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Aaron Venable Brown


In office
March 6, 1857 – March 8, 1859
Preceded by James Campbell
Succeeded by Joseph Holt

Born August 15, 1795(1795-08-15)
Brunswick County, Virginia, U.S.
Died March 8, 1859 (aged 63)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Profession Politician, Lawyer

Aaron Venable Brown (August 15, 1795 – March 8, 1859) was a Governor of Tennessee and Postmaster General in the Buchanan administration. He was also the law partner of James K. Polk.

Biography

Brown was a native of Virginia, but a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was valedictorian of the class of 1814. He later entered into the practice of law with James K. Polk. He was a member of the Tennessee State Senate from 1821 to 1827 and of the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1831 to 1835, and a member of the United States House of Representatives for three terms, 1839 to 1845. He won the Democratic nomination for governor in 1845 and was elected.

When the Mexican-American War began, largely through the actions of his old friend Polk, who was now President, Brown issued a call for 2,600 volunteers. When approximately 30,000 men answered this call, Tennessee's reputation as the Volunteer State was forever secured.

Like his friend Polk, Brown was also defeated for re-election as governor of Tennessee. He did not participate further in statewide elected politics, but was selected as a delegate to the Nashville Convention of 1850 held at Nashville's Maxwell House Hotel. This is probably the first place in Southern history where secession was ever openly and seriously discussed outside of South Carolina. Some historians credit the pressure that it instigated as helping to lead to the Compromise of 1850. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1852 where Franklin Pierce and William R. King were nominated. In 1854 he delivered an address to the University of North Carolina's literary societies. In 1854 a volume of his speeches was published in Nashville, Speeches, Congressional and Political, and Other Writings, of ex-Governor Aaron Venable Brown[1]. Brown was subsequently rewarded for his service as a loyal Democrat by being appointed Postmaster General and was still holding this office at the time of his death. He is buried in Nashville's Mt. Olivet Cemetery. His speeches were published in Nashville (1854). [2]

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
James C. Jones
Governor of Tennessee
1845 – 1847
Succeeded by
Neill S. Brown
Preceded by
James Campbell
United States Postmaster General
March 6, 1857 – March 8, 1859
Succeeded by
Joseph Holt
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ebenezer J. Shields
Member from Tennessee's 10th congressional district
March 4, 1839 – March 3, 1843
Succeeded by
John B. Ashe
Preceded by
William B. Campbell
Member from Tennessee's 6th congressional district
March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1845
Succeeded by
Barclay Martin
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