David Edward Brown (1879-1970) attended the Maryland Agricultural College from 1899 to 1904 and was a United States Department of Agriculture field agent at the experiment farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, for forty-three years, specializing in tobacco improvement, breeding, and culture. The collection contains Brown's correspondence, field staff diaries, experimental crop notebooks, and printed matter, such as publications, programs, certificates, and news clippings, relating to Brown's career as a Special Field Agent.
This collection is open for research.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
8.00 Linear Feet
The David Edward Brown papers include materials dating from 1903 to 1972. The collection contains Brown's correspondence, field staff diaries, experimental crop notebooks, and printed matter, such as publications, programs, certificates, and newsclippings, relating to his career as a Special Field Agent for the USDA at the experiment farm at Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
David Edward (D. E.) Brown was born October 27, 1879, in Prince George's County, Maryland, to Mary and David Brown. According to the 1900 census, David Edward had an older brother, John, and seven younger sisters: Lidie D., Gertrude, Lena, Mary, Maggie, Bertha, and Nellie. In 1890, the census taker listed David Brown, Sr., as a railroad worker and in 1900 as a farmer. At the age of twenty, D. E. Brown matriculated to the Maryland Agricultural College (MAC). He remained a student at the college until 1904, playing both baseball and football, thus becoming a life member of the "M" Club.
Dr. H. J. Webber, head of Plant Breeding in the Bureau of Plant Industry, appointed Brown as a Special Field Agent for the U. S. Department of Agriculture on July 1, 1906. Brown was headquartered at the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station in College Park until 1908, when he transferred to the experiment farm at Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Employed by the USDA for forty-three years, Brown's major research concerns were tobacco improvement, breeding, and culture. In addition to writing articles about tobacco fertilization, cropping systems and types, and varieties of Maryland tobacco, Brown was part of the team, headed by Dr. W. W. Garner, that developed the Maryland Mammoth variety of tobacco, which later became the variety used in extensive research on photoperiodism, the response of plants and animals to the amount of daylight in twenty-four hour periods.
On May 19, 1931, he married Alberta Smith of Easton, Maryland, and the couple had one child, David Edward. Some time in the 1920s, Brown purchased Mount Calvert, an estate reportedly built in the late eighteenth century and the only building remaining of Charles Town, the original county seat of Prince George's County. At his death on March 11, 1970, Brown was survived by his wife, son, one grandson, and four great-grandchildren, including David Edward Brown IV.
The collection has been divided into four series:
Claude McKee deposited the papers at the University of Maryland Libraries in 1975.
When the papers were first processed in 1976, three series were created: Field Staff Diaries, Experimental Crop Notebooks, and General File. During reprocessing, the General File series was divided and reorganized. Folders on tests and computations were added to the field staff diaries and to the experimental crop notebooks to form a new series, Research. The "Addenda" folders were renamed "Loose Items" and moved from the end of the series to immediately following each corresponding diary. The correspondence was made into its own series and arranged chronologically. The remaining materials were placed in a third series, Printed Matter.
Metal fasteners were replaced with acid-free clips over acid-free paper, and newsclippings, with the exception of the oversize items, were photocopied onto acid-free paper. Oversize newsclippings were not photocopied and were placed in acid-free folders. Items were unfolded, and very fragile materials were housed in non-reactive polyester sleeves. Loose items within notebooks and field staff diaries were separated and placed in appropriate folders. Bound volumes were placed in folders, spine-down.