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Guide to the Records of Brown Brothers Harriman
1696 -1973, 1995 (bulk 1820-1968)
 MS 78

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Celia Hartmann. Machine readable finding aid created by Celia Hartmann.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on April 09, 2014
Description is in English.
using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Series X. Published Material (1801-1972). 6.0 Linear feet (5 boxes, 108 volumes)

Scope and Content

The series is comprised of 108 volumes from the reference library of the Historical Files Department, including published and privately printed books and pamphlets by and about the Brown family and the firm's partners, Brown Brothers business entities, banking and commerce, cities in which Brown Brothers Harriman and its precursor companies were located, and related background information.

Library records in the Historical Files Director's Files (Subseries I.D, box 80) identify other volumes that were in the Historical Files Library which are not found in this series. It also provides information on the sources of some volumes, relevant portions of which are included in the descriptions below.

Boxes 131-135 contain 46 copies of partner Thatcher M. Brown's unpublished history of the company, Brown Brothers & Co. [and] Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., 1900-1950, a continuation of his father John Crosby Brown's 1909 account of the firm's first century,  A Hundred Years of Merchant Banking. Some correspondence about the former publication and its distribution is included in Subseries V.C.i. Personal and Family Materials. Box 131 contains an annotated copy originally in that series as well as a well-worn copy from the Brown Brothers Harriman Central Library.

The series includes 44 volumes (volumes 1-41, 43, 44, 47: 1839-1862) of Hunt's Merchants' Magazine, a general interest publication on commercial subjects such as shipping, railroads, banking, and finance. The collection was deposited with the Historical Files by partner E.R. Harriman. In 1969, 28 of the volumes were library-bound in starch felt buckram by De Ray Bookbinders for the Historical Files, after consultation with renowned book restorer Carolyn Price Horton.

The Historical Files Library was amassed for research purposes and includes volumes specifically purchased, donated, either deaccessioned or borrowed from the Brown Brothers Harriman Central Library, and/or with direct links (through ownership and/or subject matter) to Brown family members and partners in the firm.

Brown family association volumes

Volumes 77 and 85 are by Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown, wife of partner John Crosby Brown

Volumes 80, 89, 100, 102, 110, and 111 were donated to the Historical Files in 1964 by partner Moreau D. Brown. Volume 80 ( Baltimore Directory, 1802) includes annotations by a previous owner, "shopkeeper" Philip Bier. Volume 89 is stamped and signed inside numerous times by James Brown and identified as his ("James Brown's Book...December 10 1803") at age 12. Volume 98, which comprises two editions of the same pamphlet bound together, bears the bookplate of Frederic C. Wagner, "Captain, and Provost Marshal 7th district, NY", and is inscribed by him to "Messrs. Brown Bros." Volume 102 (  Memorial address... in remembrance of Mr. James Brown, 1878) is inscribed to "Thatcher M. Brown from his grandmamma E.M. Brown April 1878": Eliza Maria Coe Brown was James Brown's widow and the mother of John Crosby Brown. Volumes 110-112 (  Old Merchants of New York) bear the bookplates of printer and typographer Theodore De Vinne ("Aere perennius": "more lasting than bronze"), and would have been dispersed from his collection at auction in 1920. Volumes 113 and 114, which are later issues of  Old Merchants of New York, have the bookplate of partner John Crosby Brown; the latter is also inscribed by a Jehiel Clark.

Volume 103 ( Memorial service at the unveiling of the tablet to the memory of Mr. James Brown..., 1877) was given to the Historical Files by Mrs. John Crosby Brown II. A photocopy is in the James Brown files of Subseries I.C.vi. Partners. Volumes 115 (  Paddle box decorations...1952) and 130 (  Women and children last, 1954) are both by Alexander Crosby Brown (1905-1993; son of James Crosby Brown and grandson of John Crosby Brown), a maritime historian associated with the Mariners' Museum, and founder (1941) and associate editor of  The American Neptune, a quarterly journal of maritime history. Volume 130 is marked "Thatcher M. Brown III" in Sarah B. Brown's hand. Volume 129 (  Will of James Brown, Esq., 1875) is annotated in an unidentified hand with records of dates and amounts of payments to family members and retainers. Volume 132 (  The Yes Men [1958]) appears to have been privately bound for partner "Morreau [sic] Brown" and includes pasted-in photographs from the 1959 brochure "Personality of a Bank".

