John Brahan

 Planter, Public Official

Born:June 8, 1774, Fauquier County, VA
Died:June 8, 1834, Florence, AL
Buried:Sweetwater (his plantation)
Father-in-law of:Robert Miller Patton - Father-in-law to Governor Robert M. Patton


•  "He was a General under Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans -

•  "General John Brahan was born in Fauquier Co., VA on June 8, 1774. He married Mary Weakley in Nashville, TN on June 24, 1810. He was a General under Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans. He lived in Huntsville, AL for many years before relocating near Florance, AL where he died on June 8, 1834. He is buried in the family cemetary at his old plantation, 'Sweetwater'. Mary Weakley was the daughter of Col. Robert Weakley and Jane Locke of Nashville, TN. She was born in Nashville on July 12, 1792 and died at Sweetwater on Jan. 7, 1837 where she is buried next to her husband." -

•  Fascinating story about how he bought 40,000 acres with public funds to keep the land from speculators The money was not his, but he was not prosecuted. - Why Is It Named That?

•  "Prominent landowner in early Alabama. Born in Fauquier County, Virginia, he became an associate of Andrew Jackson, serving under him in the War of 1812. He came to Alabama before state hood and settled in Huntsville in 1818. In 1832 he moved to Florence and acquired more than 4,000 acres of land in Lauderdale County, including the present reservation of Wilson Dam north of the Tennessee River. About 1828 he began construction of his residence on Sweetwater Plantation but died before it was completed. He was buried on this plantation." - Alabama Past Leaders

•  Major General, Alabama Militia

•  Father was from England

•  Instrumental in the founding of Nativity Episcopal Church, Huntsville, AL - Nativity History

•  Son of an Englishman, who settled in Virginia before the Revolutionary War and was killed in battle - Alabama Biography

•  "In 1818, Gen. Brahan came to Huntsville, and was appointed commissioner of public lands, by President Jackson. He acquired extensive tracts of farm land and built a large residence three miles west of Huntsville. In 1830, this home was burned, and the site is now occupied by the Merrimac Mills. He gave the ground upon which the public schools of Huntsville are situated. In 1832, he removed to Florence." - Alabama Biography

•  "In 1832, he moved to Florence where he acquired a large plantation on Sweetwater Creek, and began the erection of a residence, but died before it was completed, and it passed into the hands of his daughter, Jane Locke." - Alabama Biography

•  Last residence: Florence. - Alabama Biography

•  Father of:
1. Robert Weakley, married Martha Haywood
2. Jane Locke, married Robert Miller Patton, governor of Alabama
3. Mary Narcissa, married (1) John Coffee (2) Dr. James Young
4. John Coffee, married (1) Mary Haywood, (2) Martha Valiant
5. Ann Eliza, married Rev. McRea
6. Letitia Evalina, unmarried
7. Thomas Fearne, married Anna Kate Rivers - Alabama Biography

•  He was a Mason and an Episcopalian. - Alabama Biography

•  Married: July 24, 1810, in Davidson County, Tenn., to Mary, daughter of Gen. Robert and Jane (Locke) Weakley, among the founders of Nashville. - Alabama Biography

•  He served in the War of 1812, under Gen. Andrew Jackson, being ranked in the battle of New Orleans with John Coffee, as generals. - Alabama Biography

•  The heirs of John Brahan's estate sought relief from the debt owed the governemnt due to the misuse of funds. The Act of Congress granted that relief. - Acts and Resolutions

•  Letter from an heir of John Brahan concerning his debt to the US. Government due to his misuse of funds. - Correspondence of JKP

•  "Son of an Englishman, who settled in Virginia before the Revolutionary War and was killed in battle." - Alabama Biography

•  "As receiver of public money at Huntsville, Brahan and two other men sought to prevent the sale of public lands to a group of speculators by purchasing the land themselves. During the panic of 1819, however, the government demanded payment in cash, forcing the partners to default. When Brahan died the government attempted to claim his estate." - Polk Correspondences

•  February 6th, 1839 Congress passed an act "for the relief of the heirs of John Brahan, late receiver of public money at Huntsville, Alabama" - Acts and Resolutions

•  James Jackson wrote a letter (included in this collection) to his brother reporting on his observations in the the region. He makes references to his dealings with John Brahan. The editors here have added this footnote: "Brahan was reciever of the land office at Huntsville, where he was shortly to be implicated in a scandal involving misuse of government funds." - Jackson Correspondences

•  Rohrbough quotes Brahan, as land officer, as he tells of the land prospects in the Tennessee Valley. He does not cover Brahan's manipulation of funds as the land sold. - Land Office Business

•  "Glenwood Cemetery replaced the original slave cemetery known as 'Georgia,' which had been established in 1818 and located north of the present Huntsville Hospital. Glenwood Cemetery was established in 1870 by the City of Huntsville following the purchase of 10 acres from Benjamin W. Blake estate, originally a part of the John Brahan Plantation." - Historical Markers

•  President of Huntsville, 1819 - 1821 - City of Huntsvile

Related Links:

• - Tour of Old Town article by Bruce Walker (Originally found at

•  Acts and Resolutions - Acts and Resolutions Passed at the Third Session of the Twenty-Fifth Congress of the United States of America, Volume 25, 1839, p. 8.

•  Alabama Biography - History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume 3, by Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead Owen, © 1921, p. 205.

•  Alabama Past Leaders - By Henry S. and Marsha Kass Marks, © 1982, pp. 40-1.

• - Bio posted by Robert Williams (January 10, 2001)

•  Historical Markers - Alabama Historical Association Markers: Second Edition, compiled and published by Laura C. Hood, Sara M. Hood, Hugh M. Hood, Jack B. Hood, © 2006, p. 156. (Originally found at,+Huntsville&hl=en&ei=bhyGTqq5O8i1tweE3NBL&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CF4Q6AEwCDgU#v=onepage&q=John%20Brahan%2C%20Huntsville&f=false.)

•  Jackson Correspondences - The Papers of Andrew Jackson, Volume V, 1821-1824, by Andrew Jackson, edited by Harold D. Moser, David Hoth, George H. Hoemann, © 1996, pp. 48-51.

•  Land Office Business - The Land Office Business: The Settlement and Administration of American Public Land, 1789 - 1837, by Malcolm J. Rohrbough, © 1968, page 121-127.

•  Nativity History - Sesquicentennial history of Church of the Nativity, Episcopal, 1843-1993, Huntsville, Alabama by Frances C. Roberts

•  Polk Correspondences - Correspondence of James K. Polk, Volume 3; Volume 1835-1836 by James K. Polk and edited by Herbert Weaver, © 1975, p. 469.

•  Why Is It Named That? - By Dex Nilsson, Twinbrook Communications, © 2003, p. 104.

•  Wikipedia (Huntsville Mayors) - List of City Presidents and Mayors

The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  Alabama Biography
•  Robert Miller Patton
•  Why Is It Named That?