- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- Francis C. Brown Collection on Slavery in America
- Manuscripts Division
- Permanent URL:
- 1766-1868 (mostly 1820-1865)
- 2 boxes and 0.8 linear feet
- Storage Note:
- Firestone Library (mss): Box 1-2
- English French
Consists of over 150 manuscript and printed documents related to slavery, the trade of enslaved persons, plantation labor, and free people of color, primarily in the United States and to a lesser extent in the Caribbean, that were collected by Francis C. Brown (Class of 1958).
Collection Description & Creator Information
Consists of over 150 manuscript and printed documents related to the institution of slavery in America that were collected from various sources by Francis C. Brown (Class of 1958). Materials pertain to slavery in Louisiana and, to a lesser degree, in Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland, Alabama, Virginia, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, and the Carolinas, with a few documents relating to the Caribbean and West Africa. While many documents relate to enslaved persons from the perspective of plantation owners and traders, others depict resistance to slavery and the lives of free people of color. Included are testimonies and legal documents regarding escaped and recaptured enslaved persons; deeds of manumission; papers of freedmen and other free people of color, including labor contracts, receipts for services rendered, and documents pertaining to inheritance and property sales; auction and estate records of plantations concerning their products, animals, and enslaved persons; mortgages of property and enslaved persons; a Civil War army discharge for an African American sergeant; receipts for the medical care and board of enslaved laborers; manifests of enslaved persons transported by ship; and bills of sale for enslaved persons, including many sold to Andrew Hynes of Tennessee; among other documents. Also of note are several documents and letters pertaining to abolitionist and anti-abolitionist movements, as well as to emancipation, including a loyalty oath signed by a Southern plantation owner shortly after the American Civil War and a group of pamphlets concerning changes to France's Code Noir in the 1840s that affected French colonies in Africa and the Caribbean. While the majority of documents are in English, many of the documents from Louisiana are in French.
Materials related to the same person are grouped together. Otherwise, materials are not arranged according to any arrangement scheme.
- Collection Creator Biography:
Francis C. (Cabell) Brown Jr. was born on January 6, 1936, and graduated from Princeton University in 1958 with a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School. He attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1961, and practiced law in New York as a solo practitioner for most of his professional life.
Francis C. (Cabell) Brown was born on Jan. 6, 1936, and graduated from Princeton University in 1958 with a degree from the Woodrow Wilson School. He attended Harvard Law School and graduated in 1961. He is currently an attorney in New York City.
Gift of Francis C. Brown, Jr., Class of 1958, in 1980 (AM 1981-58).
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No materials were separated during 2016 processing.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed by Teresa T. Basler in 2003. Finding aid written by Teresa T. Basler in 2003.
Finding aid terminology and access terms updated by Faith Charlton in November 2016. In December 2016, materials related to the same person were grouped together and description was further enhanced by Kelly Bolding, with assistance from Fiona Bell '18. 2016 updates focused on improving description of enslaved people.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Collection is open for research use.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.
- Credit this material:
Francis C. Brown Collection on Slavery in America; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Firestone LibraryOne Washington RoadPrinceton, NJ 08544, USA(609) 258-3184
- Subject Terms:
- African Americans -- Economic and social conditions -- 18th century -- Sources.
African Americans -- Economic and social conditions -- 19th century -- Sources.
African Americans -- United States -- History -- Sources.
Freedmen -- Louisiana -- 19th century -- Sources.
Freedmen -- United States -- 19th century -- Sources.
Freedmen -- West Indies -- 19th century -- Sources.
Fugitive slaves -- United States.
Plantation owners -- Southern States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Slave bills of sale -- Tennessee.
Slave records -- Alabama.
Slave records -- Kentucky.
Slave records -- Louisiana.
Slave records -- Maryland.
Slave records -- Mississippi.
Slave records -- Missouri.
Slave records -- New Jersey.
Slave records -- New York (State)
Slave records -- North Carolina.
Slave records -- South Carolina.
Slave records -- Tennessee.
Slave records -- Virginia.
Slave trade -- United States -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
Slave trade -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Slaveholders -- United States.
Slavery -- Louisiana -- History -- Sources.
Slavery -- United States -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
Slavery -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Slaves -- Emancipation -- United States -- 19th century -- Sources.
- Genre Terms:
- Bills of sale.
- Southern States -- History -- 1775-1865 -- Sources.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Participation, African American