Processing and conservation of this collection
were funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Brown Family Papers
1 linear foot (2 boxes)
The Brown Family Papers consist
primarily of family and personal correspondence of Francis (b. 1815), Ellen
(Appleton), Annie B. (b. 1847), and Sarah H. Brown (b. 1845) of Salem,
Scope and Content Note
The Brown Family Papers consist primarily of family and personal correspondence of
Francis (b. 1815), Ellen (Appleton), Annie B. (b. 1847), and Sarah H. Brown (b.
1845) of Salem, Massachusetts. Also included are papers of Francis' parents, Ammi
(1776-1827) and Hannah (Baker) Brown (b. 1788), and his grandmother Hannah (Newhall)
Baker. This collection contains very few shipping papers of Francis Brown, who was a
noted Salem shipmaster.
Francis and Ellen Brown's correspondence documents their 1874 excursion to
London, Pairs, Brussels, Interlaken, Vevey, and Liverpool. The correspondence
includes letters to and from their children, Ellen, Frank, Susan, and Annie. Sarah
Brown travelled with her parents (see Sarah's 1874 correspondence in B2 F1).
Francis' business and personal correspondence contains travel arrangements and
letters of introduction for the European trip, personal correspondence from Edward
Brown of Chicago, and business correspondence from the Salem Lead Company (of which
Francis was treasurer).
Receipts and an account book document Francis' shipping career. The account book
includes accounts of four vessels which Francis mastered between 1840 and 1848: bark
Brazil, ships Caroline
and Ann Maria, and brig Rattler.
Annie B. Brown's personal correspondence contains letters from friends, her
cousins Joseph and Edward O. Brown, and her sisters Susan and Nell (Ellen). Nell's
letters include news from St. Louis and Chicago (1865-1866). Sarah's correspondence
contains letters to her siblings, written during the 1874 excursion, and
correspondence received from friends and relations. Of interest are descriptive
letters from Sarah's friend Lois Harrison in California during the 1890s. Ammi Brown
was the keeper of the Ipswich jail and possibly a court clerk. His account book
includes household and court entries. The 1821 letter, written by convict Moses
Read, mentions his jailer, Ammi. Hannah (Baker) Brown's receipts contain household
receipts and accounts for Ammi's estate and Francis' education. Hannah (Newhall)
Baker's personal correspondence was written to her cousin, Catherine Sargent.
The miscellaneous papers include a deed for land in the estate of Col. Abraham
How Jr. of Ipswich (1803), a court document regarding the murder of Thomas Branagan
(1822), essays, poetry, and word games.
Francis Brown was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on
August 5, 1815 to Ammi (1776-1827) and Hannah (Baker) (1788-1870) Brown. His early
education took place at the private school of Samuel Archer. Presumably, his first
major employer was the firm of William Dean and Company; Brown was later employed
with Ebenezer Seccomb.
He first went to sea on the 290-ton brig Neptune,
most likely on a Sumatra voyage which was registered at Salem on September
29, 1831, under Captain William Osgood. Brown also served aboard the John
Bertram-owned brig Cherokee under Captain Bensen, on a
voyage to Batavia and Europe, from which he returned from Rotterdam on the bark
Brazil. This voyage was most likely the one
registered at Salem on March 6, 1837. After serving for a time as a business partner
in the firm Seccomb and Brown, he landed his first major position on board a ship as
the supercargo on board the bark Star, which he was
part owner of, on a voyage to Zanzibar. Afterward, Brown worked as captain and/or
supercargo on the brig Rattler, the ship Carolina to Rio de Janeiro and Canton, the bark Brazil to Sumatra, and the Ann
Maria, to the East Indies.
After retiring from sea duty, he served as an agent in California for David
Pingree. Upon his return to Salem, he became treasurer of the Salem Gas Light
Company, treasurer of the Salem Lead Company, trustee of the Salem Five Cent Savings
Bank, and a director of the Salem National Bank. Brown was elected alderman in Salem
in 1861. He died on November 14, 1880 after a long illness, leaving behind a widow,
Ellen, and several children.
Ammi Brown was born in Ipswich in 1776, the son of
Nehemiah and Mary (Choate) Brown. He was the keeper of the Ipswich jail. In 1814 he
married Hannah Baker (1788-1870). They had one son, Francis. Ammi died in Salem on
October 4, 1827.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons,
or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Baker, Hannah (Newhall)
Brown, Ammi, 1776-1827
Brown, Annie B., b. 1847
Brown, Edward O.
Brown, Edward, 1771-1844
Brown, Ellen Appleton
Brown, Francis, 1815-1880
Brown, Hannah Baker, b. 1788
Brown, Sarah, b. 1845
Ann Maria (Ship)
Salem Lead Co.
Courts--Officials and employees
Voyages and travels
Brussels (Belgium)--Description and travel
California--Description and travel
Chicago (Ill.)--Description and travel
Interlaken (Switzerland)--Description and travel
Liverpool (England)--Description and travel
London (England)--Description and travel
Saint Louis (Mo.)
Vevey (Switzerland)--Description and travel
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in
writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex
Brown Family Papers, MSS 195, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem,
Francis Brown's shipping account book was donated by Mrs. Francis Brown in 1935. The
remainder of the collection is from an unknown source.
Collection processed by Sylvia B. Kennick, September 1985. Updated by Tamara Gaydos,
Putnam, George Granville. Salem Vessels and Their
Voyages. Salem: Essex Institute, 1922.
Ship Registers of the District of Salem and Beverly
Massachusetts, 1789-1900. Salem: Essex Institute, 1906.
Vital Records of Salem Massachusetts to the End of the
Year 1849. Salem: Essex Institute, 1916.
The Brown Family Papers consist primarily of family and personal correspondence of Francis (b. 1815), Ellen (Appleton), Annie B. (b. 1847), and Sarah H. Brown (b. 1845) of Salem, Massachusetts.
Salem Lead Co.; Ann Maria (Ship); Brazil (Bark); Caroline (Ship); Rattler (Brig); Brussels (Belgium)--Description and travel; California--Description and travel; Chicago (Ill.)--Description and travel; Interlaken (Switzerland)--Description and travel; Liverpool (England)--Description and travel; London (England)--Description and travel; Saint Louis (Mo.); Salem (Mass.); Vevey (Switzerland)--Description and travel; Baker, Hannah (Newhall); Branagan, Thomas; Brown, Ammi, 1776-1827; Brown, Annie B., b. 1847; Brown, Edward, 1771-1844; Brown, Edward O.; Brown, Ellen; Brown, Ellen Appleton; Brown, Francis, 1815-1880; Brown, Frank; Brown, Hannah Baker, b. 1788; Brown, Sarah, b. 1845; Brown, Susan; Harrison, Lois; How, Abraham; Sargent, Catherine; Account books; Children; Courts--Officials and employees; Merchants--Salem (Mass.); Poetry; Trials (Murder); Voyages and travels
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.