Rev. Brown was brought to Washington in 1805 from a church at Mifflin, Pennsylvania, and was installed as the first president of Washington College on December 13, 1806. He was a graduate of Dickinson College. During his tenure Washington College and the First Presbyterian Church of Washington were close and Brown became leader of both the school and the church. By 1817 Washington, Pennsylvania, had grown from a pioneer settlement to a town whose citizens had leisure time and indulged in activities such as card playing and dances. Brown opposed such activities as exemplified in his "Serpent Sermon" and, when an agreement was reached between the church and college that one man should not supervise both, Brown decided to remain pastor of the Church and resigned from the College on April 30, 1817. Five years later Brown was chosen to be president of Jefferson College.
Photograph courtesy of Observer Publishing Company.