The Genealogy of the Thomas Canon Brown Family in North Carolina

Manuscript by Hinton Alexander Helper, dated 1909, and sent from Baltimore MD to W.T. Brown of Winston-Salem NC on December 28 of that year. I have two different carbon copies of typescripts of this document, neither with original signatures. I do not know whether one of these typescripts is the original, or if someone else transcribed a handwritten document at a later date. Since the typescripts differ in subtle ways, at least one of them has to be a copy of a previous version of the document.

This document has been widely quoted in subsequent articles about the Brown and Helper families of Davie County. There are several glaring errors in it, and numerous other points that I have been unable to confirm. I have therefore transcribed it here, with my own comments interjected, in hopes that this will forestall future misrepresentations of this family and will help researchers to determine the truth.

The author Hinton Alexander Helper was born in 1849, son of Hardie Hogan Helper and his first wife, Elizabeth Long. Hardie Hogan Helper was the son of Daniel Helper (1794-1830) and Sarah Brown (1798-1880).

William Thomas Brown, his recipient, was born in 1866 and died in 1924. He was the son of William Lafayette Brown (1831-1899) and Mary Eliza Chinn (1842-1917). William Lafayette Brown was the son of Thomas Brown (1807-1881), brother of Sarah Brown (1798-1880).


In 1729 the Lords Proprietors sold to the King for $45,000.00 their whole right and title in North Carolina, which then lay between the parallels of 31 and 36 degrees north latitude, and extended from the Atlantic ocean westward to the South Seas. In 1749 twenty-three [three is lined out] years thereafter, emigrants from the west of Scotland flocked to the Cape Fear Region, and one year later the first settlement of the Upper Yadkin, near Bear Creek, some three miles from the present town of Mocksville, was begun by the Scotch Irish.

One of the Lords Proprietors, Lord Granville, did not sell his holdings back to the king in 1729, and the Granville tract included old Rowan County, from which Davie County was eventually formed in 1836. Also, dollars were not the currency in use in the American colonies prior to the Revolution. I'm not sure why Helper cites this bit of history at all, unless it is to establish his own credibility as historian.

According to Robert W. Ramsey, Carolina Cradle, the earliest settlers in this region of Rowan County were mostly of German or English origin, and they came from Pennsylvania down the Great Wagon Road. There were indeed "Scotch Irish" or Ulster Scots who also came from PA to NC in this time period, but they were predominantly in what is referred to in contemporary records as the "Irish Settlement", some miles to the south in present-day Rowan County. In any case, there was very little immigration to this area from eastern North Carolina, i.e. the Cape Fear region, in this time frame, and the peak immigration of Scots to the Cape Fear occurred somewhat later.

Among the early settlers on this water-course were Cannon Brown, 'Squire [sic] Boone and his son, Daniel Boone, who chased the bear, tilled the land and built houses on Bear Creek, a small tributary of the South Yadkin.

Squire Boone was indeed one of the early settlers in what later became Davie County [Rowan Co. deed book 3:164, December 29, 1753, Granville to Squire Boone, 640 acres on Bear Creek]. However, I can find no record of anyone named Brown as his neighbor in the early Rowan Co. records. Squire Boone also received a grant of 640 acres on Grants Creek [Rowan Co. Deed Book 3:137, April 30, 1753], and purchased property in Salisbury NC as well. James Wall in his History of Davie County identifies the Grants Creek of this purchase as what is now known as Elisha Creek, a tributary of Dutchman's Creek in Davie County, not the Grants Creek of present-day Rowan County. Wall states that this was known as Grants Creek in the 1750s, probably for the early settler William Grant who married Squire Boone's daughter Elizabeth.

Three years later, there came another class of immigrants to the State, settling along Bear Creek, known as the Pennsylvania Dutch from Berks County, Pennsylvania, comprising Daniel Ott Helfer (now Englished into Helper), Jessie T. Hedricks and Peter Phifer.

