Member Biography

James Porter Brawley 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1848       26 Democrat
1849       26 Democrat
1850       26 Democrat

COUNTIES: Venango, Crawford  


11/05/1819 - 07/23/1863

James Porter Brawley (D26) Crawford and Venango Counties 1848-1850

Early Life:

James Porter Brawley, born, November 5, 1819, Meadville, Crawford, Pennsylvania; son of Hugh and Lucy Daniels Brawley; Allegheny College; studied law: married, Isabella Hurst Brooks, children, James Buchanan Brawley; Isabella Hurst Brawley, John Brooks Brawley, Hugh Porter Brawley, Frances Lucy Brawley, Hugh Porter Brawley; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1842-1843; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1848-1850; Surveyor-General of Pennsylvania, 1850-1856; died, July 23, 1863, New York, New York. Burial location unknown.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, Crawford County 1842-1843.

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State Senate, 26th district, Crawford and Venango Counties, 1848-1850. Anecdote: standoff with Senate Speaker Valentine Best, 1850, for the formation of Montour County.  Brawley was the Democratic floor leader and the original 1850 nominee for Speaker, typically referred to as caucus director, opposed to the county’s adjudication, specifically under orders from Democratic bosses William Sterling Ross (D-Luzerne) and Charles Rollins Buckalew (D-Columbia) to form a majority against the bill’s passage. Best defeated Brawley for the Speaker’s seat, Best soliciting votes from Senate Whigs, who he promised important committee chairs should he become the Democratic Speaker.     

Surveyor-General of Pennsylvania, 1850-1856.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives Biography: 

Official Website - PA House Archives Official Website (


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members B"Wilkes University Election Statistics ProjectWilkes University.