The Catholic University of America

Brooks-Queen Family

An inventory of the Brooks-Queen Family Collection at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


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Telephone: 202-319-5065

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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The Catholic University of America, The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Brooks-Queen Family
Title: The Brooks-Queen Family Collection
Dates: 1773-1979
Extent: 1.5 linear feet; 3 boxes
Abstract: The Brooks-Queen Family Collection 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.
Collection Number: ACUA 017
Language: English

Biographical Note

Brooks Family:

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.

Queen Family:

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.

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Scope and Contents

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.

Important Topics:

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.

Important Correspondence:

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.

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Arrangement

The Brooks-Queen Family Collection consists of four series:





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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

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 Information

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.

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Related Material

The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives:

Brooks-Queen Family Digital Collection

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Persons:
Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848
Brooks, Ann M.
Brooks, Jehiel
Brown, Ethan Allen, 1776-1852
Butler, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1795-1858
Cafs, Lewis
Cooper, James
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

Organizations:
United States. Congress
United States. Congress. House

Places:
United States -- District of Columbia -- Washington
United States -- Louisiana
United States -- Louisiana -- Natchitoches

Subjects:
Caddo Indians


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Bibliography

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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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Jehiel Brooks Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, 1823-1881, 1886 (3 boxes)
Correspondence, copies and extracts of correspondence, legal documents, treaty papers, essays, newspaper clippings, financial records, 'memorials' to Congress, notes, a Confederate government bond, and other papers, focused on the years 1830-1860. Because of the interrelatedness of the subjects of these diverse record types, and to avoid fragmentation, this series is placed in one chronological arrangement to reveal the flow of events and concerns in the life of Jehiel Brooks. Compilation of extracts of letters are placed according to the date of the latest extract. A few letters between other family members are included, notably in the years in 1865-1880. Also included are photocopies, Accession #93-10, of federal census entries, 1840-1880 and Brooks' 1886 death certificate and obituary.
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, October 23, 1823-July 21, 1830
  2 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, January 5, 1831-March 21, 1835
  3 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, June 4, 1835-July 1, 1835
  4 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, July 3, 1835-November 12, 1835
  5 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, November 13, 1835-January 26, 1836
  6 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, February 1, 1836-April 29, 1836
  7 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, May 4, 1836-June 8, 1836
  8 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, June 9, 1836-December 29, 1836
  9 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, January 5, 1837-July 29, 1837
  10 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, September 22, 1837-February 27, 1838
  11 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, March 3, 1838-June 13, 1839
  12 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, June 13, 1839-January 30, 1840
  13 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, February 5, 1840-July 1840
  14 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, August 1840-August 5, 1841
  15 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, August 16, 1841-December 21, 1841
  16 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, January 4, 1842-March 8, 1842
  17 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, March 9, 1842-November 14, 1842
  18 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, December 14, 1842-February 20, 1843
  19 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, March 9, 1843-July 26, 1844
  20 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, July 30, 1844-March 19, 1845
  21 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, March 26, 1845-August 4, 1845
  22 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, August 10, 1845-December 1845
  23 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, January 26, 18467-October 30, 1846
  24 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, November 2, 1846-December 28, 1846
  25 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, January 1, 1847-January 18, 1847
Box Folder
2 1 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, February 20, 1847-May 19, 1847
  2 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, Ca. May 1847
        Legal document, closing arguments
  3 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, June 4, 1847-December 24, 1847
  4 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, March 21, 1848-July 17,1848
  5 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, August 2, 1848-November 11, 1848
  6 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, November 17, 1848-January 19, 1849
  7 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, January 21, 1849-May 14, 1849
  8 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, May 25, 1849-December 22, 1849
  9 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, January 1, 1850-December 1850
  10 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, January 12, 1851-August 23, 1851
  11 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, September 10, 1851-December 27, 1851
  12 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, January 10, 1852-September 27, 1852
  13 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, Ñovember 1, 1852-April 5, 1853
  14 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, April 8, 1853-February 8, 1854
  15 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, February 21, 1854-October 19, 1854
  16 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, Ca. October 1854
  17 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, December 4, 1854-January 31, 1855
  18 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, February 16, 1855-June 7, 1855
  19 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, June 18, 1855-December 28, 1855
  20 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, January 1, 1856-August 31, 1856
  21 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, September 18, 1856-August 15, 1857
  22 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, April 14, 1858-February 19, 1859
  23 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, April 25, 1859-September 3, 1859
  24 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, September 8, 1859-January 14, 1861
  25 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, January 21, 1861-August 31, 1861
Box Folder
3 1 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, October 26, 1864-December 2, 1864
  2 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, January 16, 1865-January 9, 1871
  3 Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, November 14, 1871-September 1881, 1886
        Includes Acc. #93-10: Census registers (1840 -1880)and death certificate and Obit of Jehiel Brooks (Feb. 1886),
                       
