TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Administrative Information

Biography of Edward Eagle Brown and family.

Scope and Content of the Collection

Organization

Selected Search Terms

Container List

Series 1: Family Papers, 1749-1955

Series 2: Photographs and Bound Volumes, ca. 1800s-1944

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Inventory of the Edward Eagle Brown Family Papers, 1749-1955, bulk 1810-1900


The Newberry Library
Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610-7324
USA
Phone: 312-255-3506
Fax: 312-255-3646
E-Mail: specialcolls@newberry.org
URL: http://www.newberry.org

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Lisa Janssen, 2009.

©2009.


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Creator Brown, Edward E. (Edward Eagle), 1885-1959
Title Edward Eagle Brown Family Papers
Dates 1749-1955
Dates bulk 1810-1900
Extent 8.3 linear feet (18 boxes, 1 scrapbook)
Abstract Materials pertaining to the family of Chicago banker Edward Eagle Brown, primarily of Brown's father Edward Osgood Brown, great grandfather William Brown, and descendents in the Ipswich and Salem Massachusetts areas.
Language Materials are in English.
Repository Newberry Library, Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
Collection Call Number Midwest MS Brown
Collection Stack Location 3a 37 2

Administrative Information

Cite As

Edward Eagle Brown Family Papers, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Provenance

Gift, Mary Wilmarth Brown, 1966.

Processed by

Lisa Janssen, 2009.

Acknowledgements

This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Access

The Edward Eagle Brown Family Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Edward Eagle Brown Family Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

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Biography of Edward Eagle Brown and family.

Chicago banker, son of Chicago lawyer and judge Edward Osgood Brown.

Edward Eagle Brown was born in Chicago on June 4, 1885, the son of noted Chicago lawyer and judge Edward Osgood Brown and Helen Gertrude Eagle. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1908 and was admitted to the Illinois bar in the same year. He joined the legal department of the First National Bank in 1910, became president of the bank in 1934, and was named chairman of the board in 1945. He served on many city boards and committees including the park district, the Association of Commerce, and was a trustee of the Newberry Library. He married Phyllis Wyatt, a columnist for the Chicago Evening Post, in 1913. He died of a coronary thrombosis in 1959.

Edward Osgood Brown was born on August 5, 1847 in Salem, Massachusetts, son of Edward Brown and Eliza Osgood Dalton. Brown attended Brown University and graduated from Harvard law school. He came to Chicago in 1872 in hopes of capitalizing on potential legal business in the aftermath of the Chicago fire. He and partner Orville Peckham established a successful practice as the city rebuilt, and Brown was involved in several notable Chicago developments including the Haymarket incident of 1886, and the reclamation of Lincoln Park for public use. He was a supporter of a "single tax," and wrote and spoke frequently on the topic. In 1903 he was elected judge of the Superior Court of Cook County and later served the Appellate Division Court and the Circuit Court. Brown converted to Catholicism in 1869 and was an active, liberal member of the Church. In this capacity, he supported labor causes, was anti-war, and was at one time president of the Chicago branch of the NAACP. Brown married Helen Gertrude Eagle in 1884 and they had five children, Edward Eagle, Helen Dalton, Walter Elliott, Robert, and Mary Wilmarth Brown. He died on December 8, 1923.

Edward Osgood Brown's father was Edward Brown, born in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1815, son of William Brown and Dorcas Baker. Though his family hoped that he would enter the ministry, he chose to follow in the family business as a merchant sailor. He was a master mariner, referred to as was the custom as "Captain" though he was never in the military. He was a sailor for nearly twenty years until the death of his first wife, Eliza Osgood Dalton in 1852. He then became part owner of several shipping concerns, but lost his businesses in the advent of the Civil War. He married Jennie Taylor in 1859 and through her family's connections secured a clerical position in the comptrollers office of Chicago. He eventually returned to Massachusetts where he spent the last years of his life.

William Brown (birth date unknown) was born in Ipswich to Nehemiah Brown and Mary Choate. He was a ships' carpenter and later became master sailor, also referred to as "Captain" Brown. He spent his life at sea, sailing out of the ports of Salem, Ipswich, and Boston to Asia and the West Indies on trading ships such as the Putnam, the Janus, and the Minerva. He was married to Dorcas Baker, and upon her death married her sister Ann Baker. Brown had three children with Dorcas, Edward, William Henry, and Dorcas. Both his sons followed him into the sea faring life. His son William Henry was with him on a voyage when he fell ill with a fever and ran off the deck to his death in 1833.

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Scope and Content of the Collection

The bulk of the materials pertain to William Brown's shipping career, including invoices, receipts, bills of lading, and ships' manifests. Other materials include correspondence between members of the Brown and Baker families and other family members, personal and school writings, and financial and legal documents, photographs, memorabilia, and several bound volumes of addresses given by Edward Osgood Brown.