Other partner association volumes

Volume 91, by partner Robert A. Lovett, is his 1949 address to the Newcomen Society (1923-2007), a British organization that promoted American capitalism, material civilization, and entrepreneurship in the postwar, Communist-fearing political and business environment.

Mrs. J. Borden Harriman, the author of the biographical From pinafores to politics (Volume 92) and a suffragist and social reformer, was married to a cousin of partner W. Averell Harriman. Two volumes in the Library are inscribed to Harriman partners: the cover of Volume 101 (  "Manna-hatin": The story of New York, 1929) is embossed in gold with "W.A. Harriman" and includes the calling card of P.A. Rowley, president of Manhattan Company, a Brown Brothers neighbor at 40 Wall Street. Volume 106 (  Museums U.S.A. A history and guide, 1965) is inscribed "To Mr. E. Roland Harriman/ In grateful appreciation for your generous support over the years/John Ripley Forbes/ Westport, Conn./ January 6, 1966". Forbes established various American nature museums, including Earthplace in Westport, CT.

All the essays contributed to the 75th anniversary publication of the Yale Daily News (  Seventy-Five, Volume 120) are by alumni, including "The Task of World Leadership" by W. Averell Harriman (class of 1913) and "Don't Let George Do It" by Robert A. Lovett (class of 1918). The volume was presented to the Historical Files by Miss Hazel Pierson in November, 1968, and is inscribed to Lovett "with grateful appreciation, John S. Koch, William H. Donaldson, James C Thomson Jr., 28 Jan 1953", who were Managing Editor, Business Manager, and Chairman, respectively, of the publication.

Partner J. Eugene Banks's Guides to stock market policy, 1948 (Volume 93) was produced internally and coil bound. The volume also includes his 1957 presentation to the American Statistical Association's annual convention, "Selected Stock Market Indicators and Their Current Implications" and his 1959 "Guide to Growth Stock Investing".

Brown Brothers Harriman Central Library volumes

Volumes 81, 87, 90, 97, 100, 116, 117, and 125 originated in the Brown Brothers Harriman Central Library. Volume 97 is also stamped with name of Joseph R. Kenny; Volume 81 was a donation from partner L.P. Shipley and is inscribed "To Mr. Park Shipley with best greetings from Vald Hvidt".

Other inscribed and donated volumes

Volumes 82, 96, and 107 were presented to the Historical Files Library by R.E. Lloyd, Jr., in 1967. The latter ( The New York Stock Exchange, 1894) is inscribed by its author, Francis Eames, President of the N.Y. Stock Exchange from 1894 to 1898, to Mr. S. J. Harriot, with a note dated January 10, 1895.

Volume 83 ( Canada's first bank) includes a note dated November 22, 1966, to Kouwenhoven and signed "John M", who may be partner John B. Madden. Volume 84 (  Canton Days), published on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the railway firm named for a Baltimore-area estate, is inscribed "to my friends at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., Geo. Hill 1972".

The Library's copy of From pinafores to politics (Volume 92) was deaccessioned from the Saugerties Public Library and donated to the Historical Files Library by Mrs. Kay McLaughlin. Volume 122 (  Society list and club register) is marked as "courtesy Mrs. Jane van Brunt" and includes a note on the page listing the New York Association for the Improvement of the Condition of the Poor.

Volume 118 ( Ramsay Lodge Association, 1948) originated with the Community Bank of Scotland and includes, in addition to the volume, an April 1949 issue of its employee magazine, "The Griffin", and a series of photographic prints showing Ramsay Lodge Association members and documenting the building's renovation.

Annotated volumes

Many volumes include notes or bookmarks in Kouwenhoven's hand identifying pages on which Brown Brothers is mentioned, and/or of which he wished to have photocopies made, especially Volumes 82, in which he quotes from pages 16 and 17: "God is in prices"; 100; 105; 109, which mentions traveling with a Brown Brothers letter of credit and is reproduced on page 113 of Partners in Banking; and 127, on pp. 86-87 of which he has marked the location of Brown Brothers on a panoramic map of Wall Street.

