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Name Margaretta Mason Brown
Born Nov. 12, 1772
Deceased May 28, 1838
Notes Born in New York City, Margaretta was raised in a religious household. Her father, Reverend John Mason was a Presbyterian minister. Margaretta attended a school run by Isabella Graham, a noted educator and charity worker. Margaretta spoke French and was an avid reader. She began writing poetry at age thirteen and continued throughout her life.
Mutual friends introduced Margaretta Mason to John Brown. They married in 1799 and John brought his wife to Kentucky in 1801. In 1819, Brown became the superintendent of a Sunday school for girls. It was one of the first formed in the West. Lacking books appropriate for her students, she compiled a Bible Dictionary and wrote several titles for instructing her students.

Margaretta and John lost three children between the years of 1804-1814, two sons, both named Alfred, and a daughter named Euphemia. There two other sons, Orlando and Mason Brown lived to adulthood.

Associated Records

Image of 2007.01.0003 - Letter

2007.01.0003 - Letter

Letter from Margaretta Mason Brown (Frankfort, KY) to Euphemia Provoost Mason (New York, NY). Euphemia Mason was Margaretta's niece in New York. The letter describes receiving a package from Euphemia Mason which includes a doll for Margaretta's daughter, also named Euphemia. Margaretta speaks of her daughter Euphemia singing all day long and about her son Mason receiving two prizes for writing. Margaretta suggests healing waters to relieve Euphemia Mason's grandmother's liver ailments. [Transcription] Frankfort 15th Sept 1809 My Dear Euphemia, On returning yesterday from Woodford I found the packet which you had sent by Mr. McChord. It arrived one week ago in Lexington, but was n

Image of 2016.02.0002 - Letter

2016.02.0002 - Letter

Letter from Samuel Brown (Natchez, MS) to Margaretta Brown (Frankfort, KY). Samuel is describing the illness of his wife, Catherine (Kitty), during her pregnancy. Samuel tells Margaretta about the election of James Brown as U.S. Senator from Louisiana. Samuel also comments on the status of the country during the war (War of 1812). [Transcription] Natchez Dec 27th 1812 My dear Sister For a month past I have been confined to the chamber of my dear Kitty whose life has been in the most imminent danger. In the last month or six weeks of her pregnancy she was seized with a fever & vomiting & other symptoms so alarming that I had but too much reason to consider her as lost. I have now

Image of 2015.02.0028 - Letter

2015.02.0028 - Letter

Letter from John Brown (Frankfort, KY) to Samuel Brown (Lexington, KY). John discusses Samuel's son, James' upcoming "adventure," Margaretta's condition after a fall, updates on relatives and Frankfort and Lexington news. [Transcription] Frankfort 22nd Jany 1824 Dear Brother Inclosed [sic] you have three lottery tickets left with me last Spring & to which I presume you refer in your note of Tuesday last. Give my love to James & apprise him of my best wishes for his success in this adventure. Should he draw the highest prize tell him he must not for get the Patriots of Greece. Margaretta is reviving slowly from the effects of her fall. She shall suffer considerable pain in t

Image of 2012.01.0002 - Book, Account

2012.01.0002 - Book, Account

An account book with blue cover. All handwritten transactions were written by Margaretta Mason Brown from 1828 through 1838. This account book primarily records church business, although some personal transcations are contained in it as well. Margaretta served as treasurer of the Frankfort Sabbath School until her death in 1838. She recorded charitable donations to organizations such as the Abecedarian Society, which provided aid to poor children, and the American Colonization Society. Payment for Reverend John T. Edgar's salary and subscriptions are also logged. Transcription available upon request.

Image of 2012.01.0036 - Journal

2012.01.0036 - Journal

A handwritten commonplace book of poetry, containing 52 poems. Margaretta seems to have written many of these poems, as she arranged them chronologically and titled the journal as a piece of juvenilia, or works of a young person. However, she likely copied some of the poems from magazines. Subjects range from patriotic declarations to observations on current events to extracts from letters to friends. Margaretta began the journal in 1785, when she was just 13 years old, and lived in New York City. The last poem entered is from 1807. There are 1-134 numbered pages. There is poetry written on pages 1-113 (except pages 37-38 which are missing-they appear to have been ripped out of the book)

Image of 2015.02.0005 - Letter

2015.02.0005 - Letter

Letter from Mason Brown (New Haven, CT) who is in college at Yale University to Orlando Brown (Princeton, NJ) who is attending Princeton College. Mason discusses the holiday season and expresses his love for his brother. [Transcription] New Haven, Jan'y 2nd 1820 Dear Brother, Since we are through with our Christmas frolic, which lasted one week and were carried on with the greatest glee, I have taken up my pen to inform you of the continuance of my health, and to wish you a happy New Year. May its return always find you enjoying all the sweets which this life can bestow, and surrounded with friends who will participate in your pleasures. I received a letter from Mother 8 to 10

