Scope and Content
Title: Henry B. Brown drawings
Collection Number: mssHM 62464 (1-43)
Brown, Henry, active 1850-1859
43 items in 3 boxes
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Abstract: This collection contains forty-two pencil drawings primarily of California Native Americans,
California landscapes, Mexico, and Central America, drawn in 1851 and 1852 by American artist, and later United States Consul
to Bermuda, Henry B. Brown.
Language of Material: The records are in English.
The entire collection is open for qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services
Department. For more information, please go to following
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material,
nor does it charge fees for such activities.
The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with
[Identification of item], Henry B. Brown drawings, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
The collection was purchased from Catherine C. Abbott, December 13, 2000.
Henry B. Brown was probably born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in January 1816. In the 1840s, he worked as a portrait artist
and engraver, and in 1851 he traveled to San Francisco with his
friend Jacob Bailey Moore. Brown worked for Moore for the next several months, gathering specimens and making drawings
in the California countryside. In March of 1852, he was commissioned
by John Russell Bartlett, head of the U.S.-Mexico Boundary Commission and a friend of Moore, to draw views of landscapes
and Indians in Northern California, assist with collecting Indian
vocabularies, and make maps of the area, with a view towards contributing to Bartlett's book "Personal Narrative of Explorations
and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and
Chihuahua" (1854). Brown traveled to New York in the late summer of 1852, and presumably drew his coastal scenes of Mexico
and Central America during the trip. From 1856 to 1859, he served
as US Consul for Bermuda. Little is known of his life after that date; his health was poor at the time of his resignation
in 1859, and he may have died in late 1860 or soon after. He should
not be confused with the Maine artist Harrison Bird Brown (1831-1915) or with the escaped slave Henry "Box" Brown (b. 1816).
Scope and Content
This collection contains pencil drawings drawn in 1851 and 1852 by American artist, and later United States Consul to Bermuda,
Henry B. Brown.
The forty-two drawings are arranged according to their five general subjects: California Native Americans (7), California
Mexico (4), Central America (6), and Other (1).
Although the exact Indian tribes in Brown’s drawings are not known, it is believed that they are the Maidu, Nomlaki, Patwin,
Wintun, and/or the Shasta Indians because those tribes lived
in the areas in California where Brown was traveling. These drawings include portraits of Indians and scenes of daily
life in Indian villages. Five of these drawings have been published
Drawn from Life: California Indians in Pen and Brush by Theodora Kroeber, Albert B. Elsasser, and Robert F. Heizer, and
Personal Narrative of Explorations and
Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua
by John Russell Bartlett. The twenty-four drawings of California landscapes include views of mining camps,
a quartz mill, San Francisco, Marysville, Mount Shasta, Grass Valley, the Sacramento River, and Nevada City. The ten drawings
of Mexico and Central America include views of Acapulco,
the Gulf of California, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Also included in the collection is an undated drawing of
the Susquehanna river in Port Deposit, Maryland, and a blank
sheet of paper that was probably used as a mount for one of the drawings. The titles used are the titles supplied by the
artist. Several of the drawings have sketches or inscriptions
on the verso. A number of the Brown drawings have also been published in
An Artist's Portfolio: the California Sketches of Henry B. Brown by Thomas C. Blackburn.
Alternative Form of Materials Available
Brown, Henry B., active 1850-1859.
Artists -- California -- 19th century.
Drawing, American -- 19th century.
Indians of North America -- California -- Portraits.
Maidu Indians -- Portraits.
Mines and mineral resources -- California -- Pictorial works.
Mining camps -- California -- Pictorial works.
Nomlaki Indians -- Portraits.
Patwin Indians -- Portraits.
Shasta Indians -- Portraits.
Wintun Indians -- Portraits.
California -- Pictorial works.
Central America -- Pictorial works.
Grass Valley (Calif.) -- Pictorial works.
Mexico -- Pictorial works.
Mount Shasta (Calif.) -- Pictorial works.
Nevada City (Calif.) -- Pictorial works.
Ometepe Island (Nicaragua) -- Pictorial works.
Port Deposit (Md.) -- Pictorial works.
Sacramento River (Calif.) -- Pictorial works.
Sacramento Valley (Calif.) -- Pictorial works.
San Francisco (Calif.) -- Pictorial works.
San Juan del Sur Bay (Nicaragua) -- Pictorial works.
Susquehanna River -- Pictorial works.
Tehama County (Calif.) -- Pictorial works.
Drawings California 19th century.
Drawings Central America 19th century.
Drawings Mexico 19th century.
Sketches California 19th century.
Sketches Central America 19th century.
Sketches Mexico 19th century.
Bartlett, John Russell.
Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua.
D. Appleton & Company,
Blackburn, Thomas C.
An Artist's Portfolio : the California sketches of Henry B. Brown, 1851-52.
California Indians: An Illustrated Guide.
Walnut Creek, California:
Heizer, Robert F., ed.
A Collection of Ethnographical Articles on the California Indians.
Hine, Robert V.
An Artist Draws the Line. American Heritage, February 1968, Volume XIX, Number 2: 28.
Hine, Robert V.
Bartlett's West: Drawing the Mexican Boundary.
New Haven and London:
Yale University Press,
Kroeber, Theodora, Albert B. Elsasser, Robert F. Heizer.
Drawn from Life: California Indians in Pen and Brush.
Socorro, New Mexico:
Merriam, C. Hart.
Studies of California Indians.
Berkeley and Los Angeles:
University of California Press,
Tribes of California.
Government Printing Office,