Brown, John, 1757-1837

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John Brown (September 12, 1757 – August 29, 1837) was an American lawyer and statesman who participated in the development and formation of the State of Kentucky after the American Revolutionary War. Brown represented Virginia in the Continental Congress from 1787 to 1788 and the U.S. House of Representatives from 1789 to 1792. While in Congress, he introduced the bill granting Statehood to Kentucky. Once that was accomplished, he was elected by the new state legislature as a U.S. Senator for Kentucky. From 1803 to 1804, Brown served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate.

Born in Augusta County in the Colony of Virginia, he was educated at his father's Liberty Hall Academy (now Washington and Lee University), and then at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). His studies at Princeton were halted, temporarily, as a result of the approach of English troops during the American Revolutionary War. In 1778, Brown enrolled at The College of William & Mary where he studied law. In the fall of 1780, his studies were again interrupted by the War and the arrival of the British forces to the city. Brown continued to read the law while working in the office of Thomas Jefferson near Charlottesville, Virginia. Brown became politically active after being admitted to the bar. He was elected to the Virginia state Senate where he served from 1783 to 1788. The Virginia legislature sent him as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1787 and 1788. When the U.S. Constitution became effective, Brown was twice elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1789 to 1792.

As a Congressman representing Virginia, Brown introduced the petition for Kentucky Statehood. When Kentucky became a state in 1792, he resigned from the House on June 1, 1792. On June 18, the Kentucky legislature elected him to the United States Senate (as was the practice then) for a term ending in 1793. He was re-elected twice and served until 1805. He was President pro tem during the Eighth Congress. During Brown's Senate service, he moved to Frankfort, Kentucky, the capital of the state. In 1805, Brown was defeated for re-election to the Senate and retired to his home, Liberty Hall. He died in Lexington, Kentucky and was brought to Frankfort for burial. In 1847, he was re-interred in the Frankfort Cemetery.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Brown, John, 1757-1837. John Brown papers : surveys, court papers, and tax lists, 1786-1836. Kentucky Historical Society, Martin F. Schmidt Research Library
referencedIn Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866. Jared Sparks collection of American manuscripts, 1582-1843 Houghton Library
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part I: The Revolution and the Administration, 1669-1958. Houghton Library
referencedIn Stewart, J. Adger (Joseph Adger), Collector, 1877-1954. Collection, 1555-1976. The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Innes, Harry, 1752-1816. Harry Innes papers, 1775-1815. University of Kentucky Libraries
creatorOf Brown, John, 1757-1837. Colonel John Brown and Major General Preston Brown papers, 1763-1865 (inclusive), 1783-1841 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn Patterson, Robert, 1753-1827. Draper manuscripts: Robert Patterson papers, 1758-1855. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Brown, John, 1757-1837. John Brown : papers, 1788-1805. The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Hinde, Thomas S. (Thomas Spottswood), 1785-1846. Draper manuscripts: Thomas Spottswood Hinde papers, 1807-1845. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Innes, Harry, 1752-1816. Harry Innes collection, 1772-1890 (bulk 1772-1807). Kentucky Historical Society, Martin F. Schmidt Research Library
creatorOf Brown, John, 1757-1837. Letter, 26 November 1827. The Filson Historical Society
creatorOf Innes, Harry, 1752-1816. Papers, 1784-1808. Newberry Library
referencedIn Brown, Orlando, 1801-1867. Orlando Brown : papers, 1780-1898. The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Shelby, Isaac, 1750-1826. Isaac Shelby : papers, 1760-1839. The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Brown family. Brown family : papers, 1799-1846. The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Harry Innes Papers, 1754-1900, (bulk 1780-1850) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Quarles, Tunstal. Tunstal Quarles promissory note, 1802 Dec. 13. Kentucky Historical Society, Martin F. Schmidt Research Library
