Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BROWN, John Porter, oriental scholar, born in Chillicothe, Ohio, 17 August, 1814; died in Constantinople, Turkey, 28 April, 1872. After serving for some years in the navy as a midshipman, in 1832 he accompanied his uncle, David Porter, to Constantinople, where the latter has been sent as first American minister to the porte, He applied himself at once to the study of the oriental languages and literature, and with such success that for many years he was regarded as one of the most accomplished orientalists in Turkey. In 1833 he was appointed assistant dragoman, and three years later was promoted to be first dragoman. From 1858 till his death he was secretary of legations. During his forty years of service he represented the United States nine times as charge d'affaires. He was acting in that capacity when the Hungarian patriot, Martin Koszta, after giving notice of his intended citizenship to the American consul, was seized by the Austrian authorities at Smyrna and sent on board of one of their frigates. Koszta appealed to the American legation for protection, and Mr. Brown's simple instructions to Capt. In-graham, of the United States corvette "Dale," were, "Take him." On receipt of this order the Austrian captain was given three hours to deliver up the prisoner, and meanwhile the American vessel prepared for action. Half an hour before the time expired Koszta was handed over to the French consul, who delivered him to Capt. Ingraham. The day following, two Austrian line-of-battle ships entered the bay; but the American corvette had sailed. For his conduct on this occasion Mr. Brown received a service of plate from his American admirers. He was a frequent contributor to American newspapers and magazines, and wrote "Dervishes, or Oriental Spiritualism" (Philadelphia, 1868), and also translated Ahmed Ben Hemden's "Turkish Evening Entertainments" (New York, 1850), and Constantine's "Ancient and Modern Constantinople " (1868).
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