John Brown Francis

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John Brown Francis
RI Governor John Brown Francis.jpg
United States Senator
from Rhode Island
In office
January 25, 1844 – March 4, 1845
Preceded by William Sprague III
Succeeded by Albert C. Greene
13th Governor of Rhode Island
In office
May 1, 1833 – May 2, 1838
Lieutenant Jeffrey Hazard
George Engs
Jeffrey Hazard
Benjamin B. Thurston
Preceded by Lemuel H. Arnold
Succeeded by William Sprague III
Personal details
Born (1791-05-31)May 31, 1791
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died August 9, 1864(1864-08-09) (aged 73)
Warwick, Rhode Island
Resting place North Burial Ground
Political party Whig
Law and Order Party
Profession Politician, Manufacturer

John Brown Francis (May 31, 1791 – August 9, 1864) was a United States Senator from Rhode Island.


Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he attended the common schools of Providence, Rhode Island and graduated from Brown University in 1808. He engaged in mercantile pursuits, attended the Litchfield Law School, and was admitted to the bar but never practiced. Francis was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives from 1821 to 1829 and a member of the board of trustees of Brown University from 1828 to 1857. He was a member of the Rhode Island Senate in 1831 and 1842, and was the 13th Governor of Rhode Island from 1833 to 1838.

From 1841 to 1854, Francis was chancellor of Brown University; he was elected as a member of the Law and Order Party to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of William Sprague and served from January 25, 1844, to March 4, 1845. He was not a candidate for reelection; while in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Engrossed Bills (Twenty-eighth Congress).

Francis was a member of the Rhode Island Senate from 1845 to 1856, and then retired from public life and engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death at "Spring Green," Warwick, Rhode Island, in 1864; interment was in North Burial Ground, Providence.

Francis' grandfather, John Brown, was a U.S. Representative from Rhode Island and a member of the family for whom Brown University was named.


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Political offices
Preceded by
Lemuel H. Arnold
Governor of Rhode Island
Succeeded by
William Sprague III
United States Senate
Preceded by
William Sprague III
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Rhode Island
January 25, 1844 – March 4, 1845
Served alongside: James F. Simmons
Succeeded by
Albert C. Greene