Series 2: John Henry Brooks, 1872-1912 (4 folders)
Subseries 2.1 consists primarily of letters to John Henry Brooks, especially from his New Jersey real estate agent. Letters between other family members are included along with a fragment of a newspaper clipping dealing with Brookland history.
Subseries 2.2 consists of invoices and receipts deal with a variety of expenses, especially purchases of lumber and horse shoes.
Subseries 2.1: Correspondence, 1879-1905, 1912 (3 folders)
 
Box Folder
3 4 Correspondence, February 18, 1879-March 8, 1881
  5 Correspondence, May 9, 1881-October 1, 1881
  6 Correspondence, February 12, 1882-November 7, 1905, August 12, 1912
Subseries 2.2: Invoices and Receipts, 1872-1896 (1 folder)
 
Box Folder
3 7 Invoices and Receipts, 1872-1896, n.d.
                       
Series 3: Nicholas Boyd Brooks Receipts, 1879-1880 (1 folder)
Assessment receipt cards of The Masonic Mutual Relief Association giving obituaries of deceased members.
Box Folder
3 8 Receipts, 1879-1880
                       
Series 4: Queen Family, 1773-1979 (1 box)
Subseries 4.1 consists of material spanning the period from about 1850 to 1979 and consisting of notations, newspaper clippings, genealogical listings, and journal articles giving vital and historical information on the Brooks and Queen families, primarily based on secondary sources that are conflicting or on primary sources that are unknown.
Subseries 4.2 consists of mostly 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.
Subseries 4.3 consists of property deeds and lists, patents, land surveys and descriptions, plats, promissory notes, bonds, contracts, leases, accounts, and receipts. Also included are the wills of Richard Queen (1793), John Wightt (1806), and John Magroder Wightt (1819). These papers detail 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 the early history of Bladensburg and what would become Brookland and Hyattsville in Prince George's County and include old area names such as 'Haddock Hills,' 'Cuckold's Delight,' 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.
Subseries 4.4 consists of material such as a copy of E.J. Middleton, Jr.'s 1881 obituary from the Southern Churchman, an 1873 pamphlet on the foundation of the Order of Sisters of Charity of Montreal, and an undated woodcut engraving of Saint Stanislao Kostka.
Subseries 4.1: Historical and Genealogical Material, ca. 1850-1979 (1 folder)
 
Box Folder
3 9 Historical and Genealogical Material, Ca. 1850-1979
Subseries 4.2: Correspondence, ca. 1850-1899 (3 folders)
 
Box Folder
3 10 Correspondence, Ca. 1850-May 16, 1895
  11 Correspondence, August 22, 1895-October 25, 1898
  12 Correspondence, January 2, 1899-August 28, 1899
Subseries 4.3: Legal and Financial Records, 1773-1883 (5 folders)
 
Box Folder
3 13 Legal and Financial Records, August 14, 1773-March 1834
        Includes Acc. #93-14: Photocopies of the wills John Wightt (1806) and John Magroder Wightt (1819).
  14 Legal and Financial Records, October 13, 1836-1843
  15 Legal and Financial Records, February 10, 1849-September 19, 1859
  16 Legal and Financial Records, October 31, 1859-November 28, 1865
  17 Legal and Financial Records, October 2, 1872-May 2, 1883, nd.
Subseries 4.4: Miscellaneous Printed Matter, 1873-1881 (1 folder)
 
Box Folder
3 18 Miscellaneous Printed Material, 1873-1881

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Jehiel Brooks Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Essays, 1823-1881, 1886

Series 2: John Henry Brooks, 1872-1912

Series 3: Nicholas Boyd Brooks Receipts, 1879-1880

Series 4: Queen Family, 1773-1979

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