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John Frippo Brown Papers


Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

John Frippo Brown (1842-1919) was the last principal chief of the Seminole Nation before Oklahoma statehood and governed the nation from 1885 to 1901 and 1905 to 1906. His mother was Lucy Redbeard of the Seminole Nation, and his father was Dr. John F. Brown, Sr., a Scottish American government physician. Brown served as an officer in the Confederate States Army under Seminole chief John Jumper (circa 1820-1896) during the American Civil War. After the war, Brown maintained a ranch southeast of Wewoka in what is now Hughes County, Oklahoma. He also ran the Wewoka Trading Company with his brother Andrew J. Brown and served as pastor of the Spring Baptist Church near his home in Sasakwa from 1894 until his death. His sister Alice Brown Davis was the first woman appointed as a Seminole chief in 1922. Brown married Lizzie Jumper and remarried twice following her death. He had twelve children.

This collection comprises a small group of papers relating to John Frippo Brown (1842-1919), a Seminole chief, trading company operator, and Baptist minister, and his family. Materials include a manuscript notebook containing occasional notes and accounts kept by Brown or another family member, Brown's calling card, and five tintype photographs picturing Brown and his family members.

Notebook entries cover a variety of topics, including notes on local geological features, translations of what are likely Mvskoke (Muscogee, Creek) phrases, a list of seven "Tribes of Creeks speaking different languages," and records of paid accounts, including an account with Seminole leader Caesar Bruner. Another note referring to Brown reads, "At JFB to look at treaty." Several pages of the notebook also touch on medical or medicinal subjects, including hemorrhoids, diarrhea, dropsy, and other ailments. One page describes a remedy for cholera, the disease which killed Brown's parents in 1867. Another page lists a recipe for "tooth wash" that includes ammonia.

The notebook includes entries dated in 1873 and 1875, but all other entries and materials in the collection are undated.

Purchased from William Reese Company in 2020. AM 2021-28.

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This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in December 2020. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in December 2020.

No materials were removed from the collection during 2020 processing.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Author
Kelly Bolding
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use Restrictions

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Collection Inventory

Notebook, 1873-1875. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
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Tintype Photographs, circa 1873-1875. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

One photograph likely features John Frippo Brown standing with a Seminole man. The other four portraits show a Seminole woman and three adolescents.

Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
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Calling Card, circa 1873-1875. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

The card reads, "John F. Brown, Seminole Nation, Indian Territory."

Physical Description

1 item

Materials Viewable Online
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