William Gannaway Brownlow, an American clergyman, journalist, and politician, born in Wythe co., Va., Aug. 29, 1805. Left an orphan at an early age, he learned the trade of a carpenter. In 1826 he entered the Methodist ministry, and labored for ten years as an itinerant preacher. As early as 1828 he began to take part in politics in Tennessee, advocating the reelection of John Quincy Adams to the presidency; and while travelling a circuit in South Carolina in which John C. Calhoun lived, he publicly opposed nullification. About 1837 he became editor of the "Knoxville Whig," apolitical newspaper. In consequence of his trenchant mode of expression, he became known as "the fighting parson." In 1856 he published " The Iron Wheel Examined and its Spokes Extracted," being a reply to attacks made upon the Methodist church. In 1858 he held a public debate in Philadelphia with the Rev. A. Pryne of New York, which was published in a volume entitled " Ought American Slavery to be Perpetuated?" Mr. Brownlow taking the affirmative. When the movement for secession took place, he advocated the preservation of the Union as the best safeguard for southern institutions. In December, 1861, he was arrested on charge of treason against the confederacy, and detained till March, 1862, when he was sent within the Union lines.

After this he made a tour through the northern states, delivering speeches in the principal cities, and published a book entitled "Sketches of the Rise, Progress, and Decline of Secession," etc. In 1864 he returned to Tennessee, of which he became governor in 1865; and in 1869 he was elected to the senate of the United States.