Helper correctly dates the beginning of the German migration to old Rowan County as about 1752. However, it was not confined to a single year by any means, nor did they come only from Berks County. Migration of German-speaking settlers continued throughout the latter half of the 18th century

The identities of the persons cited are also questionable. I know of no early Daniel Ott Helper, only the one born in 1875 who is Hinton A. Helper's half-brother. I think the author is referring here to their great-grandfather Jacob Helfer whose wife was Catharina Ott, or possibly to Jacob and Catharina's son Daniel Helfer/Helper, born in 1794, who does not seem to have had a middle name. Jacob Helfer purchased 200 acres on Bear Creek from John Dick in 1795 [Rowan Co. deeds, Sept. 3, 1795]; the deed identifies this parcel as part of the original Squire Boone tract. The Helfer family doesn't appear in Rowan County tax lists prior to 1793. They probably did come from Pennsylvania originally, but I suspect it wasn't as early as the 1750s.

I can't identify "Jessie T. Hedricks" but suspect that he is really a Hendricks, since this name joins the Brown family in the next generation. The Hendricks family, who are of Dutch origin, do appear in Rowan County early on, in the Crane Creek area. The earliest Hendricks named Jesse, however, appears to be the one born 1791, son of Daniel Hendricks and Mary Roland and brother of Catherine Hendricks who married Cannon Brown. Daniel Hendricks first appears in tax records in the Davie County area in 1778. See my Hendricks page for more information.

Neither can I identify a Peter Phifer in the early Rowan Co. records, although the Phifer (Pfeiffer) surname does occur. Martin Pfeiffer was one of the earliest German settlers in the Rowan county area, and Caleb Pfeiffer or Phifer was a neighbor of the Thomas Brown of Dutch Second Creek; see below.

My conclusion here is that Helper was writing from memory, picking familiar names but misplacing them in time.

These families of Scotch Irish and Dutch including other families of Alexanders, Weavers, Whitsons, Chuns, Brevards, and the above mentioned Brown and Helfers and others, whose illustrious deeds and courage have made this county rich in personal narrative, their daring deeds, patriotism and law-abiding spirit giving them a rich legacy which has been transmitted to their children and their children's children now scattered throughout the State and Country.

The other names he mentions are found in early Rowan County, but not in the Bear Creek area, and none of these is a prominent Davie county name later on.
Immigration from Scotland of the Brown Family

The revolution in Scotland in 1691, on the return of the Stuarts was followed by the overthrow of the Presbyterian Church and the establishment of Episcopacy.

I'm not sure what Helper is referring to here. The Stuart king Charles II was restored to the throne in England in 1660, and was succeeded by his brother James, a Catholic convert, who ruled from 1685-1688. James was overthrown in the Glorious Revolution of 1689, and was replaced by his Protestant daughter Mary and her husband, William of Orange. Although Presbyterians in Scotland had been persecuted by the English rulers in the 1660-1688 period, Presbyterianism was restored as the Scottish state church under William and Mary, and England and Scotland were formally united as Great Britain in 1707. These historical events would in any case seem to have little to do with the immigration of the Brown family.

A few years later, a number of families of the John Calvin faith emigrated to America, where they could worship their Maker under their own religious faith without fear of persecution or molestation. Among these families were Thomas Canon Brown, James Wilson McCrorie, Henry Tucker McTosh, and George Edgar Freileigh, all from near Edinborough, Scotland, men who were educated having means and an explicit faith in their religious views and opinions. Several of these families settled near the Cape Fear River, while George Edgar Freileigh and Thomas Canon Brown settled in Rowan County on Second Creek, - Rowan County being made from Anson County in 1753. George Edgar Freileigh was a civil engineer and Thomas Canon Brown a young barrister in Scotland, being the same as an Attorney-at-law in this country.

I can't find any land grant record in Rowan County prior to the Revolution for either Thomas Brown or George Edgar Freileigh. A George Frailey was granted 300 acres on Crane Creek in 1772, adj. Jacob Frailey. However, this Frailey family is probably that of the German settler Frederick Froehlich, cited by Ramsey, Carolina Cradle, as one of the early settlers in the Forks of the Yadkin, i.e. Davie County, NC [NC Land Grants VI, 106].

