| United States Senator |
October 14, 1854 –March 3, 1855
|Preceded by||Samuel S. Phelps|
|Succeeded by||Jacob Collamer|
|Member of the Republican National Committee from Vermont|
|Preceded by||None (position created)|
|Succeeded by||Abraham B. Gardner|
|Member of the Vermont House of Representatives from St. Albans|
|Preceded by||John Smith|
|Succeeded by||John Smith|
|Died||May 9,1870 76) (aged|
|Resting place||Greenwood Cemetery,|
| Jacksonian |
|Spouse(s)||Fidelia B. Gadcomb (m. 1819-1852,her death)|
|Relations|| Joseph Hungerford Brainerd (cousin)|
J. Gregory Smith (son in law)
F. Stewart Stranahan (son in law)
|Children||12 (including Ann Eliza Smith)|
|Years of service||1812-|
1st Artillery Company,1st Regiment,3rd Brigade
|Battles/wars||War of 1812|
Lawrence Brainerd (March 16,1794 –May 9,1870) was an American businessman,abolitionist and United States Senator from Vermont. A longtime anti-slavery activist,after leaving the Jacksonians in the 1830s,Brainerd was active in the Whig,Liberty,and Free Soil parties,and was one of the organizers of the Republican Party when it was formed as the main anti-slavery party in the mid-1850s. Brainerd's longtime commitment to the cause of abolition was recognized in 1854,when opponents of slavery in the Vermont General Assembly chose him to fill a five-month vacancy in the United States Senate.
A native of East Hartford,Connecticut,Brainerd was raised by an uncle from the age of nine,and grew up in Troy,New York and St. Albans,Vermont. He taught school and worked as a store clerk,then began a business career of his own while still a teenager. He operated a successful store,then expanded his holdings to include a successful farm,as well as interests in banking,railroads,railroad construction,and steamships on Lake Champlain. Brainerd had extensive real estate holdings in and around St. Albans,including farms where he raised horses. In 1856,he was chosen to serve as president of the Vermont Agricultural Society. Brainerd became involved in the Congregational church at a young age and was a prominent advocate of temperance.
Brainerd became active in politics first as a Jacksonian,and he represented St. Albans in the Vermont House of Representatives from 1834 to 1835. An opponent of slavery,Brainerd joined the Whigs,but became dissatisfied with the party's attempts to chart a middle ground on the issue,and became an adherent of the abolitionist Liberty Party,and later the Free Soil Party. Brainerd was the unsuccessful Liberty Party candidate for governor of Vermont in 1846,1847,1848,1852,and 1854,but his candidacies served to increase awareness of the abolitionist position on slavery. In October 1854,Brainerd's years of advocacy in the cause of anti-slavery were recognized when anti-slavery Whigs,Liberty Party members,and Free Soil Party members in the Vermont General Assembly combined to elect Brainerd to fill a short term vacancy in the United States Senate. He served until March 1854,and was succeeded by Jacob Collamer.
In 1855,Brainerd was one of the organizers of the new Republican Party when it was created as the main anti-slavery political organization. He served as the first chairman of Vermont's Republican Party,and was one of the handful of state chairmen who issued the call for the party's first national convention in 1856. Brainerd was a delegate,and called the convention to order as its temporary chairman.
Brainerd died in St. Albans on May 9,1870. He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in St. Albans.
Brainerd was born in East Hartford,Connecticut on March 16,1794,the fifth of thirteen children born to Ezra Brainerd and Mabel (Porter) Brainerd.  In 1803,Brainerd went to Troy,New York to reside with his uncle,Joseph S. Brainerd.  In 1808,they moved to St. Albans,Vermont.  Brainerd was educated in Troy and St. Albans,and attended St. Albans Academy.  He taught school for two years,then began a business career as a clerk in a St. Albans store.  During the War of 1812,Brainerd served as a sergeant in Colonel Luther Dixon's Regiment of Vermont Militia.  During the war,the area around St. Albans and Swanton was contested,with smugglers vying to move goods to the Canadian side of the border and militia patrols attempting to interdict their activities.  In addition,British and Canadian forces raided northern Vermont several times during the war,and American soldiers and Vermont militia conducted raids on the Canadian side of the border.  Brainerd continued his militia membership after the war and received a commission as a first lieutenant in 1st Artillery Company,1st Regiment,3rd Brigade.  His membership in Vermont's militia continued for several years,and he was promoted to captain during his service.  
