Who I Am

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Brown Pattern: Newest Technology for Wealthiest Investors

Chapter Four

Banking Clients in the Second Generation

George, the second of Alexander Brown's sons, was born in 1787 and would remain in Baltimore all his life, first assisting his father in the banking and foreign exchange business and then branching out into establishing companies with his banking clients. George was named president of Alex. Brown & Sons upon Alexander’s death in 1834. When George died a quarter century later—panegyrically praised in his obituary as “the wealthiest man in Baltimore”—he would be succeeded, not by one of the elder sons, but by his youngest son, George Stewart Brown, whose task it would be to steer the Baltimore bank through the difficult years of America’s civil war. But that's getting ahead of ourselves. George had to steer his father's bank through the rough waters that followed the policies of President Andrew Jackson, whose greatest enemy was central banking and whose policies are said to have created the Panic of 1837.

The Brown family bank was able to recover from that recession by receiving a loan from the Bank of England, negotiated by Joseph Shipley, their partner in W & J Brown & Co. and Brown Shipley & Co. Alex. Brown & Sons security its payment of this loan by pledging as collateral the "protested bills of exchange" notes to the Bank of England at a very discounted rate, according to Joseph Shipley's letter. Had the loan not been repaid, the Bank would have had recourse against the promissory notes, if they could be collected. As long as the Bank of the United States was operating, all government funds were on deposit in it, a fact which made the government less nervous about speculation and inflationary lending.

However, when Jackson withdrew the deposits from that bank and spread money into the frontier banks, it stimulated "reckless extension of credit and wild speculation" in loans made to build infrastructure projects that had no cash flow tied to the loan's repayment -- many times the amount of deposits held in reserve. Consequently, when notes went into default, the holders lost whatever had been paid for them unless the U.S. Government was willing to pay them off in specie.

As losses mounted, the fear was that the United States would suspend specie payments. That did not happen, as the trade deficits owed to other countries as a result of discounted bank notes held abroad were covered by the federal government. A debate in the U.S. Senate between Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun clarified both sides of the issue of whether or not the government should involve itself in banking. That debate still remains today.

George Brown’s erstwhile banking client, Charles Carroll, notable in his late years as the “last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence” died four years after setting the foundation stone for the B & O Rail Road on land west of Baltimore called Mount Clare.[2] Nevertheless, George would find other wealthy patrons to replace Carroll—persons in need of financial advice and management, investors in need of an enterprise that could produce greater income than a deposit in a savings bank.

The Catons of Brookland Wood


Carroll’s eldest daughter Elizabeth, who had married Englishman, Richard Caton, in 1786 and inherited the 2,100-acre Carroll property known as Brooklandwood (or the variation, Brookland Wood) nine miles north of Baltimore, had been known to accompany George Washington to the races during colonial days, before her marriage. [3]  
The Carroll family were close to George Washington.

The excerpt above, from an article called “Old Baltimore Families,” ran in the December 30, 1879 New York Times, and also described Elizabeth Carroll's marriage as follows:
Louisa Caton
Richard Caton, who married the eldest daughter of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, had four daughters—Marianne, Elizabeth, Louisa Katharine, and Emily. Marianne married first Robert Patterson, and afterward, on Oct. 25, 1825, Richard Colley, Marquis of Wellesley, the eldest son of Garrett, the first Earl of Mornington. The Marquis was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, Governor-General of India, and the elder brother of Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington. Elizabeth married Baron Stafford, and Louisa Katharine married first Sir Felton Bathurst Hervey, Baronet, and after his death, in 1828, she wedded Francis Godolphia [sic] D’Arcy, the seventh Duke of Leeds. Emily married Mr. Mactavish, for a long time the British Consul in Baltimore, and father of Charles Carroll Mactavish, who married a daughter of the late Lieut. Gen. Winfield Scott.
Brooklandwood—old and new
Mrs. Caton’s brother, Charles Carroll, Jr., married Harriet Chew, daughter of Pennsylvania's Chief Justice Benjamin Chew (“a man of loyalist proclivities”). Harriet Carroll's sister Margaret was the wife of Colonel John Eager Howard and lived near the Carrolls on an estate called Belvedere.

