Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BROWN, Aaron Venable, statesman, born in Brunswick County, Virginia, 15 August, 1795; died in Washington, District of Columbia, 8 March, 1859. He was graduated at Chapel Hill University (North Carolina) in 1814, removed with his parents to Tennessee in 1815, studied law, and when adtmitted to practice became the partner of James K. Polk. From 1821 till 1832 he was almost continuously a member of the state legislature. He was elected to congress in 1839, and reelected in 1841 and 1843. On retiring from congress, in 1845, he was chosen governor of Tennessee, serving until 1847. He was a, delegate to the southern convention at Nashville in 1850, and is the author of "The Tennessee Platform," brought forward at that time, a document that aroused much comment. In 1852 he was a delegate to the democratic convention in Baltimore, and reported the platform that was adopted. The last office held by Mr. Brown was that of postmaster-general in President Buchanan's cabinet. Among the measures adopted during his administration of this office was the establishment of a new and shorter oceanic mail-route to California by way of Tehuantepee, and of the transcontinental mail-routes from St. Louis westward, prior to the construction of the railroads. He was for twenty years one of the most trusted leaders of the Democratic Party. A volume of his speeches was published in Nashville in 1854.
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