An inventory of the Brooks-Queen Family Collection at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives
Jehiel Brooks (1797-1886)
Jehiel Brooks (b. Albans Province, Vermont, April 8, 1797) was the son of Revolutionary War veteran Hananiah Brooks (b. Killingly, Connecticut, 1758.) The younger Brooks spent most of his boyhood years in Conneaut, Ohio. He served as First Lieutenant, First Regiment of Infantry with the Ohio Militia in the War of 1812. He later studied law in Cincinnati and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1823. He practiced law in Hamilton Butler County, Ohio, until 1826 when he moved to Natchitoches, Louisiana. He continued to practice law after being admitted to the Louisiana bar in 1828. At the end of 1828, Brooks came to the District of Columbia seeking appointment to the vacant Red River Indian Agency in northeast Louisiana. He was named the Indian agent for the Caddo and Quapaw tribes of Louisiana in 1830. That same year, Brooks married Ann Margaret Queen, the daughter of prominent Marylander Nicholas Louis (Lewis) Queen. The newlyweds returned to Louisiana where Brooks was successful in his post and also took an interest in the "rafting" of the Red River. In 1835, he served as Commissioner and negotiated a treaty with the Caddo Indians which was completed that July. The Brooks family returned to the District of Columbia and built their mansion on land belonging to Ann Margaret.
Brooks' life was not without financial difficulties. In 1836, an allegation of fraud was made against him in his official dealings with the Indians. This allegation resulted in a Congressional investigation and the government brought suit against him which was ultimately settled by the Supreme Court in 1851. Beginning about the same time, Brooks initiated a series of civil suits to gain possession of former Caddo territory land in northeast Louisiana that he had previously purchased. It appears that Brooks lost most of these suits. There were also property disputes in the 1860s. Brooks, a Confederate sympathizer, also took issue with the Union Army at Fort Bunker Hill during the Civil War for damage done to his property. And in 1869, there was a legal dispute with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad about tracks they had built on the edge of the Brooks' property.
These suits and others seem to have strained Brooks' financial resources considerably, which caused him to petition successive presidential administrations for one or another patronage positions. The only position of public trust that he held was that of Supervisor of Washington County, District of Columbia in 1845.
Brooks was a prolific author. He wrote numerous essays on various topics throughout his adult life. It is unclear as to whether any of the essays were published. He did copyright a collection of documents about the Mexican War in 1854 but they were never published. He did publish a thirty-two page compilation of laws concerning fugitive labor in 1860, but no mention of this is made in his papers.
Colonel Brooks died February 6, 1886, in his home at the age of ninety.
Brooks' children are: Emilie, b. December 1, 1832 in Caddo Indian country; Nicholas Boyd, b. October 24, 1834 at Natchitoches, Louisiana; John Henry, b. April 17, 1841 in the District of Columbia; Laura, b. July 31, 1843 in the District of Columbia; Frank, b. October 20, 1845 in the District of Columbia; four other children died young.
Henry Brooks (1841-1916):
John Henry Brooks, dutiful son of Jehiel and Ann Margaret Brooks, appears in the correspondence as a medical doctor with distinct agrarian interests residing in the District of Columbia. He married Agnes de Clifford Price (d. 1921) and fathered nine children including Agnes Elizabeth Brooks Stock. He died January 28, 1916.
Nicholas Boyd Brooks (1834-1902):
Nicholas Boyd Brooks, the eldest son of Jehiel and Ann Margaret Brooks, settled into farming in Hermitage, Virginia, after a period of employment in the District of Columbia.
Nicholas Louis Queen (d. 1860):
Nicholas Louis Queen was the son of Walter Queen of Prince George's County, Maryland. He married Eleanor Gates Boyd (d. 1850) and they were parents to Henry, Ann Margaret and Mary. He was a landholder, as well as a prominent businessman who ran the Queen's Hotel near the Capitol. The Queen's Hotel figured importantly in the political life of Washington at that time. He married into the Wightt family and was the executor of John M. Wightt's estate. This estate included a tract of land known as the "Inclosure" which would later pass to Jehiel Brooks through his marriage to Ann Margaret Queen and on which they would build their mansion.
