Lot of 11 letters and approximately one dozen other manuscript documents spanning 1813-late 1840s. Collection is highlighted by three letters written in 1814 and 1815 by Mary Bray Brown (ca 1754-1819) to her son George Brown (1788-1838) in which she references the capture of Washington during the War of 1812 and the Battle of Waterloo.
Mary Bray was born in Kensington, England. She married Stephen Charles Brown, also of Kensington, in 1783 and had five children. Their oldest child, George, was born in England but emigrated to Nova Scotia sometime before 1812. George Brown was operating as a merchant in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the time his mother's letters were written to him. Mary Brown writes to her son from Lambeth [England] in February 1814, and then again on October 6, 1814, when she shares news of the war: "News arrived here last week from the States of America of the City of Washington haveing been conquered by the British. I do not aprehend this to be by the Expedition you alude to in your letter of the 20th of August, but from some of our ships on the Coast therefore it is expected we shall hear of more bloodshed yet before Peace is concluded with America...." On July 5, 1815, she shares more unpleasant news with her son: "...O my dear son We have to lament the woeful consequence of the return of Bounaparte to the throne of France. I am sorry you will have to hear such dreadful News by the British Papers of the most Dreadful Battle that has been fought yet during the War. It commenced on the 15 and ended on the 18 of June. Shocking to relate that though Wellington has gained the victory he says our loss is immense...."
George Brown and his wife Lucy Hebarts Brown moved from Nova Scotia to New York City ca 1816 and then on to Staten Island. Their daughter, Mary Ann Brown (1814-1883) married Reverend David John Burger, Jr. (1814-1847) of New York City. The remainder of the archive primarily consists of letters and documents relating to the merchant activities of George Brown as well as writings of his son-in-law the Reverend David Burger. One document titled "Thanksgiving" is identified as a sermon preached at "Adrian [Michigan] Nov 27-1844." Some documents are unable to be attributed but seem to be the work of the Reverend or one his brothers, John D. Burger or James M. Burger.
Mary Brown letters are in good condition given age with expected toning and folds. Other documents are in varying conditions but generally are intact and legible.
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