Brown, Moses,1738–1836, American manufacturer and philanthropist, b. Providence, R.I. He was associated with his brothers John, Joseph, and Nicholas in the family's mercantile activities before establishing (1790), with Samuel SlaterSlater, Samuel,
1768–1835, American pioneer in the cotton textile industry, b. Derbyshire, England. As an apprentice and later a mill supervisor, he gained a thorough knowledge of all the cotton-manufacturing machinery then in use.
..... Click the link for more information. , the first water-powered cotton mill in the United States. Brown, who became a Quaker in the early 1770s, was also a pioneering abolitionistabolitionists,
in U.S. history, particularly in the three decades before the Civil War, members of the movement that agitated for the compulsory emancipation of the slaves.
..... Click the link for more information. . Largely because of his influence, Rhode Island College (later renamed Brown Univ.Brown University,
Providence, R.I.; coeducational chartered 1764 as Rhode Island College at Warren, opened 1765. It moved to Providence in 1770 and was renamed for Nicholas Brown in 1804.
..... Click the link for more information. in honor of his nephew Nicholas) was moved in 1770 from Warren to Providence. Brown contributed generously to the college. Moses Brown School in Providence, a leading preparatory institution for boys, was established (1819) by Quakers on land donated by him.
See biography by M. Thompson (1962); C. Rappleye, Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution (2006).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
Brown, Moses(1738–1836) manufacturer, philanthropist; born in Providence, R.I. He was a member of one of colonial America's most successful merchant families. In 1774 he became a Quaker, freed his slaves, and helped to start the Rhode Island Abolition Society. He was among the first cotton manufacturers in America and he induced Samuel Slater to set up Arkwright spinning machines in Rhode Island.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.