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Catalog Number 2016.02.0029
Object Name Letter
Date 1820
Title 1820 Jan 26 John Brown to Samuel Brown
Scope & Content Letter from John Brown (Frankfort, KY) to Samuel Brown (Lexington, KY) discussing matters relating to banking and the activities of the Legislature. Brown discusses debates over a property law, repealing the charters of independent banks, and funding of the university and medical school (Transylvania). He discusses the negotiating over the establishment of the boundary between Kentucky and Tennessee. Brown discusses James Percy Brown's resolution to control his temper, and Mason's return to Kentucky after college.


Frankfort 26th January 1820

Dear Brother
I return James Browns letter & thank you for the perusal of it, I have not lately received any direct intelligence from him-- I have for sometime had it in contemplation to visit Lexington being very desirous to see you & James but have been prevented by necessary attendance in the affairs of the Bank which are generally somewhat complicated & troublesome about this season of the year when our Election for Directors is held, & when our Reports relative to the situation of the Institution are prepared & laid before the Stock Holders, & the Legislative proceedings which on some subjects have been interesting, & which on some occasions have been conducted with more intemperance indecorum & disorder than I have ever before witnessed. This you can readily imagine knowing that Hays, Chilton, Worthington took the lead from the start & that they are men without experience, petulant, irreverent of orders, yet sparing all restraint, & insensible to rebuke. These men have occupied the floor probably more than one half of each day on an average and have frequently succeeded in throwing the House into a perfect tornado. A property Law has been the subject of long & violent debates but was rejected yesterday on a question to pass it to a third reading. That vote was this morning reconsidered & the Bill resubmitted to a Select Committee. What its fate will be is uncertain tho I am rather inclined to believe it will pass in some shape. A vote was this day taken upon a Bill to repeal the Charters of all the Independent Banks, & from the great majority that voted in favor of it I expect the measure will be adopted by the H of Representatives & probably by the Senate also. You have been informed that Rowan & Crittenden were appointed to negotiate with the Tennessee Com. relative to our Southern Boundary line also that R&C having disagreed between themselves in opinion, the Business was referred to the Legislature. This Day a Resolution has passed both Houses concurring with C. in accepting the terms proposed by the Ten. Comrs. that Walkers line from Cumberland Mountain to the Tennessee River shall be established as the Boundary to that river & that Alexanders line run in Lat. 36.30 shall be the Boundary line from thence to the Mississippi. It is found that Walkers line is about 14 miles north of Lat 36.30, which by the Contributions of both states is declared to be the true Boundary of each, but as Tennessee had settle the country up to Walkers line believing it to have been correctly run, a majority of both houses from motives of expediency & magnanimity have considered to give it up to her, altho in my opinion here cold be no doubt as to the right of Kentucky to hold it up to 36.30 in its whole length from the Cumberland Mountain to the Mississippi---Mr. Wickliffe was so roughly handled when he brought forward his Bills for the benefit of the University & Medical School that he has not since called them up, & no progress has been made in maturing them. He this day told me that he had no expectation that any thing could be obtained for either. Mr. Garrard & some others are of the opinion that something, they think from 5 to $8000 will be appropriated to the M. School, but I do not believe a correct opinion can be formed untill further discussion is had on the Bill. It is very certain that Mr. Holley lost ground in general estimation when last here; not only as a Divine, but as a man of talent.
Tell James that it has afforded me great pleasure to hear that he has obtained a complete victory over his unruly passions. Nothing could afford greater satisfaction to his own mind or render him more agreeable to all around him than a rigid observance of the Resolution he has formed to govern his temper, & habit will soon render it an easy task. John & Elizabeth cannot believe it possible that James has not been angry since New Years day-- I had letters two days ago from Mason & Orlando. They were both well & desired to be remembered to you & James. Mason wished to return to Ky in July when the studies of the Senior Class cease, to prepare for Commencement. He says it is not necessary that he should be present to receive his Diploma, as it will issue of course, & will be sent onto him. What would you advise in this case?

J. Brown

[Address Block]
Doctor Samuel Brown
Lexington K

Jan 26
People John Brown
Samuel Brown
James Brown
Mason Brown
Orlando Brown
Horace Holley
James Percy Brown
Charles Wickliffe
Search Terms Bank of Kentucky
Kentucky State Legislature
Boundary between Kentucky and Tennessee
Property Legislation
Transylvania University
Transylvania Medical School