Person:William Brown (561)

William Brown, of Paxtang
b.30 Jun 1720 At Sea
  1. William Brown, of Paxtang1720 -
  2. Matthew BROWN1732 - 1777
Facts and Events
Name William Brown, of Paxtang
Gender Male
Birth? 30 Jun 1720 At Sea
  1.   McAlarney, Mathias Wilson. History of the Sesqui-Centennial of Paxtang Church, September 18,1890. (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Harrisburg Publishing Company, 1890)
    Page 329, 330.

    William Brown, was born at sea June 30, 1720, and was the son of John and Hannah Brown, who emigrated from Scotland to Paxtang in 1720. He was a prominent actor in Provincial and Revolutionary times, a representative man on the frontier, and a zealous Covenanter. At his own expense he visited Ireland and Scotland on behalf of his religious brethen to procure a supply of ministers, and brought over the celebrated Rev. Messrs. Lind and Dobbin, who subsequently, with the Rev. John Cuthbertson, organized at Paxtang, at the little church built by him near his residence, the Reformed Presbyterian Presbytery of America. Brown’s church was situated on the Jonestown road near the present school-house, and until within a few years the foundations were distinctly visible. There was no grave-yard attached to the church, the Browns and other members burying in Paxtang. It was occupied as a church for less than twenty years, when, from an item in the Oracle of Dauphin, we learn that “on the 11th of September, 1795, James Byers and James Wilson, Executors of William Brown, Esq., of Paxtang, offered for sale a log house, near the residence of Mr. Brown, formerly occupied as a house of worship by the Rev. Matthew Lind,” and it was then sold. Mr. Brown represented Paxtang at the meeting of the General Committee at Lancaster in 1774, was a member of the Assembly in 1776, and during its sessions proposed the general Emancipation of slaves within the Commonwealth, a measure not very favorably received at the time, but subsequently adopted. He served again in the Assembly in 1784; was a member of the Board of Property in 1785. A Commissioner to superintend the drawing of the Donation Land Lottery in 1786. He was an active and public spirited citizen, of unquestioned piety, and kind hearted and generous. The Rev. Matthew Brown, D. D., first President of Washington College, and afterwards President of Jefferson College, was adopted and educated by him. He was a son of his brother Matthew Brown.

  2.   BROWN, WILLIAM, of Dauphin county, was born in 1733, on the Swatara, in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. His grandfather, James Brown, came with his brother John Brown from the north of Ireland to Pennsylvania in 1720, and, while he settled on the Swatara, subsequently Hanover township, the latter located in Paxtang township, in Lancaster county. John Brown was the father of another William Brown, no less eminent than his distinguished cousin. The former was designated as “William Brown, of Paxtang,” while the subject of our sketch as “Captain William Brown.” He was educated at the school of Rev. John Blair, became quite prominent on the frontiers, and was an officer in Rev. Colonel Elder’s battalion of rangers during the French and Indian war. He was one of the prime movers at the Hanover meeting of June 4, 1774, and probably the author of the celebrated resolutions there passed. He recruited a company of Associators, and was in active service during the Jersey campaign of 1776, as well in and around Philadelphia in 1777 and 1778. In 1779 he commanded a company of rangers in the expedition to the West Branch against the Indians and Tories, who were threatening the exposed frontiers. He was a delegate to the Pennsylvania convention to ratify the federal constitution of 1787, but did not sign the ratification. He was a member of the State constitutional convention of 1789-90, and under that instrument represented his county in the Legislature in 1792 and 1793. He was chosen one of the Presidential electors in 1797, voting for Mr. Jefferson. Captain Brown died July 20, 1808, at the age of seventy-five.