Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Brown, David (preacher)
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Brown, David (preacher)
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BROWN, David, Cherokee preacher, b. about 1806; d. in Creek Path, Miss., 14 Sept., 1829. He was educated, with his sister Catharine, at the school of Rev. Cyrus Kingsbury, in what was then the Cherokee territory, in northern Alabama and Mississippi, and engaged with her in educating and Christianizing their native tribe. He was a preacher and interpreter, and also acted as secretary of the Indian government. In November, 1819, he assisted John Arch in the preparation of a Cherokee spelling-book, which was printed. Through his agency a mission was established at Creek Path town in 1820. David Brown united with the church at this time, and in the spring of the same year went to Cornwall, Conn., to attend school. After two years there he spent a year at Andover, fitting himself for the ministry. Returning to his birth-place, he began his missionary work, and made many converts to Christianity among the Cherokees. According to a letter written by him in 1825, the Christian religion was generally adopted by the tribe, and an advanced standard of prosperous civilization had been attained by them. He died before the Cherokees were dispossessed by the United States in defiance of treaty obligations. — His sister, Catharine, teacher, b. near Wills Valley, Ala., about 1800; d. 18 July, 1823, was a Cherokee Indian, but not full-blooded, her parents being half-breeds. They were prosperous and influential members of the then wealthy and largely civilized Cherokee nation of Alabama and Tennessee. Through the agency of the Moravians, a school was established in Tennessee, a hundred miles from Wills Valley, and to this Catharine went with her brother David when she was seventeen years old. She had some slight acquaintance with English, and could read words of one syllable. In three months she had learned to read and write. She united with the church 29 March, 1818, and in June, 1820, began to teach at Creek Path, near her home. She was one of the most promising of the early Indian converts to Protestantism, and her death terminated a career that bade fair to be exceedingly useful to her tribe. Her amiable disposition, bright intellect, and remarkable personal beauty gave her unusual power and influence among her people. A history of her life, prepared by Rufus Anderson, was published in New York in 1825.