In 1816,Brainerd went into business as the owner of a store,and his venture proved successful.  One his early efforts to expand his holdings included the purchase of 1,200 acres of swampland near Lake Champlain,which he drained,improved,and developed into a successful sheep farm.  Brainerd continued to take part in successful business enterprises,frequently in partnership with John Smith and Smith's son J. Gregory Smith,including construction and operation of several railroads in Vermont and Canada that were combined to form the Central Vermont Railway.  In addition,he was involved in ownership and operation of several banks,and became active in the transport of cargo on Lake Champlain as the owner and operator of several steamboats and steamships.  Brainerd owned real estate throughout St. Albans,including farms where he raised horses.  Because he was opposed to slavery,Brainerd used his home and other properties as hiding places for runaway slaves attempting to escape to Canada on the Underground Railroad. 
In 1839,a large,aggressive gray wolf attacked flocks and herds throughout Franklin County and became a cause for concern among farmers and townspeople.  Brainerd,whose size,strength,and skills as an outdoorsman were the subject of local renown,successfully hunted the wolf.  A monument commemorating his deed was later placed on Aldis Hill in St. Albans,near the spot where Brainerd caught up to and killed the wolf.  In 1856,he was elected president of the Vermont Agricultural Society.  Brainerd was an active member of the Congregational church and a long time advocate for the temperance movement.  In addition,he was a longtime supporter of the American Missionary Association and served a term as its president. 
Brainerd became involved in local politics and government with an appointment as deputy sheriff of Franklin County,Vermont.  In 1834 he was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives as a Jacksonian,and he served from 1834 to 1835.   Brainerd became increasingly opposed to slavery,and left the Jacksonians for the Whigs.  Brainerd's anti-slavery views caused him to leave the Whigs in 1840 out of dissatisfaction with the party's attempts to find a compromise position on the slavery issue.  He joined the new Liberty Party,then the Free Soil Party,both of which opposed slavery. Brainerd was the unsuccessful Free Soil candidate for governor of Vermont in 1846,1847,1852,1853,and 1854. 
In September 1854,Brainerd narrowly lost the election for a seat in the Vermont Senate in which he ran as the nominee of the Free Soil Party.  In October,he was chosen by the Vermont General Assembly to fill a United States Senate vacancy,which had occurred when Senator William Upham died in January 1853.  The Vermont General Assembly failed to choose a successor after Upham's death,so in December 1853 the governor appointed former Senator Samuel S. Phelps to fill the vacancy.   Phelps served until the U.S. Senate resolved in March 1854 that he was not entitled to his seat,reasoning that while the governor could make an appointment while the state legislature was not in session,it fell to the legislature to make a selection if it was in session.  When the new legislative session began in October 1854,anti-slavery members of the legislature honored Brainerd's years of commitment to their cause by choosing him to succeed Phelps.  Brainerd was not a candidate for election to a full term,and served from October 14,1854,to March 3,1855.  Brainerd took part in one session of Congress from December 1854 to March 1855,and was a member of the Committee on Claims.  He was succeeded by Jacob Collamer and returned to his banking and business interests. 
In 1855,Brainerd was one of the organizers of the new Republican Party,which was founded as the country's main anti-slavery political organization.  He served as the first chairman of the Vermont Republican Party,and was one of five state party chairmen who issued the call for the first Republican National Convention in 1856.  Brainerd was a delegate,and as the temporary chairman he called the convention to order for its first session.  Brainerd was subsequently chosen to serve as one of the convention's vice chairmen,and was appointed as a member of the Republican National Committee.  Brainerd was chosen as one of Vermont's presidential electors after the 1856 election.  When Vermont's electors met in December to cast their ballots,Brainerd was chosen as their chairman.  They all voted for the Republican ticket of John C. Frémont for president and William L. Dayton for vice president,who carried Vermont but lost the election. 
Brainerd was the chairman of Vermont's delegation to the 1860 Republican National Convention.  On the first ballot,Vermont's delegates supported Jacob Collamer as a favorite son.  Afterwards,Brainerd and the Vermont delegation supported Abraham Lincoln,who received the nomination on the third ballot.  In 1864,Brainerd was succeeded on the Republican National Committee by Abraham B. Gardner. 
Brainerd remained active in his business ventures until his death in St. Albans on May 9,1870.  He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in St. Albans. 
