackenridge, H. M. (Henry Marie), 1786-1871. H.M. Brackenridge letter to Carey & Hart, 1846 Jan. 26. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
creatorOf Brackenridge, Henry Marie, Papers, 1821-1832 University of West Florida Libraries
creatorOf Brackenridge, H. M. (Henry Marie), 1786-1871. Papers of Henry Marie Brackenridge and family, 1816-1889 [electronic resource]. University of Pittsburgh
creatorOf Brackenridge, H. M. (Henry Marie), 1786-1871. Papers of Henry Marie Brackenridge and family, 1816-1889. University of Pittsburgh
referencedIn Freneau, Philip Morin, 1752-1832. Philip Morin Freneau collection, 1770-1802. Princeton University Library
creatorOf Brackenridge, H. M. (Henry Marie), 1786-1871. Letter : Cincinnati, [Ohio], to Richard Smith, Washington City, 1831 Apr. 30. Newberry Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Bank of the United States (1816-1836) corporateBody
associatedWith Brackenridge, Benjamin Morgan. person
associatedWith Brackenridge, Caroline Marie. person
associatedWith Brackenridge, Cornelia. person
associatedWith Brackenridge family. family
associatedWith Brackenridge family. family
associatedWith Brackenridge family. family
associatedWith Brackenridge, H. H. (Hugh Henry), 1748-1816. person
correspondedWith Brackenridge, H. M., (Henry Marie), 1786-1871 person
associatedWith Callava, Jose. person
associatedWith Carey & Hart, corporateBody
associatedWith Darlington family. family
associatedWith Darlington family. family
associatedWith Edward E. Ayer Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library) corporateBody
associatedWith Freneau, Philip Morin, 1752-1832. person
associatedWith Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845. person
associatedWith Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. person
associatedWith Newberry Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Ray, Gordon Norton, 1915- person
correspondedWith Rodney, C. A., (Caesar Augustus), 1772-1824 person
correspondedWith Smith, Richard person
associatedWith Thackeray, William Makepeace, 1811-1863, person
associatedWith United States. Navy Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Pittsburgh. University Library System. Digital Research Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Vaughan, John, 1756-1841 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Louisiana
Maryland
Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
Florida
Pittsburgh (Pa.)
Natrona (Pa.)
Pennsylvania
Tarentum (Pa.)
Florida
Florida--Santa Rosa County
Maryland
Pensacola (Fla.)
South America
Pennsylvania
Florida
Pennsylvania--Pittsburgh
South America
Pensacola (Fla.)
Louisiana
United States
Pittsburgh (Pa.)
Pensacola (Fla.)
Tarentum (Pa.)
Brackenridge (Pa.)
Brackenridge (Pa.)
Santa Rosa County (Fla.)
Natrona (Pa.)
Ohio--Cincinnati
Subject
Lawyers
Missouri compromise
Alaqua (Fla.)
Male authors, American--19th century--Correspondence
Naval Live Oak Reservation (Fla.)
Manuscripts, American
Diplomats
Tree farms--History--19th century--Sources
Live oak--History--19th century--Sources
Judges
Occupation
Judges--Florida--1821-1865
Function

Person

Birth 1786

Death 1871

Information

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