Thomas Canon Brown was recognized as a man of ability, broad views and a strict Presbyterian in faith. He left his impress in the councils of local provincial government during the reign of the Lords Proprietors. He had issue as follows: Rufus Chittingham Brown, Amanda Leonora Brown, Canon Brown and William Hollingsworth Brown. Thomas Canon Brown, the father of these children died in 1753.

First, the dates here make no sense. The "reign of the Lords Proprietors" ended in 1729, long before Thomas Canon Brown is said to have arrived. Both copies of the document in my possession clearly say that Thomas Canon Brown died in 1753, which cannot be true if he arrived in or after 1749 and lived long enough to leave "his impress in the councils of local provincial government."

If Thomas Canon Brown was really a barrister and active in local government, one would expect to find at least some mention of him in early Rowan county court records. While I haven't done an exhaustive search, I have not found him in the documents that have been abstracted by Jo White Linn and others. Census records and all other evidence are consistent that Cannon Brown, the first of this family for whom I can find an unequivocal record in this part of NC, was born about 1770-1772 and doesn't appear in records for what is now Davie County until 1793. If he is the son of Thomas Canon Brown, then the 1753 death date can't possibly be correct.

Also note that the other three children (Rufus, William, Amanda) all have middle names, as does Thomas Canon Brown himself. This was very uncommon in English-speaking families prior to about 1770, and is thus inconsistent with births prior to 1750. So perhaps this is a typographical error, and the death date should really be 1783, or some other date consistent with the apparent ages of his children. Even so, I still can find no evidence of Thomas Canon Brown in Rowan County in the period from 1750-1780.

Regarding the claim that Thomas Canon Brown was a "strict Presbytertian in faith", Thomas Brown b. 1807 (see below) was indeed a Presbyterian, and an elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Mocksville. However, I have found no church records so far for his father Cannon Brown, or Cannon's supposed father Thomas Canon Brown.

His first son, Canon Brown, father of Thos. Brown of Mocksville settled in Rowan County. He was a Chief Magistrate, also a thrifty farmer during the reign of the Lords Proprietors and a man much beloved for his many virtues of head and heart. He was a leader in all educational and church influences and a man respected for his learning and worth. During the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Canon Brown was one of the first to throw off the yoke of England and espouse American Independence, raising a Company of men from his own private means and being elected Captain thereof.

Again we have a serious problem with dates. Cannon Brown the son appears in the 1820 Rowan County census as over 45 years of age, but in the 1830 census as between 50 and 60, fixing his birth as between 1770 and 1775, so he can't possibly have been captain of a company of his own men in 1776. (One has visions of a four-year-old marching proudly at the head of the regiment.) Perhaps this paragraph is confusing the supposed son with the father, but even so, I have found no Revolutionary War records that mention either a Cannon Brown or a Thomas Brown in this part of North Carolina.

Thomas Brown of Mocksville

Thomas Brown of Mocksville, Davie County the eldest son of Canon Brown was a large land owner and a man of decided religious convictions, clinging with tenacious spirit to the faith of his fathers. Thomas Brown was a great believer in education, and on divers occasions gave several acres of his land to the cause of education. He was one of the leading citizens of Mocksville, respected for his great virtues and Christian character. He was one of the first elders of the Presbyterian Church in Mocksville and gave largely of his means to all Church denominations especially of his own creed. In his family, it was his invariable custom to have morning and evening prayers at the family altar. He reared a large family of sons and daughters, whose children are scattered throughout the country.

Thomas Brown, who was born in 1807, was probably not the eldest son of Cannon Brown. From census records and marriage dates, it would appear that his brother Jesse was older than he was, as were several of his sisters. In the rest of this paragraph, however, we are on somewhat firmer ground.

James Wall's A History of the First Presbyterian Church of Mocksville, North Carolina does have many references to Thomas Brown as a prominent member of the church, and there is a eulogy to Thomas Brown in the church records on his death in 1881 that notes his service as a deacon and elder. This tribute refers to his membership in the church for a period of fifty years. He and his wife Margaret (Brinegar) appear on a list of communicant members in 1832 in Wall's book, but not on the list of members prior to 1832, suggesting that he joined the church as an adult. A new church building was constructed in 1840, and Thomas Brown was one of the trustees for the deed to the property.