In 1819,Brainerd married Fidelia B. Gadcomb.  She was the stepdaughter of Asa Aldis and granddaughter of Daniel Owen.  : 179 The Brainerds were the parents of 12 children:  
Daughter Ann Eliza Brainerd Smith was a noted author and the wife of Vermont Governor J. Gregory Smith.  Daughter Miranda became the wife of F. Stewart Stranahan.  During the Civil War,Herbert Brainerd served as quartermaster of the 1st Vermont Cavalry Regiment. 
Edward John Phelps was a lawyer and diplomat from Vermont. He is notable for his service as Envoy to Court of St. James's from 1885 to 1889. In addition,Phelps was a founder of the American Bar Association,and served as its president from 1880 to 1881.
Solomon Foot was a Vermont politician and attorney. He held numerous offices during his career,including Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives,State's Attorney for Rutland County,member of the United States House of Representatives,and United States Senator.
Benjamin Swift was an American lawyer,banker and politician from Vermont. He served as a United States Representative and United States Senator,and helped found the Whig Party.
William Upham was an American attorney and politician from Montpelier,Vermont. He was most notable for his service as a United States Senator from Vermont.
Edward Curtis Smith was an American attorney,businessman,and politician from Vermont. A Republican,he was most notable for his service as the 47th governor of Vermont from 1898 to 1900.
Peter Thacher Washburn was a Vermont lawyer,politician and soldier. A veteran of the American Civil War,he served as the 31st governor of Vermont as a Republican from 1869 to 1870,and was the first Vermont Governor to die in office.
Stephen Royce was an American lawyer,judge and politician. He served as the 23rd governor of Vermont from 1854 to 1856.
David Allen Smalley was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Vermont.
Levi Underwood was a lawyer and politician from Vermont. Originally a Democrat,Underwood's antislavery views caused him to join the new Republican Party when it was founded. Underwood was most notable for his service as the 23rd lieutenant governor of Vermont from 1860 to 1862.
Asa Aldis was a Vermont attorney,politician,and judge. He served as Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court in 1815.
John Pierpoint was a Vermont attorney and judge. He served as a Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court from 1857 until his death,and was Chief Justice beginning in 1865.
Stephen S. Cushing was a Vermont attorney,businessman,judge,and politician. He was a veteran of World War I,and his most notable government service was as an Associate Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court from 1952 to 1953.
William Weston was an attorney and politician in Burlington,Vermont,and Brooklyn,New York. He served in several local and state offices,and is most notable for his service as a member of the Vermont Senate in the 1850s.
Charles Linsley was a Vermont lawyer and politician. The son-in-law of Daniel Chipman,he was notable for his service as United States Attorney for the District of Vermont (1845-1849),member of the Vermont House of Representatives (1858-1859),and U.S. Collector of Customs for Vermont (1860-1861).
Daniel Chipman Linsley was an engineer,businessman,author,and political figure from Vermont. He was most notable for his railroad work which included serving as chief engineer of the Central Vermont Railway and assistant chief engineer of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Linsley was also active in politics and government in his hometown of Burlington,Vermont and briefly served as Burlington's mayor in 1870.
The 1852 Vermont gubernatorial election was held on Tuesday,September 7. Incumbent governor Charles K. Williams,a Whig,was not a candidate for reelection. In the voting,Whig Erastus Fairbanks received 49.2 percent,Democrat John S. Robinson 31.3 percent,and Free Soil Party nominee Lawrence Brainerd 19.6 percent.
The 1854 Vermont gubernatorial election for governor of Vermont took place on September 5. The Whig nominee was Stephen Royce,former Chief Justice of the Vermont Supreme Court. The Democratic nominee was Merritt Clark,and Lawrence Brainerd ran as the nominee of the Free Soil Party even as he was one of the organizers of the new anti-slavery Republican Party and appeared as a Whig candidate for the Vermont Senate on the ballot in Franklin County. Whig William C. Kittredge was nominated for governor against his wishes by advocates of the Temperance movement and Democrat Horatio Needham also attracted the support of some Free Soil advocates.
The 1855 Vermont gubernatorial election for governor of Vermont was held on September 4. With the Whig Party defunct after 1854,incumbent Stephen Royce,who had run with the support of both Whigs and the new Republican Party in 1854,ran as the nominee of the Republicans. The Democratic candidate was Merritt Clark,who had run unsuccessfully against Royce in 1854. James M. Slade,the Clerk of the Vermont House of Representatives was the nominee of the Know Nothing Party,also called the American Party.
The 1830 Vermont gubernatorial election took place in September and October,and resulted in the election of Samuel C. Crafts to a one-year term as governor.
As soon as intelligence of these facts was received, Capt. Lawrence Brainerd started in pursuit of him...