unc logo

Collection Number: 01924

Collection Title: John W. Brown Diary, 1821-1822; 1852-1865

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 2 items (298, 43 l.)
Abstract Microfilm of typescript. Native of Tennessee who migrated to Arkansas; lawyer, landowner, insurance company executive, and planter. The diary, which contains daily entries of various lengths, covers the period of September 1821-March 1822, with a summary for the remainder of 1822, and the period July 1852-July 1865. The 1821-1822 entries deal chiefly with Brown's residence in Louisville, Ky., and his study of law with John Rowan of that place. They tell of his trip from home in Tennessee to Louisville, his course of study, his daily activities, and his trip home by steamboat. The diary ends with a summary for the remainder of 1822, chiefly discussing his settlement in Memphis, Tenn., where he practiced law. Interspersed in the diary are copies of letters to friends and relatives telling of his activities in Louisville, and several compositions. The diary for 1852-1865 contains a record of Brown's daily activities connected with farming, legal business, payment and collection of debts, purchases of supplies for the family, and work with an insurance company in Camden, Ark. It gives a full account of occurrences in the family circle, including illnesses, marriages, births, deaths, schooling, and participation in community activities. Brown discussed the weather frequently and noted its effect on the crops and on the river, which was the chief means of communication with the markets where crops were sold and supplies purchased. Also, he recorded names of books he read, his views on religion, and his political views as a Whig and later a member of the American Party. He was strongly opposed to secession and the diary contains many criticisms of the civil and military policies of the Confederacy throughout the Civil War. The entries for 1861-1865 indicate that he continued his legal and business activities until June 1864, when he accepted a position as funding agent for the Treasurer of the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederate Army. Brown wrote much about monetary inflation, the difficulty of getting enough food and clothing, and the thefts and destruction by soldiers of both armies who were stationed in the vicinity of Camden. The last entries of the diary record the break-up of the Confederate armies in Arkansas, the arrival of Federal troops, and the beginning of Reconstruction.
Creator Brown, John W., b. 1800.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the John W. Brown Diary, #1924, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Location of Originals
Items privately owned as of 1969.
Additional Descriptive Resources
A more complete finding aid for this collection is available at the Southern Historical Collection.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Native of Tennessee who migrated to Arkansas; lawyer, landowner, insurance company executive, and planter.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Microfilm of typescript. The diary, which contains daily entries of various lengths, covers the period of September 1821-March 1822, with a summary for the remainder of 1822, and the period July 1852-July 1865. The 1821-1822 entries deal chiefly with Brown's residence in Louisville, Ky., and his study of law with John Rowan of that place. They tell of his trip from home in Tennessee to Louisville, his course of study, his daily activities, and his trip home by steamboat. The diary ends with a summary for the remainder of 1822, chiefly discussing his settlement in Memphis, Tenn., where he practiced law. Interspersed in the diary are copies of letters to friends and relatives telling of his activities in Louisville, and several compositions.

The diary for 1852-1865 contains a record of Brown's daily activities connected with farming, legal business, payment and collection of debts, purchases of supplies for the family, and work with an insurance company in Camden, Ark. It gives a full account of occurrences in the family circle, including illnesses, marriages, births, deaths, schooling, and participation in community activities. Brown discussed the weather frequently and noted its effect on the crops and on the river, which was the chief means of communication with the markets where crops were sold and supplies purchased. Also, he recorded names of books he read, his views on religion, and his political views as a Whig and later a member of the American Party.

He was strongly opposed to secession and the diary contains many criticisms of the civil and military policies of the Confederacy throughout the Civil War. The entries for 1861-1865 indicate that he continued his legal and business activities until June 1864, when he accepted a position as funding agent for the Treasurer of the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederate Army. Brown wrote much about monetary inflation, the difficulty of getting enough food and clothing, and the thefts and destruction by soldiers of both armies who were stationed in the vicinity of Camden. The last entries of the diary record the break-up of the Confederate armies in Arkansas, the arrival of Federal troops, and the beginning of Reconstruction.

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Back to Top