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John Brown Passes Away

Today in Masonic History John Brown passes away in 1837.

John Brown was an American politician.

Brown was born on September 12th, 1757 in Augusta County, Virginia. His father was a Presbyterian minister and schoolmaster and Brown received his early education at his father's school, Liberty Hall Academy. He went on to the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University. His education was interrupted by the arrival of British troops in Princeton, New Jersey.

It is unclear how or if Brown served during the American Revolution. The history of the Brown family, as provided by the family, indicates he served under George Washington and under the Marquis de Lafayette in the Continental Army. There is no documentation to substantiate their claim.

In 1778, Brown enrolled in The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he studied law until the fall of 1780. In 1780, his studies were once again interrupted by the Revolution due to the arrival of British troops in Williamsburg. He continued his study of law, by reading law in the offices of Thomas Jefferson near Charlottesville, Virginia.

In 1783, Brown entered politics. He was elected to the Virginia State Senate. He served until 1788. In 1787, the Virginia Legislature sent him to the Continental Congress as a delegate. After the United States Constitution was ratified, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. He served from 1789 to 1792. While in Congress, Brown put forth the petition for Kentucky to become a state. In 1792, Kentucky joined the United States. Brown resigned as the Representative from Virginia to immediately be placed back in Congress by the Kentucky Legislature as a United States Senator. His initial term was only one year from 1792 to 1793. He was reelected to two additional terms. Between 1803 and 1805 he served as President Pro Tempore of the Senate. In 1805 he left the Senate when he was defeated for reelection.

Before leaving the Senate Brown moved to Frankfort, Kentucky. There he established his home Liberty Hall. He remained active in local political affairs. In Frankfort he helped establish the Frankfort Water Company. He was also director of the first Bank of Kentucky. In 1829 he was elected Sheriff of Franklin County, Kentucky.

On August 29th, 1837, Brown passed away in Lexington, Kentucky. He was returned to Frankfort for burial.

Brown was a member of Lexington Lodge No. 1 in Lexington, Kentucky.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.