Thursday, May 14, 2020

Addenda to the R. E. Browns

Brown, Reuben Ellis, Sr. on May 13, 1861, already in an advanced age, enrolled in Company B of Captain James R. Arnold’s Company of Texas Infantry Riflemen, at Nacogdoches, Texas. He ranked as a private, and served as a chaplain. He died in Galveston, Texas in February of 1864. Thomas Rogers McCrorey (1838–1902), of Company E of 20th Texas Infantry, Elmore’s Regiment, on February 23, 1864, was detailed to carry the remains of Brown back to Polk County, Texas for burial. They encased his body in lime for the trip. The exact location of burial is now unknown. Of Reuben E. Brown, Sr., W. L. Andrews wrote, “Among other accomplishments, he was a noted vocalist. He had a splendid voice, full, rounded, rich and he had trained it well, and by his good singing as well as preaching he always attracted large crowds wherever he appeared.” According to one newspaper account, R. E. Brown, Sr. wrote a song during the War of 1812, which began “Come, all ye tempered hearts of steel—come quite your flocks and farms.” It was later repurposed as a Civil War song. See also Makers of The Sacred Harp, p. 92.
333      Family Circle

Brown, Reuben Ellis, Jr. (1827–December 7, 1891) was the son of Reuben Ellis (Sr.) and Elizabeth Brown. R. E. Brown, Jr. married first Hester Marshall, circa 1848 and married second Mrs. Nancy A. Johnson, July 12, 1864. He “died at his home a mile from Clayton on Monday at 2 o’clock a.m. He had been sick for three or four week, and died from the effects of old age and disease. He was a well known character is our midst and highly respected by those who knew him.” He was buried at or near Clayton, in Barbour County, Alabama, but the exact location is unknown. R. E. Brown, Jr. lived in southeast Alabama. He sang with some whose names would become a recognizable part of Sacred Harp history, such as D. C. Allen, T. J. Allen, W. M. Cooper, Jas. T. Hollan, J. M. C. Shaw (revisers and promoters of the Cooper book), and Z. E. Blocker (a member of the J. L. White revision committee, q.v.). The respect accorded Brown can be seen in his lesson at Dean’s in June 1891, a few months before his death – “Reuben E. Brown, Jr. whose time was unlimited.” See also Makers of The Sacred Harp, p. 93.
392      Converting Grace

No comments: