Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
George S. Brown Papers, 1816-1843

Finding aid created by
Clements Staff, September 1997, and Naomi Herman-Aplet and Meg Hixon, December 2011

Summary Information
Title: George S. Brown papers
Creator: Brown, George S., d. 1833
Inclusive dates: 1816-1843
Bulk dates: 1816-1833
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
The George S. Brown papers consist of incoming correspondence and documents related to the merchant's business interests in Rhode Island, Georgia, and New York, though much of the correspondence originates from St. Marys, Georgia. Brown and his partners dealt in timber, foodstuffs, and cotton.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1996. M-3331.3.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

George S. Brown Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is currently arranged in two series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Documents

Each series is arranged chronologically.


George S. Brown (1798-1833) conducted business in Wickford, Rhode Island, and St. Marys, Georgia, in the early 1800s, trading primarily in lumber, foodstuffs, and cotton. He also owned several slaves. He did business with merchants in Georgia, New York, and Rhode Island. George S. Brown and Samuel Clarke were business partners until 1824, after which Brown became a junior partner in the firm Seabury & Brown.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The George S. Brown papers (45 items) consist of incoming correspondence and documents related to the merchant's business interests in Rhode Island, Georgia, and New York.

Much of Brown's early incoming Correspondence is from Samuel Clarke, his business partner until 1824, concerning their financial and business affairs near St. Marys, Georgia, and in New York City. Later, Brown's associates Alfred Doolittle and David Seabury wrote of the timber and cotton industries in Georgia and northern Florida. They occasionally mentioned the purchase of slaves (September 16, 1826, et al.). Seabury, Brown's business partner after 1824, frequently discussed the state of various markets in New York and often alluded to the local fear of a cholera epidemic, and Doolittle noted the effects of the nullification crisis on the citizens of St. Marys (September 15, 1832). Brown managed a cotton plantation near Pigeon Creek, in Georgia, and a textile factory in Potowomut, Rhode Island. The final letter, addressed to Mary S. Brown, concerns taxes for land near Pigeon Creek, Georgia. Two Documents are Samuel Clarke and George S. Brown's agreement to purchase the brig Lark (December 18, 1823), and a document dissolving the pair's business partnership (November 10, 1824).

Subject Terms

    • Cotton trade--United States.
    • Lark (Brig)
    • Lumber trade--United States.
    • New York (N.Y.)--Commerce.
    • Rhode Island--Commerce.
    • Saint Marys (Ga.)--Commerce.
    • Shipment of goods.
    • Slaves--United States.
    • Clarke, Samuel.
    • Doolittle, Alfred.
    • Seabury, David.
    Genre Terms:
    • Legal documents.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-7
     September 8, 1816-September 1843
    Documents [series]
    Box   1 Folder   8
     December 18, 1823-November 10, 1824
    Additional Descriptive Data

    "Monthly Obituary." The American Monthly Magazine 1.6 (June 1833): 264.