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BROWN, John, (cousin of James Breckinridge, cousin of Francis Preston, brother of James Brown, cousin of John Breckinridge), A Delegate and a Representative from Virginia and a Senator from Kentucky; born in Staunton, Va., September 12, 1757; attended Washington College (now Washington and Lee University), Lexington, Va., and Princeton College; served in the Revolutionary War; completed his studies at William and Mary College, Williamsburg, Va.; taught school for several years; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1782 and commenced practice in Frankfort, Ky.; member, Virginia senate from the district of Kentucky 1784-1788; Delegate from the Kentucky district of Virginia to the Continental Congress in 1787 and 1788; elected from Virginia to the First and Second Congresses and served from March 4, 1789, to June 1, 1792, when that portion of Virginia which is now Kentucky was admitted as a State into the Union; elected as Anti-Administration (later Democratic Republican) on June 18, 1792, to the United States Senate from Kentucky for the term ending March 3, 1793; reelected on December 11, 1792, and again in 1799, and served from June 18, 1792, to March 3, 1805; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Eighth Congress; resumed the practice of law; died in Frankfort, Ky., August 29, 1837; interment in Frankfort Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Filson Club Historical Society

Louisville, KY
Papers: Ca. 1780-1865. Ca. 1 foot. Personal, business, and congressional papers and correspondence and a photograph of a portrait.
Additional Papers: 5 letters and references (1788-1805) in the Orlando Brown papers, 1780-1898; Brown family papers, 1799-1846; and miscellaneous items in Isaac Shelby papers; Preston family papers; and others. Finding aid.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1 item (1789) in the Caryl Roberts collection of Irvine papers.

Kentucky Historical Society

Frankfort, KY
Papers: 1786-1826. 8 items. Also a portrait.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 9 letters (1789-1791) in the Harry Innes papers; and in James Brown papers.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: August 7, 1789; April 17, 1800; July 26, 1829. 3 letters.

New York Public Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1 item (1789) in the Thomas Addis Emmet collection.

Rhode Island Historical Society

Providence, RI
Papers: 1790. 1 item.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin

Madison, WI
Papers: 3 letters (1789-1790) in the Draper papers; and 1 item (1791) in the Patterson papers.

University of Kentucky Libraries
Special Collections and Archives

Lexington, KY
Papers: 10 items (1788-1831) in various collections.

Virginia Historical Society

Richmond, VA
Papers: Miscellaneous items. Finding aid.

Virginia State Library and Archives

Richmond, VA
Papers: 1 item (1790) in the Executive Papers.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives

New Haven, CT
Papers: 11 letters in the Colonel John Brown and Major General Preston Brown papers, 1783-1841. Discuss the Constitution, the Missouri Compromise and the episode in Kentucky history known as the "Spanish Conspiracy."
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Bentley, James R., ed. "Letter of Rev. John Brown to John Brown, Jr., 10 June 1786." Filson Club History Quarterly 45 (January 1971): 72-76.

Dupre, Huntley, ed. "Three Letters of George Nicholas to John Brown." Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society 41 (January 1943): 1-10.

Padgett, James A., ed. "The Letters of Honorable John Brown to the Presidents of the United States." Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society 35 (January 1937): 1-28.

Sprague, Stuart Seely. "Jefferson, Kentucky and the Closing of the Port of New Orleans, 1802-1803." Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 70 (October 1972): 312-17.

___. "Senator John Brown of Kentucky, 1757-1837: A Political Biography." Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1972.

Walker, Steven. Kentucky's First Senator: The Life and Times of John Brown, 1757-1837. Louisville: Butler Books, 2022.

Warren, Elizabeth. "John Brown and His Influence on Kentucky Politics, 1784-1805." Ph.D. dissertation, Northwestern University, 1938.

Watlington, Patricia. "John Brown and the Spanish Conspiracy." Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 75 (January 1967): 52-68.

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