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Brown, Henry French
HENRY FRENCH BROWN. Private 2d New Hampshire Vols. (Infantry), September 5, 1862; died at Boston, March 3, 1863, of disease contracted in the service. HENRY FRENCH BROWN was born in Dedham, Massachusetts, in March, 1840. Nothing is known of his parentage or childhood, but on the 5th of January, 1850, at the age of ten years, he was admitted into the "Farm School for Indigent Boys," in Boston Harbor. He was then an orphan, and was admitted on application of an elder brother. He remained there for three years, during which time he sustained a good character, and was one of the best scholars in the school. When twelve years of age he wrote a school composition which attracted the attention of the well-known Boston philanthropist, Deacon Grant, who caused it to be printed for distribution among the pupils of the school. In i860, a little pamphlet was published, entitled "A Brief Notice of the Five Browns, Graduates of the Boys' Asylum and Farm School; all bearing the Name of Brown and all from different Families." Five lines of this pamphlet are devoted to Henry French Brown, and he is described as "a good scholar, more fond of books than play." He was discharged from the Farm School on the i8th of May, 1853, and went to New York with his former teacher, Mr. John A. Lamprey, to be employed in an insurance office. This did not last long, for some reason, and he was then taken by another teacher, Mr. Eben Sperry French, who removed him to his own home at North Hampton, New Hampshire, and made him a member of Exeter Academy. He entered the Academy at the age of fourteen, August 23, 1854, and remained there until his admission to the Sophomore Class at Cambridge, in 1860. Of his standing in the Academy the following statement is given by the principal, Gideon L. Soule, Esq.: " He remained in the Academy till he was well prepared to enter the Sophomore Class at Harvard. He was a chubby, fair-faced boy, looking younger than he was, healthy and always cheerful, and apparently happy. His good-natured wit and humor were a neverfailing cause of merriment among his fellows. He was always distinguished in the school; but I can hardly say whether most by his good natural powers, by his laziness, or by his waywardness. He could lead his class when he chose to do so, but his application was intermittent. Sometimes it was a gratification to hear him recite. I remember his recitations in Cicero's Lelius as particularly discriminating and elegant. So in his compositions he was always distinguished. If the theme had a practical bearing, especially affording room for his playful satire, he treated it in a manner very remarkable for one of his years and advantages. He never used others' thoughts, but wrote like one of broad experience. I became very much interested in him, and he gave me a great deal of trouble." Brown's college career did not open very successfully, and he remained at Harvard but one term. He afterwards taught school for a time, and finally enlisted in the Second New Hampshire Volunteers, as one of the quota of the town of Stratham, being mustered into the service September 5, 1862. He is said to have been taken ill at Washington and to have died of fever at the house of a brother in South Boston. It is certain that his death occurred from disease, somewhere within the limits of the city, on the 3d of March, 1863.