Library of Congress
BROWNING, Orville Hickman (1806-1881)

BROWNING, ORVILLE HICKMAN, a Senator from Illinois; born in Cynthiana, Harrison County, Ky., February 10, 1806; attended Augusta College; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1831; moved to Quincy, Ill., in 1831 and practiced; served in the Illinois Volunteers during the Black Hawk War 1832; member, State senate 1836-1843; unsuccessful candidate for election as a Whig in 1843 to the Twenty-eighth Congress, in 1850 to the Thirty-second Congress, and in 1852 to the Thirty-third Congress; delegate to the anti-Nebraska convention held at Bloomington, Ill., in May 1856, which laid the foundations of the Republican Party; appointed as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Stephen A. Douglas and served from June 26, 1861, to January 12, 1863, when a successor was elected; was not a candidate for election in 1863; chairman, Committee on Enrolled Bills (Thirty-seventh Congress); appointed by President Andrew Johnson as Secretary of the Interior 1866-1869, also discharging for a time the duties of Attorney General; delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1869; resumed the practice of law; died in Quincy, Adams County, Ill., August 10, 1881; interment in Woodland Cemetery.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Springfield, IL
Papers: 1843-1888. 230 items and 24 volumes of a diary (1850-1881, except 1851). Letters (1861-1870) deal with Illinois and national politics.
Additional Papers: Correspondence in Lewis Baldwin Parsons papers, 1656-1908.

Chicago Historical Society
Chicago, IL
Papers: Ca. 20 items in various collections.

Pierpont Morgan Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1866-1869. 4 items.

University of Illinois
Illinois Historical Survey
Urbana, IL
Papers: 1829-1887. 320 items. Transcripts or photocopies of originals in Illinois State Historical Library, the Library of Congress, and in private custody. Correspondence, speeches, memoranda, an address, and photographs.

University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library
Rochester, NY
Papers: 14 letters by and 14 to Browning (1864-1873) in various collections. Finding aid.
Research Libraries Information Network In addition to the institutions listed above, items are cataloged in collections at: Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; New York State Library, Manuscripts and Special Collections, Albany, NY; Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia, PA; and Yale University Library, New Haven, CT.

  • Baxter, Maurice G. Orville H. Browning: Lincoln's Friend and Critic. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1957.
  • Horner, Harlan Hoyt. "Lincoln Rebukes A Senator.'' Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 44 (Summer 1951): 103-19.
  • Pease, Theodore Calvin, and James Garfield Randall, eds. The Diary of Orville Hickman Browning. 2 vols. Springfield: Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Library, 1925-1933.