Dr. Samuel Brown

Historical Marker #1595 in Fayette County recognizes Dr. Samuel Brown, a Lexington chemistry professor and physician who aided America's war effort during the War of 1812.

A Virginia native, Brown was exceptionally well-educated for his time, having attended medical school in Scotland. After practicing in Maryland, he moved to Lexington in 1797. There, Brown became a professor of surgery and chemistry at Transylvania University.

According to the historical marker, "Dr. Brown's analyses led to the use of Kentucky cave nitre in [the] manufacture of gunpowder. This added to Kentucky's role in winning the War of 1812."

Thanks to Thomas Jefferson's efforts, Brown became a member of the American Philosophical Society. He was also an early advocate of inoculating people for smallpox, pushed for a national medical organization and ethical codes for physicians, and was a successful inventor. He died in Alabama in 1830.


Dr. Samuel Brown

Dr. Samuel Brown

Portrait of Dr. Samuel Brown Image Courtesy of the Kentucky Digital Library View File Details Page

Kentucky War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission Logo

Kentucky War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission Logo

The Kentucky Historical Society is the administrative agency for the War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, an 18-member body established by the Kentucky legislature in 2010. Image Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Sanders, “Dr. Samuel Brown,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed June 24, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/74.


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