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Haverford College
Quaker and Special Collections

Moses Brown Papers, 1815-1911

Ms. Coll. 1024
ca. 263 items (2 boxes)

Table of contents

Genealogy and family history

Moses Brown (1793-1878) m. Mary Wistar (1807-1842). Mary was the sister of Caspar Wistar, M.D. (1801-1867) and the daughter of Thomas Wistar (1764-1851) and Mary Waln Wistar (1765-1844).

Moses and Mary's children were Thomas Wistar Brown (1826-1916), Moses Brown (1829-1883) and Mary W. Brown (1831-1839).

Moses Brown (1829-1883) m. Mary Waln Wistar (b. 1829), his first cousin, the daughter of Caspar Wistar, M.D. (1801-1867) and Lydia Jones Wistar (1804-1878).

Moses Brown (1829-1883) and Mary Wistar Brown (b. 1829) had children: Wm. Wistar Brown (1856-1857), Thomas Wistar Brown (b. 1857), Moses Brown (b. 1866) and Mary Waln Wistar Brown (b. 1864).

See: "The Wistar Family. A Genealogy of the Descendants of Caspar Wistar, emigrant in 1717" compiled by Richard Wistar Davids (Philadelphia, 1896) [BX7721 W81 D25]; note discrepancy in death date of Mary W. Brown (1831-1839) in book, ms. account of her illness and death gives her death date as 1839 not 1841.

Links to images

The following list brings together all of the image links found throughout this finding aid.

Scanned Image Page 1 of ALS of Mary Wistar Brown, 7 mo. 3, 1830, to her husband Moses Brown, who has gone to Dover, N.H. on family and personal business. Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 (each approx. 107k)

Scanned Image Page 1 of ALS of Moses Brown, Dover, N.H., 2 mo. 3, 1821, to his brother Amos, with business advice. Page 2 (each approx. 78k)

Scanned Image Page 1 of ALS of Moses Brown, Philadelphia, 6 mo. 4, 1838, to his son, Thomas Wistar Brown, on the occasion of his 13th birthday. Page 2 (each 78k)

Summary of collection

Correspondence, legal, land and estate papers (wills, powers of attorney, deeds, mortgages, bonds, etc.), account book, ms. book, and other papers of the Quaker Brown family of Philadelphia and New Hampshire.

Correspondence includes letters to and from Mary Wistar Brown (1807-1842) with family and friends discussing health and family matters; correspondence between Mary Wistar Brown and her husband Moses Brown while he was visiting his family in Dover, New Hampshire (1830, 1834); a journal of the final months and last illness of Mary W. Brown (1831-1839) written by her mother (of particular interest in illustrating the religious life of a child); account book of Moses Brown (1793-1878) containing memoranda of wages paid, etc.; correspondence (1821-1868) of Moses Brown (1793-1878) with family and friends on family and family dry-goods business, Society of Friends matters, correspondents include Stephen Grellet and many others; legal and land papers related to the estates of Moses Brown (1793-1878) and his son Moses Brown (1829-1883).

Related collections

Related collections include the Thomas Pym Cope family papers, 1795-1891, Ms. Coll. 1013.

Arrangement and description of collection

Box 1 (9 folders):

  • 1-2 - Mary Wistar Brown (1807-1842), letters to and from family and friends.
  • 3-9 - Moses Brown (1793-1878), account book, letters to and from family and friends.

Box 2 (9 folders):

  • 1 - T. Wistar Brown (1826-1916), Haverford College material.
  • 2 - Mary W. Brown (1831-1839), account of final illness and death of daughter, Mary W. Brown written by her mother, Mary Wistar Brown (1807-1842).

Box 3 - Printed and special materials

Box 4-5 - Estate related papers, 1831-1883, Moses Brown (1793-1878) and Moses Brown (1829-1883).

