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Brown, Coalter, Tucker Papers (II)

Identifier: Mss. 65 B855

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Scope and Contents

Papers, 1791-1920, of the Brown, Coalter and Tucker families. Includes correspondence, of Frances Bland (Coalter) Brown with Margaret W. Barnes, members of the Braxton family, Henry Peronneau Brown, Fanny T. Bryan, John Coalter, St. George Tucker Coalter and members of the Morton family.

Also includes additional correspondences of members of the Brown, Coalter, Braxton, Tomlin and Bryan families including a letter, 29 April 1791, from Maria Rind to John Coalter as well as notes, accounts and newspaper clippings concerning the Brown family.


  • Creation: 1791-1920


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Family History:

Note: The superscript numbers denote generations within each family.

Brown Family

Henry Brown (1) (1716-1766) was born in Bedford County, Virginia. He married Alice Beard and had eleven children including; Captain Henry Brown (1760-1841), and Daniel Brown (1770-1818).

Henry Brown (2) (1760-1841), later commissioned as a Captain, was wounded in the Revolutionary War. After the war he opened a store in New London, Bedford (later Campbell) County with his brother, Daniel. He had a full and interesting life in mercantile pursuits, being involved in several ventures with other partners, and spending a good deal of his time in court collecting debts. He acted as Federal Tax Collector in Bedford County, 1800-1803, a deputy inspector of revenue and served several terms as a Sheriff. He was also a treasurer of the New London Academy Meeting House and the New London Agricultural Society. New London is in present day Campbell County, Virginia. His business and personal papers present a picture of the successful business man of that day. No letters written by Captain Henry Brown are in this collection, though many references to letters he had written are to be found. Captain Henry Brown (1760-1841), married Frances Thompson (1775-1822). Their children included Henry Brown, Jr. (1797-1836), who married Eleanor Tucker; Samuel T. Brown, who married Lissie Huger; Locky [Lockie] T. Brown(b. 1827), who married Alexander Irvine; Frances Brown, who married Edwin Robinson; Alice Brown, who married William M. Worthington; and John Thompson Brown (1802-1836), who married Mary E. Willcox.

Many papers of Henry Brown, Jr. (3) (1797-1836), are included in this collection, but his personality makes little impression on the reader. Toward the end of his short life he served in his father's store in Lynchburg, later opening a store of his own. Henry Brown Jr. married Eleanor Tucker. He died of an illness that had plagued him from his early years.

John Thompson Brown (3) (1802-1836) was born near Bedford County, Virginia. He was a graduate of Princeton who later read law under Judge Creed Taylor. John became a member of the House of Delegates from Clarksburg, Harrison County, Virginia (later West Virginia), at the age of 26. Following his marriage in 1830 to Mary E. Willcox, daughter of a leading citizen of Petersburg, he was elected to the House of Delegates. His speeches to the House of Delegates on slavery, states rights, and politics in the Jackson and post-Jackson period exist in pamphlet form and are valuable for their insight into the position taken by Virginians in this period. He also served as member of the Virginia Constitutional Convention from 1829-1830. At the age of 29 he was mentioned as a possible candidate for U.S. Senator (appointed by the State legislature at the time), and undoubtedly would have been an important figure in national politics if he had not suffered an untimely death at the age of 34. He and Mary Willcox had three children; Henry Peronneau Brown (1832-1894), John Willcox Brown (b. 1833), and Col. John Thompson Brown II (1835-1864).

Col. John Thompson Brown II (4) (1835-1864), was less than two years old when his father died. He lived to carry out his father's ideas in the next generation when the debate regarding state rights and slavery came to be settled by recourse to arms. His fiery speeches contributed to the war fever, a war in which he rose to the rank of Colonel in the artillery before being killed by a sniper's bullet on May 6, 1864.

Henry Peronneau Brown (4) (1832-1894), was named after a Princeton schoolmate and close friend of his father's, Peronneau Finley, of Charleston, South Carolina. Henry Peronneau Brown lived briefly with his namesake after his father's death. The correspondence of Henry Peronneau Brown with his wife and their relatives, is chiefly of value for the insight it gives into family affairs during the Civil War and the Reconstruction. Henry Peronneau Brown (1832- 1894), married France Bland Coalter (1835-1894), in 1858. They were the parents of John Thompson Brown III (b. 1861), who married Cassie Dallas Tucker Brown (fl.1898), reuniting the Tucker family with the line. They in turn had five children; John Thompson Brown IV (b. 1896); Frances Bland Coalter Brown; Henry Peronneau Brown III; Charles Brown; Elizabeth Dallas Brown; and Willcox Brown.