Henry Queen (d. April 1874):
Henry Queen was involved in the business activities of Jehiel Brooks, such as leasing a fisheries operation, and in the care and disposition of the landholdings of his family. A prominent citizen involved in civic affairs, he was the foreman of the Grand Jury and also was serving on the Board of Commissioners of Primary Schools of Washington County, District of Columbia at the time of his death.
Mary Queen (d. 1884); Elizabeth Queen (d. 1899):
Mary and Elizabeth, who along with Henry, inherited the Queen family estate remained unmarried and lived out their lives in the Brookland area of the District of Columbia. They engaged in rural pursuits and lived off their patrimony.
The Brooks-Queen Family Collection (1773-1979) consists of correspondence, holographic copies and extracts of correspondence, legal documents (many related to land transactions), treaty papers, essays, newspaper clippings, financial records, 'memorials' to congress, notes, a Confederate government bond, and other papers spanning several generations. Some of the documents gathered here are present only as photocopies.
The bulk of the materials in the collection are found in Series I, Jehiel Brooks Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays (1823-1881, 1886). Much of this seems to have been gathered to support his legal cases in the period from about 1839-1860, which were principally involved with his integrity as Red River Indian Agent and Caddo Treaty Commissioner, and with his disputed land claims in the former Indian territory of northeast Louisiana. These papers include correspondence and copies and extracts of correspondence during his incumbency (1830-1835), rough drafts and printed copies of the Caddo Treaty, and 'memorials' to Congress. Correspondence with his lawyers, printed legal briefs, 'plat' surveys of disputed land, and transcript of court decisions are represented. Also included are fifteen essays written by Brooks, often under pen names, that reflect a broad interest in scientific, political, and civic issues. His political writings include treatises on landscaping public grounds in Washington, DC, and on the Mount Vernon estate in Virginia. Numerous letters of inquiry and letters of recommendation show Brooks seeking patronage positions with presidential administrations from Andrew Jackson's (1829-1837) through Abraham Lincoln's (1861-1865). There is also some family correspondence. Letters between him and his wife, Ann Margaret, reveal the effects of family hardship and care. Correspondence with his brothers in Ohio and in the Midwest provide Brooks' family background. Correspondence with his brother-in-law and sometimes business associate, Henry Queen, and other miscellaneous papers deal with the Steamboat Charleston. Finally, there are photocopies, Accession #93-10, of federal census entries, 1840-1880 and Brooks' 1886 death certificate and obituary.
The John Henry Brooks series, subseries 2.1 (1879-1905, 1912), contains correspondence with his real estate agent in New Jersey, with family members, including three letters from his son, Dr. John D. Brooks, writing from a military post in the Philippines. Subseries 2.2 (1872-1896) contains various receipts and invoices for materials such as lumber, coal, carriages, and horseshoes.
The Nicholas Boyd Brooks series (1879-1880) consists entirely of a handful of mail receipt cards from The Masonic Mutual Relief Association for assessments paid by Nicholas Boyd. These cards have obituaries listing the causes of death of deceased members.
The Queen family papers (1773-1979) relate mainly to Nicholas Louis Queen and his children: Henry, Elizabeth, and Mary, and have been divided into four subseries.
The Historical and Genealogical Material subseries (ca. 1850 to 1979) contain items from various donors and consist of notations, newspaper clippings, genealogical listings, and journal articles giving vital and historical information on the Brooks and Queen families. However, much of the information given here is based on secondary sources that are conflicting or on primary sources that are unknown.
The Correspondence subseries (ca. 1850-1899) consists largely of letters (1890-1899) to Elizabeth Queen from her real estate agent, Redford W. Walker, who seems to have handled her financial affairs. A few other letters to Mary and Elizabeth are commiserative on the deaths of Eleanor Gates Boyd and on Henry Queen. Other letters from E.J. Middleton Jr. relate to the maintenance of Queen family burial plots at Rock Creek Cemetery and to the transfer of Queen family remains from the Queen's Chapel Cemetery. An 1868 letter from Father Isaac Thomas Hecker to Henry Queen discusses the subject of conversion.
