Albert Gallatin Browne
Born 8 DEC 1805
Died 9 OCT 1885

James Browne
BET. 12 MAY - SEP 175813 MAY 1827
Lydia Vincent
27 DEC 177227 JUN 1853

Sarah Smith Cox
27 NOV 181028 OCT 1885
Married 10 APR 1834

Children with Sarah Smith Cox
Albert Gallantin Browne Jr.
14 FEB 183525 JUN 1891
Benjamin Cox Browne
14 JUL 183830 MAR 1840
Sarah Ellen Browne
9 JUL 18412 JUN 1864
Alice Browne
31 MAY 18431912
Francis Cox Browne
7 APR 18517 FEB 1852
Edward Cox Browne
20 APR 18531911

Other Facts
Residence Salem MA
Occupation US Commissioner at Beaufort, SC

AGB's forebears were Salem merchants & manufacturers. His grandfather, Joseph Vincent, owned a ropewalk & his father, James Browne, was a ship chandler. It was natural that AGB's work would be cordage manufacture and ships' supplies . By 1836 he had his own ship chandlers business, Albert G. Browne & Co., located at "No, 110 Derby Street, nest door east of the Custom House" in Salem. Later he also went into business in Boston.

In 1863, during the Civil War, he resigned from his business and was appointed a Supervising Special Agent of the U.S. Treasury Department & assigned to the Union occupied coast of SC, to take charge of captured & abandoned Rebel property (mostl y cotton), and arrange for its shipment to the North. During his 3 years in the South, he lived in Beaufort, SC & later in Savannah GA.

AGB contracted malaria & returned home OCT-1865 to recuperate for 2 months. During that period, his son, Albert Jr., took over his father's duties in the South. Albert Sr. completed his duties as Special Agent in SEP-1866 & returned to Salem. Duri ng the rest of his life he suffered the effects of the malaria & died in 1885. During those years he also suffered mental anguish, due to the Government's repeated refusal, despite well-documented claims, to properly compensate him for his 3 year s service in the South.

General W.T. Sherman wrote in his Memoirs that it was AGB who suggested to him in Savannah in 22-DEC-1864 that Sherman send President Lincoln, "as a Christmas gift, the City of Savannah, with one hundred & fifty heavy guns & plenty of ammunition , also about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton."
AGB wrote to his wife in Salem of the great respect & admiration he had for Sherman.

Documenting AGB's daily activities & comments on life in the South & his Sarah Browne's life in Salem is the extensive correspondence between them during the time when they were apart. These letters & Sarah Browne's diaries & daughter Nellie's let ters are in the file of the Schlessinger Library at Radcliffe College.

AGB, early in his career, made business trips on which he kept well-written, detailed journals. The first was a two month trip in 1838. He sailed as a passenger on a square-rigged ship from Boston to New Orleans (19 days), he attended to busines s & extensive sightseeing for about 2 weeks, and then traveled up the Mississippi & Ohio Rovers on several different steam b oats as far a Cincinnati (the water was at the lowest level anyone living could remember). He described stops at Natche z & Vicksburg & short trips by stage coach & a railroad which took only 29 minutes to go 12 miles, an impressive average of 25 mph! He described slavery in the city & on plantations. He was shocked by the drinking, gambling, low morals, murders , even dueling, which were prevalent. He saw several steamboats which had recently blown up & more which had broken up on rocks. He wrote that it was safer to sail across the Atlantic than to go from New Orleans to Cincinnati.

His second trip was in 1842. He was employed by the Navy to assess the hemp growing potential of the US. The 3 1/2 month rip took him first to Washington where he endured 10 frustrating days with the bureaucracy of the Navy Department. But the del ay gave him the opportunity to meet Daniel Webster & President Tyler, and to get a letter of introduction from Henry Clay & attend an evening reception with dancing in the East Room of the White House. From Washington he journeyed by stage coac h & steamboat westward through VA, WV, KY, MO as far as Fort Leavenworth, which was then Indian Territory. He described seeing & talking to Indians. In Independence MO he saw an 80 wagon train with 6 mules per wagon preparing to leave for the West . He described going on horseback to visit farms of hemp growers in KY, MO, OH.

AGB joined the MA Charitable Mechanic Association in 1837 & was a trustee 1853-55. He was elected to MA Governor George Boutwell's Executive Council in 1852 & served 1 1-year term. He was a member of the Emancipation League of Boston which was act ive from 1861 on through the Civil war. He was a
founded of the anti-slavery Liberty Party.

AGB was an Unitarian. However, until 1853 he & his wife went to the Barton Square Independent Congregational Church. When Rev. Edmund Burke Willson came to the Unitarian North Church, they were attracted by his interest in social reform & from the n on that was their church.

According to the obituary by the MA charitable Mechanic Association, AGB was "a Man of pronounced ideas, firm, and fearless in the defense of his cherished opinions, while tolerant of the opinion of others. As a citizen he was highly esteeme d by his fellow citizens of all classes." His daughter-in-law, Charlotte Crowninshield [280] said that "he was impulsive & not always practical." For example, he gave away to someone in need some shirts his wife had just laboriously made for him . In New Orleans in 1838,
when visiting a slave auction, he impulsively bid for a 13-year-old boy whom he would bring North, set free, & educate. A few minutes later, he was greatly relieved when someone else made a higher bid. When the railroad tunnel was under constructi on in Salem in 1839, he saw an overseer abusing a young Irish laborer. He interceded & told the boy that if this situation did not improve for him to come to see him. The boy later did come & a good job on a milk route was obtained for him & late r still AGB helped him buy a
farm in Lancaster NH.