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By Dennis Brown-07/04/03


Dennis  Brown passed away July 24, 2003, New Zealand

In his memory I dedicate this page in honor of him and his family.- 07/26/03


VENABLE,  Thomas Brown [Colonel]

Public Ledger

July 6, 1894

Venable, Maj. T. B. -  s/o Hon. A. W. Venable.

Colonel Thomas Brown VENABLE

This Well Known Citizen Died on Saturday Afternoon Last.

In the death of Col Thomas Brown Venable, Granville County loses a son who possessed an iron will, a strong intellect, and a commanding place among his fellows.  The history of his life would be a singular interest.  For his earthly existence covered the most exciting period of American history, and his opportunity for seeing the inner workings at Washington and Richmond were very great.

Among the earthly secessionists of our State, stood forth prominently with Weldon E. EDWARDS, Barton CRAIG and Thomas BRAGG, Abram W. VENABLE, of Brownsville.  His burning words were a potent factor in tiring the Southern heart.  His famous utterance that he would “wipe up all the blood of the war, with a silk handkerchief.” has become a part of the State’s history.

Abram W. Venable was the intimate friend and companion of Mr COLHOUN.  He was present at his death bed.  He mourned at his funeral.  To him the State of South Carolina, by special act, voted its debt of gratitude for love and kindness to her greatest son.

When war came on, Mr Venable was chosen to represent our District on the Confederate Congress.  He became the confidential friend of President Davis.  During all his young manhood, the boy Brown[1] was the constant companion of his father.  In Washington and Richmond the son was on terms of intimacy with the constitutional Lawyer CALHOUN, with the truculent WIGFALL, with YANCEY and TOOMBS, and HILL and BENJAMIN.

When North Carolina passed her ordinances of secession young Venable was designed as the messenger to convey the same to the author and headquarters; which office, those of us who knew him may well imagine, he performed with great dignity and some outward show of ceremony.  As the war progressed he became Lieut. Colonel of the 24th N. C. Regiment.  Afterwards he was Major on the staff of General WHITING and was stationed at and near Wilmington.

Col. Venable’s mother was a Miss BROWN from Scotland[2].  From his uncle[3] Thomas BROWN of Ochlafardon[4], Scotland, he took his name.

Just previous to the war young Venable visited his uncle at his ancestral mansion in Scotland.  There, during two months of delightful sojourn, he saw something of the life of Scottish noblemen.  Right merrily did he dwell on the famous dinners at which Sir Colin CAMPBELL, Mr PEELE, Thomas BROWN[5] and other ‘auld acquaintances’ were gathered.  In Scotland he witnessed a contested election.  By the show of hands, the choice of the electors was first expressed.  Sir Calvin CAMPBELL being dissatisfied with the result demands a ‘Poll’.  The Sheriff with much dignity announces ‘A poll you have demanded, and a poll you shall have.’

This uncle, Thomas BROWN[6], by will, devised that mansion and its broad acres to Col. Venable.  But, a few years before the death of Mr BROWN, the Bank of Glasgow, of which he was a Director and large stockholder broke, greatly shattering the fortune of Mr BROWN.  In consequence he purchased an annuity of the Scotch Government and gave to it all his property.

Col. Venable was a Lawyer of great power.  In his palmy days the very ground trembled under his feet.  His practice came not by favouritism, but because his clientage thought him the strongest at the bar.

Col. Venable was born December 9th 1825.  He married Miss Delia KINGSBURY, sister of Dr T.B. KINGSBURY, C.F. KINGSBURY, Esq., and Mrs Thos. G. PURH.

One by one the old members of the Oxford bar are passing away.  GILLIAM, WORTHAM, HARGROVE, LITTLEJOHN, VENABLE, are gone.  Of him who has just departed, we may say that he had a kind heart, he was a devoted father and husband, he was firm in the faith of the fathers.  What more can be said.

While attending the sessions of Parliament in London, Col. Venable witnessed a passage d’armes between Lord CAMPBELL and another Noble Lord, perhaps BRONGNAM.  The former was advocating the passage of some stringent measure, affecting the law of libel, when the latter signified a doubt, which he had in his mind, if the pending measure would not affect the well being of a certain noble personage who was adding a sting to death by publishing much libellous matter called the Lives of the Lord Chancelloral.

Col. Venable was a factor in politics.  He made and he was unmade.  He could kill with a glance.  Yet with all his firmness his eye often filled with the sympathetic tear.  He was during many years a ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church, of whose traditions no man was more proud.

A beautiful sight it was as his kind pastor, Rev Ernest THACKER, together with Rev T.F. FAUCETTE and all the Elders and Deacons of the Presbyterian Church and many other sorrowing hearts followed him at set of Sunday’s sun, to his final resting place, where cool and sweet, we laid to rest to await the trump of the Resurrection morn.

[1] ERROR: Thomas Brown VENABLE

[2] ERROR: She was born at Brownsville Plantation, Granville Co, to a Scottish migrant father, Thomas BROWN, and a 5th generation Virginian mother, Martha DANIEL.

[3] ERROR: His Grandfather Thomas BROWN. (1776-1856)

[4] ERROR: Auchlochan Estate, Lesmahagow, LKS, Scotland.

[5] James Thomas BROWN (c1811-c1880)

[6] James Thomas BROWN

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