Allen Brown
Account Books, 1817-1832; bulk, 1822-1832


Quantity: 4 Boxes (2.0 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Purchase, Michael C. Dooling, Middlebury, Connecticut, May 1984
Processed By: Fred Bassett, Senior Librarian, Manuscripts and Special Collections,
June 1987; revised August 2014.

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Historical Note:

Allen Brown (1768-1852) in partnership with Henry Dibblee (1778-1840), operated a mercantile shipping business in Albany, New York, from the early 1820s to 1838. Located at the corner of State and Dock streets, Dibblee & Brown were merchants and commission and forwarding agents. They owned a warehouse in Albany along with several vessels used to transport goods and commodities on the Hudson River and the Erie Canal. Other partners in the firm included Silas and Stanton Brown, who managed the business operations in New York City. Elias Brown, son of Allen Brown and his wife Nancy, was a Hudson River pilot and captain of the steamboat North America.

Scope and Content Note:

This record series consists of account books detailing the financial transactions of the mercantile shipping business operated by Allen Brown primarily from 1822 to 1832. The four bound folio volumes are very legible and are written in clear, concise script. The records include a day book that details daily financial transactions chronologically, and ledger books that detail the financial transactions by an account established for a particular party. Throughout the volumes are accounts and entries regarding over fifty different sloops, schooners, canal boats, and steamers. In addition, the names of the captains of these vessels are frequently listed. Shipping lines cited include the Pilot line and the Hudson River Steamboat Company. These ledgers provide information on the commercial shipping activity on the Hudson River and commercial activities in the Albany, New York, area.

Related Resources:

There is also a series of account books and other records related to the business activities of Dibblee & Brown held by the Albany Institute of History and Art.  These records include business correspondence, day books for sloops and schooners, and ledgers from the firm Cady and Schuyler of Minaville, New York, a firm that did business with Dibblee and Brown.

Container List:

Box Contents
1 Day Book, 1822-1825: Daily record of financial transactions detailing the type of goods that were shipped on a specified vessel. Accounts were later posted to ledger of debit-credit accounts, 1822-1825 (box 3). (1 v.; 612 p.; 33 x 21 cm.)
2 Produce Ledger, 1825-1832: Record of shipments of grain, flour, lard, pork, and other produce for individuals and companies. Details the names of the boats, the weight of goods, and the cost and receipt of payment . (1 v.; 580 p.; 39 x 26 cm.)
3 Ledger of debit-credit accounts, 1817, 1822-1826: Details cost and receipt of payments for goods and services rendered by Allen Brown. Single account, dated 1817, found on the first page, otherwise accounts commence January 1822. (1 v. 549 p.; 45 x 29 cm.)
4 Ledger of debit-credit accounts, 1826-1831: Details cost and receipt of payments for goods and services rendered by Allen Brown. Many accounts carried over from the previous ledger. (1 v. 549 p.; 45 x 29 cm.)
Last Updated: May 24, 2021