A Guide to the Aubrey Neblett Brown Papers, 1944-1995 Brown, Aubrey Neblett, Papers of Mss1 B8122 a FA2

A Guide to the Aubrey Neblett Brown Papers, 1944-1995

A Collection in
the Virginia Historical Society
Collection Number Mss1 B8122 a FA2


Virginia Historical Society

Virginia Historical Society
P.O. Box 7311
Richmond, Virginia 23221-0311
Phone: (804) 342-9677
Fax: (804) 355-2399
Email: reference@vahistorical.org
URL: http://www.vahistorical.org

© 2002 By Virginia Historical Society. All rights reserved.

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Virginia Historical Society Staff

Virginia Historical Society
Collection number
Mss1 B8122 a FA2
Aubrey Neblett Brown Papers, 1944-1995
Physical Characteristics
730 (ca.) items.
The Aubrey N. Brown papers include a wide variety of documents related to race relations and the civil rights movement dating from 1944. The collection includes newspaper clippings, pamphlets, correspondence from a variety of sources, and some of the organizational records from the Richmond Area Council on Human Relations and the Virginia Council on Human Relations (organized by the Southern Regional Council). Also included in the collection are materials related to the Presbyterian Outlook, such as papers pertaining to the history of the magazine and articles related to race that appeared in the publication. Part of the collection also includes annual family newsletters generated by Brown.

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Aubrey Neblett Brown Papers, 1944-1995 (Mss1 B8122 a FA2), Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Aubrey N. Brown, Jr., Richmond, Va., in 1990. Accessioned 17 May 1996.

Biographical/Historical Information

Aubrey Neblett Brown was born May 6, 1908, in Hillsboro, Texas. He attended Davidson College in North Carolina and earned a graduate degree in Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. He married Sarah Dumond Hill (1910-1995) of Richmond and they had eight children. Brown returned to Richmond in 1943 and served as editor of the Presbyterian Outlook until his retirement in 1978. Throughout his career, Brown participated in several organizations that fostered improved race relations.

Scope and Content Information

Series 1 concerns the Richmond Area Council on Human Relations (RACHR) from 1960 through 1967. The RACHR was an interracial council that was established during the mid-1950s. This council was one of many local councils in Virginia that functioned under the wing of the Virginia Council of Human Relations (a subsidiary of the Southern Regional Council). The purpose of the RACHR was to facilitate cooperation between the races through meetings and events. They also supported the efforts of activists who were agitating for racial equality.

The portion of organizational records in this collection includes membership and solicitations lists; meeting minutes, which include attendees, progress notes, and future goals; correspondence; newspaper clippings about the RACHR; program announcements (1962-1964); newsletters about the activities of the RACHR; council brochures; financial records; and miscellany. Items are arranged chronologically (ca. 90 items).

Series 2 includes a variety of documents concerning the sit-ins in Richmond which occurred during March 1960. It includes letters from some of the participants to Aubrey Brown, as well as a letter by Brown to the administration at Union Theological Seminary in which he voices his support for the students' protest; magazine articles about the sit-ins in Richmond, as well as local newspaper clippings; and a brief report about the establishment of the Richmond Citizens Advisory Committee which was established during the sit-ins (ca. 15 items).

Series 3 contains 4 items, 1960, which include correspondence about Christian students involved with the Civil Rights Movement and documents about the protest resignation of Dr. J. Robert Nelson, Dean of the Vanderbilt University Divinity School

Series 4 concerns the Virginia Council on Human relations, 1960-1968. The Virginia Council on Human Relations was one of several state councils established in the South by the Southern Regional Council. The purpose of the organization was to help to establish local councils and to provide them with support activities and news of events held by other councils. The VCHR and the local councils worked toward easing racial tensions by providing interracial gatherings, sponsoring speakers, and disseminating information about race relations

This is one of the larger sections in the collection and is arranged chronologically. It contains some of the organizational records that include minutes from the board of directors meetings, membership solicitations, financial records, correspondence, newsletters, newspaper clippings about activities of and appointments to the VCHR, organizational brochures, and miscellany (ca. 140 items).

Series 5 concerns the Southern Regional Council, 1952-1968. Established in 1944, the Southern Regional Council was an outgrowth of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. One of the goals of the SRC was to collect and disseminate data bout issues related to race, particularly civil rights agitation and discriminatory policies.

This section includes documents generated by the Southern Regional Council to disseminate information about race relations and civil rights agitation. This section is arranged topically: miscellaneous documents, news releases disseminated by the SRC, some issues of New South magazine (the official organ of the SRC), publications and pamphlets, reports and special reports that focus on specific struggles within the Civil Rights Movement. Within each folder, the documents are arranged chronologically (ca. 50 items). Series 6 dates from 1943-1990 and contains articles about race that were published in the Presbyterian Outlook; documents pertaining to the history of the Presbyterian Outlook, edited by Brown; and two memos from Brown soliciting information about the Civil Rights Movement to be used for publication (ca. 40 items).

Series 7 contains a collection of speeches, 1957-1963 and undated, made by Brown, arranged chronologically. The speeches reflect his thoughts about race relations. Some include the place and date at which the speech was given (ca. 15 items).

Series 8 contains correspondence, 1958-1963 and undated. Most of the letters in this section are addressed to Brown. The correspondence reflects the wide variety of sources from which Brown received information. A particular letter of interest is from Newman Hamblet, Vice President of Thalhimer Bros., Inc., and member of the RACHR, updating Brown on the status of an employee in 1963 (this employee was an African-American who was given a job at Thalhimers at the request of Brown) (ca. 15 items).