Arrangement

The unboxed volumes begin with Hunt's Merchants' Magazine, which is numbered consecutively with its original volume designations (H1-H47). It is followed by the New York City guides in chronological order, and the rest of the series arranged alphabetically by title: these volumes are numbered consecutively starting with Volume 69 (continuing from Volume 68 in Series VI. Scrapbooks and Collected Material).

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 130 Brown Brothers & Co. [and] Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., 1900-1950. Thatcher M. Brown [7 copies; 2 annotated]
1950
Box: 131 Brown Brothers & Co. [and] Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., 1900-1950. Thatcher M. Brown [9 copies]
1950
Box: 132 Brown Brothers & Co. [and] Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., 1900-1950. Thatcher M. Brown [10 copies]
1950
Box: 133 Brown Brothers & Co. [and] Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., 1900-1950. Thatcher M. Brown [10 copies]
1950
Box: 134 Brown Brothers & Co. [and] Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., 1900-1950. Thatcher M. Brown [10 copies]
1950
Volume: H 1 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1839
Volume: H 2 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1840
Volume: H 3 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1840
Volume: H 4 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1841
Volume: H 5 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1841
Volume: H 6 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1842
Volume: H 7 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1842
Volume: H 8 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1843
Volume: H 9 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1843
Volume: H 10 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1844
Volume: H 11 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1844
Volume: H 12 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1845
Volume: H 13 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1845
Volume: H 14 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1846
Volume: H 15 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1846
Volume: H 16 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1847
Volume: H 17 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1847
Volume: H 18 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1848
Volume: H 19 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1848
Volume: H 20 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1849
Volume: H 21 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1849
Volume: H 22 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1850
Volume: H 23 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1850
Volume: H 24 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1851
Volume: H 25 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1851
Volume: H 26 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1852
Volume: H 27 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1852
Volume: H 28 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1853
Volume: H 29 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1853
Volume: H 30 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1854
Volume: H 31 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1854
Volume: H 32 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1855
Volume: H 33 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1855
Volume: H 34 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1856
Volume: H 35 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1856
Volume: H 36 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1857
Volume: H 37 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1857
Volume: H 38 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1858
Volume: H 39 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1858
Volume: H 40 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1859
Volume: H 41 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1859
Volume: H 43 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1860
Volume: H 44 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1861
Volume: H 47 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine
1862
Volume: 69 New-York City and Co-Partnership Directory for 1843 and 1844
1843 and 1844
Volume: 70 Doggett's New York City Directory, 1849-1850
1849-1850
Volume: 71 Rode's New York City Directory, 1850-1851
1850-1851
Volume: 72 Trow's New York City Directory, 1857
1857
Volume: 73 Trow's New York City Directory, 1858
1858
Volume: 74 Trow's New York City Directory, May 1859
1859
Volume: 75 Trow's New York City Directory, May 1860
1860
Volume: 76 Trow's New York City Directory, May 1861
1861
Volume: 77 Alexander Brown and his descendants. Mary Elizabeth Brown
1917
