Guide to the John A. and Alvah L. Brown Diaries, 1849-1892

Collection number: MC 313
Size: (1 containor) (0.3 cu.ft.)

About John Asher Brown (1820-1910) and Alvah Leroy Brown (1842-1924):

John Asher Brown (9 June 1820- 5 October 1910) was born, lived, and died in Loudon, N.H. His parents were Levi Brown (1784–1858, Loudon) and Sally Morse (1797–1872, Loudon). He was a farmer, selectman, road agent, among various other town functions. He married Anne Batchelder (1822–1906, Loudon) in 1871. Their two sons were Alvah Leroy Brown and John Warren Brown (1860-?, Loudon).

Alvah Leroy Brown (9 March 1842 Loudon-25 December 1924 Laconia) married Clara Ann Neal (1849-1919 Loudon) in 1871. They had three children: Harriet Mary (1877-1943), Walter Alvah (1881-?), Arthur Neal (1879-1925). Alvah was a schoolteacher, farmer, and lumberman.

About the John A. and Alvah L. Brown Diaries, 1849-1892

The collection consists of 11 pocket diaries written by John A. Brown (1845-1876) and 4 written by his son Alvah L. Brown (1862-1869). There are also two unidentified photographs (possibly of Alvah himself and his mother Sally Morse) and various debt notes, receipts, and a small amount of correspondence, all dating 1847-1882 and undated. Topics include: detailed household inventories (1864, 1869, 1874), days worked doing what and by whom, scripture, borders lodged (1873), church accounts (1870), and animals bought/sold/bred/borrowed. While John Brown's accounts are more factual, Alvah Brown's writing is more introverted, and largely concerns his financial accounts, days as a school teacher, names of pupils, and the weather. Many of the loose papers are subscriptions for the Massachusets Ploughman, a newspaper published by the New England Agricultural Society, as well as tickets to agricultural fairs sponsored by the Merrimack County Agricultural Association.

Several entries relate to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on 14 April 1865. John Brown was quite taciturn: in the midst of animal husbandry and crop records a single entry notes, "Attended funeral of Abraham Lincoln" (19 April 1865). Alvah Brown has more to say: “Tonight I have just heard of Pres Lincolns death by the hand of a assasin, terrible news. What calamity will come next is more than man can tell” (Sat. 15 April 1865). The next day he describes going to meeting and helping drape the church building in black bunting. On Wednesday the 19th he went (presumably with his father) to attend the funeral of President Lincoln, probably a proxy service held in Concord NH as they both were back on the farm the next day.

The collection is filled with names of the Brown, Batchelder, and Morse families. Some of the many names are listed here:

  • Sally (Morse) Brown – mother of diarist John Brown
  • A.L. Brown
  • A.S. Brown
  • Abbie Brown
  • Alvah Brown
  • Annah Brown
  • Anson W. Brown
  • Bussawed? D? Brown
  • Charles K? R? Brown
  • Eliphalet Brown
  • Eliza H. Brown
  • Elizabeth Brown
  • Frank A. Brown
  • George A. Brown
  • George W. Brown
  • H.B. Brown
  • H.J. Brown
  • Henry Brown (brother of Alvah/Son of John)
  • Ira Brown
  • Isa Brown (possibly Ira?)
  • Joanna E. Brown (possibly J. Brown who is mentioned elsewhere?)
  • John Brown (not the author – possibly John H.A.L. Brown?)
  • John H.A.L. Brown
  • Joshua E. Brown
  • L.D. Brown
  • L.N?. Brown
  • Levi W. Brown
  • Mrs. H.J. Brown
  • William Brown (died sat 24 nov 1849)
  • A.G. Batchelder
  • Alvah H. Batchelder
  • Betsy J? Batchelder
  • Clara M. Batchelder
  • David Batchelder (David P. Batchelder?)
  • Emory B. Batchelder
  • G. Batchelder
  • Jo. Batchelder (Joseph?)
  • S? D? Batchelder
  • H.F. Batchelder (dies ca. 1866)
  • Harmon E. Batchelder
  • Hellen Batchelder
  • Ira Batchelder (heirs of)
  • J.P. Batchelder
  • June/Jane/True Batchelder
  • Mrs. Batchelder (mother in law of John Brown diarist)
  • Mrs. H.F. Batchelder
  • Mrs. Isa Batchelder
  • Mrs. S(amuel?) Batchelder
  • N.S. Batchelder
  • Porter Batchelder

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [Folder Number], [Box Number], John A. and Alvah L. Brown Diaries, 1849-1892, MC 313, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Purchase from Carmen Valentino Rare Books, ca. 2015.

Collection Arrangement

Arrangement is chronological.



Genealogical Papers
Ledgers & Receipts