Jasper Ewing Brady

Jasper Brady was born March 4. 1797, the son of John Brady and Jane McCall Brady and therefore the nephew of Captain Sam Brady the Indian fighter. As a boy he learned the trade of hatter in Northumberland County and after traveling from place to place settled in Franklin county where he abandoned his trade and taught school several years, meanwhile studying law. He was admitted to practice at Chambersburg in 1826 or 1827, and was successful.

In 1843 he was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly and was re-elected in 1844. While in the Assembly he offered an amendment to the bill to reduce the state tax which provided for a three mill tax and thus redeemed the credit of the state. Later he was chosen Treasurer of Franklin County which office he filled for three years.

In 1846 Jasper Brady was elected to Congress as a Whig defeating Hon. Samuel Hepburn by some eight hundred votes, but was himself defeated in 1848 by Hon. James X. Lanahan by a small margin. While in Congress he became great friends with young Abraham Lincoln and also served with him on the Whig Congressional Campaign Committee of that period.

William P. Brady, son of Jasper E. Brady now living at Des Moines Iowa, states that he often heard his father say what a genial companion Mr. Lincoln was in all the deliberations of the committee, and while he emphasized his brief speeches by some characteristic stories, he never was known to repeat one, either in that way or in his general conversation. In later years a daughter of Jasper Brady sought an appointment during the Civil War from the then President Lincoln, and was kindly received and given a card in the handwriting of the immortal Emancipator which remains a valuable keepsake in the possession of William P. Brady, and
reads as follows:

"Will the Post Master General please see the bearer, Miss Brady, daughter of an old friend. and oblige her if possible.

(A. Lincoln) Nov. 10, 1864."

In September, 1849, Jasper E. Brady removed to Pittsburgh and practiced law very successfully for 12 years. He was an elder in the Presbyterian Church and filled the office of Clerk of the Session of the Second Presbyterian Church in that city for a number of years. In 1861 he was appointed to a responsible position in the paymaster department at Washington. After the establishment of peace and the reorganization of the department in 1869, Mr. Brady retired from public service and continued to reside in Washington until he passed away in 1871. His remarkable family of eight children attained distinction in many lines, the most prominent descendant perhaps being his grandson Cyrus Townsend Brady, the late novelist and clergyman.

Close Window