J. WARREN BROWN PAPERS
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
Correspondence, legal briefs, stock certificates and financial papers comprise this collection. With the exception of correspondence from Brown to his investor friend, R.L. Middleton in New York City in 1874 and Brown's letterbooks, most of the correspondence is directed to Brown. As the manager of the investment properties, he received detailed information about the operations. His papers provide insight in mining in Clear Creek County, Colorado, from 1870 to the 1890s.
This series contains Brown's business papers. Correspondence from local mining superintendents, attorneys and mine operators in Colorado detail the operations of the various mining companies. Stock certificates, correspondence and boards of directors meeting minutes document company activities. Legal papers and affidavits provide insight into the motives of the investors.
Agent John Arey's correspondence discusses family matters and provides his opinions about politics and many different topics. He describes mining camps in Colorado and provides factual details about Brown's mines. Arey invented a furnace for mining and convinced Brown to invest in the equipment. He wrote about it often, despite its failure to perform satisfactorily.
Benjamin C. Catren and his son acted as superintendents and agents in Georgetown for many of Brown's mining properties. Their lengthy, detailed and legible reports and correspondence contain descriptions of the mining processes, as well as locations of the lodes.
E.G. Tremayne, a British investor, befriended Brown and wrote outraged letters after Brown's lawsuit to collect past due salary was launched. His correspondence also contains gossip and information about other British mining investors.
Edward Wolcott (attorney and investor) and the law firm of Filius and Morrison (Denver and Georgetown) obtained patents for Brown's mines, filed necessary paperwork and represented him during his various lawsuits. Their correspondence provides insight into Colorado mining law.
Many individuals who worked with Brown held other positions. For example, Benjamin Catren was the Clerk and Recorder for Clear Creek County in 1888. Albert E. Chase was the U.S. Deputy Mineral Surveyor in 1888 as was Albert Johnson in 1876. Nevertheless, these gentlemen acted in Brown's interest as did other individuals such as L.F. Olmsted and Fred Steck (whom Brown eventually fired).
Journals in which Brown noted his daily activities constitute a portion of this series. Frequent trips between NewYork, Colorado and England are documented in these journals as well as in invoices and receipts that Brown kept from his travels. Financial papers list expenses and income and family correspondence gives insight into Brown's personal nature.
This series contains oversize stock certificates, maps and legal documents.
The collection is open for research.
The J. Warren Brown Records are the physical property of the Denver Public Library.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
J. Warren Brown was born in Kennebeck, Maine around 1832. Raised in New York, Brown lived in New York City and married Julia. Their son, Frederick, was born in approximately 1858.
In 1869, Brown organized Lebanon Mining Company in New York City. He traveled to Colorado to purchase mining properties for these investors, including Julius G. Pohle, who became superintendent of the Lebanon Mining Company. The company erected a two-story wood frame mill near Georgetown, Colorado, which had a dam spanning Clear Creek. The company operated silver, lead and zinc mines on Republican Mountain.
In 1874, Brown, the Lebanon Mining Company investors and other investors in New York City organized the Consolidated Republican Mountain Mining Company. It was later known as the Republican Mountain Mining Company. The company purchased lodes and mines from the Lebanon Mining Company as well as other properties in Clear Creek County. In all, the company had twelve claims in the Griffith Mining District, four of which were patented in 1880. The two main lodes, the Edward Everett and South American Lodes, produced galena, copper and zinc. By 1879, more than $800,000 of ore had been taken out of the mines.
Brown also managed the Cascade Mining Company, the Clear Creek Mining and Improvement Company, and the Dunderberg Mining Company. All owned mining properties near Georgetown. He investigated mining properties and other types of investments around the world including in Mexico. Inventions, especially those for mining such as concentrators and special furnaces, also interested Brown.
In 1880, the New York investors of the Republican Mountain Mining Company sold a portion of their shares to investors in London. The mines began to consume more money for operations and development than they produced in profit. Brown traveled frequently to Colorado, to New York City and to London, to manage the properties and meet with investors. Nevertheless, investor discontent grew. The London group refused to pay Brown a salary for his services. He sued but lost the case. Not long after, the 1893 Silver Panic ended the successful operation of the Colorado mines.
Thereafter, Brown continued to travel to Colorado. In 1910, while in Georgetown trying to consolidate Lebanon and Everett holdings, he became ill. He returned to New York City to die at the age of 80.
6 Boxes (5.25 linear feet)
1 oversize folders
Language of Materials
Other Finding Aids
Denver Public Library purchased the collection from Wesley A. Crozier in 1974.
Number of Boxes: 6 (5.25 lf)
Oversize: 1 OVFF
PROCESSED AND ENCODED BY:
- Belle of the West Mine -- Archival resources.
- Brown, J. Warren, -- 1832-1910 -- Archives.
- Cascade Mining Company -- Archival resources.
- Chicago Mountain Mine -- Archival resources.
- Clear Creek Mining and Improvement Company -- Archival resources.
- Colorado Territory National Silver Mining Company -- Archival resources.
- Colorado United Mining Company -- Archival Resources.
- Contracts. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Correspondence. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Dunderberg Mining Company -- Archival Resources.
- Financial records. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Griffith Mining District (Colo.) -- History. Subject Source: Lcnaf
- Journals. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Lebanon Mining Company -- Archival Resources.
- Mines and mineral resources -- Colorado -- Clear Creek County. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Mining corporations -- Colorado -- Clear Creek County. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Minutes. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Republican Mountain Mines, Limited -- Archival Resources.
- Silver mines and mining -- Colorado -- Georgetown. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- J. WARREN BROWN PAPERS
- Language of description
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