Both the Howard and Carroll families were intimately acquainted with President George Washington, who was said to be a frequent visitor to that area of Maryland before the revolution. Washington was, in fact, known to be “extremely partial” to Elizabeth "Betsy" Carroll, “the reigning belle at Annapolis, and Washington often visited her in his post-chaise with four horses, accompanied by Miss Custis and his retinue of servants.” Col. Howard later served as governor of Maryland, then Senator, and declined President Washington’s appointment to serve as Secretary of War.

The Carrolls and Richard Caton were involved in numerous land deals and business transactions with others in the Baltimore area before and after 1800—including the Oliver brothers wholesalers, with whom Stewart Brown was engaged in West Indies trade business. The Carroll family of Baltimore was not only closely tied to the Carrolls of Annapolis, Maryland, but maintained close connections to the Irish aristocracy in Dublin and other parts of Europe, especially French Catholics. This fact is best shown by reference to the marriages made by the daughters of Mary Carroll Caton. 
 
Jerome Napoleon-Patterson
Marianne Caton's husband was Robert Patterson, son of William Patterson and brother of George Patterson of Springfield, as well as the brother of Elizabeth ("Betsy") Patterson. Betsy married Jerome Bonaparte, König von Westphalen, in 1803, the same year Thomas Jefferson bought Louisiana from France. The marriage would be annulled by Emperor Napoleon two years later, in order for Jerome’s brother, Napoleon, to unite the Bonaparte family of France with the Hanoverian royal family in Great Britain.

In 1808 Jerome did marry the granddaughter of the Princess Royal[4]—King George III’s sister! Catharina Frederica of Württemberg was the daughter of Prince Frederick and his first wife, Duchess Augusta of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, whose stepmother since 1797 had been Charlotte, the Princess Royal. When Napoleon Bonaparte defeated this province in southwestern Germany (Holy Roman Empire), he named Catharina's father its king, then demanded that Jerome marry the king's daughter to seal the alliance, much to the chagrin of the American Patterson family.

Notwithstanding Napoleon’s unilateral declaration of annulment, Elizabeth, gave birth to a son, Jerome Bonaparte "Bo" (1805-1870), reared in Baltimore and educated at Harvard (Class of 1826). After his marriage to Susan May Williams, daughter of Benjamin May Williams—another of the original investors of the B & O in 1827—Bo and his wife would have two sons, Charles Jerome and Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte. Charles J. Bonaparte would be named Secretary of the Navy and Attorney General under President Theodore Roosevelt.
Williams ancestry
[Side note from author: a Texas connection] Benjamin Williams was the son of Captain Joseph Williams and Susanna May born in 1767 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Benjamin's sister Martha married a distant relative named William Williams in Roxbury, becoming the parents of Captain H. Howell and Nathaniel Felton Williams. Howell moved to Providence, R.I., while Nathaniel relocated to Baltimore and became a commission merchant before the War of 1812, eventually named to be customs collector of the Port. Howell's son, Samuel May Williams, and most of his siblings spent time in Texas, both before and after the revolution against Mexico in 1836. A brother, Henry Howell Williams, was appointed Texas consul in Baltimore in 1838 and moved to Galveston in 1842 to manage the McKinney & Williams commission house Samuel had established. Their youngest brother, Nathaniel Felton Williams [II], named for the uncle in Baltimore, after his first wife died, married a daughter of this uncle, then took over the business affairs of his cousin/wife's father. These brothers were first cousins of Susan May Williams Bonaparte.
Elizabeth Patterson, mother-in-law of Susan May Williams Bonaparte, became a cynical fixture in Baltimore society and lived to the incredibly old age of 105. Though a woman of great wealth, she resided in a boarding house operated by Miss Gwynn on Cathedral Street, the same street on which Alexander Brown and his wife resided. In fact, she also attended the same church as the Brown family, also the church attended by Daniel Coit Gilman, President of Johns Hopkins University.