John H. Brower Papers (Coll. 41)

An Inventory of the Collection at the G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport

Collection register prepared by the Manuscripts Division.

Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.
Mystic, Connecticut

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Brower, John Hamil, 1801-1881.
Title: John H. Brower Papers
Dates: 1838-1881.
Abstract: This is a collection of chiefly records of Brower Company and its predecessors: Brower & Nelson and Wynkoop, Arthur & Brower, which conducted business (mostly in cotton) on an extensive scale, with interests in as many as 15 vessels at one time.
Quantity: 825 pieces
Identification: Coll. 41

Biography of John H. Brower and Thomas Browning Hewitt

John H. Brower was a commission merchant, of New York, N.Y. While a young man he entered the wholesale grocery house of Augustus Wynkoop as a clerk, and in 1832 became a partner in the business. Later the firm became Wynkoop, Arthur & Brower, then Brower & Nelson, and finally J. H. Brower & Co. By this time its original trade had gradually merged into a general commission business which was conducted on an extensive scale, at one time including interests in as many as 15 vessels. Brower is perhaps most remembered for his two clippers, the ANDREW JACKSON and the HARVEY BIRCH. Brower's firm also originated the New York and Texas Packet Line, and much of his business was always identified to a great degree with the interest of Texas. He once served as Consul for the Republic of Texas in New York. J.H. Brower & Co. ceased operation in 1881. Mr. Brower died a few weeks later on June 15. At the time of his death he was described as "the oldest cotton merchant in the city."

Thomas Browning Hewitt (1842-1921) Was born and raised in Stonington, Connecticut, graduated from Yale University, married Amanda E. Brower, and went on to become a successful corporation lawyer in New York. He was evidently involved in several ALABAMA Claims cases.


Scope and Contents of the Collection

Includes business letters written to Brower by numerous shipmasters and agents between 1840 and 1865, particularly letters from Capt. W. S. Johnson of the clipper ANDREW JACKSON and Capt. W. H. Nelson of the clipper HARVEY BIRCH; vessel accounts, marine insurance policies, bills of sale, and other documents (1840-1860), including abstract logs for the voyages of the ANDREW JACKSON (1856-1861), maritime insurance policies, charter parties (1842-1847), and notebook (1856-1857) identifying "ship passages" of the New York and Texas Packet Line (which emphasized company interests in Texas); and information concerning Alabama claims cases (1876-1881), some involving Brower vessels and others reflecting cases in which Brower's son-in-law, Thomas Browning Hewitt, served as attorney.


Arrangement of the Collection

Box 1 contains most all of the correspondence found in the collection, and is primarily business letters written to John H. Brower by numerous shipmasters and agents between 1840 and 1865. Of special interest are many letters from Capt. W.S. Johnson describing the activities of the ANDREW JACKSON (including details of her sale to a British firm in 1863), and from Capt. W.H. Nelson of the HARVEY BIRCH.

Box 2 contains vessel accounts, marine insurance policies, bills of sale, and other documentation relative to the activities of John H. Brower between 1840 and 1860. There are 4 folders of material relative to the clipper ANDREW JACKSON, including abstract logs for her voyages between 1856 and 1861. There is a folder of maritime insurance policies covering cargoes shipped to and from Texas and New York, and another folder containing bills of sale for numerous vessels in which J.H. Brower held an interest. There is a folder of Charter Parties covering, the years 1842-1847, and a pocket notebook identifying "ship passages" of the Texas-New York Line, 1856-1857.

Box 3 contains information on Alabama Claims cases, 1876-1883. Included are published transcripts, business records of vessels involved in various cases, and other pertinent material. Most of the cases involved Brower vessels while others are cases in which Thomas Browning Hewitt served as attorney.


Index Terms

Persons:
Hewitt, Thomas Browning,--1842-1921
Johnson, W.S.,--Captain--Correspondence
Nelson, W.H.,--Captain--Correspondence
Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):
Andrew Jackson (Ship)
Brower & Nelson
Harvey Birch (Ship)
J.H. Brower & Co.
New York and Texas Packet Line
Wynkoop, Arthur & Brower
Places:
New York (N.Y.)--Commerce--Texas
Texas--Commerce--New York (State)--New York
Subjects:
Alabama claims
Charter-parties
Cotton trade
Insurance, Marine--Policies
International trade
Practice of law--New York (State)--New York
Shipping--New York (State)--New York
Document Types:
Bills of sale
Insurance policies
Logs (records)
Occupations:
Commission merchants--New York (State)--New York
Lawyers--New York (State)--New York
Shipmasters

