BROWNLOW, William Gannaway, (1805 - 1877)

Senate Years of Service: 1869-1875
Party: Republican

Library of Congress

BROWNLOW, William Gannaway, (uncle of Walter Preston Brownlow), a Senator from Tennessee; born near Wytheville, Wythe County, Va., August 29, 1805; attended the common schools; entered the Methodist ministry in 1826; moved to Elizabethton, Tenn., in 1828 and continued his ministerial duties; published and edited a newspaper called the Whig at Elizabethton in 1839; moved the paper to Jonesboro, Tenn., in 1840 and to Knoxville, Tenn., in 1849, and from his caustic and trenchant editorials became widely known as ‘the fighting parson’; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1842 to Congress; appointed by President Millard Fillmore in 1850 a member of the Tennessee River Commission for the Improvement of Navigation; delegate to the constitutional convention which reorganized the State government of Tennessee in 1864; elected Governor in 1865 and again in 1867; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1869, to March 3, 1875; was not a candidate for reelection; chairman, Committee on Revolutionary Claims (Forty-third Congress); returned to journalism in Knoxville, Tenn., until his death there on April 29, 1877; interment in the Old Grey Cemetery.


Bibliography

Dictionary of American Biography; Ash, Stephen V., ed. Secessionists and Other Scoundrels: Selections from Parson Brownlow’s Book. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1999; Coulter, E. Merton. William G. Brownlow: Fighting Parson of the Southern Highlands. 1937. Reprint. Knoxville: University of Tennessee