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David Edward Brown papers

Abstract

Title:
David Edward Brown papers
Author/Creator:
Brown, David Edward
Collection number:
76-1
Size:
8.00 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1903-1972
Inclusive dates:
1903-1972
Collection Area:
University of Maryland
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

David Edward Brown (1879-1970) attended the Maryland Agricultural College from 1899 to 1904 and was a United States Department of Agriculture field agent at the experiment farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, for forty-three years, specializing in tobacco improvement, breeding, and culture. The collection contains Brown's correspondence, field staff diaries, experimental crop notebooks, and printed matter, such as publications, programs, certificates, and news clippings, relating to Brown's career as a Special Field Agent.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

David Edward Brown papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1741
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

David Edward (D. E.) Brown was born October 27, 1879, in Prince George's County, Maryland, to Mary and David Brown. According to the 1900 census, David Edward had an older brother, John, and seven younger sisters: Lidie D., Gertrude, Lena, Mary, Maggie, Bertha, and Nellie. In 1890, the census taker listed David Brown, Sr., as a railroad worker and in 1900 as a farmer. At the age of twenty, D. E. Brown matriculated to the Maryland Agricultural College (MAC). He remained a student at the college until 1904, playing both baseball and football, thus becoming a life member of the "M" Club.

Dr. H. J. Webber, head of Plant Breeding in the Bureau of Plant Industry, appointed Brown as a Special Field Agent for the U. S. Department of Agriculture on July 1, 1906. Brown was headquartered at the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station in College Park until 1908, when he transferred to the experiment farm at Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Employed by the USDA for forty-three years, Brown's major research concerns were tobacco improvement, breeding, and culture. In addition to writing articles about tobacco fertilization, cropping systems and types, and varieties of Maryland tobacco, Brown was part of the team, headed by Dr. W. W. Garner, that developed the Maryland Mammoth variety of tobacco, which later became the variety used in extensive research on photoperiodism, the response of plants and animals to the amount of daylight in twenty-four hour periods.

On May 19, 1931, he married Alberta Smith of Easton, Maryland, and the couple had one child, David Edward. Some time in the 1920s, Brown purchased Mount Calvert, an estate reportedly built in the late eighteenth century and the only building remaining of Charles Town, the original county seat of Prince George's County. At his death on March 11, 1970, Brown was survived by his wife, son, one grandson, and four great-grandchildren, including David Edward Brown IV.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers of David Brown include materials dating from 1903 to 1972. The collection contains Brown's correspondence, field staff diaries, experimental crop notebooks, and printed matter, such as publications, programs, certificates, and newsclippings, relating to his career as a Special Field Agent for the USDA at the experiment farm at Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Claude McKee deposited the papers at the University of Maryland Libraries in 1975.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by P. A., September 1976. Reprocessed by Jennifer Evans, May 2003.

Processing note:

When the papers were first processed in 1976, three series were created: Field Staff Diaries, Experimental Crop Notebooks, and General File. During reprocessing, the General File series was divided and reorganized. Folders on tests and computations were added to the field staff diaries and to the experimental crop notebooks to form a new series, Research. The "Addenda" folders were renamed "Loose Items" and moved from the end of the series to immediately following each corresponding diary. The correspondence was made into its own series and arranged chronologically. The remaining materials were placed in a third series, Printed Matter.

Metal fasteners were replaced with acid-free clips over acid-free paper, and newsclippings, with the exception of the oversize items, were photocopied onto acid-free paper. Oversize newsclippings were not photocopied and were placed in acid-free folders. Items were unfolded, and very fragile materials were housed in non-reactive polyester sleeves. Loose items within notebooks and field staff diaries were separated and placed in appropriate folders. Bound volumes were placed in folders, spine-down.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Jennie A. Levine and Jennifer Evans.

Arrangement of Collection

The collection has been divided into four series:

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Research Materials, 1904-1970 and undated (4.75 linear feet and 4 oversize items)

The bulk of this series consists of experimental crop notebooks and field staff diaries with the majority of the materials dating from 1908 to 1948.

There are two types of experimental crop notebooks: field notebooks and Tobacco Breeding Record Books. The four field notebooks contain data from various experiments, including irrigation-burn tests as well as potash rates and sources. The USDA Plant Breeding Laboratory specially designed the Tobacco Breeding Record Books "to secure uniformity in nomenclature and note taking, and promote uniform methods of classification in the tobacco breeding experiments." In the designated columns, Brown recorded such information as the date seeds were sown, physical description of leaves, and height of stems. Brown also used the record books to record other types of data not suggested by the USDA, and the record books often contain data that does not correspond directly to the date on the cover of the book. In the 1906 volume, for example, Brown lists the names of the people in Maryland to whom he sent tobacco seed in 1907. Brown also lists amounts of hay harvested and the results of a variety of experiments, including nitrogen, iron salts, tannin acid, and tobacco germination. In addition to entering data related to Upper Marlboro, Sasscer's Field, Weems, Drurys, Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, Fair Grounds, Hills, Wills, and Johnsons, Brown often drew line drawings of various farm plots in the record books.

