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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesMissouri

Benjamin Gratz BROWN

(1826-1885)
Senate Years of Service:
1863-1865; 1865-1867
Party:
Unconditional Unionist; Republican

BROWN, Benjamin Gratz, (grandson of John Brown of Virginia and Kentucky [1757-1837], grandson of Jesse Bledsoe of Kentucky), a Senator from Missouri; born in Lexington, Ky., May 28, 1826; completed preparatory studies; graduated from Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky., in 1845 and from Yale College in 1847; studied law in Louisville, Ky.; admitted to the bar in 1849 and commenced practice in St. Louis, Mo.; member, State house of representatives 1852-1858; one of the founders of the Missouri Democrat and its chief editor in 1854; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1857 as Governor of Missouri; took an active part in preventing the secession of Missouri in 1861; during the Civil War enlisted in the Union Army; raised a regiment and commanded it; elected as an Unconditional Unionist to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the expulsion of Waldo P. Johnson and served from November 13, 1863, to March 3, 1867; chairman, Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds (Thirty-ninth Congress), Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expense (Thirty-ninth Congress); Governor of Missouri 1871; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States on the ticket with Horace Greeley in 1872; resumed the practice of law; died in Kirkwood, near St. Louis, Mo., December 13, 1885; interment in Oak Hill Cemetery, Kirkwood, Mo.

Bibliography

American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Peterson, Norma L. Freedom and Franchise: The Political Career of B. Gratz Brown. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1968.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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