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Book Cover for Kentucky's First Senator: The Life and Times of John Brown

Kentucky’s First Senator: The Life and Times of John Brown

Date: July 2, 2024
Time: 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Location: Oxmoor Farm (In-Person Only)

As the thirteen colonies struggled for independence and wrestled with concepts of republican government, the times made many men. Those beyond the mountains, in the burgeoning American west, faced additional challenges as they strove to secure their place in the new nation. From this crucible emerged John Brown, a man whose natural reserve belied a deep and abiding devotion to his country and its citizens.

With a keen analysis of the major issues and personalities of the time, deftly illuminated with vivid details, Steven Walker has created, in this handsome volume, a fully-realized portrait of this extraordinary man and the new state and nation he dedicated his life to building.

It is surprising that this volume should be the first full biography of a man who did so much to shape the development of the new American west immediately following the Revolutionary War. John Brown became the first senator for the district of Kentucky some nine years before statehood, when Kentuckians made him their first choice for the US Senate, a body which twice appointed him president pro tempore; yet today he is largely unknown.

Whether dealing with the physical threat from Indians, local personal political opposition, rival inter-state motivations, or the influences of British, French, or Spanish agents, John Brown fought for the interests of his fellow Kentuckians. In due course, this founding father of Kentucky became embroiled in controversies over the Spanish and Burr conspiracies, but throughout, he retained the confidence and respect of his friends, including the founding fathers and early presidents of the United States.

From piloting fighter jets to commanding operations, Steven Walker led a career in defense and government while also pursuing a varied academic path. Along the way he gained degrees in archaeology and ancient history, management and research, defense and strategic studies, and cultural heritage. His PhD is in settler colonial history.

One result of his love of heritage and the built environment is the antebellum home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, he now shares with his wife Lynn in Perryville, Kentucky.

His previous work, the economic history Enterprise, Risk and Ruin: The Stage-coach and the Development of Van Diemen’s Land and Tasmania, was in part a result of his restoration of a c. 1833 Georgian sandstone coaching inn.