Skip over navigation
Brown shield Brown shield Brown University Library Brown shield Brown shield Brown University Library Center for Digital Initiatives

wills

Codicil to last will and testament of Moses Brown; June 25, 1835
Last will and testament of Moses Brown, who died on September 6, 1836, just a few weeks shy of his ninety-eighth birthday. He remained mentally alert and passionately opposed to slavery until the end. A year before his death, he summoned his attorney and added a codicil to his will, leaving $500 to the Providence branch of the American Anti-Slavery Society to publish "such manuscripts and pamphlets as the society may judge most useful for abolishing Slavery."
Statement of manumission; November 9, 1787
In 1773, Moses Brown experienced a severe emotional and spiritual crisis, brought on by the death of his wife, Anna. He deepened his involvement with the Quakers, with whom he had begun to worship during Anna's illness, and determined to free himself of the sin of slaveowning. On November 10, 1773, he gathered his slaves together, along with friends and family members, and read this statement of manumission. The original copy of the document is deposited with other probate records at the Providence City Hall. The document exhibited here is a handwritten copy made by John Howland in the nineteenth century and later donated to the Rhode Island Historical Society.