"Large landowner" may be a slight exaggeration. In the 1850 Davie County census he has real estate valued at $1200, a respectable value but by no means one of the largest holdings in the county. But this is followed by the next paragraph, which is clearly a misidentification:

Thomas Brown Large Land Owner

I find in the Colonial Records at Salisbury, which I searched in the presence of Arthur Brown, an official in the Superior Court office of Rowan County the following deeds duly and officially records:


July 22, 1762. A deed between Thomas Brown and Thomas Thornbug [sic ], County of Rowan Province of North Carolina. This deed conveyed to Thomas Brown 148 acres of land.
John Frohock, C.C.


Another Deed. A Land Grant No. 1276 conveying to Thomas Brown 176 acres on Dutch Second Creek Rowan County.


Another Deed - November 7th 1769. Thomas Brown and Margaret Brown (his wife) 148 acres a part of 629 acres in Rowan County, Province of North Carolina.

It is apparent that Helper believes these records refer to Thomas Brown, son of Cannon Brown. This cannot possibly be true, since these are 18th century records, whereas our Thomas Brown whose wife was named Margaret (Brinegar) was born in 1807. I believe that the two dated deeds refer to Thomas Brown and his wife Margaret (Moon) Brown of Guilford County (which was part of Rowan County prior to 1771), and are the following:

Rowan Co. Deed Book 4:761, 19 July 1762. Thomas Thornburgh to Thomas Brown for 5 sterl, 148 acres adj. Mordecai Mendenhall. Levi Pennington and Abraham Cook witnessed, proved July court 1762.

Rowan Co. Deed Book 7:234. 7 Nov 1769. Thomas Brown and wife Margaret to Richard Haworth for 5 sterl, 148 acres, part of 628 acres granted Thornborough 21 Dec 1761. Daniel Dillon, Joseph Thornbrugh witnessed, proved August court 1770.

Transcriptions by Jo White Linn, Abstracts of the Deeds of Rowan County, North Carolina, 1753-1785

This tract is presumably then the following:

Rowan Co. Deed Book 4:808, 21 Dec 1761, Granville to Thomas Thornbury [sic] for 10 sh sterl, 628 acres on Brush Creek of Haw River adj Mordecai Mendenhall and Joseph Unthank. James Coupland, Wm. Gibson, John Frohock witnessed, proved July 1762.

Thornbrough (various spellings), Mendenhall, and Unthank are all Quaker names associated with Guilford County. The Haw River arises in eastern Guilford County, nowhere near present-day Davie. Thomas and Margaret Moon Brown are identified in Hinshaw's Quaker records, Vol. 1, page 563, marriage recorded New Garden MM (present-day Greensboro NC) 1748,6,10 Margaret daughter of Simon Moon, Frederick Co. VA, and Thomas son of Thomas Brown, Frederick Co. VA, married in Virginia. Their children are listed in Hinshaw vol. 1, p. 492, also at New Garden MM.

I conclude that Helper was mistaken about the identity of these deeds, and that he gave no thought to the inconsistencies in the dates for "Thomas and Margaret Brown".

The land grant on Dutch Second Creek deserves more scrutiny, however. This is undated in the manuscript. It comes in fact from 1786 (see below), but deeds to surrounding property make clear that a Thomas Brown was already in residence on Dutch Second Creek as early as 1780.

Again, from Jo White Linn's abstracts of Rowan Co. deeds 1753-1785:

[p. 152] 9:201. 21 Mar 1780. State Grant #108 @50 sh the 100 A to David Woodson 310 A on S fk Crane Crk adj Vanpoole, Thomas Brown & Nathan Morgan.

This is the first mention of either Vanpoole or Nathan Morgan in these deed abstracts. David Woodson received two additional grants on the same date, 435 A adj Windle Miller, Dills, Michael Peeler and Martin Miller, location not specified in the abstracts, and 360 A on S side Grants Creek adj the town land [Salisbury], Thomas Frohock, Caleb Phifer, and Michael Smith.

