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Aaron V. Brown

 

Born on 15 August 1795 in Brunswick County, Va., Aaron Venable Brown was educated in North Carolina and moved to Tennessee in 1815. Admitted to the state bar two years later, he practiced law in Nashville and eventually became the partner of the future President, James K. Polk. After service in both chambers of the Tennessee Legislature, Brown sat in the United States House of Representatives from 4 March 1839 to 3 March 1845 and then left Congress to become the Governor of Tennessee. Temporarily retired from public life in 1847, Brown became Postmaster General under President Buchanan on 6 March 1857 and held the post until he died in Washington on 8 March 1859.

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Prior to the Civil War, Aaron V. Brown—a revenue cutter whose records have for the most part been lost—operated on the Great Lakes from her base at Milwaukee, Wis. As the national crisis deepened after Abraham Lincoln was elected President, Aaron V. Brown was transferred to the Atlantic and, in company with four other cutters, arrived at Boston late in December 1861.

 

Following a brief assignment at Salem, Mass., she was repaired, provisioned for a deployment in Southern waters, and sailed for the sounds of North Carolina. Commanded by Capt. John Mason, Jr., USRCS, she served in the shoals of those dangerous and bitterly contested waters until May 1864 when she proceeded to New York harbor to be sold.