Volume: 78 The American Neptune: A quarterly journal of maritime history. [contains a version of Jacob Abbott's "Rollo on the Atlantic", edited with commentary by Alexander Crosby Brown]
1966 April
Volume: 79 American photographs. Walker Evans
1938
Volume: 80 The Baltimore Directory for 1802
1802
Volume: 81 Bankers credits. Vald Hvidt
1933
Volume: 82 Benner's prophesies of future ups and downs in prices. Samuel Benner
1879
Volume: 83 Canada's First Bank, vol. 1: A history of the Bank of Montreal. Merrill Denison
1966
Volume: 84 Canton Days: the first hundred years or so. Canton Company of Baltimore
1928
Volume: 85 Dedications. An anthology of the forms used from early days of bookmaking to the present time. Mary Elizabeth Brown
1913
Volume: 86 The development of the Santa Fe, 1935-1948 [unpublished BSc. thesis, MIT]. John Walker Barriger IV
1949
Volume: 87 E. H. Harriman: A biography, vol II. George Kennan
1922
Volume: 88 The editorial tradition 1776-1965. ABC Television Stations
1965
Volume: 89 Entertaining and instructive exercises, with the rules of the French syntax. John Perrin,
1801
Volume: 90 Experiences of a century 1818-1918. Brown Bros. & Co.
1919
Volume: 91 Forty years after: an appreciation of the genius of Edward Henry Harriman (1848-1909). Robert A. Lovett
1949
Volume: 92 From pinafores to politics. Mrs. J. Borden Harriman
1923
Volume: 93 Guides to stock market policy. J.E. Banks
1948
Volume: 94 Heir of adventure: the story of Brown, Shipley & Co merchant bankers, 1810-1960. Aytoun Ellis
[1960]
Volume: 95 History of American steam navigation. John H. Morrison
1903
Volume: 96 King's views of the New York Stock Exchange. Moses King, publisher
1897
Volume: 97 The law of bills, cheques, notes, and IOUs. Wilson's legal handy books. James Walter Smith
1922
Volume: 98 Life and adventures of the accomplished forger and swindler, Monroe Edwards. Anonymous
1848
Volume: 99 The life of James Fisk, Jr. Willoughby Jones
1872
Volume: 100 Lord Norman. Sir Henry Clay
1957
Volume: 101 "Manna-hatin": The story of New York. The Manhattan Company
1929
Volume: 102 Memorial address delivered in Grove Church, Hudson Co., N.J., December 16, 1877, in remembrance of Mr. James Brown deceased November 1, 1877. William V.V. Mabon
1878
Volume: 103 Memorial service at the unveiling of the tablet to the memory of Mr. James Brown, held October 10, 1886 at Grove Church, New Durham, N.J.
1887
Volume: 104 Merchants and Bankers Almanac, 1869
1869
Volume: 105 Merchants and Bankers Almanac, 1870
1870
Volume: 106 Museums U.S.A. A history and guide. Herbert and Marjorie Katz
1965
Volume: 107 The New York Stock Exchange. Francis L. Eames
1894
Volume: 108 Notable New Yorkers of 1896-1899. Moses King, publisher
1899
Volume: 109 Notes from Plymouth Pulpit: A collection of memorable passages from the discourses of Henry Ward Beecher. Augusta Moore
1859
Volume: 110 The old merchants of New York City, vol I. Joseph A. Scoville
1870
Volume: 111 The old merchants of New York, vol II. Joseph A. Scoville
1870
Volume: 112 The old merchants of New York, vol III. Joseph A. Scoville
1870
Volume: 113 The old merchants of New York, vol IV. Joseph A. Scoville
1885
Volume: 114 The old merchants of New York, vol V. Joseph A. Scoville
1885
Volume: 115 Paddle box decorations of American sound steamboats. Alexander Crosby Brown [reprinted from The American Neptune, Vol III, No. 1, 1943]
1952
Volume: 116 Practical treatise on banking, volume I. J. W. Gilbart
1849
Volume: 117 Practical treatise on banking, volume II. J. W. Gilbart
1849
Volume: 118 Ramsay Lodge Association
1948
Volume: 119 Rulers of America: A study of finance capital. Anna Rochester
1936
Volume: 120 Seventy-five: A study of a generation in transition. Yale Daily News
1953
Volume: 121 A short history of the United States. John Spencer Bassett
1925
Volume: 122 Society-list & club register for the season of 1886-7.
1886
Volume: 123 The story of seventy-five years of Grove Reformed Church.
[1918]
Volume: 124 Supplement to the yearbook of 1899 of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York. Members admitted July 1899-April 1903.
1903
Volume: 125 Twenty-eight years in Wall Street. Henry Clews
1888
Volume: 126 Wall Street: A pictorial history. Leonard Louis Levinson
1961
Volume: 127 Walter S. Carter: Collector of young masters. Otto E. Koege
1953
Volume: 128 Who's who in commerce and industry, volume 8. A.N. Marquis Company
1953
Volume: 129 Will of James Brown, Esq. dated September 24, 1875
1875 September 24
Volume: 130 Women and children last: The tragic loss of the steamship Arctic. [reprinted from The American Neptune, vol XIV, No 4, October, 1954]. Alexander Crosby Brown
1954
Volume: 131 World biography, 5th edition. Institute for Research in Biography, Inc.
1954
Volume: 132 The Yes Men [privately bound for Morreau [sic] Brown]
[1958]

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