Charles Wilson Brown collection of Brown and Wilson family papers
The Charles Wilson Brown collection of Brown and Wilson family papers contain correspondence, manuscripts, and photographs related to Lanta Wilson Smith (Charles Brown's aunt), Rev. Henry Wheaton Brown (Charles Brown's father) and Rev. William Jones Wilson (Charles Brown's grandfather). The correspondence is largely written to or by Lanta Wilson Smith and includes some of her poetry; the remaining correspondence is written by or related to Rev. William Jones Wilson. Autobiographies of both Rev. Brown and Rev. Wilson can be found in the collection as can parish programs and related clippings. The photographs are of Maine churches and Rev. Wilson and his wife.
The Drowne family papers encompass the correspondence and documents of several generations of an old and distinguished Rhode Island family, with the bulk of the materials consisting of writings and other materials pertaining to the life of Solomon Drowne, M.D. (1753-1834).
John Brown (1736-1803) was born in Providence, R.I., the fourth son of merchant James Brown II (1698-1739) and Hope (Power) Brown (1702-1792). He began his working life in partnership with his three brothers (Nicholas, Joseph and Moses) and his uncle as Obadiah Brown & Co., a mercantile firm that traded in rum, slaves, molasses and other goods. The firm was renamed Nicholas Brown & Co. after the death of Obadiah in 1762.
The Newport vertical file, created and maintained by the Redwood Library and Athenaeum for reference purposes, consists of articles, clippings, newspapers, photocopies, and reprints regarding the people, society, historic homes and buildings, maritime activities, civic organizations, music festivals, public celebrations, sporting events, commerce and industry, art, and history of Newport, Rhode Island.
Correspondence and related documents of two generations of the family of Obadiah Williams (1767-1848), Quakers, of Newport and Providence, R.I., New Bedford, Mass., and New York State, chiefly reflecting family matters; connections with the Rotch and Rodman families, whalers and merchants from New Bedford and the Brown family, of Providence, famous for their stand against slavery and founders of Providence Boarding School and Brown University; and the changes, principally those in the first half of the 19th century, involved in the history of the U.S. Subjects include the capture by the British of a ship mastered by Nicholas Williams in 1807, which led to financial disagreements with his brother, David Williams, a clockmaker in Newport; and the War of 1812, particularly pertaining to the death of James Hadwin, a relative, the capture of a family ship by a British privateer, and the embargo in Newport and subsequent difficulties experienced by Quaker merchants which led to the move of Obadiah Williams, merchant, farmer, and businessman, and other family members to Bridgewater and other farming towns in New York State, and Ohio.
Other subjects include the utilization of ties in Newport by family members in New York to conduct trade via the Erie Canal; lands owned in New York State, Ohio, and Massachusetts; political and religious revivalism in New York in the 1820s, including family criticism of the Hicksite movement; the support of Obadiah's son, Henry Williams, of the Whig Party and Martin Van Buren; Quaker women, as exemplified by Ruth Hadwin Williams, second wife of Obadiah and their daughter, Catharine (Williams) Carman, an early student at Providence Boarding School; and descriptions of Newport (ca. 1848), as seen through the eyes of Henry Williams, a visitor, reflecting its people, events, and attitudes. Other family members represented include Dorcas Hadwin Brown, Obadiah Brown, and Mary Rotch.