Series 9 contains two news releases, 1960 and 1961. One concerns segregation at public schools in Georgia; the other concerns resistance to desegregation at the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee (2 items).

Series 10 concern the Religious News Service, 1959-1963, and contains news excerpts about activities and events in the religious community (ca. 10 items).

Series 11 contains organization newsletters, 1960-1989, and includes three newsletters from the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which was established during 1960 to help organize student protesters. The additional newsletters are from a wide variety of religious and civil rights organizations, 1960-1989 (ca. 15 items).

Series 12 includes documents relating to the Conference on Integration of a Segregated Society, 1962, held at Vanderbilt University. Included are correspondence and planning notes for the conference, a press release, and a speech given at the conference. The folder with correspondence includes a letter from author Lillian Smith (1897-1966) to Brown about race relations and her book Killers of the Dream (ca. 30 items).

Series 13 concerns Brown's service as chairman of the Virginia State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.. The two documents in this section consist of a conference program and a list of organizations that met with the committee in March 1966 (2 items).

Series 14 concerns Brown's service as the chairman of the planning committee for the Conference on People, Religion, and a Changing Virginia. The conference was held at the John Marshall Hotel in Richmond in November 1966; its purpose was to bring together Virginia' religious community to discuss the role of churches in social change. The documents in this section include conference information, such as announcements and a program guide; correspondence; a discussion guide used for groups during the conference, and several pages of handwritten discussion notes that summarize what each group concluded about race relations; expenditures; participants; a press release and newspaper clippings; and speeches (ca. 30 items).

Included in Series 15 are pamphlets and publications, 1944-1967 and undated, about segregation and racial issues. Publications about Virginia include "When a City Closes Its Schools," which is about public schools in Norfolk (1960); "Events in Virginia," a pamphlet distributed by the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce in Richmond (1962); and "Danville, Virginia," a booklet about the violent civil rights demonstrations there (1963). This section is arranged chronologically according to the dates given on each publication (ca. 60 items).

Series 16 is the largest section of the collection and contains a variety of newspaper clippings, 1951-1966 and undated, from several different papers, which include the Richmond Times Dispatch, the Richmond News Leader, the Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times. The articles focus on racial issues and the Civil Rights Movement and are arranged chronologically (ca. 150 items).

Series 17 is made up of miscellaneous documents, 1945-1980 and undated, chiefly articles about race relations. Many were generated by religious organizations that were concerned with social action or made resolutions about race relations. This section contains three folders: the first contains dated documents; the second contains documents without dates; and the third includes handwritten notes (ca. 20 items).

Series 18 includes two types of Brown family newsletters--"Brown's Bugle" (1956-1970) and "Anno Domini" (1971-1972, 1974-1977, and 1979-1995); excerpts from letters written by Aubrey Brown III (b. 1937) while serving in the Peace Corps in Nigeria from 1961-1964; the resumes of Aubrey N. Brown, Jr. (1990 and 1995); a brief biography of Brown written by Patricia Cornwell; and biographical sketches (written by Brown) about some of the founding members of the Ginter Park Presbyterian Church (ca. 40 items).


The papers of Aubrey N. Brown are arranged into eighteen series by subject and document type.

Index Terms:

  • African Americans -- Virginia -- Civil rights.
  • Brown, Aubrey N. (Aubrey Neblett), 1908-
  • Civil rights movements.
  • Clergy -- Political activity.
  • Segregation in education.
  • Southern States -- Race relations.
  • Virginia -- Social conditions -- 20th century.

Contents List

Series 1: Richmond Area Council on Human Relations 1960-1967
Box: 1

1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1967, and misc. documents (n.d.)

Series 2: Richmond Sit-Ins, 1960
Box: 1 (cont.)

Correspondence, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, Richmond Citizens Advisory Committee.

Series 3: National Student Christian Federation.
Box: 1 (cont.)
Series 4: Virginia Council on Human Relations 1960-1968
Box: 2

1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, misc. documents (n.d.).

Series 5: Souther Regional Council, 1960-1968
Box: 2 (cont.)-3

Misc. documents (1960-1968), news releases, New South, publications, reports; Southern Regional Council special reports.

Series 6: Presbyterian Outlook
Box: 3 (cont.)

Articles, history, memos.

Series 7: Speeches by Aubrey Brown
Box: 3 (cont.)
Series 8: Corresondence 1958-1963
Box: 3 (cont.)

1958-1960, 1962-1963 and n.d.

Series 9: News Releases
Box: 3 (cont.)
Series 10: Religious News Service
Box: 3 (cont.)
Series 11: Organizational Newsletters, 1960-1989
Box: 3 (cont.)

Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee

Series 12: Conference on Integration of a Segregated Society
Box: 3 (cont.)

Correspondence, planning notes, press release, speech.

Series 13: Virginia Advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
Folder: 3 (cont.)
Series 14: Conference on People, Religion, and a Changing Virginia
Box: 4

Conference information, announcements and programs; correspondence; discussion guide; discussion guide notes (3 folders); expenditures; participants; press releases and newspaper clippings; speech (3 folders).

Series 15: Miscellaneous Publications, 1940s-1967
Box: 4 (cont.)-5

1940's, 1950-1954, 1955-1957, 1958-1959, 1960,1961, 1962, 1963 (2 folders), 1964-1965 and 1967, n.d.

Series 16: Newspaper Clippings, 1951-1966.
Box: 5 (cont.)

1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, n.d.

Series 17: Miscellaneous Documents
Box: 5 (cont.)

1945-1968, n.d., handwritten notes.

Series 18: Brown Family
Box: 5 (cont.)

Brown's Bugle, Anno Domini, Aubrey Brown III, Aubrey Brown Resume