Hamilton Brown papers, 1752-1907.

Creator: Brown, Hamilton, 1786-1870.
Collection number: 1090
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Abstract: The Brown family was prominent in Wilkes County, N.C., and Maury County, Tenn. Persons represented include John Brown (1738-1812), immigrant from Ulster, early landowner in western North Carolina and in Tennessee; his son, Hamilton (1786-1870), planter, businessman, sheriff, and militia officer of Wilkes County; Hamilton’s sons Hugh Thomas Brown (1835-1861) and Hamilton Allen Brown (1837-1917); and Gordon, Gwyn, Finley, Lenoir, and McDowell relatives, including James Byron Gordon (1822-1864), Confederate general. The collection includes extensive and varied business and personal papers, including correspondence, accounts, legal papers, and other items pertaining to land acquisitions, planting, slaves, livestock, lumbering, merchandising, estates, and politics in Wilkes County, N.C., and elsewhere; military service in the War of 1812 and the Civil War; gold mining in Lumpkin County, Ga.; travels and settlement in Tennessee, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana in the early 19th century; business in Virginia, Georgia, and many places in western North Carolina; and local government of Wilkes County in the early 19th century. Other papers include letters and diaries, 1850s, of Hamilton Brown’s sons at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; several letters from slaves, 1830s-1840s, and about runaway slaves; letters from students at other colleges; and a play and poems by a woman of the family.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Antebellum papers dating from the 1770s contain a number of slave bills of sale and documents concerning the hiring-out of slaves in Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee; a series of letters from William Gwyn concerning arrangements to hire a particular slave couple (1835); and several letters from Indiana residents responding to runaway slave notices posted by Hamilton Brown (1835-1839). Also included are letters from slaves negotiating terms of hire (1830s-1840s) and contracts for hiring freedmen (1871-1907). Microfilm available.