The field staff diaries are ledger books in which Brown recorded daily activities on the experiment farm in Upper Marlboro from 1908 until 1948, such as type and location of tobacco tests, installation of boiler sheds, spreading manure, and expenditures. In addition, he often recorded the daily weather and information about laborers. A sample entry follows from September 24, 1912:

rained all day

1.95 at 10 a.m.

Packed tobacco 1 hhg [hogshead] dull 880 lbs and started sacking potatoes to be shipped to Md. Exp. Sta..

Wm Chaney and 2 horses

Joe Coffin 1 day

Wm Rogers 1day

M Eterna 1day

Joe Chaney 1day

Harold Wilson 1day

Several field staff diaries include drawings of farm plots and experimental crop data. For all of the field diaries except the 1921-1924 volume, there are folders of addenda, which include items that were probably taken from the pages of the diaries when the collection was first processed. These items include correspondence, publications, data, receipts, an inventory of the experiment farm equipment, as well as expenditure and travel authorizations. These addenda do not always correspond to the date of the volume from which they were taken.

This series also contains several folders, under the heading "Tests," that include data and descriptions from specific experiments, including "Results of Experiments on Method of Fertilizer Application for Tobacco." The folder of computations contains pages with numbers and calculations on them, mostly unidentified.

Arrangement is alphabetical by document type, and, within types, the items are ordered chronologically.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Computations, 1928, 1932, 1942 and undated series 1box 1folder 1
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Field Notebooks -- Mr. Brown's Moisture Work, 1935-1936, [1930, 1937-1939 and undated] series 1box 1folder 2
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Field Notebooks -- Tobacco and Nutrition Work, Miami, Fla. And Tifton, Ga. , [1921-1922, 1936-1938 and undated] series 1box 1folder 3
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Field Notebooks -- Unidentified, [1916-1919 and undated] series 1box 1folder 4
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Field Notebooks -- Unidentified, [1916-1919 and undated] series 1box 1folder 5
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1904 series 1box 1folder 6
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books -- [Loose item], [1905] series 1box 1folder 7
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1905 series 1box 1folder 8
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1905 series 1box 1folder 9
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1906 series 1box 2folder 1
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1907 series 1box 2folder 2
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1908 series 1box 2folder 3
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books -- [Loose item], [1908] series 1box 2folder 4
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1909 series 1box 2folder 5
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1910 series 1box 2folder 6
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1911 series 1box 2folder 7
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1912 series 1box 3folder 1
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1913 series 1box 3folder 2
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1914 series 1box 3folder 3
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1915 series 1box 3folder 4
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1916 series 1box 3folder 5
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1917 series 1box 3folder 6
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1918 series 1box 4folder 1
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1919 series 1box 4folder 2
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1920 series 1box 4folder 3
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books -- [Loose item], [1930] series 1box 4folder 4
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1921 series 1box 4folder 5
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1922 series 1box 4folder 6
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1923 series 1box 4folder 7
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books -- [Loose items], [1935] series 1box 4folder 8
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1924 series 1box 5folder 1
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1925 series 1box 5folder 2
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1926 series 1box 5folder 3
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books -- [Loose item], [undated] series 1box 5folder 4
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1927 series 1box 5folder 5
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1928 series 1box 5folder 6
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1929 series 1box 6folder 1
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1930 series 1box 6folder 2
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1931 series 1box 6folder 3
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1932 series 1box 6folder 4
Experimental Crop Notebooks -- Tobacco Breeding Record Books, 1933 series 1box 6folder 5
Field Staff Diaries , 1908-1910 series 1box 7folder 1
Field Staff Diaries -- [Loose items], [1916] series 1box 7folder 2
Field Staff Diaries , 1911-1915 series 1box 7folder 3
Field Staff Diaries -- [Loose items], [1923] series 1box 7folder 4
Field Staff Diaries , 1916-1920 series 1box 8folder 1
Field Staff Diaries -- [Loose items], [1916-1970 and undated] series 1box 8folder 2
Field Staff Diaries , 1921-1924 series 1box 8folder 3
Field Staff Diaries , 1925-1929 series 1box 9folder 1
Field Staff Diaries -- [Loose items], [1916-1930 and undated] series 1box 9folder 2
Field Staff Diaries , 1930-1934 series 1box 9folder 3
Field Staff Diaries , 1930-1934 series 1box 10folder 1
Field Staff Diaries -- [Loose items], [1930-1935 and undated] series 1box 10folder 2
Field Staff Diaries , 1935-1937 series 1box 10folder 3
Field Staff Diaries -- [Loose items], [1935-1944 and undated] series 1box 10folder 4
Field Staff Diaries , 1938-1941 series 1box 11folder 1
Field Staff Diaries -- [Loose items], [1938-1949 and undated] series 1box 11folder 2
Field Staff Diaries , 1942-1945 series 1box 12folder 1
Field Staff Diaries -- [Loose items], [1942-1951 and undated] series 1box 12folder 2
Field Staff Diaries , 1946-1948 series 1box 12folder 3
Field Staff Diaries , 1946-1948 series 1box 13folder 1
Field Staff Diaries -- [Loose items], [1944-1948 and undated] series 1box 13folder 2
Tests -- Fertilizer on Variety of Tobacco Types, [1934-1947 and undated] series 1box 13folder 3
Tests -- Mulch, 1942 series 1box 13folder 4
Tests -- Potash and Sulphur, 1935-1943 series 1box 13folder 5
Tests -- Starvation, 1939-1943 series 1box 13folder 6
Tests -- Various Kinds, 1912-1943 and undated series 1box 13folder 7
Tests -- Weeds, 1931-1942 series 1box 13folder 8
Tests -- Yield of Wheat, Oats, and Rye Per Acre, 1923 series 1box 13folder 9