Box 6-9 - Land related papers, 1810-1888

Contents of boxes follows:

Box 1

9 folders

  1. Brown, Mary Wistar (1807-1842)
    (ca. 31 items) includes: ALS, 1815-1840 and many not dated.
    notes on contents:
    • Letters to and from family and friends on family and personal matters (health concerns, invitations to parties, household matters, memorial of Elizabeth Armit (Mary Wistar's grandmother, d. 1802), thoughts for Thomas Wistar Brown (b. 1826) on various birthdays from his mother, etc.)
    • Correspondents include her mother, Mary (Waln) Wistar (1765-1844), her father Thomas Wistar (1764-1851), Eliza Kirkbride (later Gurney)
  2. Brown, Mary Wistar (1807-1842)
    (ca. 31 items) ALS, 1825-1834
    notes on contents:
    • Letters to her husband Moses Brown (29 while he was at Dover, New Hampshire in 1830 and 1834) on family and personal matters (see image below)

    Scanned Image Page 1 of ALS of Mary Wistar Brown, 7 mo. 3, 1830, to her husband Moses Brown, who has gone to Dover, N.H. on family and personal business. Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 (each approx. 107k)

  3. Account book of Moses Brown (1793-1878), 1826-1847.
    (contains memoranda re payment of wages to various persons, etc.)
  4. Brown, Moses (1793-1878)
    (ca. 26 items) ALS, 1834-1835
    notes on contents:
    • Letters to his wife, Mary Wistar Brown, while he was in New England (Moses is visiting the family "homestead" in Dover, New Hampshire) on personal and family matters [with note by him "Letters addressed to my precious wife in 1834 during my absence in N. England. Worthy of preservation only as affording reminiscences of that trying period and evidence I think of my dear and tender love for her. M.B. 9 mo. 2, 1840"]
  5. Brown, Moses (1793-1878)
    (ca. 32 items) ALS (includes his copies), 2 silhouettes, 1821-1866
    notes on contents:
    • Letters written by him to family and friends on personal and business matters (includes letters to his son T. Wistar Brown on the occasion of birthdays (see image below), letters re plants, letter to J.G. Whittier, drafts of letter to John M. Whitall in appreciation of his paying off debts to creditors, etc.)

    Scanned Image Page 1 of ALS of Moses Brown, Dover, N.H., 2 mo. 3, 1821, to his brother Amos, with business advice. Page 2 (each approx. 78k)

    Scanned Image Page 1 of ALS of Moses Brown, Philadelphia, 6 mo. 4, 1838, to his son, Thomas Wistar Brown, on the occasion of his 13th birthday. Page 2 (each 78k)

