William Brent Jr.

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William Brent Jr. (January 13, 1783 – May 13, 1848) was an American lawyer, politician and diplomat from Stafford County, Virginia who served two terms in the Virginia House of Delegates and as the United States Chargé d'Affaires, Argentina from June 14, 1844, to July 7, 1846.[1]

William Brent Jr.
United States Chargé d'Affaires, Argentina
In office
June 14, 1844 – July 7, 1846
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Stafford County
In office
December 4, 1809 – December 1, 1811
Serving with Peter V. Daniel, Charles Julian
Preceded byJohn Moncure
Succeeded byWilliam H. Fitzhugh
Personal details
Born(1783-01-13)January 13, 1783
Stafford County, Virginia, U.S.
DiedMay 13, 1848(1848-05-13) (aged 65)
RelativesWilliam Brent (uncle)
EducationCollege of William and Mary

Early and family lifeEdit

He was born to the former Dorothy Leigh and her husband, Robert Brent, of a distinguished family in Stafford County, Virginia and who became the mayor of Washington, D.C. His uncle, Col. William Brent (1775-1848), served as in Virginia's Fifth Convention during the American Revolutionary War, as well as several terms in the Virginia House of Delegates representing Stafford County, and later as secretary to President Thomas Jefferson and finally as clerk of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.[2][3] This William Brent received a private education suitable to his class, graduated from the College of William and Mary and married Mary Fenwick.

Virginia planter and politicianEdit

Stafford County voters twice elected Brent as one of their (part-time) representatives in the Virginia House of Delegates between 1810 and 1811.[4] In 1820 he owned slaves,[5] and also in 1830.[6]

Diplomacy in ArgentinaEdit

Brent was named as the United States Chargé d'Affaires for Argentina on June 14, 1844, and presented his credentials on November 15, 1844. Shortly after his arrival in Buenos Aires, France and England began their five-year blockade of the city. Brent attempted to mediate the conflict, but his efforts were unsuccessful and his own government did not support him.[7][8]


  1. ^ "William Brent Jr. - People - Department History - Office of the Historian".
  2. ^ W.B. Chilton, The Brent Family (continued), The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography Vol.19 No. 2 p. 206
  3. ^ http://.annefield.net/brentwilliam.htm
  4. ^ Cynthia Miller Leonard, The Virginia General Assembly 1619-1978 (Richmond: Virginia State Library pp. 258, 262
  5. ^ 1820 federal census for Stafford County, Virginia p. 3 of 24 on ancestry.com which interprets "William Brent Jr." as owning 24 enslaved men and boys and 19 enslaved women but pages are damaged and would be lower if the adjacent page carryover is incorrect
  6. ^ 1830 federal census for Stafford County, Virginia pp. 37-38 of 66 on ancestry.com which interprets "Will Brent" as owning 15 slaves
  7. ^ Shavit, David (1992). The United States in Latin America : a historical dictionary (1. publ. ed.). New York u.a.: Greenwood Press. p. 42. ISBN 0313275955.
  8. ^ Brent, Chester Horton. Descendants of Col. Giles Brent, Capt George Brent and Robert Brent, Gentlemen. (Rutland, VT: Tuttle Publishing Co, 1946)

External linksEdit