Joseph Brown

Joseph Brown

Birth
Death 3 Dec 1785 (aged 52)
Burial Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, USA
Memorial ID 21282849 · View Source
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One of the "Four Brown Brothers", who were sons of James Brown Jr. [1697-1739] and Hope Power [1701-1792]. On 30 Sep 1759, he married his cousin, Elizabeth Power, daughter of Nicholas Power and Anna Tillinghast.
All of the Brown brothers made names for themselves in business, philanthropy, and patriotism, being connected to the notorius Gaspee Affair, but Joseph was the most active politically.
He was appointed to the Town of Providence Committee of Inspection, December 1773, and was actively involved in the manufacturing of saltpeter for use in gunpowder, planning fortifications at Fox Point, and procuring fire-ships for the defense of the Colony.
Joseph Brown served as a Deputy from Providence to the RI General Assembly, and as State Senator from Providence in 1784. He was also listed as being appointed to represent the State of Rhode Island in newly-formed Congress, but apparently never served since he is known to have suffered a stroke in 1784.
Although he did engage in the merchant business of Nicholas Brown and Company for income, his political and social activities overshadowed his business activities. His scientific skills were put to good use, though, and he was left by his brothers to be largely in charge of the mechanics of the Hope furnace and the spermeceti candle factory that his family owned. He was an architect, leaving as part of his legacy the design of the Joseph Brown House (1774), the John Brown house, University Hall at Brown University, the Market Building, and the First Baptist Church of America (1774) whose spire and style have inspired church goers in Providence for three centuries. He's listed in the Biographical Dictionary of American Architects. The John Brown House is the centerpiece of the RI Historical Society holdings. This brownstone-and-brick mansion, was designed by Joseph Brown for his brother John (1736-1803), and was built between 1786 and 1788.


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  • Maintained by: Scout
  • Originally Created by: Superkentman
  • Added: 1 Sep 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 21282849
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Joseph Brown (3 Dec 1733–3 Dec 1785), Find a Grave Memorial no. 21282849, citing North Burial Ground, Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, USA ; Maintained by Scout (contributor 47319613) .