Guide to the Sermons of Isaac Browne 1736-1784, 1848 MG 337


Descriptive Summary
Biographical Note
Scope and Content Note
Access Points
Related Material

Administrative Information


Container List


Guide to the Sermons of Isaac Browne
1736-1784, 1848
MG 337

The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2004 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, PublisherInventory prepared by Danielle Kovacs as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.Finding aid encoded by Danielle Kovacs. March 2004. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.Finding aid written in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Isaac Browne
Title: Isaac Browne Sermons
Dates: 1736-1784, 1848
Abstract: Consists of the sermons of Isaac Browne spanning the years 1736-1784.
Quantity: 0.25 linear feet
Collection Number: MG 337

Biographical Note

A descendent of John Brown, one of Newark’s first town settlers in 1666, Isaac Browne was born on March 20, 1709 in West Haven, Connecticut. He became an Anglican, converting from Congregationalism, as did his brother, Rev. Daniel Brown, who converted on what later became known as the “Dark Day” at Yale College. After graduating from Yale in 1729, Isaac Browne studied theology under his brother’s classmate and friend, Rev. Samuel Johnson of Stratford. In 1731 through his tutor’s recommendation, he became a layreader and schoolmaster at Setauket, Long Island. Two years later, Browne traveled to England for ordination, his expenses paid for by the parish of Brookhaven and by the Churchmen of Stamford, Connecticut, both groups hoping to secure him as a pastor. He chose Brookhaven, and on December 14, 1733, Browne returned to Long Island to the Caroline Church in Setauket, where he remained fourteen years.

Upon leaving Long Island, Brown transferred to Trinity Church in Newark, New Jersey. Here he supplemented his income with an extensive medical practice, a practice that his parishioners openly resented. Browne continued despite their disapproval, and in November 1776 he was elected as a member of the New Jersey Medical Society at their second meeting. To make matters worse, Browne suffered from persistent illnesses during his tenure at Trinity Church. By 1751, his health was so poor that he was forced to curtail his travel and he could not be without the constant care of a nurse. He continued to decline, and by the 1760s his letters are full of references to sickness. In 1765, he found himself unable to serve his parish adequately, frequently having to shorten the morning service because he could not stand or speak for long periods of time.

During this time of increased illness, Browne longed to leave the difficult and demanding parish in Newark and take refuge in new parishes at Perth Amboy and Woodbridge. His discontent was justified: the parish was in his own words “turbulent and contentious” and he had not received payment for his services from the Society since 1753. Unfortunately, people at Perth Amboy rejected him; they were unwilling to put up with neither his poor health nor his medical practice. Having been rejected once, he decided to remain in Newark and try to make amends with his parish. The parish, likewise, was looking for reconciliation. The situation improved somewhat in 1771 when he was at last compensated for his services in Second River by the Society. At the same time he reported an improvement in his health.

This period of happiness, though, did not last long. In early 1777 Brown was thrown into Morris County jail for his loyalty to England. Once he was released he was sent to New York, where he lived miserably with his sick wife on very little money. By 1783 he moved to Nova Scotia, but lost most of his goods during the tumultuous voyage. That same year he relocated again, this time to Annapolis, remaining until 1785. He lived there without any regular employment on the Society’s pension of £50. Isaac Browne died impoverished and afflicted at Windsor in 1787.

Browne had three children: two sons and a daughter. He took pride in his sons’ success in the fields of law and medicine. His daughter, wife of David Ogden, died at the age twenty-six leaving behind two young sons.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of the sermons of Isaac Browne spanning the years 1736-1784. These sermons document the ministry of Browne, and were preached at Trinity Church in Newark, Christ Church in Second River (now Belleville), and Caroline Church in Setauket, Long Island. Many of the sermons were preached more than once, as was the practice.

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This collection is arranged in chronological order by the date of the first preaching; however, the date of the last preaching (or reading) is also included in the container list. Fragments and undated sermons are filed at the end of the collection.

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Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.

Use Restrictions

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.
Subject Names:
Browne, Isaac, 1709-1787.
Subject Organizations:
Caroline Church (Setauket, N.Y.)
Christ Church (Belleville, N.J.)
Trinity Church (Newark, N.J.)
Subject Topics:
American loyalists–New Jersey–Newark.
Church of England–United States–Clergy.
Clergy–New Jersey–Newark.
Subject Places:
Newark (N.J.)–Church history
Newark (N.J.)–Religious life and customs.
New Jersey–History–1775-1865.
New Jersey–History–Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
Document Types:
Subject Occupations
Clergy–New Jersey.

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Related Material

For materials related to Trinity Church at the New Jersey Historical Society, see:

Manuscript Group 882, Trinity Cathedral (Newark, N.J.) Records

For materials related to Anglican clergymen at the New Jersey Historical Society, see:

Manuscript Group 1019, Jouet Family Papers

Includes the papers of Cavalier Jouet, ordained an Anglican clergyman.

For materials related to clergymen in Newark at the New Jersey Historical Society, see:

Manuscript Group 50, Alfred Vail Papers

Manuscript Group 128, Alexander Macwhorter (1734-1807) Daybook

Manuscript Group 866, McDowell Family Papers

Contains sermons of Reverend Uzal Ogden (1744-1822), minister of Trinity Church, Newark.

Manuscript Group 986, Lewis Pintard Bayard Sermons

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 337, Isaac Browne Sermons, The New Jersey Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Charles C.L. Gifford and Charlotte Rutherford in 1872.

Processing Information

At the time of processing each dated sermon was already housed in an acid-free folder. During processing, the items were not re-housed, but they were re-arranged in chronological order.
Many of the sermons in this collection are in poor physical condition, with pages separated or torn. These items should be handled with care.

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Burr, Nelson R. The Anglican Church in New Jersey. Philadelphia: The Church Historical Society, 1954. 598-591.

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Container List


Scope and Content:

Many of the sermons were preached more than once, as was the practice. The sermons are arranged in chronological order by the date of the first preaching; however, the date of the last preaching (or reading) is also included in the container list. Fragments and undated sermons are filed at the end of the collection.

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Sermon 1736 Apr-1760 July
1 2 Sermon 1736 July-1768 Nov
1 3 Sermon 1736 Sept-1774 Sept
1 4 Sermon 1740 Mar-1773
1 5 Sermon 1741 Aug-1774 Nov
1 6 Sermon 1742 July-1772 Aug
1 6 Letter: M.H. Hardenson to Charlotte Rutherford, regarding Browne’s Sermon. 1848 Jan
1 7 Sermon 1742 Aug-1771 Oct
1 8 Sermon 1742 Oct-1770 Feb
1 9 Sermon 1743-1770 Dec
1 10 Sermon 1743 June-1775 Dec
1 11 Sermon 1743 Aug-1771 Nov
1 12 Sermon 1743 Sept-1762 Mar
1 13 Sermon 1747 Aug-1755 June
1 14 Sermon 1749 Apr-1779 Mar
1 15 Sermon 1750 Dec-1784 Aug
1 16 Sermon 1752-1782 Sept
1 17 Sermon 1753 Nov-1784 Nov
1 18 Sermon 1755 Apr-1769 June
1 19 Sermon 1755 May-1776 May
1 20 Sermon 1757 Apr-1776 Apr
1 21 Sermon 1758 Sept-1760 Mar
1 22 Sermon 1759 July-1784 July
1 23 Sermon 1761 Feb-1784 Mar
1 24 Sermon 1764 May-1769 Mar
1 25 Sermon 1764 July-1775 Apr
1 26 Sermon 1764 Aug-1773 Aug
1 27 Sermon 1769 Mar-1784
1 28 Sermon 1771 June-1775 Nov
1 29 Sermon 1775 Oct
1 30 Sermon undated
1 31 Sermons (fragments) 1762-1770, undated

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