Correspondence of special interest includes: letters written to William Brown by first wife Dorcas and second wife Ann which document family and community developments and reflect their lives as wives left to tend to home and finance while merchant marine husbands were away at sea; letters to stepmother Ann Baker Brown from Edward Brown that detail Brown's life at Amherst College, and career as a merchant sailor, including a trip up the Mississippi through Kentucky and Pennsylvania and into Alton, Illinois where Brown vividly describes the fledgling town; a letter from William H. Brown to an uncle which details dramatically the days leading up to William Brown's death at sea in 1833; and letters (photostat copies) from Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas possibly kept as souvenirs by Edward Osgood Brown.

Personal materials of interest include: diaries of Lucy Putnam Osgood which document the dates of births, deaths, illnesses and marriages, and other notable life events of the Osgood and Brown families; documents pertaining to an incident on the Ship Putnam in which William Brown defends the ship against Malay pirates in 1805; a memoir written by Edward Osgood Brown containing genealogical information on Brown family ancestors including the Newhall, Choate, Dalton, and Babson families, reminiscences of his childhood in Salem, and a description of Chicago immediately after the fire of 1871.

The Photographs and Bound Volumes series include two albums of carte de visites of the Brown, Baker and other family members; photographs of Edward Eagle Brown at business events; two picture postcard albums; several bound volumes of addresses given by Edward Osgood Brown.

Narrative descriptions of the subject matter, types of material, and arrangement of each series are available through the Organization section of the finding aid.

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Organization

Papers are organized in the following series:

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Selected Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Newberry Library's public catalog. Researchers desiring additional materials on a particular topic should search the catalog using these headings.

Names

  • Brown family
  • Brown, Edward E. (Edward Eagle), 1885-1959
  • Brown, Edward Osgood, 1847-1923
  • Brown, William, d. 1833
  • Osgood family

Subjects

  • Merchant mariners -- Massachusetts -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Bankers -- Illinois -- Chicago
  • Brother and sisters -- Correspondence
  • Correspondence -- 1951-2000
  • Family life -- Massachusetts
  • Husband and wife -- Massachusetts -- Correspondence
  • Ipswich (Mass.) -- History -- Sources
  • Lawyers -- Illinois -- Chicago
  • Manuscripts, American -- Illinois -- Chicago
  • Middle West -- Description and travel
  • Parent and child -- Correspondence
  • Photographs -- 1801-1850
  • Photographs -- 1851-1900
  • Photographs -- 1901-1950
  • Pirates -- Malay Archipelago -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Salem (Mass.) -- History -- Sources
  • Scrapbooks -- 1851-1900
  • Scrapbooks -- 1901-1950
  • Shipping -- Massachusetts -- Records and correspondence
  • Speeches -- Illinois -- Chicago -- 1901-1950

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Container List

Series 1: Family Papers, 1749-1955

The bulk of the materials in this series pertain to William Brown, who was a merchant mariner sailing out of Salem and Boston ports. These materials include invoices, receipts, bills of lading, and ships' manifests. Included in this material are accounts of Brown's confrontation with and defeat of Malay pirates, in 1805 on the Ship Putnam. Other materials include correspondence between members of the Brown and Baker families and other family members, personal and school writings, and financial and legal documents.
Arranged alphabetically by family member with some miscellaneous materials at the end.

