Member Biography

James Porter Brawley 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1847       26 Democrat
1849       26 Democrat

COUNTIES: Venango, Crawford  


1819 - 1864

Son of Hugh and Lucy (Daniels) Brawley, born November 5, 1819, Crawford County, the Hon. J. Porter Brawley was educated at Allegheny College, and studied law;  served two terms as member of the Legislature; was elected to the State Senate in 1847, serving three years, 1848-1850; was Surveyor-General of Pennsylvania from 1850 to 1856. He had a family of six children, of whom James Buchanan Brawley was the eldest.
Died on July 23, 1864.
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.