  6. Brown, Moses (1793-1878)
    (ca. 29 items) ALS addressed to him, 1821-1868
    Correspondents, A-B are:
    • Almy, William, ALS, Providence, 4 mo. 4, 1827 re Hicksite controversy
    • Backhouse, Jonathan, ALS, Terre Haute, 3 mo. 9, 1832
    • Brown, Amos P. (nephew), ALS, Phila., Feb. 8, 1868
    • Brown, David Sands (brother), 6 ALS, 1820-1868
    • Brown, David, ALS, 2 mo. 25, 1821
    • Brown, Jeremiah (brother), 3 ALS, Phila., 1 mo. 22-2 mo. 8, 1821
    • Brown, John [or is it Jeremiah??] (with Mordecai D. Lewis), 10 ALS, Phila., 1821 re business
    • Brown, Moses (1738-1836), ALS, Providence, 1st of 6th mo., 1836 re Memoirs of Anthony Benezet (also typed transcript)
    • Brown, Nathaniel H., ALS, [Phila.?], 1 mo. 15, 1868
    • Brown, William H. (nephew), ALS, Phila., 8 mo. 2, 1858
    • Brown, T. Wistar (son), 3 ALS, Niagara Falls, 6 mo. 12, 14, 1868 and Saratoga Springs, 8 mo. 26, [1868?]
  7. Brown, Moses (1793-1878)
    (ca. 16 items) ALS addressed to him, 1820-1868
    Correspondents, C-K are:
    • Chase, P. Brown (nephew), ALS, Burlington, 10 mo. 29, 1825
    • Cope, Alfred, 3 ALS, 1868
    • Cope, M.C., ALS, 5/3/1836 re seeds sent to Moses
    • Cox, John, 1 ALS, 1 L, Oxmead, 1845-1846, re his health (age 92), grapes sent him by Moses
    • Evans, Jonathan, ALS, Phila., 10 mo. 29, 1868 re use of a Meeting house room for a school for poor children
    • Grellet, Stephen, 2 ALS, Burlington, 1845-1849, re grapes from Moses
    • G., E.P. [Gurney, Eliza P.?], 2 ALS, n.d., [addressed to E.W. Wistar] recollections of past times together and religious reflections
    • Gurney, J[oseph] J[ohn], ALS, Phila., n.d., re visit to Briscoe
    • Hacker, Isaiah (brother-in-law?), 2 ALS, Salem, 1820-1821 re family and business
    • Howell, Rebecca H. (niece), ALS, 4/22 no year,
  8. Brown, Moses (1793-1878)
    (ca. 26 items) ALS addressed to him, 1821-1868
    Correspondents, L-T are:
    • Lewis, Mordecai D., ALS, 1 mo. 9, 1821 re business
    • Lingerman, J., ALS, Bustletown, Jan. 15, 1868
    • Mackie, Dr., ALS, Bordertown, April 13, 1858 re character of coachman
    • Martin, A., ALS, Aug. 26, 1839
    • Morris, Elliston P. (cousin), 3 ALS, 1868 re new Meeting house
    • Morris, Samuel (cousin), ALS, Olney, 3 mo. 21, 1868 re potatoes
    • Morris, John T. (nephew), ALS, Phila., 4 mo. 12, 1859
    • Morris, James T. (nephew), ALS, Haverford, June 5, 1859 re at College
    • Morris, Sarah P. (cousin), AL, 5.24/53 religious poem and encloses her card
    • Purinton, Betsy (cousin), 2 ALS, Providence, 1825-1826
    • Ralston, Robert, L re him, Sept. 20, 1833
    • Rittenhouse, Charles, ALS, Bloomfield, Balt., Feb. 11, 1859
    • Schaeffer, Jos. A., 2 ALS, Germantown, 1868 re painting
    • Saunders, William, ALS, Germantown, April, 29, 1858 re moss in his lawn
    • Tudor, Frederick, ALS, Boston, April 8, 1850
    • Thompson, Francis, AL, 12 mo. 11, 1826 re declines invitation
    • Tasker, Thomas T., ALS, Phila., April 15, 1868
    • Snyder[?], Philip, ALS, York, Feb. 25, 1850 re financial business
    • Tyson, Jesse, ALS, Balt., 5 mo. 9, 1868
    • Tuttle, Asa, ALS, Dover, 11 mo. 5, 1848

    also: 2 ms. re painting house

  9. Brown, Moses (1793-1878)
    (ca. 25 items) ALS chiefly addressed to him, 1831-1868
    Correspondents, U-Z are:
    • Vaux, George, AL [addressed to Thomas Wistar], 11 mo. 24, no year re invitation to dine
    • Vaux, [Wm. S.?], AL and ALS, June 26, 27, 1868 re cicadas
    • Wistar, Caspar, 5 ALS, [Phila.], 1834-1838 and n.d.
    • Wistar, Elizabeth Waln (sister-in-law), 8 ALS, 1849 and n.d. [some addressed to Mary Wistar] re family matters
    • Wistar, Moses, ALS, Beeslys Point, 7 mo. 21, 1833 re scarlet fever
    • Wistar, Mary (his mother-in-law), 5 ALS, 1839-1842 re family
    • Wistar, Thomas (brother-in-law), ALS, Stanley, 5 mo. 18, 1850 re possibility of some Friends traveling to New England (reconciliation in Society of Friends)
    • Wood, George B., ALS, Phila., May 10, 1831
    • Wright, Edward N., ALS, n.d.

