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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Jesse B. Browne

JESSE B. BROWNE, one of the earliest lawmakers of Iowa, was born in Christian County, Kentucky, early in the Nineteenth Century. He removed to Illinois when a young man and commanded a company of Rangers in the Black Hawk War. In August 1833, he was appointed captain in the First Dragoons in the regular army and was stationed at a military post at Montrose in the “Black Hawk Purchase.” In 1837 Captain Browne resigned his commission and settled at Fort Madison. When the Territory of Iowa was established in 1838, he was elected member of the Legislative Council on the Whig ticket and upon its organization was chosen President. He served in the Council four terms and was a member of the House of the Eighth and last Territorial Legislature. After Iowa became a State, Captain Browne was elected to the First General Assembly and was chosen Speaker of the House, serving at a regular and extra session. In 1847 he was nominated for Congress by the Whigs of the First District but was defeated in the election by William Thompson. He became a Brigadier-General of the State militia and was appointed by the President one of the visitors to West Point Military Academy. He was a man six feet seven inches tall, of commanding presence, polished manners and popular. He was the only Iowa legislator ever elected to preside over both branches of the General Assembly. He died in Kentucky in 1864.