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George Edward Brown

    George Edward Brown (1857-1933) and his brother, Frederick Walter Brown (1855-1935), were the sons of Benjamin Franklin Brown (1828-1908) of Cambridge, MA and his wife, Augusta Ball (Hughes) Brown (1832-1914), daughter of Robert and Eliza Ball Hughes. George was in banking and real estate and apparently never married. George researched and compiled the Brown family genealogy that has been passed down through the family. George was the owner of a silver snuff box given to Ball Hughes by the Duke of Sussex.

Boston Athenaeum

    George was a Proprietor (Shareholder/Member) of the Boston Athenaeum in 1877 and 1878 according to the The Athenaeum Centenary: The Influence and History of the Boston Athenaeum from 1807 to 1907, The Boston Athenaeum, 1907, pp. 147 and 153. I believe that he may have donated many of the works by Ball Hughes that are in the Athenaeum's collection including Dickens "Little Nell" from The Old Curiosity Shop, the bust of Ball Hughes father, John Hallett Hughes, and a bust of Washington Irving.The life-size plaster model of the Statue of Nathaniel Bowditch by Ball Hughes also resides in the Boston Athenaeum. Dr. Bowditch was a supporter and trustee of the Athenaeum. See Wikipedia article for more information about the Boston Athenaeum. 

The Order of Washington

    According to The Lineage Book of the Order of Washington by J. G. B. Bulloch, M.D., Ball Hughes grandson, George Edward Brown was a charter member of the Order of Washington that was formed in 1895 and reorganized in 1908.
The Lineage Book of the Order of Washington, by J. G. B. Bulloch, M. D., published in 1915, records on pp. 35-36:
"George Edward Brown was born in Boston, Massachusetts,
on the 12th of April, 1857, and is the son of Benjamin Franklin
Brown (an old Boston merchant) and his wife, Augusta
Ball Hughes, daughter of the distinguished English sculptor.
R. A. [sic], who made his home in America for many years, dying in
1868. He was the recipient of many honors and medals, both
at home and in America, during his active career.
George E. Brown was educated in private and public schools
and, owing to ill-health, spent some time in Europe with part
of his family, in 1875. Upon his return entered a commission
house, later, spending some years in the banking business and
of late years been engaged in the real-estate business, making
a specialty of sales and leases in the down-town district.
In most of his lines on the paternal side he traces to the
emigrants (the sixth, seventh, and eighth generations),
Especially in the Brown, Coolidge, Newell, Dodge, Porter,
Gardner, Dunbar and other lines. He has been a member of
many patriotic societies, having held office in all but one or two.
He has naturally always been interested in the fine arts—for
seven or eight members on his mother's side were artists, etc.—
and he has been a student of Roman and Greek antiquities,
especially engraved gems, having possessed many fine specimens,
as well as coins. He has a good collection of prints and
some water-colors, as well as other specimens of the arts.”
pp. 5-6:
"This Order was founded at Mobile, Ala., in 1895, and, as
far as 1 am aware, is the only one named for the illustrious
general and statesman, George Washington. Our members
having become separated, the Order remained in abeyance
when an attempt was made by Mr. Jorn Eyerman, of
Easton, Pa., and myself, to revive the Order. The
former having a die cast for the beautiful insignia now
adopted by us, and also some handsome invitations issued,
containing upon their face the necessary qualifications of
admittance to the Order. Nothing further was done until I
became permanently settled in this city, when I determined
to reorganize the Order, and with the assistance of certain
gentlemen, we placed it upon a firm basis, and on May 13.
1908. formally instituted the Order and received a Charter for
the same on June 11, 1908, so that we have the satisfaction
of knowing that The Order of Washington is now firmly
established, and as a qualification for membership requires
that the ancestor must have arrived in America before 1750,
have been a landowner or founder of a town, held some official,
military or ministerial position in the Colonial service,
and had a descendant who aided the Colonies in attaining the independence.
J. G. B. Bulloch, M.D.,
At a meeting held at the residence of Commander Charles
C. Rogers, U. S. N., on the 13th of May. 1908, it was resolved
that an order of patriotism and chivalry be formed to be called
The Order of Washington, named for the illustrious General
George Washington. The following gentlemen were present
at this meeting:
Commander C. C. Rogers, U. S. N.
General Marcus J. Wright.
Dr. J. G. B. Bulloch.
Mr. Ethelbert Fairfax.
Mr. Cuthbert B. Brown.
Mr. Howard P. Wright.
Whereas, It should be the duty of all those of illustrious
lineage to preserve intact the history and traditions relating
to the foundation of their country, and to endeavor to promote
peace, happiness, and the general welfare of mankind,
therefore, we, the founders of this Order, should use our influence
to see that our institutions are kept intact and free
from pernicious influences and that freedom and liberty be
promoted: Therefore, we whose names are subjoined do now
institute an order of patriotism and chivalry to be known as
The Order of Washington.
In order to become a member of this Order the ancestor
must have arrived in America prior to 1750, have been a landowner
or a founder of a town, and have held some official,
military (naval) or ministerial position in Colonial days, and
also had a male descendant who assisted the Colonies in attaining
their independence.
In order to explain the above the following clause is offered:
The candidate to become a Companion in this Order must have
descended in the male or female line from a male ancestor who
assisted the Colonies in attaining their independence, and the revolutionary ancestor must have descended in the direct male line from an ancestor who was in the Colonies prior to 1750 and who or whose son held at some time an official position during the Colonial period, or, was a founder of a town, or, was in the military or naval service, or was a minister of the Gospel."
The other societies that George was a member of include the Massachusetts Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and the General Society of the War of 1812.

