Saturday, July 16, 2011

1866 good conduct award for E. Johanson, Bowdoin School, Boston, printed name D. C. Brown

A small card dated Saturday, April 14, 1866, showing that E. Johanson had achieved a week of industry and good conduct at the Bowdoin School in Boston, Massachusetts.  

The Bowdoin School was established in 1821 and named in honor of Governor James Bowdoin. The name of D. C. Brown is imprinted on the card.

Hopefully a reader will share the identity of student E. Johanson.  

D. C. Brown was Daniel C. Brown (1814-1884), born in Kingston, New Hampshire on 28 October 1814, the son of Benjamin and Mary Brown.  After graduating from Middlebury College in Vermont, he accepted a teaching position at Arlington, Massachusetts.  Eventually he became Master at the Bowdoin School in Boston and served there for twenty-nine years.

He married Rosetta Jane Prescott, born 25 July 1841 at Deerfield, New Hampshire, daughter of James Prescott.  Daniel and Rosetta had a daughter Rose Prescott Brown, born 28 June 1881, who, in 1905, married Henry Spaulding Coffin of Brookline, Massachusetts.  

Daniel died 3 July 1884.  A Memorial booklet with a sketch of his life and eulogies of friends and colleagues is online.

An excerpt about Daniel C. Brown, alluding to an intended's tragic death [not Rose, as she survived him], from The History of the Bowdoin School 1821-1907, by Leah L. Nichols-Wellington, Class of 1846, printed in 1912.
"With the departure of Master Andrews, disappeared 
the inconvenient custom of the pupils occupying one room 
in the morning for reading lessons and another in the af- 
ternoon for writing lessons, which necessitated the con- 
stant carrying of books forth and back. In preparation for 
the coming of his successor, Mr. Daniel Colcord Brown, A. 
M., previously sub-master of the Brimmer school for boys, 
a partition was made in the upper room and the seats 
throughout were turned around that the light might be be- 
hind the scholars. The new master brought many novel 
ideas, which he at once began to use for our benefit, espe- 
cially in the matters of map drawing and composition writ- 
ing. He had a large ledger-like book, into which the very 
best of 'our monthly effusions were copied and then read 
aloud to the class. I recall the longing I had, that one of 
mine might be so honored, but cannot recollect that any 
work of my brain was ever there. Mr. Brown tolerated 
nothing that interfered with study; taught us to use books 
of reference; gave us the idea that the world was larger 
than our little community, and tried to show it to us by 
'Familiar Science' readings, by papers prepared from the 
'Commercial Encycolpaedia' and by 'Imaginary Travels.' 


Under his instruction the Bowdoin School became re- 
nowned for their excellent penmanship. He loved the 
earnest scholar, regardless of social standing, and knew how 
to impart knowledge. He rejoiced in every success of his 
pupils, but earnestly discouraged all strife for position, aim- 
ing to send to the High School those who would maintain 
the reputation of his school for high scholarship, whether 
or not they should enter with the highest percentage of 
any school in the city. In this he was so successful that 
the high rank of the Bowdoin School in this particular was 
unquestioned, while but one school ever excelled in the en- 
trance examinations and that not invariably. The curricu- 
lum was not so bound by authority as at present, and Mr. 
Brown found opportunity to teach us English, French and 
Ancient History, with all the departments of Physics, af- 
terwards taken up at the High School. 

"One day an attractive young lady visited the school, 
and after she had gone a whisper was started by the assis- 
tant, Miss Marcy Ann Smith, and eagerly circulated among 
the girls, that this was Mr. Brown's 'intended.' Although 
she never came again, the topic of our master's approach- 
ing marriage was a favorite one. Early one afternoon, a 
message came for Mr. Brown, which called him away for 
several days. On the morning of his return, as he was 
about to conduct the devotions, he opened the Bible at 
random and read the passage upon which his eye fell, 
'What man is he that liveth and shall not see death ? ' Ab- 
ruptly closing the book he left the room, followed by Miss 
Smith, a deep awe hushing us all. After a long time she 
returned alone and told us, with tears, that the young lady 
had died, and that it was her illness that had caused the re- 
cent absence of Mr. Brown. 
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