[p. 207-208] 10:387. 9 Feb. 1786. David Woodson to Adam Koble for 150, 310 A on S fork Crane Crk adj Thomas Brown & widow Leonard and Nathan Morgan. Lewis Beard, wit., who signs in German. proved Feb. court 1786.

The compilation of Rowan County deeds 1786-1797 by James Kluttz contains the following:

#183, DB 11 p. 127. 25 Oct 1786. State grant #1276 @ 50 sh the 100 A to Thomas Brown, 176 A on Dutch Second Creek adj David Vanpool, William Hampton, John Vanpool, Windle Miller and Elizabeth Leonard.

This then is the grant to which Helper refers, and apparently attributes to the younger Thomas Brown (son of Cannon Brown), which cannot possibly be correct. It is possible however that this really is Thomas Canon Brown, father of Cannon Brown.

Prior to the Revolutionary war, land grants had been made by Lord Granville's agents. These grants were suspended during the war years. Following the war, grants were made by the state, in many cases for land that had already been occupied for several years.

Dutch Second Creek is in southern Rowan County and was predominantly an area of German settlement. Wendel Miller's tract is mapped by Ramsey in Carolina Cradle, pages 108-109, and lies between Dutch Second Creek and the South Fork of Crane Creek. Miller purchased another 405 acres adjacent Thomas Brown and adjacent his own land in 1786. John Van Pool was granted 173 acres on Second Creek [sic; Second Creek is not the same as Dutch Second Creek, but this deed would actually appear to refer to the latter] adjacent John Hampton and Windle Miller in November 1784. David Van Pool was granted 181 acres on the South Fork of Crane Creek in 1784. Elizabeth Leonard was granted 133 acres on the same date on "Second Creek" adjacent to Windle Miller, Joseph Brown [sic in abstract - could it really be Thomas?], and Frederick Mitchell. She sold her tract to her son Henry Leonard in 1794. Thomas Brown was still listed as a neighbor at that time, but he does not appear thereafter in any deed records through 1807. These records permit a reasonably close placement of this Thomas Brown's land. While this is nowhere near Bear Creek, it is not far from where James Hendricks settled on Crane Creek. Could it be that this is in fact our Thomas Canon Brown, and that Helper was simply wrong about his dates and the Davie County location?

A plausible scenario in that case would be that young Cannon Brown, growing up on his father's land in what was then southern Rowan County, met Catherine Hendricks probably sometime in the 1780s through her grandfather James Hendricks, and that he later relocated to Bear Creek, where Catherine's father Daniel Hendricks was already living. His land purchase in what is now Davie County was made in August 1798, and the seller was Gaspar Roland, Catherine's grandfather on her mother's side. Gaspar Roland in turn had bought this tract in 1792.

I have to admit that I don't think this is what happened. I have not found any wills or estate records in Rowan County that name as heirs Cannon Brown or his supposed siblings (Rufus, Amanda, and William), or any other evidence that links these names specifically to Thomas Brown of Dutch Second Creek. I think it's much more likely that Cannon Brown himself was the first of our family to come to Rowan County, and that Thomas Brown of Dutch Second Creek is unrelated. I had a very productive discussion with Grace Nezworski, who is researching a Brown family in Rowan County that appears to be descended from Thomas Brown of Dutch Second Creek. She has tentatively identified his children, and there seems to be no correspondence with what the Helper document states about our Thomas Brown.

In any case, I am very dubious that the father of Cannon Brown was really of Scottish origin. Two alternative possibilities both seem more likely to me:

There is a prominent German BRAUN family in the Salisbury area whose name becomes anglicized to BROWN. Cannon Brown married Catherine Hendricks, who was of Dutch and German descent, and most of their children married people of German origin. James Hendricks, Catherine's grandfather, although from a Dutch family was an elder of the German Baptist (Dunkard) church. Catherine's maternal ancestors, the Roland family, were also Dunkards, of German origin. While we don't have any information on the religious affiliation of the Helpers, Catherine Helfer, widow of Jacob Helfer and mother of Daniel Helper who married Cannon's daughter Sarah Brown, left a family Bible printed in German to her son Jacob. The other spouses of Cannon and Catherine's children include Brinegar, Clement, and Click, all of German ancestry (plus Jones, Dwiggins and McGuire). Descendants of many of these German families do appear among the members of the First Presbyterian Church of Mocksville, but since this is not a community with a large population of Scots in the first place, and this was a prestigious, socially prominent church in that town in the 19th century, I don't think we should read too much into the diversity of names that appear in the mid-19th century membership lists. The close association of the Browns early on with the Hendricks, Roland and Helper families seems more significant to me, and suggests that they could be of German origin.