Coalter Family

John Coalter (1) (1769-1838), was born in 1769 to parents Michael Coalter and Elizabeth Moore. While his father was away serving in the war against the British, John Coalter and his brothers worked the family farm on Walker's Creek in Rockbridge County, Virginia. After brief schooling he became tutor to the children of St. George Tucker (1752-1827), and Frances (Bland) Randolph Tucker (d.1788). Following the death of Mrs. Tucker, Coalter moved with the family to Williamsburg, serving without pay in return for the legal training he received from Judge St. George Tucker (1752-1827). While studying law, he also attended lectures at the College of William and Mary under Bp. James Madison and George Wythe. In December 1790, he received his license to practice law. A year later he married Maria Rind, the orphaned daughter of a Williamsburg printer, who had been serving as governess for the Tucker children. After the death of Maria Rind Coalter (d.1792), in childbirth, he married (1795), Margaret Davenport (d. 1795), of Williamsburg, who also died in childbirth within the year. Ann Frances Bland Tucker (1785-1813), daughter of St. George Tucker, was taken as his third wife in 1802. John Coalter had been her tutor twelve years before. She later bore him his only three children, Frances Lelia Coalter (1803-1822), Elizabeth Tucker Coalter Bryan (1805-1853), and St. George Tucker Coalter (1809- 1839). John Coalter later became a Circuit Judge of the Virginia General Court and bought "Elm Grove," an estate in Staunton, Virginia. Coalter continued to live there until 1811, at which time he moved to Richmond to serve as Judge of the Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1822, Coalter took his fourth wife, the widow Hannah (Jones) Williamson. In his latter years he enjoyed wide holdings and interests, including a lively concern with gold mining in Virginia. John Tucker Coalter died at "Chatham" plantation in Stafford County, Virginia, 1838.

Elizabeth Tucker Coalter (2) (1805-1853), married John Randolph Bryan (godson of John Randolph of Roanoke) in 1831 and lived at Eagle Point, Gloucester County, Virginia. They had nine children; John Coalter Bryan (1831-1853), Delia Bryan, (d. 1833), Frances Tucker Bryan (b. 1835), Randolph Bryan (b. 1837), Georgia Screven Bryan (b. 1839), St. George Tucker Bryan (b. 1843), Joseph Bryan (b. 1847), Thomas Forman Bryan (1848-1851), Corbin Braxton Bryan (b. 1852).

St. George Tucker Coalter (2) (1809-1839), married the strong-willed Judith Harrison Tomlin (1808-1859). He lived out his life fighting sickness and the losing battle of making his farm profitable. Judith Harrison Tomlin collected letters, which included many exchanged by the fourteen cousins (nine Bryans and five Coalters). Though none of these people were prominent on the large canvas of life, their collected letters give an interesting and informative picture of life in Virginia in the first half of the nineteenth century. St. George and Judith Coalter had six children; Walker Tomlin Coalter (1830-1831); John Coalter (1831-1883); Henry Tucker (1833-1870); Ann Frances Bland Coalter (1835-1894), who married Henry Peronneau Brown (1832-1894), in 1858; Virginia Braxton Coalter (b. 1837), who married William. P. Braxton in 1855; and St. George Tucker Coalter (b. 1839), who married Amelia Downy in 1862 and Charlotte (Downy) Terrill in 1868. See Brown Family

Tucker Family

St. George Tucker (1) (1752-1827), was born in 1752 near Port Royal, Bermuda to Ann Butterfield Tucker and Henry Tucker, a merchant. St. George Tucker had a extensive career in law starting with his acceptance to the College of William and Mary under the tutelage of George Wythe in 1771. He served as clerk of courts of Dinwiddlie County, 1774; commonwealth attorney for Chesterfield County, 1783-1786; law professor at the College of William and Mary, 1790; and federal court judge for Virginia, 1813-1825. In 1771, he married Frances (Bland) Randolph, a widow, who had three children from a previous marriage; Richard Randolph, Theodorick Randolph (d. 1792), and John Randolph of Roanoke. St. George and Frances Randolph Tucker together, had five children; Henry St. George Tucker (1780-1848), Tudor Tucker, Ann Frances Bland Tucker (1785-1813), Elizabeth Tucker (b. 1788), and Nathaniel Beverley Tucker (1784-1851). They lived on the Randolph plantation, "Mattoax" in Chesterfield County, Virginia, until the death of France Randolph Tucker in 1813. In 1791, St. George remarried the widow Lelia Skipwith Carter (fl. 1795). None of their three children lived to adulthood.

Henry St. George Tucker (2) (1780-1848), served as a professor of law at the University of Virginia; in the Virginia House of Delegates, 1806-1807; in the U.S. Congress, 1815-1819; and in the Virginia Senate, 1819-1824. He married Anne Evelina Hunter in 1806 and had at least eleven children, including; Randolph Tucker, Dr. David Hunter Tucker, Frances Tucker, Mary Tucker, Virginia Tucker, Anne Tucker, and John Randolph Tucker (1823-1897).