Image of 2016.02.0003 - Letter

2016.02.0003 - Letter

Letter from Samuel Brown (Natchez, MS) to Margaretta Brown (Frankfort, KY). Samuel Brown informs Margaretta Brown of the birth of his daughter, Catherine Anna "Nancy" Brown. She was born on January 4, 1813. He also discusses his fears for the health of his wife, Kitty, who has had a relapse of the illness that she suffered during her pregnancy. [Transcription] Natchez Feby 1 1813 A month has elapsed since the date of my last letter & my fear & anxieties for the safety of my dear Kitty are not abated. On the 4th ult. she was delivered of a fine daughter & for two days after the vomiting a fever abated so much as to have the most flattering grounds of hope. But since that time my mind

Image of 2015.02.0033 - Letter

2015.02.0033 - Letter

Letter from John Brown (Frankfort, KY) to Samuel Brown (Philadelphia, PA) that discusses Samuel's trip to Philadelphia, and Mason's studies at Yale. Brown had planned to go with Orlando to New Haven or Princeton, but his plans were disrupted by a visit from John Mitchell Mason, who was participating in an Ecclesiastical trial in Lexington. John Brown discusses the trial of Rankin. Rankin was charged by Mr. Bishop with perjury. John Mitchell Mason has convinced John to send Orlando to Princeton, where his own son Ebenezer also attends. Brown discusses James and Nancy Brown's trip to Europe, and his own desire to visit New Orleans and Mississippi. Brown discusses the corn and wheat crops i

Image of 2015.02.0046 - Letter

2015.02.0046 - Letter

Letter from Margaretta Varick to Margaretta Brown. Varick discusses a disease in New York, presumably she is referring to the Yellow Fever epidemics of 1798 and 1799. She also writes that the citizens of Philadelphia are also suffering (likely she is referring to a Yellow Fever outbreak as there were several in the 1790s in Philadelphia). Varick also discusses a drought that is affecting farmers and gives updates on family and friends. She also relays the news of Aunt Provoost's death by a stroke. "Aunt Provoost" may be Catharina Provoost Van Wyck (b. 1694) If it was Catharina, she would have been 105 years old. [Transcription] Your affectionate & tender Letter my beloved girl sho

Image of 2015.02.0053 - Letter

2015.02.0053 - Letter

Letter from Maria Nicholson (Washington DC) to Margaretta Brown (Frankfort, KY). Maria was a friend of Margaretta's from New York. She discusses recently seeing Margaretta's husband John and this meeting prompting her to write to her dear old friend, whom she has lately neglected. Nicholson's reason for not writing is due to the sadness she still feels over the death of her father, James Nicholson, who died in 1804. She writes about her sick sister, Adden, gives updates on a mutual friend, M. Templeton, and how she looks forward to seeing Margaretta in the fall in New York. [Transcription] Washington March 11th 1805 I told your Husband and I told him true that if I could hold a pen

Image of 2015.02.0035 - Letter

2015.02.0035 - Letter

Letter from John Brown (Frankfort, KY) to Samuel Brown (Philadelphia, PA). Brown discusses the banking bills being debated in the State Legislature, including issues relating to branches of the United States Bank in Lexington and Louisville. Brown writes about the efforts to tax these banks, as a means to encourage them to leave the state. Brown comments upon the affect of the banks on the economy of the area. Brown also discusses the legislative efforts to charter a state school (Centre College) at Danville, and the debate over Horace Holley's fitness for leadership of Transylvania. Brown discusses Holley's solicitation of funds for the new building at Transylvania University, and Holle

Image of 2015.02.0040 - Letter

2015.02.0040 - Letter

Letter from Mason Brown (New Haven, CT) to Samuel Brown (Philadelphia, PA). Mason discusses travel plans for he and his brother Orlando and his joy to be in Orlando's company. He also discusses exams at Yale and Professor Silliman's Journal of which Samuel has wrote a notice to be included within. Mason also mentions that John Brown is selling land. [Transcription] New Haven, April 25th, 1819 Dear Uncle, I am favored with a few spare moments and have determined to employ them in writing you a few lines. Orlando arrived in this place several days ago, and will remain in Connecticut until our vacation commences (8 days) when I shall accompany him to New York and probably to Pri

Image of 2015.02.0054 - Letter

2015.02.0054 - Letter

Letter from Margaretta Brown (Frankfort, KY) to her son Orlando Brown (Princeton, NJ). Margaretta's letter to son Orlando describes a noteworthy event at Liberty Hall: breakfasting with U.S. President Monroe and War of 1812 heroes Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor. Her account of the visit overflows with pride and patriotism. Monroe was in Frankfort as part of his national tour around the country. Both Jackson and Taylor later became presidents. [Transcription] Frankfort Ky July 1 1819 My dear Orlando, Whenever I intend to write a letter, I generally exe-cute that intention immediately; for that "Thief of Time', Procrastination steals as many of our best thoughts, as he does