Box Folder Contents
1 1-3 Baker, George (includes incoming), 1822-1868, n.d.
1 4 Baker, L. W., 1858
1 5 Baker, Nathan Hale "Nate" (from Civil War camp near Washington DC), 1862
1 6 Baker, Samuel, 1816-1837, n.d.
1 7 Brown, Ammi (includes incoming), 1814-1826
1 8 Brown, Ammi - death and estate (handled by William Brown), 1827-1828
1 9 Brown, Ann Baker (includes incoming), 1813-1847
1 10 Brown, Dorcas, 1831-1837, n.d.
1 11 Brown, Dorcas Baker to William Brown, 1815-1823
1 12 Brown, Dorcas Baker - school writing and personal, 1802-1922
1 13 Brown, Edward to Father (William Brown), 1831-1832
1 14-15 Brown, Edward to Mother (stepmother Ann Baker Brown), Brother and Sister (William H. and Dorcas Brown), 1831-1867
1 16 Brown, Edward to Cousin and various friends, 1831-1860
1 16a Brown, Edward - school writings personal documents, 1826-1848
2 17 Brown, Edward Eagle - addresses, reports, 1943-1946, n.d.
2 18 Brown, Edward Eagle - biographical clippings, 1934-1955, n.d.
2 19 Brown, Edward Eagle - commencement programs, University of Chicago and Harvard, 1902, 1905
2 20 Brown, Edward Eagle - correspondence (includes incoming), 1908-1955
2 21 Brown, Edward Eagle - memorabilia and miscellaneous, 1943-1947, n.d.
3 22 Brown, Edward Osgood - addresses, loose (see also bound volumes at end of series), n.d.
3 23 Brown, Edward Osgood - addresses, published, 1893-1909, n.d.
3 24 Brown, Edward Osgood - correspondence (includes incoming), 1896-1917
3 25 Brown, Edward Osgood - memoir (see oversize box), 1915
3 26 Brown, Edward Osgood - memorabilia and miscellaneous (includes letter from Stephen A. Douglas to Colonel E. D. Taylor dated July 20, 1853), 1853-1915, n.d.
3 27 Brown, Phyllis Wyatt - scrapbook, 1914
3 28 Brown, Stephen A. (nephew) to William Brown, 1827
3 29-31 Brown, William - shipping, 1807-1810
4 32-38 Brown, William - shipping, 1811-1816
5 39-45 Brown, William - shipping, 1817-1820
6 46-52 Brown, William - shipping, 1821-1822
7 53-59 Brown, William - shipping, 1823-1824
8 60-66 Brown, William - shipping, 1824-ca. 1820s
9 67-72 Brown, William - shipping, 1830-1834, n.d.
9 73 Brown, William to Ammi Brown (brother), 1822-1823
9 74 Brown, William to Ann Baker Brown, 1830-1831
9 75 Brown, William - estate and other financial documents, 1825-1934
10 76 Brown, William - Federal Street Brewery - financial and legal documents, 1926-1932
10 77 Brown, William - Ship Putnam - accounts and other documents pertaining to piracy incident, 1805-1806
10 78-79 Brown, William H. (3rd) to Mother, Father, Sister and others, 1820-1831
10 80 Brown, William H. (3rd) (includes account of William Brown's death at sea), 1832-1844
10 81 Brown Family - miscellaneous correspondence, 1860, 1863
10 82 Choate, Stephen - financial and legal documents (includes summons signed by John Hancock), 1790-1813
10 83 Dalton, Eliza Osgood - regarding disbursement of belongings, 1830
10 84 Dalton, John - correspondence and personal documents, 1817-1829
10 85 Dalton, Jonathan - invoice, 1800
10 86 Dalton, Eliza Gray to Martha Gray Dalton (sister), 1821
10 87 Dalton, Martha Gray to Eliza Gray Dalton (sister), 1817-1823, n.d.
11 88 Dorr, Edward to John Dalton, 1818-1829
11 89 Farley, L. K. to Mr. Kimball, 1818
11 90 Gordon, Ann to Miss Baker, n.d.
11 91 Gray, Robert A. to Brother and Sister, 1801
11 92 Harris Family miscellaneous, 1828, n.d.
11 93-94 Newhall, Aaron and John Babson - financial and legal documents, 1749-1779
11 95 Olmstead, Eliza Ann to Mrs. Brown, 1858-1872, n.d.
11 96 Osgood, Lucy Putnam - correspondence regarding, diaries, ca. 1770-1860
11 97 Sargent, Henrietta to Dorcas (cousin) and William Brown, 1823-1827
11 98-99 Sarmiento, Caro to Walter E. Brown, Jan.-May 1912
12 100-101 Sarmiento, Caro to Walter E. Brown, Aug.-Nov. 1912
12 102 Taylor, Jennie E. - documents regarding, 1852, n.d.
12 103 Genealogical documents and clippings, 1859-1916, n.d.
12 104 Unidentified correspondence, 1823-1901, n.d.
12 105 Unidentified documents, ca. 1800s
12 106 Unidentified and miscellaneous memorabilia, 1826-1876, n.d.
12 107 Unidentified writings, ca. 1800s

Series 2: Photographs and Bound Volumes, ca. 1800s-1944

Series contains several photographs of Edward Eagle Brown at business events, portraits of William Brown and James Newhall, two family photo albums, two albums of picture postcards belonging Edward Osgood Brown, and an album of photographs of the Raman Research Institute. Bound volumes include typed addresses, many given to the Literary Club, by Edward Osgood Brown, and a scrapbook of clippings and memorabilia complied by Edward Osgood Brown.
Arranged type of material.

Box Folder Contents
13 108 Brown, Edward Eagle, 1939-1944
13 109 Brown, William, James Newhall, and unidentified, ca. 1800s
13 Family photo albums (2) (carte de visites) of Brown, Baker, Taylor, Newhall and other family members, ca. 1800s
13 Picture postcard album from European trip - Edward Osgood Brown, n.d.
13 Raman Research Institute photo album, ca. 1950s
14 Wedding album Edward Osgood Brown - picture postcards of Canada, ca. 1884
15-17 Addresses of Edward Osgood Brown - bound volumes (8), ca. 1910s
Scrapbook - Edward Osgood Brown clippings and memorabilia, 1890-1915