Francis Brown

President, 1815-1820

Francis Brown, a pastor from North Yarmouth, Maine, presided over Dartmouth College during the famous Supreme Court hearing of Trustees of Dartmouth College v. William H. Woodward or, as it is more commonly called, the Dartmouth College Case. The contest was a pivotal one for Dartmouth and for the newly independent nation. It tested the contract clause of the Constitution and arose from an 1816 controversy involving the legislature of the state of New Hampshire, which amended the 1769 charter granted to Eleazar Wheelock, making Dartmouth a public institution and changing its name to Dartmouth University. Under the leadership of President Brown, the Trustees resisted the effort and the case for Dartmouth was argued by Daniel Webster before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1818.

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Portrait Artist & Donor Information

Joseph Alexander Ames, Francis Brown
Oil on canvas
Hood Museum of Art
Gift of Francis Brown Hayes, Class of 1851H
Hood Museum Object Number: P.859.2