Image of 2016.02.0026 - Letter

2016.02.0026 - Letter

Letter from Margaretta Mason Brown (Frankfort, KY) to "Sir" It appears that this letter was not sent. It looks to have been a draft or a copy of a letter she did send to someone in the American Sunday School Union. The first 2 pages are dated in January, the 3rd page in July. A note on page 4, reads: Jan'y and July 1828. Margaretta was writing as her role as Superintendent of the Frankfort Sunday School and the letter contains information about the number of attendees in the sunday school, books being purchased and a magazine subscription among other things. [Transcription] Frankfort 13th Jan 1828 Sir I transmit to you by Mr. Parker, the sum of $20 of which $17 for the purchase o

Image of 2016.02.0054 - Letter

2016.02.0054 - Letter

Letter from John Brown (Frankfort, KY) to his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Watts Brown (Nashville, TN). Brown remarks upon Elizabeth's recent sickness and supposes it is due to the unseasonably warm and dry weather which is also affecting the corn and vegetable crops. Brown follows up on a business proposition offered by Samuel Worthington (in a previous letter) that would extend and modify their partnership contract. Brown also inquires about John Preston Watts Brown's success at college, and provides updates on family members. [Transcription] Frankfort 7th Sept. 1834 Dear Sister, The last intelligence recd from you was by Mr. Harvey on his return from Nashville, who informed that

Image of 2016.02.0020 - Letter

2016.02.0020 - Letter

Letter from Margaretta Mason Brown (Columbia, PA) to Mary Watts Brown (Frankfort, KY). Margaretta discusses travel by steamboat and canal boat to visit relatives in the east. She discusses a ride on a gravitational cable railway while descending a mountain in PA, male and female fashions and a gift pocket made by Mary. She discusses future travel plans to New York and Baltimore after leaving Philadelphia. She discusses the acquaintances that she has visited while on her trip, Judith Ingersoll's childbirth and servants. Margaretta describes the church service, and distractions from city noises. [Transcription] Columbia, P. 20th May 1836 My dear Mary, I commence my letter in t

Image of 2016.02.0023 - Letter

2016.02.0023 - Letter

Letter from Margaretta Mason Brown (New York, NY) to Orlando Brown (Frankfort, KY). Margaretta, along with her husband John and slave Mary are visiting family in New York. Margaretta discusses purchasing items for Orlando's new home. She writes about purchasing a piano for Mary Watts (Orlando's wife) and going to a wallpaper factory. She also discusses furniture in general and describes a new and fashionable furniture style. She mentions John Goodman pianos (a piano maker in Frankfort) and the elegance of his designs. The style she remarks upon is Empire-style which Margaretta clearly dislikes. It can be inferred that she prefers Federal-style furniture. Margaretta also mentions Mary

Image of 2016.02.0024 - Letter

2016.02.0024 - Letter

Letter from Margaretta Mason Brown (Louisville, KY) to Orlando Brown (Tuscumbia, AL). Margaretta (and John) are assisting Elizabeth Watts Brown after the murder of her husband Preston Brown in Louisville. Mary Watts Brown, the daughter of Preston and Elizabeth, is also in Louisville, but still sick from a bout with bilious fever. Margaretta is eager to get back to Frankfort and she writes of her "black family suffering for clothing" in her absence. She writes about missing family and friends in Frankfort and Lexington and that since they have been gone for nearly eight weeks, they were not present for Betsy Humphreys' wedding [to Robert Todd]. The wedding occurred Nov. 1, 1826. [Tran

Image of 2016.02.0025 - Letter

2016.02.0025 - Letter

Letter from Margaretta Mason Brown (Baltimore,MD) to Orlando Brown (Frankfort, KY). This letter discusses Margaretta's fears of never seeing loved ones again, especially Mason as she has not heard from him. She writes of her prayers for the salvation of her children and others. She praises the family members that she meets in Baltimore including, Eliza and John Mason Duncan. Margaretta writes about the dinners she has attended during her visit. She discusses their travel plans, and explains that she and John are waiting for Louisa Brown who will be travelling to Frankfort with them. Margaretta asks Orlando to instruct the servants on preparation for their return to Frankfort. She names h

Image of 2016.02.0044 - Letter

2016.02.0044 - Letter

Letter from Alfred Beckley (Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor) to Margaretta Brown (Frankfort, KY) Beckley writes of the death of his mother Maria Prince Beckley two years prior (in 1833). He expresses his gratitude for the care Margaretta gave him as a child and discusses how Margaretta and John helped raise him in the absence of his own father [who died in 1807]. Beckley is trying to discern what decisions he needs to make in his life, and he discusses his faith, and spiritual life. He writes of obtaining land in West Virginia and sicknesses plaguing his family members. [Transcription] Fort Hamilton New York Harbour July 22d 1835 To Mrs Margaretta Brown Frankfort Ky My dear Madam