Lizinka Campbell Brown


Lizinka Campbell Brown, a founder of a prominent late nineteenth-century stock farm, was the daughter of former U.S. Senator George W. Campbell of Tennessee, who also served as secretary of the treasury in the administration of James Madison and Minister to Russia under James Monroe. Lizinka Campbell was born in St. Petersburg on February 24, 1820, and named for the Russian Czarina, who had been her mother's friend.

On April 25, 1839, Campbell married James Percy Brown, an attaché in the American Embassy in Paris. After he died in 1844, Brown returned to Nashville to the home of her father on Charlotte Avenue. When Union forces occupied Nashville in 1862, Brown fled to Virginia, and Military Governor Andrew Johnson lived in the house.

While in Virginia, Brown nursed her wounded cousin, Richard Stoddert Ewell, a general in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. The two, who had corresponded for years, fell in love and married on May 25, 1863. The eccentric Ewell often referred to Brown as “my wife, the widow Mrs. Brown.”

After the war Brown and Ewell moved to a farm in Spring Hill, Tennessee, on land she inherited from her father. Their Ewell Farm, later significantly expanded by Lizinka's son, Major Campbell Brown, became one of the region's great stock-breeding plantations along with its neighbor, the Cleburne Farm, established by McCoy Campbell. The farms introduced some of the first Jersey cattle to the South and bred some of the first harness-racing horses in the country. Their horse races, cattle sales, and stock auctions were attended by the rich and powerful from throughout America. Bisected by the railroad, Ewell Farm had its own depot and a huge warehouse along the tracks.

In January 1872 Ewell, Brown, and her two children were stricken with a respiratory infection. The children recovered, but Ewell's illness extended over several weeks. Brown contracted the infection while nursing him and died within a week, on January 22, 1872. When the family reluctantly informed Ewell of his wife's death, he asked to see her. He died forty-eight hours later. The two were buried in Nashville's Old City Cemetery. With significance in agriculture and architecture, the Ewell Farm and Cleburne Farm are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Lizinka Campbell Brown
  • Coverage 1820-1872
  • Author
  • Website Name Tennessee Encyclopedia
  • URL
  • Access Date June 22, 2024
  • Publisher Tennessee Historical Society
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 1, 2018