William Gannaway Brownlow, Whig & Know Nothing (American National Biography)

Jonathan M. Atkins, "Brownlow, William Gannaway," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00165.html.
Brownlow…also became a champion of the new Whig party, which organized in the 1830s in opposition to Andrew Jackson and the Democratic party. In 1839 Brownlow established his first newspaper, the Tennessee Whig, to defend both religious and political truth. Published with the motto "Cry Aloud and Spare Not," the paper soon became one of Tennessee's leading Whig organs while sustaining its editor's reputation as a reckless incendiary. He relocated the paper to nearby Jonesborough (later Jonesboro) in 1840 before finally settling in 1849 in Knoxville, which became his permanent home.

Brownlow's Whiggery expressed itself most clearly in his advocacy of Henry Clay's presidential prospects. His son later recalled that the only time he saw his father weep was after he learned of Clay's defeat in the presidential election of 1844. When in 1848 the Whig National Convention bypassed Clay, Brownlow refused to support the party nominee Zachary Taylor. His recalcitrance continued into the 1852 election when he promoted Daniel Webster instead of Winfield Scott, whom the Whigs nominated in place of Millard Fillmore, the president who had signed into law the national compromise over slavery's expansion that Clay had proposed in 1850. After the demise of the national Whig party, Brownlow became one of the leading Southern advocates of the nativist Know Nothing movement.
How to Cite This Page: "William Gannaway Brownlow, Whig & Know Nothing (American National Biography)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/23883.