Sons of the American Revolution

    According to the Massachusetts Society of the Sons of the American Revolution published in 1899, George Edward Brown was the State Secretary in 1896-1897. The National Year Book of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, published in 1896, p. 88, lists George as the State Secretary of the Massachusetts Society in 1896. 
p. 89, Article III. - Membership.

    According to The Register of Old Suffolk Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, published in 1901, p. 9, George was the Secretary of the Suffolk Chapter in 1900. The Suffolk County seat is Boston, also the state capital. The Massachusetts Society Sons of the American Revolution is still active. View part of George Edward Brown's application for membership in the SAR.

General Society of the War of 1812

    According to The Constitution and Register of Membership of the General Society of the War of 1812, published in 1938, p. 121, George Edward Brown was the Secretary of the Massachusetts Society in 1908. The Society was organized in 1814, re-organized in 1854, and instituted in Joint Convention at Philadelphia in 1894.
p. 19
    Any male person above the age of twenty-one (21) years, who
participated in, or who is a lineal descendant of one who served
during the War of 1812, in the army, navy, revenue-marine, or
privateer service of the United States, offering proof thereof
satisfactory to the State Society to which he may make application
for membership, and who is of good moral character and reputation,
may become a member of this Society when approved of by said
State Society, under such regulations as it may make for passing
upon applications for membership.
p. 123
Descendant Members
p. 126
Box 2535, Boston. Great-grandson of Amasa Brown (1768-1847),
Wagon Master under Colonel Winfield Scott, United States Army,
July 7~October 16, 1813.

Final Thoughts:

    From the short biography of George Edward Brown in the The Lineage Book of the Order of Washington, we see that seven or eight members of George's mothers family were artists. That would include George's mother, Augusta Ball (Hughes) Brown, her sister, Georgina, Augusta's parents, Robert and Eliza Ball Hughes, and several others who are not known. We know that Eliza was trained in the arts, an artist, and an art teacher, Georgina was an accomplished painter and art teacher, and Augusta was an amateur artist.
    We also see that George's father, Benjamin Franklin Brown, was a Boston merchant. According to The Sketch of the Life of Robert Ball Hughes, by Mrs. E. Ball Hughes, B. F. Brown erected the monument to Ball Hughes memory in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Boston.
    Owing to ill-health, George spent some time with his family in Europe in 1875, presumably in London with his aunt, Georgina Ball Hughes, who spent much of her time there, and possibly his mother. He would have been about 17 or 18 years old at the time.
last rev. 5/16/2011
For noncommercial use, Copyright David E. Brown 2008-2011

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David Brown,
Oct 18, 2010, 5:01 AM