Box 2

(9 folders)

  1. Brown, T. Wistar (1826-1916)
    (5 items)
    Haverford College material includes:
    • 3 ALS from George A. Barton, Bryn Mawr College, to T. Wistar Brown, 7 mo. 12, 14, 24, 1909 re ms. for "Part II of the Haverford Library Collection" [of Babylonian text?]
    • "Plan of property of the Corporation of Haverford College" 1911 (printed)
    • "Plan showing proposed golf course for Merion Cricket Club" 1910 (printed)
  2. Mary W. Brown (1831-1839)
    Ms. book telling of final illness and death of daughter, Mary W. Brown written by her mother, with recollections of the last few months of her life (interesting re religious experiences of a child)
  3. Printed and special materials
    (13 items)
    includes:
    • notes of birth and death dates of Brown family (2 p.)
    • typed excerpts from will of Catharine M. Brown (1888)
    • poem for daughter Mary [W. Brown] (d. 1839)
    • note of death of Elizabeth Waln (1837)
    • notices of funerals for Roberts Vaux, George Vaux, Elizabeth M. Wistar
    • printed circular re Westtown School
    • Mass. Circuit Court of Common Pleas document (1821)
    • invitation (1845)
    • "Proposition for the examination of young persons in the Holy Scriptures" (printed)
    • "Minute on slavery" 1839 (printed)
    • "For the golden wedding of John Jay and Rachel P. Smith" 1871 (printed)

Folders 4-9 contain legal documents as follows:

  1. Estate related documents
    Moses Brown (1793-1878)
    Moses Brown (1829-1883)
    (4 items)
    includes:
    • Bond and warrant, Jeremiah Brown and Moses Brown to George Vaux, Executor, 1831
    • Letters of administration and will of Moses Brown, 1878
    • Inventory and appraisement of estate of Moses Brown, 1878 (ms. copy)
    • Will of Moses Brown, Jr., proved 5 mo. 28, 1883
  2. Estate related documents
    Moses Brown (1793-1878) Executors' accounts
    (2 items)
    • Estate of Moses Brown, Executors a/c 1878-1883
    • Estate of Moses Brown Executors account since June 1, 1883
  3. Land related documents, 1810-1844
    (8 items [found tied together in bundle])
    includes:
    • Mortgage of Thomas Wistar Brown to Moses Brown, 1810
    • Mortgage of Emanuel Rhoads to Dorothea Rhoads, 1844
    • Deed, John Brown & wife to Moses Brown, 1834
    • Bond and warrant, Moses Brown to Sarah Emlen Cresson, Executrix &c., 1842
    • Mortgage, Jeremiah Brown and Moses Brown to George Vaux, 1831
    • Bond & Warrant Moses Brown to Marmaduke C. Cope, 1842
    • Mortgage, Moses Brown to Marmaduke C. Cope, 1842
    • Jeremiah Brown's memo respecting the deed of store in Dover, N.H., 1831
  4. Land related documents, 1842
    (3 items)
    includes the following found wrapped together:
    • Mortgage of Moses Brown to Caspar Wistar, M.D., 1842
    • Bond and warrant Moses Brown to Caspar Wistar, M.D., 1842
    • Searches vs. Moses Brown, 1842
  5. Land related documents, 1842-1888
    (3 items)
    • Mortgage of Moses Brown to Sarah Emlen Cresson Executrix &c. 1842
    • Deed of Thomas Wistar Brown, the younger and others to Thomas Wistar Brown, 1888
    • Deed Mary W.W. Brown, Jr. to the Provident Life and Trust Company of Philadelphia, 1888 ("copy")
  6. Land related documents, 1888
    (ca. 7 items [all related to estate of Moses Brown (1829-1883)? and found together in envelope addressed to Moses Brown with return address of US Consulate at Para, Brazil])
    • "Power of attorney, T.W. Brown the younger to the President for the time being of the Prov. Life & Trust Co.," 1888
    • "Power of attorney, Thomas Wistar Brown, the younger to the President for the time being of the Provident Life & Trust Co., of Philadelphia" 1888
    • Agreement, Mary Waln Wistar Brown with T. Wistar Brown for sale of her int. in Real Estate, 1888
    • Agreement, Moses Brown and T. Wistar Brown for sale of his int. in Real Estate, 1888
    • papers re Moses Brown's estate, 1888 belonging to T. Wistar Brown
    • Power of attorney, T. Wistar Brown the younger to Moses Brown, 1888
    • letter, Sept. 5, 1888 accompanying the return of deeds

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Contact Diana Franzusoff Peterson (dfpeters@haverford.edu or 610-896-1284) for more information about this collection. Please include the manuscript collection number in your request.

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