Chad Brown (minister)

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Chad Brown's original plot of farm land was located on the site of Brown University's University Hall
Chad Brown grave marker, North Burial Ground, Providence

Reverend Chad Brown I (also known as Chad Browne) (circa 1600-1650) was one of the first ministers of the First Baptist Church in America and a co-founder of Providence, Rhode Island. Brown was also the American progenitor of the Brown family of Rhode Island, known for its association with Brown University.

Settlement in Providence[edit]

Chad Brown was born in Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England and married Elizabeth Sharparowe on 11 September 1626 in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. He immigrated to New England from England on the ship “Martin” with his wife Elizabeth and son John. The family arrived in Boston in the Massachusetts Colony in July 1638. He soon moved to Providence which was recently purchased by Roger Williams from the indigenous Americans. Sometime between 1639 and 1644 Brown and twelve others signed an agreement sometimes called the Providence Compact, an agreement of "second comers" as opposed to the original proprietors.[1] He was also one of 39 who signed an agreement for a government in Providence in 1640.

Chad Brown became known as an arbitrator of disputes in the colony, and he was also the town's initial surveyor. Brown owned a lot on “Towne Streete,” (now South Main street and Market Square) along with land under what is currently University Hall of Brown University. The site was chosen by his descendants to establish the University in Providence on College Hill. Brown also served on a committee determining the governance of the colony while Roger Williams was in England gaining an official charter for the colony from 1643 to 1644.[2]

Children[edit]

His children were:

Pastorship of First Baptist Church[edit]

In 1639 Brown assumed the leadership of the First Baptist Church in America, which had been briefly pastored by Roger Williams. During Brown's pastorship, the church worshipped in a grove or orchard and in the houses of its members. Rev. Chad Brown remained pastor until his death sometime before 1650. His remains were initially interred near the corner of College and Benefit Streets, but were moved in 1792 to the North Burying Ground.[3] His wife was listed a widow in the September 1650 Tax List.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bicknell, Thomas Williams (1920). The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Vol. 1. New York: The American Historical Society. pp. 177, 196. 
  2. ^ The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical, Volume 6, by the American Historical Society, Inc., 1920. The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical Pages 188 - 191
  3. ^ The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical, Volume 6, by the American Historical Society, Inc., 1920. The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical Pages 188 - 191