16. May 2013 · Comments Off on BROWN, John Calvin · Categories: Biographies · Tags:

JOHN CALVIN BROWN, Governor of Tennessee, 1871-1875, was born in Giles County, Tennessee, January 6, 1827. He was a brother of Governor Neill S. Brown, who was thirteen years his senior. He was one of the best educated men the State has ever produced and was a graduate of Jackson College, Columbia. In 1848 he began the practice of law. In politics he was a Whig and made a brilliant canvass of the State as elector on the Bell and Everett ticket, 1860. He opposed secession; but when the State voted to go with the Confederacy he went with her. Enlisting as a private in the Third Tennessee Infantry, he was soon elected Captain, and later advanced to Colonel, and later in the war was placed in command of a brigade. At the battle of Perryville he was shot in the thigh and on leaving the hospital reported for duty while yet on crutches. His horse was shot from under him in the battle of Missionary Ridge; and at the battle of Franklin he was shot from his horse while leading a charge. He was elected to the Legislature, 1869, and was the moving spirit in the Constitutional Convention of 1870. This same year he was elected Governor, defeating William H. Wisener; and in 1872 A. A. Freeman. Among the most important acts of his administration was the funding of the State debt, and the establishment of the present school system. Governor John C. Brown is buried at Pulaski, Tennessee, where a life size statue, sword in hand and facing the South, marks his resting place. (Tennessee, The Volunteer State, 1769-1923, Vol. 2, John Trotwood Moore and Austin P. Foster, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1923)


From Vol. 1 of this same source, pp. 749-50:


Governor John C. Brown was born January 6, 1827, at the home of his father, Duncan Brown, about fifteen miles southeast of Pulaski, Tenn. The Duncan Brown farm was located on the old state road in the Bethany neighborhood. This stage road begins at Tarpley’s Shop, branching from the Ellston Pike, which it nearly parallels. On a hill to the left of the road traveling from Pulaski stood the house, destroyed by a storm a few years ago, in which Governor John C. Brown was born.

Governor Neill S. Brown was a brother of Governor John C. Brown and was born on April 18, 1810, in a house about one-half mile nearer Pulaski.

Duncan Brown, father of both these governors, emigrated from North Carolina in 1809.

Neill Brown began his education at the age of seven, earning the money to pay for his schooling. When a young man he taught school for money to continue his studies. For two sessions he attended the Maury County Manual Labor Academy. In 1833 he began the study of law; the next year was admitted to the bar and began practice at Pulaski. In 1835 he removed to Texas but soon returned and distinguished himself in the war with the Seminole Indians. In 1837 he became a member of the State Legislature and was strongly launched in politics. He was a whig, a supporter of Hugh Lawson White against Jackson and a Presidential elector on the Clay ticket in 1844. In 1847 he became governor of Tennessee at the age of thirty-seven, the youngest governor of this state up to that time. In 1850 he was appointed U. S. Minister to Russia. In 1870 he was a member of the constitutional convention, over which his brother presided. He died in 1886.

John C. Brown was educated at Jackson College, Columbia, from which he graduated in 1846. In 1848 he began the practice of law with his brother, then governor of the state. He was a whig and made an ardent and brilliant campaign of the state in behalf of the Bell and Everett ticket in 1859. He opposed secession, but went with the state into the Confederacy. He enlisted as a private in the Third Tennessee Infantry, was soon elected captain and later colonel and brigadier general and major general. He was wounded three times. He was elected to the Legislature in 1869 and became the moving spirit of the Constitutional Convention of 1870 of which he was chairman. He was governor of Tennessee from 1871 to 1875. He died in 1889.

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