Series 2: Printed Matter, 1908-1972 and undated (36 items and 4 oversize items)

Dating from 1908 to 1972, items in this series consist of publications, programs, certificates, and newsclippings that Brown collected, including a reprint of "Mulches for Maryland and Pennsylvania Tobacco" from Tobacco (1962).

Arrangement is alphabetical by document type, and, within types, the items are ordered chronologically.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Forms and Certifications, 1947-1948, 1969-1970 and undated series 2box 13folder 10
Miscellaneous, 1939-1972 series 2box 13folder 11
Newsclippings, 1908-1970 and undated series 2box 13folder 12
Newsclippings (OVERSIZE), 1934-1970 series 2box 13folder 13
Reprint, 1962 series 2box 13folder 14
USDA Publications, 1944-1969 series 2box 13folder 15

Series 3: Correspondence, 1921-1969 and undated (41 items)

Most of the correspondence is addressed to Brown and dates from 1921 to 1969. Topics include: requests for tobacco seeds, USDA procedures and regulations, boiler inspections, and farm help.

Arrangement is chronological.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Correspondence, 1921-1949, 1967-1969 and undated series 3box 13folder 16

Series 4: Photographs, 1903 and ca. 1930 (4 items)

This series contains three photographs and one negative. One photograph is of the 1903 Maryland Agricultural College football team, and the other items depict tobacco plants.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Tobacco Plants (negative), circa 1930 series 4box 1folder 1
1903 Maryland Agricultural College football team, 1903 series 4box 1folder 2
Tobacco Plants, circa 1930 series 4box 1folder 3
Tobacco Plants, circa 1930 series 4box 1folder 4

Related Material

J. E. McMurtrey wrote a eulogy about Brown that appeared in the March 26, 1970, Enquirer Gazette (Series II), and Brown's obituary was printed a week earlier in the same paper. Brown's marriage to Alberta Smith is announced in the October 1931 Maryland Alumni News (University Publication A44.002). The Annual Reports of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station (University Publications UPUB A33.001), particularly 1907 to 1910, discuss the cooperative tobacco experiments with the United States Department of Agriculture that Brown supervised at Upper Marlboro. The "M Club Directory" (1941) has an entry for Brown (University Publication M1.001). Brown is also listed in the Registrar's ledger for the Maryland Agricultural College.

Brown published several experiment station bulletins, including: Fertilizer Experiments with Tobacco (1919) with W. W. Garner (no. 225); Fertilizer Tests with Tobacco, with Special Reference to Effect of Different Rates and Sources of Nitrogen and Potash (1934) with J. E. McMurtrey and W. M. Lunn (no. 358); Cropping Tests with Tobacco (1925) with W. M. Lunn (no. 275); and Value of Natural Weed Fallow in the Cropping System for Tobacco (1934) with J. E. McMurtrey (no. 363). In addition, the USDA published his Role of Potash in Growth and Nutrition of Maryland Tobacco in 1947 (Technical Bulletin no. 933).

Information about Brown's family can be found in the 1880 Census for Maryland, Volume 16, Enumeration District 121, Sheet 18, Line 13 and in the 1900 Census for Maryland Volume 37, Enumeration District 91, Sheet 12, Line 76.

For more information about the Experiment Station, the University of Maryland Libraries hold the Records of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, the Papers of H. J. Patterson, and the Richard White Collection. The Libraries also curate the papers of two of Brown's correspondents, W. J. Moyer and P. D. Brown. The Libraries hold additional collections pertaining to tobacco in Maryland: Archives of the Maryland Tobacco Improvement Foundation, Records of the Maryland State Board of Agriculture, and the Archives of the Maryland State Board of Agriculture Reports of Leaf Tobacco Sold.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.

Subjects

Names (Added Entries)