TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the Robert G. Brown Papers, 1890-1921
Robert G. Brown was born in San Patricio, Louisiana, on February 18, 1844. Little is known of his early life, but by 1890 he had settled in Lavon, Collin County, Texas. Brown amassed extensive landholdings in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas, growing cotton and farming out land to sharecroppers. In addition he owned a merchandise store in Sabine, Louisiana. Brown and his wife Mary (1852-1923) had six children; the eldest, R.L., continued overseeing the family’s interests when Brown died in Lavon on August 16, 1896. R.L. Brown became active in local government, serving as an overseer of a Collin County road in 1897 and as a trustee of the Lavon school district from 1898 to 1900.
The papers span the years 1890-1921, with the bulk of the collection consisting of correspondence to Brown and, upon his death, his son, R.L., from agent T.W. Lynch and cotton factor S.P. Walmsley, from 1895 to 1900. Lynch’s correspondence concerns the Browns’ landholdings in Louisiana, particularly the cotton crop conditions, business transactions, and sharecropping. Walmsley’s correspondence concerns his cotton transactions, on behalf of the Browns. There is also correspondence from some of Brown’s sharecroppers and from relatives living in Louisiana and Mississippi concerning family news.
Materials include financial records of the Browns’ business expenditures, primarily receipts and bills of lading from the Browns’ account with Walmsley, from 1894 to 1899. Other financial records document purchases of cotton from Brown by the firm of Moore and Rollow, land and rent transactions, some involving sharecropping, a checkbook of R.L. Brown, receipts from Keatchie Male and Female College (which several of Robert Brown’s children attended), canceled checks, tax receipts, and miscellaneous bills and receipts.
A small portion of the collection includes legal documents pertaining to Lynch’s appointment as a road overseer and school board trustee. Printed material includes business cards and bank reports.
This collection is open for research use.
Robert G. Brown Papers, 1890-1921, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by archives staff.