Brady, John Green

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Missionary, businessman, and territorial governor of Alaska

Brady was born in New York. His mother died when he was very young. His father remarried, but Brady seems to have been unhappy with his step-mother, and he ran away from home when he was eight, living on the streets until he was sent to a children's home, and in 1858 he was sent on the Orphan Train to Indiana, where he was adopted by a local judge named John Green. With him on the same train was Andrew Burke, who became his good friend and was later governor of North Dakota.

After reaching adulthood and graduating from Yale in 1874, Brady became a Presbyterian minister and was one of that denomination's first pastors in Alaska (1878), where he also established a school for Native Alaskan children. He left the ministry and became active in the logging industry. He was appointed territorial governor in 1897 and continued to press for Native Alaskan civil rights, but he resigned in 1906 after a critical enquiry into his involvement with the Reynolds-Alaska Development Company fraud (he was later exonerated). He had diabetes.


Dever, Maria, and Dever, Aileen. Relative Origins: Famous Foster and Adopted People. (Portland: National Book Company, 1992)
O'Connell, Dianne. "The Presbyterians & Native Alaskans: Their Language and Their Land." Available at:
[Portrait]. Available at:
Dictionary of American Biography
American Biographical Archive. (New York: K.G. Saur, 1989-91)
Brady, Hugh Picken. "Oral History Interview." Produced by the Forest History Society, Durham, North Carolina
Kestenbaum, Lawrence. "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Bradshaw to Branstrom." Available at:
Graham, Janet, and Gray, Edward. "The American Experience / The Orphan Trains / Transcript." Available at:


19th Century
20th Century
Business and Industry
Civil Rights, Advocacy
Education, Teaching, Libraries
Rulers, Nobles, Chiefs, Presidents, Prime Ministers
Self-made Men and Women
Exile or Persecution (religious, Political or Social)
Medical Problems, Chronic Illness
Formal, American/European-Type Adoption
School-age Years, Adolescence
Child Ran Away or Left Home to Work
Sent for Adoption/Fostering when Parent Began New Relationship, Conflict With Step-parent
Others ("Strangers")
Wealthy, Famous, Noble or Divine Adoptive or Foster Families
Street Children, Children Who Grew up Without Adult Supervision (at Least Temporarily), or Ran Away
Institutional Care
Parent(s) Died, Disappeared or Became Incapacitated
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