Alexander Brown (1764-1834) emigrated from Ireland to Baltimore in 1800 and opened a dry goods business with which his four sons became associated. One son, John (1788-1872), opened a branch in Philadelphia in 1818 and expanded the business to include foreign exchange transactions. Another son, James (1791-1877) established Brown Brothers & Co. in New York City in 1825 and eventually absorbed the other branches. In addition, Brown Brothers & Co. was associated with the English firm of Brown, Shipley & Co. which was run by another brother, William Brown (1784-1864). In the early 1830s James Brown sold the dry goods portion of the company and concentrated on banking and trade. Thereafter, Brown Brothers & Co. became one of the most successful American banking houses. A 1930 merger created the present firm of Brown Brothers, Harriman & Co. Collection consists of accounting records of Brown Brothers & Co. and its allied enterprise, Brown, Shipley & Co. Most of the records cover the years when James Brown was a partner and include journals, 1828-1853, and ledgers, 1825-1880. There are also journals, 1837-1880, for Brown, Shipley & Co. Other records include letter books, consignments, custom house entries, records of sales, and accounts of New Orleans and Havana offices of Brown, Shipley & Co.
Funding: Funded by the Digitizing Hidden Collections program. Hidden Collections is a program of the Council on Library and Information Resources and is generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.