Open main menu

General Patrick Henry Brittan was born in Thornton Gap, Virginia on September 21, 1815.

Patrick Henry Brittan
10th Secretary of State of Alabama
In office
GovernorAndrew B. Moore
John Gill Shorter
Thomas H. Watts
Preceded byJames H. Weaver
Succeeded byAlbert Stanhope Elmore
Personal details
BornSeptember 21, 1815
DiedMarch 18, 1868(1868-03-18) (aged 52)
Political partyDemocratic


He learned printing in Washington, D.C. and then migrated to Columbus, Georgia in 1839 to practice his trade. He married Ora Williams of Morgan County, Georgia in that same year. They would have nine children together. They moved to LaFayette, Alabama in 1843, where he established the LaFayette Tribune.[1]

He relocated again in 1847 to Montgomery, Alabama, where he bought a half-interest in the Montgomery Advertiser. He maintained his interest in the paper throughout several partnerships. In 1853, the Advertiser became the first newspaper in the state to be published using a steam-powered printing press. He started another newspaper, the Montgomery Messenger, in 1856. It was a small daily that he merged with the Confederation in 1858, in a new joint venture with two other partners. It was in this year that his new home at 507 Columbus Street was completed.[1] The Patrick Henry Brittan House is a historic Italianate style house in Montgomery. Completed in 1858, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 13, 1979.[2]

Brittan served as quartermaster general of Alabama from 1857 until 1859. In 1859, he was elected as the 10th Secretary of State of Alabama. He served in this capacity from 1860 until the end of the Civil War.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Brittan and his wife had nine children: Kate, Mary, Henry S., Emmett, Grattan, Lizzie B., Lucy, Sallie, and Belle. He died in Montgomery on March 18, 1868.[1] Brittan was the uncle of the sculptor, William Randolph Barbee.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Alabama Secretaries of State: Patrick Henry Brittan". Alabama Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
  3. ^ "History". Office of the Secretary: Alabama Secretary of State. Archived from the original on 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2010-02-14. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ "Alabama Secretaries of State Patrick Henry Brittan". Alabama Department of Archives & History. September 24, 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
Political offices
Preceded by
James H. Weaver
Secretary of State of Alabama
Succeeded by
Albert Stanhope Elmore