Randolph Tucker (3) married Lucy (?).The couple had children; St. George Tucker and Judge Randolph Tucker.

Dr. David Hunter Tucker (3) married Eliz Dallas and had Rev. Dallas Tucker and Cassie Dallas Tucker.

John Randolph Tucker (3) (1823-1897), married Laura Holmes Powell in 1848 and had seven children. He was served as attorney general of Virginia, 1857-1865; professor of law at Washington College (currently Washington and Lee University); and was elected to U.S. Congress, 1874-1887.

Ann Frances Bland Tucker (2) (1785-1813), married John Coalter (1769-1838). See Coalter Family.

Nathaniel Beverley Tucker (2) (1784-1851), graduated from the College of William and Mary with a law degree. In 1807, he married Mary Coalter (d. 1827), sister of John Coalter (1769-1838). He moved to Missouri and became the Circuit Court Judge of the Missouri Territory in 1817. Nathaniel remarried twice, to Eliza Naylor in 1828 and to Lucy Anne Smith. He returned to teach at the College of William and Mary in 1834.

Other People William Munford (1775-1825) A friend of John Tucker Coalter's (1769-1838), from his Williamsburg days, William Munford, a poet and lawyer of some note, wrote letters to Coalter which contain interesting reports of the College of William and Mary and of Harvard University. He wrote of the poverty stricken French immigrants in Norfolk, and sent vivid descriptions of the activity of the British fleet in the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812. He lived and studied with George Wythe in Williamsburg, later moving with him to Richmond to serve as his clerk. His remarks on Wythe, for whom he had a great affection, throw light on that important member of the legal profession in the new nation.

Gary A. Adams' (fl. 1900), connection to the family is unknown. However, several bills to him from the dry goods stores and the household supply stores are included in the collection.

Cynthia Beverly (Tucker) Washington Coleman (1832-1908) of Williamsburg, was an aunt of Cassie Tucker.

Judge John Randolph Tucker (circa 1915) Newspaper Clippings, 1913-1915, from Nome, Alaska concern the term of judgeship of John Randolph Tucker, (circa 1915).

Captain David Tucker Brown (circa 1918), was a member of the 1918 Peace Commission, Paris, France.


1.50 Linear Feet

Arrangement of Materials:

This collection is organized into 4 series; series 1 contains letters; series 2 contains photographs; series 3 contains various printed material; and series 4 contains newspaper clippings.

Acquisition Information:

Gift: 941 items, 11/15/1950.

Related Materials:

There are two collections within the Manuscripts and Rare Books Department, Swem Library, College of William and Mary that Relate to this Collection. They include, the Barnes Family Papers, and the Tucker-Coleman Papers.

Barnes Family Papers, Manuscripts and Rare Books Department, Swem Library, College of William and Mary. Barnes Family Papers, 1797-1926, 1818-1875.247 items.Collection number: Mss. 39.1 B26Correspondence, chiefly 1820-1875, of Newman Williamson Barnes and his wife Margaret W.(Tomlin) Barnes of Richmond, Virginia and "Greenfield," Culpeper County, Virginia. Letters concern life in Falmouth, Virginia and also concern Fredericksburg, Virginia. Correspondents are members of the Braxton, Coalter, Tomlin and Oliver families.

Tucker-Coleman Papers, Manuscripts and Rare Books Department, Swem Library, College of William and Mary. Tucker-Coleman Papers, 1664-1945, 1770-1907.30,000 items.Collection number: Mss. 40 T79Papers, primarily 1770-1907, of the Tucker and Coleman families of Williamsburg, Winchester, Lexington, Staunton and Richmond, including papers of St. George Tucker (1752-1827), Nathaniel Beverley Tucker (1784-1851), Henry St. George Tucker (1780-1848), Ann Frances Bland (Tucker) Coalter (1779-1813), John Coalter (1769-1838), John Randolph of Roanoke, and Cynthia Beverley Tucker Washington Coleman (1832-1908) as well as other family members.

Brown, Coalter, Tucker Papers (I), Manuscripts and Rare Books Department, Swem Library, College of William and Mary. Brown, Coalter, Tucker Papers (I), 1780-1929.3,433 items.Collection number: Mss. 65 B85Papers, 1780-1929, of the Brown, Coalter and Tucker families including the papers of John Coalter (1769- 1838),John Thompson Brown (1802-1836). Among the correspondents are Maria (Rind) Coalter, St. George Tucker, William Munford, Frances Bland (Tucker) Coalter, St. George Tucker Coalter, Frances Bland (Coalter) Brown, the Rev. Moses D. Hoge, and Henry Peronneau Brown.

2008.238 Tucker-Brown Seven Generations Genealogy Chart

Physical Description

941 items


Additional information may be found at

Guide to the Brown, Coalter, Tucker Papers (II)
Special Collections Staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository