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The Southern States of America
Biographies - Hugh Henry Brackenridge


BRACKENRIDGE, Hugh Henry, jurist and author: b. Campbeltown, Scotland, 1748; d. Carlisle, Pa., June 25, 1816. In 1753 he accompanied his father to America, and settled in York county, Pa., near the Maryland border. He supported himself by farming and teaching while preparing for Princeton, where he graduated in 1771, a classmate of James Madison and Philip Freneau. The graduating exercises included a poetical dialogue, The Rising Glory of America, written by Brackenridge and Freneau, and published in 1772. He taught for a time at Princeton, obtained license to preach, went back to Maryland, and became both teacher and clergyman. In 1776 he removed to Philadelphia as editor of the United States Magazine. After a short service as chaplain in the Revolutionary army, he studied law at Annapolis, Md., went to Pittsburg in 1781, and in 1786 was sent to the legislature. In 1794 he was prominent as a mediator in the whiskey insurrection, and in 1799 was appointed to the supreme bench of Pennsylvania, in which position he remained until his death. Other works are: The Battle of Bunker Hill (1776), a drama written for his pupils; The Death of General Montgomery (1777), a drama in which he portrays the English as the acme of all that is bad; Six Political Discourses, Founded on the Scripture (1778), some of his "gunpowder" sermons; Incidents of the Insurrection in Western Pennsylvania (1795); and Modern Chivalry (in two parts, 1796 and 1806), a political satire - the best known of his publications, and the only one of present literary interest.


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