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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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Joseph Emerson Brown

BROWN, Joseph Emerson, statesman, born in Pickens County, South Carolina, 15 April, 1821. When fifteen years old he removed with his father to Georgia,, and, after being educated at Calhoun academy, South Carolina, taught school at Canton, Georgia, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in August, 1845. He was graduated at Yale law-school in 1846, and began practice at Canton, Georgia, was elected to the state senate in 1849, chosen a presidential elector on the Pierce ticket in 1852, and in 1855 became judge of the superior courts of the Blue Ridge circuit. He was elected governor by the democrats in 1857, and was re-elected by increased majorities in 1859, 1861, and 1863. He was an active secessionist, seizing Forts Pulaski and Jackson, near Savannah, on 3 January, 1861, sixteen days before his state seceded, and taking possession of the United States arsenal at Augusta, five days after the passage of the ordinance. During the war he was a vigorous supporter of the confederate government, but disputed with Mr. Davis the constitutionality of the conscription measures. During Sherman's invasion he put into the field an army of 10,000 men, made up of state officers, youth, aged men, and others usually exempt from military duty, but refused to send them out of the state when requisition for them was made by the confederate government. In October, 1864, he refused General Sherman's request for a conference, denying that he had power to act without the permission of the legislature. On his release from the prison, where the national authorities at the conclusion of the war had confined him, he resigned the governorship, and, after a visit to Washington, in 1866, strongly advised his state to accept the situation and comply with the terms of reconstruction. This position made him unpopular, and for a time he acted with the republicans, supporting General Grant in 1868, and being the defeated republican candidate for United States senator in the same year. After his defeat he was appointed chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, which office he resigned in December, 1870, and temporarily left public life.

Since that time he has been president of the Western and Atlantic railroad company, and of several other large corporations, and has promoted the development of the resources of his state. Since 1872 he has acted with the democrats, and in 1880 was chosen United States senator to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of General Gordon. In 1884 he was re-elected, with but a single opposing vote, for the term ending in March, 1891. After his election in 1880 he made a speech before the assembly, justifying his course in 1866, and declaring that the re-salts of the war must be accepted as final; that the sentiments of the former slave-holding aristocracy must be rejected ; and that the Negroes must be assured absolute civil and political equality. See "Life and Times of Joseph E. Brown," by H. Fielder (Springfield, Massachusetts, 1883). BROWN, Matthew, educator, born in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1776; died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 29 July, 1853. His father, who was Scotch-Irish extraction, died when Matthew was two years old, and the boy was adopted by his uncle, William Brown, who lived near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania He was graduated at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1794, and taught a classical school in Northernber-land County, where he became acquainted with Dr. Joseph Priestley and other well-known men. He began the study of divinity in 1796, and was licensed to preach by the Carlisle presbytery on 3 October, 1799. in 1801 he was ordained pastor of the united congregations of Mifflin and Lost Creek, and in 1805 became pastor of the Presbyterian church at Washington, Pennsylvania, and principal of the academy there. When the academy was chartered as Washington College, in 1806, Mr. Brown was made its first president. He resigned in 1816, still retaining his pastorate. After refusing the presidency of Centre College, Danville, Kentucky, he accepted, in 1822, that of Jefferson College, Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania For several years he also assisted Dr. McMil-lan, the pastor at Chartiers, Pennsylvania, but, on the organization of a church at Cannonsburg, he took charge of it until failing health forced him to sever his connection with the College in 1845. From this time until his death, however, he preached frequently. Princeton gave him the degree of D.D. in 1823, and he received that of LL. D. from Hamilton in 1835, and from Jefferson in 1845. Dr. Brown published a "Memoir of O. Jennings, D. D." (1832), and "Life of Rev. John McMillan, D. D.," besides numerous addresses and sermons.

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