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Correspondence; 1838-1881.
Box Folder
1 1 General business; ca. 1830-1840
2 General business; ca. 1840-1850
3 General business; 1850-1852
4 General business; 1853
5 General business; 1854-1855
6 General business; 1856
7 General business; 1857
8 General business; 1858
9 General business; 1859
10 General business; 1860-1861
11 General business; 1862
12 General business; 1863
13 General business; 1864
14 General business; 1865-1866
15 Correspondence written primarily by Captains J.E. Williams and W.S. Johnson from San Francisco regarding the activities of the ship ANDREW JACKSON; 1855-1864
16 Letterbook, John H. Brower; 1844-1845
17 Letters from J.H. Brower in Texas; 1852-1853
18 Miscellaneous Brower and Hewitt family letters; 1871-1881
Box Folder
2 1 Abstract logs of the ship ANDREW JACKSON ; 1856-1861
2 Bills, accounts, documents, etc. regarding the ship ANDREW JACKSON, New York; 1859
3 Bills, accounts, documents, etc., regarding the ship ANDREW JACKSON, San Francisco; 1860
4 Bills, accounts, clippings, etc., regarding the ship ANDREW JACKSON; n.d.
5 Miscellaneous bills, accounts, documents, bills of lading, etc. relating to John Brower; 1828-1882
6 Maritime insurance policies, covering various cargos shipped to and from Texas and New York; n.d.
7 Statements, accounts, memos, etc. relating to maritime insurance; ca. 1860
8 Bills of sale for numerous vessels; ca. 1840-1860
9 Charter parties; 1842-1847
10 Protest, ship F. AUSTIN, James Clark, master; 1858 Jan 5
11 Cargo consignment load for numerous vessels; ca.1850
12 Pocket notebook identified as "Ship Passages," Texas-New York Line; 1856-1857
13 Land transactions and mortgages; 1827-1851
14 Power of attorney; 1842-1852
15 Papers relating to silver mining; 1865-1866
16 School reports for Thomas B. Hewitt and Amanda Brower; 1857-1862
17 Biographical sketch of John H. Brower by daughter Amanda Brower; 1926
18 Miscellaneous material relating to John H. Brower; n.d.
Box Folder
3 1 Pamphlet entitled "Argument Upon the Alabama Claims"; ca.1876
2 Business records and published transcripts from Alabama Claims Cases # 709 and 710 regarding Pilot boat WILLIAM BELL; ca.1850-1876
3 Business records, reports, correspondence, insurance, etc, and published transcript from Alabama Claims Cases # 1923 - 1926, regarding the ship S. GILDERSLEEVE; ca.1850-1882
4 Documents and published transcript from Alabama Claims Case # 1024, regarding ship HARVEY BIRCH; n.d.
5 Documents and published transcripts from Alabama Claims Case # 618, 711 and 1224, regarding the brig EMILY FISHER; ca. 1876
6 Documentation and published transcripts from Alabama Claims Cases # 1391 and 1392, regarding Charles Pfizer & Co.; n.d.
7 Alabama Claims Case # 4977. Class 2. Executors of John H. Brower estate vs. U.S.; 1883
8 Published transcript for Alabama Claims Cases # 406-411, regarding ship JABEZ SNOW; 1876
9 Miscellaneous Alabama Claims Cases in which Thomas Browning Hewitt served as attorney; ca.1883

Index to Personal, Corporate, and Vessel Names

NOTE: The fraction(s) indicate the Box and Folder numbers where that particular reference can be found. For example, the researcher will find information about A. Bell & Sons in Box 1, Folder 10 of the collection.
A. Bell & Sons 1/10
A. Taylor & co. 1/10
Allen, Capt. Henry M. 1/4, 1/5
Andre, August 1/10
ANDREW JACKSON (re. British Registry) 1/13
ANDREW JACKSON (Ship) 1/15
Anny (Mrs. J. H. Brower) 1/17
Arthur & Brower, Messrs. 1/1
Arthur, J. M. 1/2, 1/17
AUSTIN (Ship) 1/7, 1/17
Barbe, J. 1/10
Barbe, J. & Brown, C. 1/10
Baxter, J. B. 1/6
Benjamin 1/17
Bingham & Reynolds 1/7
Blydenburgh, B. B. 1/7
Bolles, Capt. F. B. 1/4, 1/10
Bourne & Latham 1/16
Brand, Wm. 1/8
Bremand & Van Alystyne 1/17
Brower & Nelson & Co. 1/2, 1/16
Brower, J. H. (Circular announcing termination of business) 1/18
Brower, J. H. (letters from ) 1/2, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/9, 1/10, 1/16, 1/17, 1/18
Brown, A. L. 1/2
Brown, Capt. Cicero 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7, 1/10, 1/11, 1/12, 1/13
C. Barstow & Pope 1/1
C. S. Brower & Son 1/16
Caldwell, James V. 1/17
CAVALLO (Bark) 1/6, 1/10
Chose, Stephen 1/3, 1/4, 1/5
CINCINNATI (Ship) 1/1
CLARA WHEELER (Ship) 1/4, 1/5, 1/8
Clark, Jos. 1/7
Cleaning ship's bottom, described 1/5
Construction of new ship 1/5
Cradle, R. K. (Acting Secretary of State) 1/2
D. H. Watson & Co. 1/16
De Witt Kittle & Co. 1/10
Delano, Capt. C. 1/4, 1/8
Dempsey, Frost & Co. 1/16
Deringerfield, Wm. (Charge d'Affairs, Texas) 1/16
E. I. Hart & Co. 1/17
E. Pavenstadt & Schumacher 1/6
EASTERN BELLE (Ship) 1/5
Eldridge, Capt. Asa 1/16
ELECTRIC (Clipper) 1/3
Ennis, C. 1/17
Erycle, A. 1/16
Farrell, J. D. 1/11
FIDELIA (Schooner) 1/5
Fire in San Francisco, 1851 1/3
Flint, Wilson 1/3
FOREST KING (Ship) 1/4, 1/8, 1/10
Fuentes, A. J. (American Vice- consul) 1/15
Gates, Capt. G. 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7, 1/8
GEORGIA (Confederate Raider) 1/12
Gildersleeve, S. 1/2, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7, 1/8, 1/9, 1/10, 1/11, 1/12
H. Havens & Co. 1/17
Hall, C. K. 1/17
HARVEY BIRCH (Ship) (description of burning by Confederate Raider NASHVILLE) 1/10, 1/11
Hendly, Capt. J. J. 1/2, 1/7
Hendy, W. S. 1/2
Hewitt family 1/18
I. Stern & Co. 1/17
J. Beeniburgn Gosslert & Co. 1/16
J. W. FANNING (Ship) 1/4
Johnson, W. S. Capt. 1/6, 1/8, 1/15
Kirby, William 1/17
Kuhn, J. C. 1/13
L. Von Hoffman & Co. 1/13
Lambden & Bennett 1/1
lange, J. W. 1/16
Leonard, E. W. 1/3
Lincoln, Capt. G. 1/12
Luce, Capt. Geo.L. 1/6, 1/8
Luzver, Dalbis & Molines 1/16
M. Taylor & Co. 1/17
Marie 1/17
Mary 1/17
Mc Callum, Capt. 1/12
Mc Neel, J. C. 1/9, 1/17
Mc Queen, James 1/16
MILARN 1/17
Moore & Folger 1/9, 1/10, 1/15
Morgan, Col. 1/17
Moss, Capt. D. N. 1/4, 1/9
MOXTAUK (Bark) 1/4, 1/9
N. E. Pickersgill & Co. 1/6
N. Hendley & Co. 1/17
NATIONAL GUARD (Ship) 1/7
NEBRASKA (Schooner) 1/4
NEBRASKA (Schooner) (struck by lightning) 1/5
Nelson, Capt. W. H. 1/4, 1/5, 1/8, 1/10, 1/11
Nelson, J. F. 1/5
Nelson, Robert, Esq. 1/16
Nelson, William 1/16
Norris, Capt. Peter 1/4
NORUMBEGA (Bark) 1/4, 1/17
Olriche, J. 1/16
Otard, Duprey & CO. 1/16
Palmer, John I. 1/1
Parrich, Charles 1/16
Pasaal, Fils & Co. 1/16
Pease & Turner 1/18
Peirson, Charles 1/18
Pierce & Bacon 1/17
Pierce, Andrew 3rd 1/2
Pierce, J. M. 1/2
Pinet, Castillon & Co. 1/16
Powell, Samuel C. 1/17
Pullen, F. A. 1/9
QUEEN VICTORIA (Ship) 1/3
Quesnel Fierer & Co. 1/15
Reed, Adam L. 1/4
Rice & Co. 1/17
Ruff, Robert 1/18
S. Gildersleeve 1/5, 1/8, 1/12
Sheldon & Co. 1/17
Skano, Higson & Heybro 1/16
Slepard, B. A. 1/5
Smith, Col. John 1/4, 1/5, 1/8, 1/12, 1/14, 1/17
Smith, M. L. 1/2, 1/5, 1/10
STANFORD (Schooner) 1/5
STAR REPUBLIC (Ship) 1/2
Stephens & Bancroft 1/3
SYREE BELFAST (Brig) 1/2
Taylor, Moses 1/16
TEXAS (Steamer) 1/17
Thompson, W. T. 1/1
TRAVIS 1/17
W. H. WHARTON (Ship) 1/4, 1/6
WASHINGTON (Sloop) 1/2
Washington, Isaac 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/10, 1/12
Waterson, P. 1/2
Watkins, William Henry 1/1
Webber, Chet 1/5
Westall, A. E. 1/17
WHITE SWALLOW (Ship) 1/15
WILLIAM B. TRAVIS (Ship) 1/5
Williams, J. E. Capt. 1/12, 1/15
Willink, Jacob 1/16
Wilson, Thomas 1/16
Worth, Francis W. 1/16
Yellow Fever in New Orleans 1/4