James Browne (1666-1732) was born in Providence in 1666, the son of John and Mary (Holmes) Browne, and grandson of Chad Browne, the original settler of the Brown family, who came to Rhode Island in 1638 from England. He ended his name with an "e", a practice that was discontinued by his descendants.
James Browne, born in 1724 to James (1698-1739) and Hope (Power) Browne (1702-1792) of Providence, took up the family business of trading to the Caribbean. This collection consists of two cyphering and navigation books, dated 1743. The first, dated from January to February 1742/3, is a primer of Geometry and Trigonometry, which also contains lessons in Plain Sailing and Mercators Sailing. The second volume, dating from February 1742/3 to April 1743, is lessons in Mercator’s Sailing, Latitude, and Traverse Sailing, and ends with the day to day journal of his voyage to the island of Barbados in 1742/3.