Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BROWN, Francis, president of Dartmouth College, born in Chester, New Hampshire, 11 January, 1784; died 27 July, 1820. In 1805 he was graduated at Dartmouth, and from 1806 till 1809 held a tutorship there. He became pastor of the Congregational church in North Yarmouth, Maine, in January, 1810, and married the daughter of Tristram Gilman, his predecessor in the pastorate, in 1815 Dr. Wheelock was removed from the presidency of Dartmouth by the board of trustees, and Mr. Brown was elected to the place. This action was the result of a local religious controversy of long standing, and provoked great indignation throughout the state. The legislature passed an act amending the charter of the College, changing it to a University, and increasing the number of trustees. By the new board, Dr. Wheelock was reinstated; but Dr. Brown and the former trustees began a suit for the recovery of the property. This was decided against them by the state courts, but was carried up to the United States Supreme Court, where judgment was reversed, and the principle of the inviolability of chartered property was affirmed, Chief-Justice Marshall presiding. Dr. Brown rendered valuable assistance to the counsel for the College, of whom Daniel Webster was one. This decision was reached in 1819, and Dr. Brown was reinstated in the presidency, but died of consumption shortly afterward. Several of his sermons were published, two of which, bearing date of 1812 and 1814, are on the evils of war, and had for their motive the then existing war with England--His son, Samuel Gilman, educator, born in North Yarmouth, Maine, 4 January, 1813; died in Utica, New York, 4 November, 1885. He was graduated at Dartmouth in 1831, was for a while principal of the high school in Ellington, Connecticut, and then entered Andover theological seminary, where he was graduated in 1837. He was two years principal of Abbot academy at Andover (1835-'7), after which he spent two years in travel abroad. On his return he was appointed professor of oratory and belles-lettres in Dartmouth, which chair he held till 1863, when he was appointed to that of intellectual philosophy and political economy. On 6 October, 1852, he was ordained a Congregational minister at Woodstock, Vermont He left Dartmouth in 1867 to become president of Hamilton College, Clinton, New York His health becoming impaired, he resigned in 1881, after which he only gave occasional instruction at Dartmouth and Bowdoin, residing chiefly at Utica, New York. He published " Life of Rufus Choate" (Boston, 1870), and lectured on "The Earlier English Literature" and "British Orators." On 21 July, 1869, he delivered before the alumni of Dartmouth College the historical discourse commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the institution.
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