Brownson family papers
Scope and Contents
The Brownson family papers consist of correspondence between members of the Brownson, Johnson, and Allured families, as well as essays, poetry, and a sermon.
Many of the letters are to Oscar Brownson of Pontiac and Evart, Michigan. Brownson entered Oberlin College in 1843, but a year later he returned to Pontiac to teach school. Several letters from a cousin, Franklin Barber, urged him to join the United States Navy, where he could get a free medical training. Brownson received other letters from family members, as well as from Oberlin friends such as Hosmer Johnson. Johnson, who taught occasional terms of school to finance his education, also wrote frequent letters to his sister, Lucy, a teacher in Almont, Lapeer County, Michigan. All these letters, which cover the years 1843-1852, reflect the enormous impact of evangelical religion on the period. Almost invariably the letters comment on church matters and individual religious experiences. They are also concerned with the issues of temperance and abolition, as well as illness, politics, and the experiences of teaching.
A later series of letters (1873-1877) includes letters to Allie Brownson from her friend, Hattie Holman, a student at the University of Michigan. Holman describes her classes, social activities, and the organization of a "Christian Student Association." Other letters describe the social season in Lexington, Kentucky (1875); a trip to the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia (1876); and the city of Chicago with its glamorous new buildings, the Palmer House and the Singer Building (1877).
In addition, the collection contains letters of the Allured family of Evart, Michigan (1902-1905). The majority of these are to Paul and Karl Allured while they were students at Alma College in Alma, Michigan. They also include letters from Karl while he was studying at the Lewis Institute in Chicago.
Finally, the collection contains genealogical charts for the Hoyt and Allen families, probably connected by marriage with the Brownsons. It also includes undated poems and school essays, as well as a funeral sermon (1931)
- 1843 - 1931
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.
Oscar Brownson was of Pontiac and Evart, Michigan. Brownson entered Oberlin College in 1843, but a year later he returned to Pontiac to teach school.
0.25 Cubic Feet
Language of Materials
Gift of Paul J. Allured, 1962-01-05. Transferred by Michigan State University Museum.
Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.
- Abolitionists -- United States
- Allured family (Karl Allured)
- Chicago (Ill.)
- Education -- Michigan
- Family histories
- Letters (correspondence)
- Lexington (Ky.)
- Michigan -- Religion
- Oberlin College
- Philadelphia (Pa.)
- Social reformers -- United States
- Student activities -- Michigan
- Temperance -- United States
- United States -- Centennial celebrations, etc.
- United States -- Politics and government -- 19th century
- University of Michigan
- Brownson Family Papers
- 4 Published And Cataloged
- September 1997
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.