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W. G. Brownlow Article

Identifier: MS-0926

  • Staff Only

"The McMinn County Manifesto" is a handwritten article by Brownlow for publication in his newspaper, Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig.

Brownlow’s article appears to be a rewrite of a very similar article published in his Knoxville Tri-weekly Whig and Rebel Ventilator, July 26, 1864. Brownlow, a staunch supporter of the Union, used his newspaper to denounce the Confederacy and its supporters. His combative reaction to the Athens Post’s articles is typical of his out-spoken editorial style. Brownlow’s 1868 rewrite of his earlier article may have been prompted by his visit to Athens, Tenn., the week prior to the article’s publication. The purpose of that visit was to rally support for Ulysses S. Grant’s presidential campaign.

Signed “Editor,” the piece includes instructions to the printer to insert the “proceedings entire” at the end of the piece. The “proceedings entire” were a reprint of “A call for a public meeting of the citizens of McMinn County” from the Athens Post, October 3, 1862. The meeting’s resolutions (Athens Post, October 10, 1862) were also printed in Brownlow’s piece.


  • 1868 June 17


The material in this collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


0.1 Linear Feet


William G. Brownlow, publisher and editor of Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig, published this article in his newspaper on June 17, 1868. The piece, titled the "McMinn County Manifesto," refers to two articles published in Samuel P. Ivins’ Athens Post on October 3 and 10, 1862.

Biographical/Historical Note

William Gannaway Parson Brownlow (1805-1877) was an influential East Tennessee minister, journalist, and governor. In 1838 he became owner/editor of an Elizabethton newspaper popularly known as Brownlow's Whig. His newspaper, which, on the eve of the Civil War, reached nearly eleven thousand subscribers across the nation, moved to Knoxville in 1849. The Parson was a prominent spokesperson for the Whig Party and a staunch defender of the Union. After Tennessee left the Union, Brownlow continued speaking out against the Confederacy. He was eventually jailed in Knoxville and later expelled from the Confederacy for his anti-secession editorials. After traveling on a speaking tour throughout the North, the Parson returned to Knoxville with the Union troops in the fall of 1863, continuing to rail against the Confederacy and secession. In March 1865, Tennessee Unionists chose Brownlow to succeed Andrew Johnson as governor of Tennessee. After two terms as Tennessee's Reconstruction-era governor, Brownlow, in 1869, was chosen to represent the state in the U.S. Senate. He served only one term before returning to Knoxville, where he died on April 28, 1877.

Samuel Powell Ivins was born on August 12, 1811 in New Jersey. He married Louisa M. Haines on February 24, 1842, and in 1848 moved to Athens, Tennessee where he took over the local newspaper and used it to support the Confederate cause. He died on June 17, 1887.

Location of Additional Information

The article - “The McMinn County Manifesto”- as it was published in the newspaper, Brownlow’s Knoxville Whig, June 17, 1868:

An earlier, similar article by Brownlow in the Knoxville Tri-weekly Whig and Rebel Ventilator, July 26, 1864:

The articles in the Athens Post, to which Brownlow refers (and reprints in part):

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA