William Gannaway Brownlow, Secession & Civil War (American National Biography)

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Jonathan M. Atkins, "Brownlow, William Gannaway," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00165.html.
As the question of slavery's expansion became the nation's most pressing issue, [Brownlow] championed the preservation of both slavery and the Union. A slaveowner himself, he defended slavery on biblical grounds, but at the same time he condemned advocates of secession as radical fanatics who sought to dissolve the Union merely for personal gain. With the onset of the Civil War, Brownlow, despite his devotion to slavery, chose to remain loyal to the Union. Ultimately, he accepted emancipation as a means to help to defeat the Confederacy, though he also advocated removing the freed slaves to a territory away from the white population.

Despite Tennessee's withdrawal from the Union, Brownlow continued to publish his paper and condemn the Confederacy until he was arrested and briefly imprisoned in late 1861. Released on condition that he leave the state, he in March 1862 began a speaking tour of several northern cities. This tour earned him a small fortune while making him a national symbol of Southern loyalty to the Union. On a break from this tour, Brownlow stayed at Crosswicks, New Jersey, and composed Sketches of the Rise, Progress, and Decline of Secession (1862). Better known as Parson Brownlow's Book, this publication brought him greater renown by popularizing even further his acrimonious denunciation of Confederate leaders. He returned to East Tennessee as an agent for the U.S. Treasury following the region's occupation by Federal troops in December 1863. After he had also revived his paper, he took a leading role in the movement to reestablish civil government in Tennessee in 1865.
How to Cite This Page: "William Gannaway Brownlow, Secession & Civil War (American National Biography)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/23882.