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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesIllinois

Orville Hickman BROWNING

(1806-1881)
Senate Years of Service:
1861-1863
Party:
Republican

BROWNING, Orville Hickman, a Senator from Illinois; born in Cynthiana, Harrison County, Ky., February 10, 1806; attended Augusta College; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1831; moved to Quincy, Ill., in 1831 and practiced; served in the Illinois Volunteers during the Black Hawk War 1832; member, State senate 1836-1843; unsuccessful candidate for election as a Whig in 1850 to the Thirty-second Congress and in 1852 to the Thirty-third Congress; delegate to the anti-Nebraska convention held at Bloomington, Ill., in May 1856, which laid the foundations of the Republican Party; appointed as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Stephen A. Douglas and served from June 26, 1861, to January 12, 1863, when a successor was elected; was not a candidate for election in 1863; chairman, Committee on Enrolled Bills (Thirty-seventh Congress); appointed by President Andrew Johnson as Secretary of the Interior 1866-1869, also discharging for a time the duties of Attorney General; delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1869; resumed the practice of law; died in Quincy, Adams County, Ill., August 10, 1881; interment in Woodland Cemetery.

Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; Baxter, Maurice. Orville H. Browning: Lincoln’s Friend and Critic. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1957; Browning, Orville. The Diary of Orville H. Browning, 1850-1881. Edited by T. C. Pease and J. Randall. Springfield: Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Society, 1925-1931.

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

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