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Stephen Row Bradley: A Featured Biography


Image of Stephen R. Bradley

Stephen Row Bradley (1754-1830) represented Vermont in the U.S. Senate from 1791 to 1795, and again from 1801 to 1813. Having written Vermont’s Appeal to the Candid and Impartial World in 1779 to advocate for Vermont’s statehood, Bradley’s leadership led to Vermont’s ratification of the Constitution in 1791 and his election as one of the state’s first senators. During his first term in the Senate, Bradley introduced the bill establishing America’s first national flag, now known as the Bradley flag. During his second term, he helped draft the Twelfth Amendment, which simplified the presidential election process. An influential Democratic-Republican senator who was popular with his colleagues, he twice served as the Senate’s president pro tempore. Bradley opposed the War of 1812, predicting that war against England would devastate New England’s manufacturing and shipping economy. Frustrated by his inability to stop that war, Bradley retired in 1813.