The Legal and Financial records subseries (1773-1883), which constitute the bulk of the papers, include property deeds and lists, patents, land surveys and descriptions, plats, promissory notes, bonds, contracts, leases, accounts, and receipts. Also included is a photocopy of Richard Queen's April 25, 1793 will, the original resides in the courthouse at Upper Marlboro, Maryland. In addition, there are photocopies, Accession #93-14, of the wills of John Wightt and John Magroder Wightt, dated 1806 and 1819, respectively, from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. These papers provide clues to the history of landholding and land transfers in the greater District of Columbia area going back to the eighteenth century. The property deeds, survey notes, lists and plats record and recapitulate the early history of Bladensburg and what would become Brookland and Hyattsville in Prince George's County. They use the old area names of 'Haddock Hills,' 'Waughtown,' 'Chance,' 'Barbadoes,' 'Wetherall's Beginning,' 'Cuckold's Delight,' 'Chillum Castle Manor' and 'Turkey Thicket.' The accounts, receipts, and lists give interesting details on chattel slavery, Civil War property disposal at Fort Bunker Hill, Rock Creek Cemetery, and the prices of consumer goods and services.
The Miscellaneous Printed Matter subseries (1873-1881) includes a copy of E.J. Middleton, Jr.'s obituary from the March 24, 1881 Southern Churchman. Middleton was a neighbor to the Brooks family and vestry man of Rock Creek Parish. There is also an 1873 pamphlet on the foundation of the Order of Sisters of Charity of Montreal and an undated woodcut engraving of Saint Stanislao Kostka.
Caddo Indians, Caddo Indian Territory, Topography of northeast Louisiana, Land Claims in northeast Louisiana, Legal Practices, Red River navigation and flooding, Texan frontier, Texas affairs, Steam boating on Red River and on Lake Erie, Mexico, Mexican War, Presidential patronage, U.S. Congress, National politics, Slavery, Civil War, Confederate sympathizers, Philippine Insurrection, Rosin oil patents, Cholera epidemics, Mount Vernon Improvement Association, Welsh immigration, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Bladensburg, Brookland, District of Columbia, Turkey Thicket, Fort Bunker Hill, Chillum Castle Manor, Queen's Chapel, Rock Creek Cemetery.
United States Presidents: Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, James Knox Polk, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln.
Other Correspondence: Lewis Cass, David Conner, James Cooper, Rice Garland, Isaac Thomas Hacker, Josiah S. Johnston, William L. Marcy, E.J. Middleton, Jr., Matthew C. Perry, Joel Roberts Pinsett, Alexander Porter, Winfield Scott, Henry Miller Shreve, B.D.White, Silas Wright.
The Brooks-Queen Family Collection consists of four series:
Restrictions on Access
There are no access restrictions.
Donors: Agnes Elizabeth Brooks Stock, Sally Stock Murray, Elizabeth Stock Hardy, Agnes Stock Scanlon, Margaret Bartley, Laura Anthony
Date received: 1955, 1981, 1982, 1987.
Date accessioned: 1981, 1982, 1993.
Processing completed in March 1982 by Jules A. Tate, OSB, and Anthony Zito. Revision and data entry completed in February 2003 by Mary Beth Fraser, Heather Morgan, and William J. Shepherd. EAD markup completed in October 2005 by Washington Research Library Consortium. Additional EAD markup completed in 2006 by Jordan Patty.
The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives:
This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848
Brooks, Ann M.
Brown, Ethan Allen, 1776-1852
Butler, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1795-1858
Garland, James, 1791-1885
Garland, Rice, ca. 1795-1861
Gratiot, Charles, 1786-1855
Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845
Mahle, John H.
McLeod, J. C.
Poinsett, Joel Roberts, 1779-1851
Queen, H. W. (Henry W.), d. 1874
Queen, Nicholas Louis
Shreve, Henry M.
Tyler, John, 1790-1862
United States. Congress
United States. Congress. House
United States -- District of Columbia -- Washington
United States -- Louisiana
United States -- Louisiana -- Natchitoches
Feeley, John J., and Dempsey, Rosie. Brookland (Images of America). Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2011.
Malesky, Robert P. The Catholic University of America (Images of America). Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2010.
Tiller, Jim. Jehiel Brooks and the Grappe Reservation: The Archival Record. Huntsville, TX: The START Group, 2014.
Tiller, Jim, and Gong, Gang. "July 1, 1835: What Did the Caddo Believe They Were Selling and Was the Price Paid Fair?" Caddo Archeology Journal, vol. 22 (2012): pp. 115-142.
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