Orville Hickman Browning
(February 10, 1806 – August 10, 1881) was a Republican Senator
Browning was born February 10, 1806 in Cynthiana, Kentucky
. He was a veteran of the Black Hawk War
. Browning was a Whig
delegate to the anti-Nebraska convention held at Bloomington, Illinois
, in May 1856. This convention laid the foundations of the Republican Party.
Browning was appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat of Stephen A. Douglas
after Douglas' untimely death. Browning's bid for re-election as Senator from Illinois failed in 1862, leaving Abraham Lincoln
with no personal friends in Congress. It was rumored that Lincoln was considering appointing Browning Secretary of the Interior
to replace Caleb Blood Smith
, but he did not become Secretary of the Interior until the Johnson administration.
President Andrew Johnson
appointed him Secretary of the Interior
serving from 1866 to 1869. Browning entered into a private law and lobbying practice in Washington, D.C., after the war, partnering with Thomas Ewing
Sr. and his son, Thomas Ewing Jr.
. Browning died August 10, 1881 and is buried in Woodland Cemetery
, Quincy, Illinois
In 1844, Browning successfully defended five men who had been accused of the murder
of Joseph Smith, Jr.
, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement
- Dictionary of American Biography.