Lawrence Brainerd Edit Profile
Brainerd completed preparatory studies, taught school, was employed as a clerk in a mercantile establishment until 1816.
Born in East Hartford, Connecticut on March 16, 1794, he went to Troy, New York in 1803 to reside with an uncle. He expanded his business interests to include stores, banking, shipping, and railroads, and became wealthy as a result. In 1834 he was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives as a Whig.
He was the party's unsuccessful candidate for Governor in 1846, 1847, 1848, 1852, and 1854. The Governor had appointed Samuel S. Phelps to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William Upham. Phelps served until the Senate resolved 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 once it convened.
Brainerd was then chosen to succeed Phelps, and served from October 14, 1854 to March 3, 1855. He was not a candidate for election to a full term, and was subsequently nominated for Governor, which he declined. Brainerd became a Republican when the party was founded, and was the first Chairman of the Vermont Republican Party.
He was one of the five state party Chairmen who issued the call for the first Republican National Convention, was a Delegate, and called the convention to order for its first session. He resumed business activities and remained active until his death in St. Albans on May 9, 1870. Interment was in Greenwood Cemetery.
Smith founded Brainerd, Minnesota, which he named for his father in law's family. Brainerd's daughter Miranda was the wife of F. Stewart Stranahan, who was an executive in the Smith family businesses and served as Lieutenant Governor of Vermont from 1892 to 1894.
Whig Party, Republican Party.
His anti-slavery views caused him to become a member of the Liberty Party. In 1854 he was a member of the Free Soil Party when he was chosen by the Vermont General Assembly to fill a United States Senate vacancy.
Married Fidelia B. Gadcomb, 1819, 12 children.