Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BROWNING, Orville Hickman, senator, born in Harrison County, Kentucky, in 1810; died in Quincy, Illinois, 10 August, 1881. He removed to Bracken County, Kentucky, early in life, and received a classical education at Augusta College, being at the same time employed in the county clerk's office. He afterward studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1831, and began practice in Quincy, Illinois He served in the Black Hawk war of 1832, and was a member of the state senate from 1836 till 1840, when he was elected to the lower branch of the legislature and served till 1843. At the Bloomington convention he assisted Abraham Lincoln to organize the Republican Party of Illinois. He was a delegate to the Chicago convention of 1860, which nominated Lincoln for the presidency, and was an active supporter of the government during the civil war. In 1861 Governor Yares appointed him to the United States senate, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Stephen A. Douglas, and served till 1863. On 18 July, 1861, he spoke in the senate, declaring in favor of the abolition of slavery, should the south force the issue, and on 25 February, 1862, took an active part in the debate on the confiscation bill, speaking in opposition to it. While in Washington he practiced law with Jeremiah Black and Thomas G. Ewing. Mr. Browning was an active member of the union executive committee in 1866, and in the same year was appointed secretary of the interior by President Johnson, serving till 3 March, 1869. After March, 1868, he also acted as attorney general. In 1869 he was a member of the state constitutional convention, and from that time till his death practiced his profession at Quincy, Illinois
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