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This biography is from Landmarks of Albany County, New York, edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N. Y., Syracuse, N. Y.; D. Mason & Co. Publishers, 1897.

W. Howard Brown

W. Howard Brown, son of Rev. Samuel R. Brown, D. D., was born in New York city April 27, 1852, and descends from one of the old and prominent families of Connecticut. Dr. Brown, born in East Windsor, Conn., in 1812, was graduated from Yale College about 1833 and subsequently from the New York Theological Seminary, and was sent to Macoa and later to Hong Kong, China, under the British Morrison Educational Society. He remained there through all the dangers of the opium war, and brought home with him four Chinese boys, all of whom were graduated from Yale College and became, respectively, a Chinese minister at Washington, president of a large fleet of Chinese merchant steamers, Chinese consul-general at San Francisco, and a practicing physician in Canton. The latter was a graduate of a medical college in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was the only native Chinese who ever practiced medicine among Europeans in the Orient. About 1859 Dr. Brown went to Kanagawa, Japan, under the auspices of the Reformed Church Mission, and was the first chaplain of the American Legation in that country, the ports of which had just been opened to foreigners. He held this position for several years, and was also president of the Asiatic Society. He was the first to institute government schools in Japan, was chairman of the committee which translated the Bible into the Japanese language, and remained until he became the oldest European in that country. Returning to Orange, N. J., in 1878, he died in June, 1879, while on his way to attend a reunion of his class at Yale College. He married Miss Elizabeth Goodwin Bartlett, daughter of Rev. Shubael Bartlett, for fifty years a Congregational minister at Scantic, Conn. She died in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1890, leaving four children: Julia M., born in Macoa, China, now of Yokohama, Japan, the wife of J. Frederick Lowder, chief interpreter and stepson of Sir Rutherford Alcock; Robert Morrison Brown, born in Hong Kong, China, and now of New York city; W. Howard Brown, of Albany; and Harriet W., wife of Judge Samuel E. Williamson, of Cleveland, Ohio.

W. Howard Brown received his earlier education in Yokohama, Japan, where he became a fluent Japanese scholar as well as a thorough student of the English branches. While there he was for six months a guest of the captain of the British fleet engaged in making the admiralty charts of the coast of Japan. His residence in that enterprising country, with its Oriental customs and traditions, made a lasting impression upon his youthful mind and was productive of much good. Returning to America he finished his studies in the preparatory school for Yale College at Hartford, Conn., and then became the first interpreter to the officers of the Japanese prince, Satsuma, who were sent to the United States for the purpose of studying the English language and American customs and institutions. It was in this capacity that Mr. Brown's early training in Japan proved both useful and profitable. In 1876 he engaged in mercantile business in Albany and continued successfully for three years. In 1879, having directed his attention to the field of life insurance, he was made the manager of the Albany district of the Travelers Insurance Company, of Hartford, Conn., which position he has since filled with great credit and ability.

Mr. Brown has also been prominent in military affairs, in which he has long taken a deep interest. He joined the Tenth Regiment N. Y. N. G. in 1868 and served as private, corporal, and sergeant for twelve years. Later he passed successfully the competitive examinations for promotion to first lieutenant and quartermaster of the battalion, which office he now holds. He is a director in the Marshall & Wendell Piano Forte Manufacturing Company (limited), has been prominent in the Young Men's Christian Association, and was for several years an officer and member of the First and Second Reformed churches and their Sunday schools, and is now a member of the last named church. In politics he is a Republican. He is vice-president of the Albany Musical Society, and a member of Masters Lodge, No. 5, F. & A. M., Capital City Chapter, No. 242, R. A. M., and Temple Commandery, No. 2, K. T.

In 1879 Mr. Brown was married, first, to Miss Saraphine de K. Townsend, of New York city, who died in 1888, leaving one son, Samuel R. He married, second, in November, 1S95, Miss Kate Westcott Rider, of Brooklyn, N. Y.

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