referencedIn Stuart, Archibald, 1757-1832. Papers : of Archibald Stuart, 1786-1822. Virginia Historical Society Library
referencedIn Wendell family papers Houghton Library
referencedIn Breckinridge, James, 1763-1833. Papers of James Breckinridge, 1780-1909. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn United States. Constitutional Convention (1787). United States Constitutional Convention microfilm collection, 1787-1791 (inclusive), [microform]. Yale University Library
referencedIn Kentucky Board of War. Letter : Danville, [Ky.], to the commanding officer of Mason County, [Ky.], 1791 July 5. Newberry Library
referencedIn James Brown Papers, 1765-1867, (bulk 1800-1810) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Preston, William, 1729-1783. Draper manuscripts: William Preston papers, 1731-1791. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Innes, Harry, 1752-1816. Harry Innes letter : 1787. Kentucky Historical Society, Martin F. Schmidt Research Library
referencedIn Tardiveau, Barthelemi, d. 1801. Letters, 1788-1789. The Filson Historical Society
referencedIn Shelby Family Papers, 1738-1916, (bulk 1757-1829) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
relativeOf Breckinridge, James, 1763-1833 person
relativeOf Breckinridge, James, 1763-1833. person
grandparentOf Brown, B. Gratz (Benjamin Gratz), 1826-1885 person
associatedWith Brown family. family
sibling of Brown, James, 1766-1835. person
childOf Brown, John, 1728-1803. person
spouseOf Brown, Margaretta Mason, 1772-1838. person
parentOf Brown, Mason, 1799-1867. person
parentOf Brown, Orlando, 1801-1867. person
associatedWith Brown, Preston, 1872-1948. person
sibling of Brown, Preston W., 1775-1826. person
sibling of Brown, Samuel, 1769-1830. person
associatedWith Clay, Henry, 1777-1852. person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf College of William and Mary. corporateBody
associatedWith Dayton, Jonathan, 1760-1824. person
associatedWith Dearborn, Frederick M. (Frederick Myers), b. 1876 person
associatedWith Garrard, James. 1749-1822. person
associatedWith Hamilton, Alexander, 1757-1804. person
associatedWith Hillsborough Academy (Hillsborough, Ohio) corporateBody
associatedWith Hinde, Thomas S. (Thomas Spottswood), 1785-1846. person
correspondedWith Innes, Harry, 1752-1816. person
associatedWith Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826. person
correspondedWith Kentucky Board of War. corporateBody
associatedWith Kentucky. General Assembly. corporateBody
associatedWith Logan, Benjamin, 1743-1802. person
associatedWith Madison, James, 1751-1836. person
associatedWith Marshall, Humphrey, 1760-1841. person
sibling-in-law of Mason, John Mitchell, 1770-1829. person
associatedWith Meredith, Samuel, 1741-1817. person
associatedWith Monroe, James, 1758-1831. person
associatedWith Patterson, Robert, 1753-1827. person
relativeOf Preston, Francis, 1765-1835 person
associatedWith Preston, Francis, 1765-1836. person
associatedWith Preston, William, 1729-1783. person
almaMaterOf Princeton University corporateBody
associatedWith Quarles, Tunstal. person
associatedWith Randolph, John, 1773-1833. person
correspondedWith Shelby family family
associatedWith Shelby, Isaac, 1750-1826. person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
associatedWith Stewart, J. Adger (Joseph Adger), Collector, 1877-1954. person
associatedWith Stuart, Archibald, 1757-1832. person
associatedWith Tardiveau, Barthelemi, d. 1801. person
memberOf United States. Congress. House corporateBody
memberOf United States. Congress. Senate corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Constitutional Convention (1787) corporateBody
memberOf United States. Continental Congress corporateBody
almaMaterOf Washington & Lee University corporateBody
correspondedWith Wendell family. family
associatedWith Wilkinson, James, 1757-1825. person
associatedWith Yale University corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Augusta County VA US
Williamsburg VA US
Lexington KY US
Princeton NJ US
Actions and defenses
Armed Forces
Constitutional history
Land use
Land use
Land value taxation
Women poets
Delegates, U.S. Continental Congress
Representatives, U.S. Congress
Senators, U.S. Congress


Birth 1757-09-12

Death 1837-08-29







Ark ID: w6136jtt

SNAC ID: 87426069