Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 291, Baldwin-Brown-Coe Family (Newark, NJ)
Papers, 1776-1893 (Bulk date: 1800-1845), 0.25 linear feet / 1 small manuscript box
Call Number: MG 291 + folder number
Letters and documents of the Baldwin-Brown-Coe family of Newark, New Jersey. Includes a list of Benjamin Coe's property destroyed in Newark "by the enemy" (November 1776), and correspondence of the following: Samuel Baldwin (1754-1850), Eunice Brown Parkhurst (1745-1833), and Reverend Joseph Riggs. Samuel Baldwin lived in Charleston, South Carolina and Suzanna Johnson in Lebanon, Ohio.
Gift of Emma L. Tompkins, 1944.
The Baldwin, Brown, and Coe families were early Newark residents who became related through marriage.
Eunice Baldwin (1745-1833) married Daniel Brown (1747-1776) and they had two children together: Susanna (1769-1860) and Samuel Baldwin (1771-1859). Daniel Brown died of exposure early in the Revolution, leaving his wife a young widow. In 1788, Eunice remarried to Caleb Parkhurst (1744-1817) and became the stepmother of his eight children.
Eunices son, Samuel B. Brown, learned the craft of chair making from his uncle in New York and set up a factory and store in Newark, New Jersey. He married Hannah Halsey Ward (1776-1831) in 1793 and with her had ten children: Hannah Matilda (1794-1878), Abby Ward (1796-1880), Eliza Baldwin (1798-1858), William Fountain (1800-1800), Daniel Baldwin (1802-1850), Albert Halsey (1804-1864), Samuel Baldwin (1807-1807), Samuel Baldwin (1811-1863), Harriette Antoinette (1813-1885), and William Mortimer (1816-1864). The chair business was extremely lucrative, and the family prospered until the War of 1812 and later the Civil War, when trade with the south slowed and eventually stopped. Samuel B. Browns sons followed him into the family business. Samuel B. Brown, Jr. set up a branch store in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1833 and his brother, Daniel B. Brown, helped at both the Vicksburg and Newark stores.
Hannah and Samuel Browns daughter Abby Ward Brown married Joseph Davis Coe (1800-1874) in 1825. Joseph D. Coe was the son of Sarah Davis (1774-1853) and Sayers Coe (1772-1851) and the grandson of Bethia Grummon (1744-1816) and Benjamin Coe (1738-1818). The Coes were prosperous Newark farmers who maintained a large estate with slaves; Joseph D. Coe, however, joined his father-in-laws chair making business. Abby Ward Brown and Joseph D. Coe had seven children together: Caroline Matilda (b.1826), Emma (1828-1831), Albert Benjamin (b.1831), Silvester (1833-1839), Alexander (1835-1875), Julia Emarintha (b.1837), and Ernest Eugene (1841-1910).
Sayre, Mortimer F. Brown and Sayre Ancestry: Three Centuries in Northern New Jersey (Spahr & Glenn: Columus, Ohio, 1971).
The Baldwin-Brown-Coe Family Papers were donated to the New Jersey Historical Society by Emma L. Tompkins in 1944. Two items were later transferred into the collection. The Samuel B. Brown bond (folder 2) was taken from Manuscript Group 1, The Alphabetical Series, and the "Biographical Sketch of Sarah Coe," written by Sarah E. Parkhurst (folder 12) was transferred from Manuscript Group 25, Miscellaneous Manuscripts.
The collection has been divided into four series: Baldwin Family, Brown Family, Coe Family, and Miscellaneous. Each individuals papers have been placed under the family they were born into, thus Abby Ward (Brown) Coes papers are located with the Brown Family. The only exception to this rule is the Ward women, Hannah H. Ward and her mother and aunt, whose papers have been placed with those of Hannahs husbands family - the Browns.
The collection spans the time period from 1776-1893, with bulk dates ranging from 1800-1845. While the documents are from a large number of individuals, they do not really focus on any one person or any nuclear family. The collection covers generations, reaching back to the grandparents of both Hannah Ward Brown and her husband, Joseph D. Coe. The Brown Family series is the most extensive within the collection, and within that, the papers of Hannah Ward (Brown) Coe.
Items in the collection include correspondence, receipts, and legal documents such as indentures and bonds. The correspondence covers such topics as religion; death; marriage; business ventures in South Carolina and in Vicksburg, Mississippi; life in Lebanon, Ohio; Princeton Theological Seminary; family matters; and missionary work.
The Miscellaneous series includes a list of items destroyed during the Revolutionary War, a Christmas list, doodles, poems, an autograph of William Pennington, a newspaper clipping, and an advertisement for the S.B. Brown & Co. store in Vicksburg, Mississippi. There is also a typescript biographical sketch of Sarah (Sally) Coe written by her granddaughter Sarah E. Parkhurst. This sketch is made up of Parkhursts recollections of her grandmother.
Processed by Kim Charlton, November 1999 as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The New Jersey Historical Society