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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 298

Papers of the Albert Gallatin Browne family, 1802-1962 (inclusive), 1833-1885 (bulk)


Correspondence, diaries, photographs, etc., of the Albert Gallatin Browne family from New England.


  • 1802-1962
  • Majority of material found within 1833-1885

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Albert Gallatin Browne family is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


2.7 linear feet ((6 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio+ folder, 2 oversize folders, 2 photograph folders)

Series I, Correspondence, consists primarily of the family letters of Albert Gallatin Browne; his wife Sarah Smith (Cox); and their children: Albert Gallatin Browne, Jr., Sarah Ellen ("Nellie"), Alice, and Edward Cox. Other letters are to or from relatives, friends, and business acquaintances, including correspondence between "Nellie" and Lewis Weld and members of their families. The letters describe events of the day and the feelings of their writers. Those of Albert Gallatin and Sarah Smith Cox Browne give an intimate picture of their marriage and an almost day-to-day account of their lives apart during the 1860s.

Series II, Other papers, includes genealogical material, diaries, journals, writings, and photographs of Albert Gallatin Browne and his family, as well as of other members of the Cox-Browne families. The two largest groups are the diaries of Sarah Smith Cox Browne and the journals and writings of Albert Gallatin Browne and Albert Gallatin Browne, Jr.

Sarah Smith Cox Browne's diaries, with a few gaps, cover the years 1858-1884. Referring to Albert Gallatin Browne, Jr., who was then on the Utah expedition, Sarah Smith Cox Browne wrote in the preface of the 1858 diary, "... once I thought the incidents of a common life too tame for note. Now I feel they will be interesting to him as a record of events in the home he has always loved so well." The diaries continued that record for her children until the year before her death, revealing a well-read, thoughtful woman reflecting on her family, religion, health, and the weather, as well as domestic and foreign politics and events. She recalls her dead children and remarks on growing old.

The journals and writings of Albert Gallatin Browne and Albert Gallatin Browne, Jr. mainly reflect their work and interests; they include Albert Gallatin Browne's account of his Civil War service and Albert Gallatin Browne, Jr.'s account of the Utah expedition. Their writings include many of their newspaper articles.

The photographs include pictures of Albert Gallatin Browne, his wife, and their children; and also Dr. Benjamin Cox (Sarah Smith Cox Browne's brother, "Uncle Doctor"); Lewis Weld and his sisters Mary Weld and Alice Weld; and the Cox and Browne houses in Salem.

Among the other papers of Series II there are genealogical records compiled by Sarah Eden Chamberlin; school records of Sarah Smith Cox Browne; a will of Benjamin Cox; and the "Childhood and Boyhood Recollections" of Benjamin F. Browne.


Albert Gallatin Browne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on December 8, 1805, the son of James Browne and Lydia (Vincent) Browne. In 1833 he married Sarah Smith Cox, born on November 27, 1810, the daughter of Benjamin Cox and Sarah (Smith) Cox. Four of their children reached adulthood: Albert Gallatin, Jr. (1835-1891), Sarah Ellen "Nellie" (1841-1864), Alice (1843-1912), and Edward Cox (1853-1911); two sons, Benjamin Cox (1838-1840) and Francis Cox (1851-1852), died in infancy.

Prior to the Civil War Albert Gallatin Browne was a partner in the firm of Whiton, Browne and Wheelwright, ship-chandlers. During the War he became an agent of the United States Treasury, appraising contraband and other properties that fell into Union hands. The years spent in the South, primarily at the coastal city of Beaufort, South Carolina, contributed to Browne's continued poor health upon his return to Salem. He died on October 9, 1885, two weeks before the death of his wife.

During 1864 Albert Gallatin Browne's wife Sarah and three of their children, Nellie, Alice, and Edward, joined him in Beaufort. Nellie helped nurse wounded soldiers at a military hospital. She also became engaged to Colonel Lewis Ledyard Weld. Weld, from Hartford, Connecticut, had graduated from Yale College in 1854 and served as Secretary of the Colorado Territory before resigning to command the 41st. Colored Infantry. In June 1864 Nellie died of typhoid fever; in January 1865 Colonel Weld died of wounds received at Petersburg, Virginia.

Albert Gallatin Browne, Jr. graduated from Harvard in 1853 and attended Dana Law School. In 1854 he was jailed for participation in a riot concerning a fugitive slave named Anthony Burns. After law school he studied at Heidelberg University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1855. Upon returning to Boston he opened a law practice with John J. Andrew, and in 1861 was appointed military secretary to Governor Andrew. Albert Gallatin Browne, Jr. was also a journalist. As a reporter for the New York Tribune, he accompanied Albert Sidney Johnston's expedition to Utah against the Mormons in 1857. In 1874 he became managing editor of the New York Evening Post, resigning a year later. In the 1880s he was a correspondent for the New York Herald.


The papers of the Albert Gallatin Browne family are arranged in two series:

  1. I. Correspondence. 1-68
  2. II. Other Papers. 69-136

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 77-M106, 80-M113

The papers of the Albert Gallatin Browne family were given to the Schlesinger Library in July 1977 and June 1980 by Rebecca Browne Bradford and by Warburton Verplank, executor of the Estate of Charlotte Crowninshield Browne, and were processed under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (RC-0051-79-1260).

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Albert Gallatin Browne family Additional Papers, 1805-1997 (MC 852), and Sarah Ellen Browne papers, 1856-1859 (MC 232).


  1. Box 1: Folders 1-24
  2. Box 2: Folders 25-51
  3. Box 3: Folders 52-76
  4. Box 4: Folders 77v-92v
  5. Box 5: Folders 93v-106, 109-114
  6. Box 6: Folders 115-132
  7. Box 7: Folders 133-136

Processing Information

Processed: July 1980

By: Madeleine Bagwell Perez

Browne (Family : Browne, Albert G. (Albert Gallatin), 1805-1885). Papers of the Albert Gallatin Browne family, 1802-1962 (inclusive), 1833-1885 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women
Language of description
Preservation and digitization of the Albert Gallatin Browne family papers was supported by the Arcadia-funded project Harvard in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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