John Brown (Kentucky)

John Brown ( born September 12, 1757 Staunton, Virginia; † August 29, 1837 in Lexington, Kentucky ) was an American politician who represented the state of Virginia in the Continental Congress and served as one of the first two U.S. Senators from Kentucky.


John Brown, son of an immigrant from Ireland Presbyterian minister, received a good education, but this was temporarily interrupted by military service during the Revolutionary War. He first visited the Augusta Academy in Lexington (now Washington and Lee University ), then the College of New Jersey, which later became Princeton University.

In 1778, his term ended in college, as this due to the war stopped his teaching. In the spring of 1780, he enrolled at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, but he had to leave again already in the autumn after the British invasion of Virginia. After another short service period in the Army, he graduated from the end in the law firm of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville. He was admitted to the bar and began to practice as a lawyer in Danville.


His first political office took over John Brown in 1783 as a member of the Senate of Virginia, where he remained until 1788. The legislature of his state appointed him in 1787 also as a delegate in the Continental Congress, where he remained until 1788. After the entry into force of the Constitution, he was elected for Virginia in the House of Representatives of the first and second Congress.

In Congress, Brown brought a draft law that made the until then to Virginia belonging to a Kentucky State. When the law went into effect, he laid down his mandate on 1 June 1792 to 17 days later to compete with John Edwards the office as the first United States Senator for Kentucky. He was re-elected twice and had until October 1803 held the office of President pro tempore of December 1802. During his time in the Senate he joined the newly formed Democratic- Republican Party.

Further CV

After his time as a politician John Brown was working as a lawyer in Frankfort again. He held office briefly as Sheriff of Franklin County and stood before the committee that oversaw the construction of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort. In 1836 he was chairman at the founding meeting of the Historical Society of Kentucky.

John Brown, whose cousin John Breckinridge was also Senator for Kentucky and U.S. Treasury, died in 1837 in Lexington. The house in which he spent his last years, was later under the name of Liberty Hall to a National Historic Landmark and is now home to a museum.