John Brown [graduate of Princeton College, class of 1749] was born in Ireland, in 1728. He was licensed by the Presbytery of New Castle, and sent as a missionary to the valley of Virginia. In 1753, he was called to the united churches of Timber Ridge and New Providence, Virginia. This call he accepted. In addition to his pastoral work, he established a grammar school near his residence, which afterwards was merged in Liberty Hall, and finally grew into Washington College. It was in this congregation that the Alexander family resided. In 1796, Mr. Brown, weighed down under the infirmities of age, resigned his charge, and soon after followed his children to Kentucky. The following is the inscription on his tomb at Frankfort: "The tomb of the Rev. John Brown, who, after graduating at Nassau Hall, devoted himself to the ministry, and settled at New Providence, Rockbridge County, Virginia. At that place he was stated pastor forty-four years. In the decline of life he removed to this county, to spend the feeble remainder of his days with his children." He died in the 75th year of his age, A.D. 1803." The sons of Mr. Brown all became distinguished men. One was a United States Senator from Kentucky; another was a Senator from Louisiana and Minister to France, and the third became an eminent physician and Professor in Transylvania University.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The above is an excerpt (slightly edited) from: Samuel Davies Alexander, Princeton College During the Eighteenth Century (New York: Anson D. F. Randolph & Company, 1872), p. 5.
John Brown graduated from Princeton during the governorship of Princeton founder Governor Jonathan Belcher (1682-1757) (governor of New Jersey, 1746-1757), who under the charter of 1748 was ex officio president of the Princeton Board of Trustees.]
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