Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition


(1849- ), American Semitic scholar, was born in Hanover, New Hampshire, on the 26th of December 1849, the son of Samuel Gilman Brown (1813-1885), president of Hamilton College from 1867 to 1881, and the grandson of Francis Brown (1784-1820), whose removal from the presidency of Dartmouth College and later restoration were incidental to the famous "Dartmouth College case." The younger Francis graduated from Dartmouth in 1870 and from the Union Theological Seminary in 1877, and then studied in Berlin. In 1879 he became instructor in biblical philology at the Union Theological Seminary, in 1881 an associate professor of the same subject, and in 1890 professor of Hebrew and cognate languages.1 Dr Brown's published works have won him honorary degrees from the universities of Glasgow and Oxford, as well as from Dartmouth and Yale; they are, with the exception of The Christian Point of View (1902; with Profs. A. C. McGiffert and G. W. Knox), almost purely linguistic and lexical, and include Assyriology: its Use and Abuse in Old Testament Study (1885), and the important revision of Gesenius, undertaken with S. R. Driver and C. A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (1891-1905).

1 In 1908 he succeeded Charles Cuthbert Hall (1852-1908) as president of the seminary.