Inventory of the Brown Fellowship Society, 1884 - 1990

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: The Brown Fellowship Society was a benevolent society of free African-American and racially mixed men, affiliated with the St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
The collection consists of organizational materials of the Brown Fellowship Society, including a corrected copy of Charles H. Holloway's Rules and Regulations of the Brown Fellowship Society as founded in 1794, but not published until 1844. Minute books detail the activities of monthly meetings from 1869 to 1911. Also included are minutes of meetings between 1913 and 1916. Topics include maintenance of the graveyard, attendance, elections, and discussions of aid to members and descendants, with many mentions of Holloway, DeReef, Sasportas, and Bonneau families. Many memorial pages dedicated to deceased members are part of the records. Loose correspondence relates to cemetery and building maintenance, some financial affairs, and membership details. Also includes a 1904 pictorial broadside and a 1990 program regarding the group's 200th anniversary.
Title: Brown Fellowship Society Records, 1794 - 1990
Creator: Brown Fellowship Society.
Century Fellowship Society.
Repository: Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Call Number: AMN 1005
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 0.75 linear feet
(2 archival boxes)

Historical Note

The Brown Fellowship Society was a benevolent society of free African-American and racially mixed men, affiliated with the St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The organization was founded in 1790 to benefit widows and orphans of members, provide burial spots in the cemetery it owned, and to provide other member services.

The name of the organization was changed to the Century Fellowship in 1893. Although no regular meeting minutes are present after 1916, the Society continued to exist and conducted limited business.

In 1990, the Society commemorated its 200th anniversary.


Collection Overview

The collection consists of organizational materials of the Brown Fellowship Society, including a corrected copy of Charles H. Holloway's Rules and Regulations of the Brown Fellowship Society as founded in 1794, but not published until 1844. Minute books detail the activities of monthly meetings from 1869 to 1911. Also included are minutes of meetings between 1913 and 1916. Topics include maintenance of the graveyard, attendance, elections, and discussions of aid to members and descendants, with many mentions of Holloway, DeReef, Sasportas, and Bonneau families. Many memorial pages dedicated to deceased members are part of the records. Loose correspondence relates to cemetery and building maintenance, some financial affairs, and membership details. Also includes a 1904 pictorial broadside and a 1990 program regarding the group's 200th anniversary.

The Brown Fellowship Society Papers have been microfilmed and researchers should use the microfilm version.

Collection Arrangement

1. Organizational Materials, 1844-1916

2. Loose Papers, 1794-1990



Subject Headings

  • African Americans -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- History.
  • African Americans -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Societies, etc.
  • Brown Fellowship Society.
  • Century Fellowship Society.
  • Dereef, F.
  • Fraternal organizations -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Holloway, Charles A., fl. 1844.
  • Holloway, James H. (James Harrison), 1849-1913.
  • Holloway, Samuel D., ca. 1819-1890.
  • Kinloch, Benjamin K., d. 1884.
  • Montgomery, W. Steward.
  • Moulton, I.
  • South Carolina -- History.


Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Organizational Materials, 1844-1916.

Alert! The Brown Fellowship Society Papers have been microfilmed and researchers should use the microfilm version.
Box 1   Folder 1
Rules and Regulations of the Brown Fellowship Society, 1844
Established in Charleston, South Carolina, November 1, 1790. With corrections, noting changes in society rules made by Charles Holloway. Includes a list of members.
Includes original and photocopies.
Box 1   Folder 2
Brown Fellowship Society/Century Fellowship Society Minute Book, January 7, 1869 to July 6, 1911
Includes information on monthly meetings. Among those in attendance are members of the Holloway, Dereef, Sasportas, and Bonneau families. With financial information, references to full reports elsewhere, and operation and maintenance of the Society's graveyard.
Box 2   Folder 1
Minutes (Photocopies), 1869-1879
Includes a complete set of photocopies of minutes from January 7, 1869 to December 4, 1879.
Box 2   Folder 2
Minutes (Photocopies), 1880-1911
Includes a complete set of photocopies of minutes from January 1880 to July 6, 1911.
Box 1   Folder 3
Century Fellowship Society Minute Book, August 3, 1911 to May 4, 1916
Includes information on the Society's meetings. Among those in attendance are J. W. Miller, W. S. Montgomery, and members of the Holloway family. Also includes information concerning gravesite operations and the collection of funds to repair the Society's meeting hall on Pitt Street.
Box 1   Folder 4
Century Fellowship Society Loose Minutes, 1913-1916
Incldues loose sheets recording minutes of meetings not included in the 1911-1916 volume. Includes references to the 1913 death of John Mushington and a party in honor of Mrs. S. A. Parr.

2. Loose Papers, 1794-1990.

Alert! The Brown Fellowship Society Papers have been microfilmed and researchers should use the microfilm version.
Box 2   Folder 3
Member Letters, 1907-1908
Includes application letter of Whitefield McKinley and a resignation letter of A. Huger Miller.
Box 2   Folder 4
Financial Papers, 1916-1939 and undated
Includes documents from clerk of the burial ground regarding finances and conditions there; materials related to the repair of the Fellowship Hall on Pitt Street; various notes regarding monies for cemetery cleaning and other topics; and a note listing women's names and small financial amounts, possibly dues or money owed to widows.
Box 2   Folder 5
Printed Matter: Broadside, 1904, and Program, 1990
Includes pictorial broadside calling for donations to the Society's building fund, with August 1, 1907 meeting notes on reverse. Also includes program commemorating the group's 200th Anniversary celebration.
Box 2   Folder 6
Will of George Bedon: Abstract, 1794
Includes a typed abstract of the 1794 will of George Bedon, which mentions the Brown Fellowship Society.


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Brown Fellowship Society Records, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Processing Information

Processed by Ramon Jackson, August 2005

Encoded by Melissa Bronheim, July 2010

Edited by Melissa Bronheim, July 2010, and Amanda Ross, February 2011

Funding from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supported the processing of this collection.

Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the encoding of this finding aid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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