Manuscript Group 291, Baldwin-Brown-Coe Family (Newark, NJ) Papers, 1776-1893 (Bulk date: 1800-1845)


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.

Biographical Note:

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.

Eunice’s 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. Brown’s 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 Brown’s 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-law’s 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).

Provenance Note:

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.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection has been divided into four series: Baldwin Family, Brown Family, Coe Family, and Miscellaneous.  Each individual’s papers have been placed under the family they were born into, thus Abby Ward (Brown) Coe’s 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 Hannah’s husband’s 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 Parkhurst’s recollections of her grandmother.

Related Collections:

Manuscript Group 89, Sayers Coe (1772-1851), Farmer, Records
Manuscript Group 123, Jemima Condict (1754-1779) Diary
Manuscript Group 149, Caleb Parkhurst (1744-1817), Merchant, Records
Manuscript Group 150, Henry L. Parkhurst (1767-1852), Farmer, Daybooks
Manuscript Group 540, Samuel Baldwin (1754-1850) Papers
Manuscript Group 1421, Coe Family Genealogy Collection

Container List:

Folder Title Dates
Baldwin Family  
1 To Eunice (Baldwin) Brown Parkhurst from:  
  Phebe (Baldwin) Ludlow 1793
  D.B. Johnson 1819, 1823, 1831
  Susanna (Brown) Johnson 1822
Brown Family  
2 Brown family legal documents:  
  Bond for dowry: Samuel
B. Brown to Caleb Parkhurst
  Indenture buying a pew in the First Presbyterian Church of Newark: Samuel B. Brown, signed by Elisha Boudinot 1802
  Indenture selling land: Susanna (Brown) & Theodorus Johnson to Jesse B. Johnson 1816
  Indenture selling a pew in the First Presbyterian Church of Newark: Daniel B. Brown to Joseph D. Coe 1835
3 Brown family correspondence:  
  Rev. Joseph Riggs to Daniel Brown 1780
  Susanna (Brown) Johnson to Samuel B. Brown, Sr. 1817
  Eliza Baldwin Brown to Hannah Matilda Brown 1845
4 Hannah H. (Ward) Brown to:  
  E. (Ward) Fountain 1810, 1811
  Hannah Matilda Brown n.d.
5 Ward family:  
  E. (Ward) Fountain to Abby Ward 1806
  Poem, for death of Abby Ward 1807
6 Abby Ward Brown Coe to a sister and her children 1812, 1857,1873
7 To Abby Ward Brown Coe:  
  from Hannah Matilda 1819
  from Harriette Antoinette Brown 1831
  from Albert Halsey Brown 1831
  from Daniel Baldwin Brown 1844
8 Abby Ward Brown (Coe): Miscellaneous  
  Swan drawing 1810
  Writing 1822
  Christmas list 1825
9 Brown Family: Miscellaneous  
  Eliza Baldwin Brown list 1819
  S.B. Brown & Co. advertisement, Vicksburg, MS 1838
Coe Family  
10 Benjamin Coe – List of property destroyed during the Revolutionary War 1776
11 Benjamin and Sayres Coe receipts 1800-1816
12 “A Sketch of the Life of Sarah Coe, Wife of Sayers Coe,” by Sarah E. Parkhurst 1893
13 Joseph D. Coe to Alexander Coe 1860
14 Sarah to Cousin P. Ann 1854
  Newspaper clipping: Newark Daily Advertiser– Income list 1868
  William Pennington signature n.d.

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.

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