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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Hugh Henry Brackenridge

BRACKENRIDGE, Hugh Henry, jurist, born neat" Campbelton, Scotland, in 1748; died in Catlisle, Pennsylvania, 25 June, 1816. When five years old he accompanied his father, a poor farmer, to this country, and settled in York County, Pennsylvania, near the Maryland border. He supported himself by farming and teaching while preparing for College, and was graduated at Princeton in 1771, in the same class with James Madison. In conjunction with Philip Freneau, he wrote a poetical dialogue entitled "The Rising Glory of America," which formed part of the graduating exercises, and was afterward published (1772). After graduation he was for some time a tutor at Princeton, and then taught school in Maryland for several years. During this time he wrote for his pupils a drama called "Bunker Hill" (Philadelphia, 1776). In 1776 Brackenridge went to Philadelphia and became editor of the "United States Magazine." Some strictures on General Charles Lee, published in this magazine, so enraged that officer that he called at Brackenridge's office for the purpose of horsewhipping him, but the editor prudently refused to appear. Brackenridge had stuD. Divinity, and was for some time chaplain in the revolutionary army. Six of his political sermons, delivered in camp, were afterward published. He was never regularly ordained, however, and his tastes lay in a different direction. After studying law at Annapolis, Maryland, he was admitted to the bar, removed in 1781 to Pittsburgh, then a small frontier town, and soon became prominent in his profession. In 1786 he was sent to the legislature to secure the establishment of Allegheny County In 1794 he was prominent in the " Whiskey Insurrection" but used his influence in bringing about a settlement between the government and the malcontents. He vindicated his course in "Incidents of the Insurrection in Western Pennsylvania" (Philadelphia, 1795). After the democratic victory in 1799 the new governor of Pennsylvania, Mr. Kean, appointed Brackenridge to the supreme bench of the state, where he remained until his death. Besides works already mentioned, he wrote a "Eulogium of the Brave who fell in the Contest with Great Britain," an oration, delivered at Philadelphia. 4 July, 1778; another oration, delivered 4 July, 1793 ; "Gazette Publications Collected" (1806); "Law Miscellanies" (1814); and "Modern Chivalry, or the Adventures of Capt. Farrago and Teague O'Regan, his Servant." The last named, a political satire, is his best work, the materials of the story being drawn from the author's own experience. The first part was published in Pittsburgh in 1796 and republished in Philadelphia in 1846, with illustrations by Darley. The second portion appeared in 1806, and both were issued together in 1819. Brackenridge wrote also many miscellaneous essays and poems.--His son, Henry Marie, author, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 11 May, 1786; died there, 18 January, 1871. When seven years old he was sent to a school at St. Genevieve, in upper Louisiana, to learn French, and remained there three years, after which his father took personal charge of his education. He began the study of law at the age of fifteen, and was admitted to the bar in 1806. After a year or two more of special study with his father, he began practice in Baltimore, Maryland, but soon removed to Somerset, where in the intervals of business he read history and studied Italian and German. He revisited Louisiana in 1810, and, after practicing law a short time, went to St. Louis. Here he began to collect materials for a work on Louisiana (Pittsburgh, 1812), and also began the study of Spanish. In 1811 he descended the River in a "keel-boat" to New Orleans, and in a month or two was appointed deputy attorney general for the territory of Orleans, as it was then called. He became district judge in 1812, though only twenty-three years old, and gave his attention for several years to the study of Spanish law. During the war of 1812 he gave important information to the government, and afterward published a popular history of the war, which was translated into French and Italian. This was undertaken at the instance of a bookseller in Baltimore, where Judge Brackenridge took up his residence in 1814. He joined with Henry Clay in urging the acknowledgment of the South American republics, and wrote much on the subject, his principal publication being a pamphlet of 100 pages, addressed to President Monroe, and signed "An American." This was republished in England and France, and, as it was supposed to represent the views of the American government, was answered by the Spanish minister, the duke of San Carlos. About the same time Judge Bracken-ridge published, in "Walsh's Register," an elaborate paper on the Louisiana boundary question. In 1817 he was appointed secretary of the commission sent to the South American republics, and after his return published a "Voyage to South America" (2 vols., Baltimore, 1818; London, 1820), which was highly praised by Humboldt. In 1821 he went to Florida, which had just come into the possession of the American government, and, by his knowledge of French and Spanish, rendered valuable service to General Jackson. In May of that year he was appointed United States judge for the western district of Florida, and held this office till 1832, when he removed to Pittsburgh. He was elected to congress in 1840, but did not take his seat, and in 1841 was named a commissioner under the treaty with Mexico. After this he remained in private life, devoting himself to literature. Besides works already mentioned, he published "Recollections of Persons and Places in the West" (Philadelphia, 1834; 2d ed., enlarged, 1868); "Essay on Trusts and Trustees" (Washington, 1S42); and "History of the Western Insurrection" (1859), a vindication of his father's course at that time. He also wrote numerous pamphlets and articles in journals, including a "Eulogy on Adams and Jefferson," delivered at Pensacola, Florida, in August, 1820, and a series of letters in favor of the Mexican war (1847).

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