The given name Cannon on the other hand suggests a possible link to the CANNON family of Virginia, perhaps a family surname, and there is the family tradition that Thomas Brown's wife was Betsy BUCKNER, also a Virginia name that appears in early Rowan County. These names would suggest perhaps an English origin in colonial Virginia. I have been unable to find any primary documentation for the marriage of Thomas Canon Brown and Betsy or Elizabeth Buckner, either in North Carolina or Virginia. Some of the biographical material written on Hinton Rowan Helper also states that his mother's family came from Virginia. Since the Thomas Canon Brown history under discussion here states otherwise, one must presume that the authors of these Helper biographies had some other sources, but I have not identified any primary documentation to date.

Either possibility, German or English/Virginian, is in any case at variance with the purported Scottish ancestry given in the manuscript under consideration here.

The Helper manuscript continues:

Thus it will be seen from the Colonial Records at Salisbury that Thomas Brown, your Grandfather, and my Grand Uncle was a large land owner, a man of means and education, who believed in educational advantages and a strict compliance in all religious observances. Such a believer was he in education and in the eternal fitness of things, that when his eldest son, William L. Brown, your father, evinced a fondness for the study of medicine in order to become a physician, he was at once dispatched to the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City traveling a large part of the way by wagons and stages, there being very few railways at that time, where he remained for four years graduating at the head of his class in 1858, receiving his diploma to practice medicine.

William L. Brown did study medicine at Columbia, but there may be a minor error in the dates here. A letter written from Hinton Rowan Helper to Dr. James McGuire of Davie County, dated 1857, refers to William Lafayette Brown with the implication that he was already a practicing physician.

Your grandfather, Thomas Brown and my Grandmother Sallie Brown Helfer (now Helper) were brothers and sisters, and they reared a large family of children near Mocksville, Davie County, North Carolina. Your uncle, Rufus D. Brown, was a Lieutenant in Captain Gaither's Company of Mocksville during the Civil War and was engaged in the army of Northern Virginia. He was wounded at the battle of Seven Pines, and while there contracted a severe attack of Chronic Dysentery, which remained with him during the last year of the Civil Strife. I, myself, while a young lad then visiting Uncle Tommy Brown, in Mocksville, on many occasions being compelled to walk and hold him up as he went to and fro from business.

Rufus D. Brown is listed in North Carolina Troops, as quoted by Wall, History of Davie County, as a non-commissioned officer in Company G, Wm. F. Kelly and S.A. Kelly, captains. He moved to Winston-Salem in 1877, and died there in 1893.

Your father, Dr. Wm. L. Brown, on account of his medical knowledge, was one of the prominent surgeons in the Confederate Army, and was often called to perform many skillful operations in the Hospitals throughout the Army of the Confederacy.

I think this is a complete fabrication. My grandmother, a granddaughter of William L. Brown, told me that he was opposed to slavery and did not join the Confederate Army, but remained in Mocksville to defend the town and his family in case of attack. This is confirmed in records in the Davie County library, where William L. Brown is listed as a member of the home militia. William L. Brown's daughters, my great-grandmother and her sisters, were reportedly embarrassed that he had not joined the Confederate cause. There was however a Dr. William C. Brown in Mocksville, who did serve in the army, and died in 1862. He was the son of J.E. and Elizabeth Brown, who lived along Dutchman's Creek near the north Yadkin. So far as I know, he was not related to William L. Brown. His son William Carter Brown married a daughter of William L. Brown (Mary Elizabeth) in 1899, so the two families did eventually become connected.

