Brownlow, William G.
Card signed by “The Fighting Parson” of East Tennessee
Autograph ID: 5183
Condition: Very good
Description: “(1805-1877) Unionist Governor of Tennessee 1865-69, Senator 1869-75. In 1839, started newspaper, “The Tennessee Whig”, in Elizabethton, Tenn., became known as “The Fighting Parson” due to his fiery editorials. Moved newspaper to Knoxville 1849, renaming it “The Knoxville Whig”, known for its strong pro-Whig, pro-Methodist, nativist, pro-Union, pro-slavery and anti-secession stances. He was closely attuned to, and representative of, East Tennessee, where 69% of voters opposed secession in June 1861 even as 86% of voters elsewhere supported secession. He was pro-slavery but willing to consider scrapping slavery to save the Union. “The Knoxville Whig”’s masthead slogans, “Cry Aloud and Spare Not,” and “Independent in All Things, Neutral in Nothing,” captured his spirit. As War loomed, Brownlow sought to dissuade his readers from supporting secession. Once Tennessee seceded, Brownlow attacked the Confederate government. In Oct. 1861 he was forced to cease publishing and flee Knoxville, hiding in the Great Smoky Mountains. He returned to Knoxville that winter and was arrested and imprisoned. Escorted to Union lines March 1862, he toured the North, stirring up support for E. Tennessee Unionists and publishing books and articles. In Nov. 1863, he returned to Knoxville after occupation by Union forces and resumed publishing his newspaper as “The Knoxville Whig and Rebel Ventilator”. His election after the War as governor survived opponents’ attempts to rig the vote. Tennessee was readmitted to the Union July 2, 1866, 1st ex-Confederate state to be officially readmitted. Brownlow was re-elected by a greatly expanded electorate (with freed slaves) in 1867; he resigned Feb. 1869 to accept election to the Senate by the legislature. On returning to Knoxville, he purchased an interest in “The Weekly Whig and Chronicle”, a newspaperman to death.
1 ¾ x 3 ¼ cCard neatly signed “W. G. Brownlow””
Type: Signed Card