Several years after the war your father, Dr. Wm. L. Brown and Uncle, Rufus Brown, began the Manufacture of Tobacco in Mocksville, and so successful were they in their business, that they removed to Winston-Salem where they built up a large and successful business and became useful and respected citizens of the Twin City until the day of their death. These two brothers, Dr. William L. Brown, your father, and Rufus Brown, your uncle, created by a liberal donation the Brown Scholarship at Davidson College as a memorial to their father Thomas Brown of Mocksville, N.C.

The tobacco factory was called Brown Brothers Tobacco Company. They moved to Winston in December 1877. William L. Brown had married Mary Eliza Chinn of Davie County in 1863. Rufus Brown married Sarah Gibbs. So far as I know, the information about the scholarship fund at Davidson College is correct, but the current Davidson College web site does not list it. There is a Brown scholarship, but it's clearly not the same one.

In connection with the Brown family and their liberal views as to education, helping the sons of my Grandmother, Sallie Brown Helper, Hinton Rowan Helper, my Uncle and your Grandfather's nephew, was a beneficiary of your Grandfather's generosity. As a relative of ours we should feel a pardonable pride in his life and work. His "Impending Crisis of the South", a prophetic work, published in 1857, stirred this Country from one end to the other as it has never been stirred before or after, and was translated into German and French, so great was the demand for it. He was also the originator and proprietor of the Inter-Continental Railway connecting North, South and Central America by a longitudinal railway, running from Behrings Straights to the Straights of Megellan [sic] a distance of 10,000 miles. The great Railway scheme caused favorable comment throughout the Railway world, and made him a second time famous throughout the civilized world as a man of great breadth of mind and vision. He died in Washington, D.C. on April 14th., 1909. So we see again the good blood of the Brown family leaving its impress for the good and betterment of humanity on the world's stage of action up to a very recent date.

See enclosed Memorial of our Uncle Hinton Rowan Helper

The "enclosed Memorial" is not enclosed with either of my copies of this document.

(signed) Hinton Alexander Helper.

[Appended to this typescript is a transcription of a letter:]

From: Hinton Alexander Helper,
% Baltimore Record,
Baltimore, Md.

to W.T. Brown,
Winston-Salem, N.C.

STATE OF MARYLAND I HEREBY CERTIFY that on this 28th day of December in the year one thousand, nine hundred and nine, before me the subscriber, a Notary Public in and for the City and State aforesaid, personally appeared before me Hinton Alexander Helper and acknowledged the aforegoing statements to be true to the best of his knowledge and belief.

As witness my hand and Notarial Seal.

(signed) m. Regina Kircher, Notary Public


[The next page is a transcription of another letter]

Baltimore Md., December 28, 1909

My dear Kinsman: -

I am sending you herewith today a geneological history of the Brown family. I spent two days in Salisbury, looking up the Colonial records at that place, besides going over a very large amount of private papers of my good father, H.H. Helper and a number of papers of my Uncle Hinton Rowan Helper. It has taken me nearly ten days to go through this pile of private papers especially the papers of my father, who had begun a good many years ago to write up the history of Davie County for the great Historian, (whose name I have forgotten), in the State of Michigan. I have gone carefully over all these old papers and have, I think selected quite a number of points to establish the birth, heritage and patriotism of the Brown family, whose record during the colonial times and thereafter, have made considerable history for the State of North Carolina.

It is my purpose when I am sufficiently financially able to write a book entitled "The Life and Work of Hinton Rowan Helper", in which I shall incorporate a large amount of the Brown family and important part they played in the history of the State. I only regret that I am not financially able to being this work at once. However, by strict economy, I expect to save enough money from my salary to publish this work, which I have been requested to do by several of the prominent United States Senators and Professors at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and the Johns Hopkins University of Maryland. Senator Joe Baily of Texas has promised me to write the introduction of the book.

You will perceive that I have made affidavit before a Notary Public as to the authenticity of this genealogy of the Brown family and I trust that you will keep it in your family as an heirloom worth preserving for your children and all of the children of the Brown family.

Please present my compliments and love to your good mother and your wife and all of your sisters and brothers.

Wishing you and yours a Happy and Prosperous New Year, I remain,

Affectionately yours,

(signed) Hinton Alexander Helper