Guide to the Papers of the Brunot Family, 1834-1968

Digital Research Library, University Library System

Summary Information

Repository
Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center
Title
Papers of the Brunot Family
Creator
Brunot Family
Collection Number
MSS#6
Date [inclusive]
1834-1968
Extent
.5 cubic feet (1 box)
Language of Materials
The material in this collection is in English.
Abstract
The first member of the Brunot family to arrive in North America was Dr. Felix Brunot (1752-1838), who accompanied his foster brother, General Lafayette from France to America during the Revolutionary War. In 1797, Dr. Brunot arrived in Pittsburgh and built a family home on an island in the Ohio River which later became Brunot's Island. The Brunot Family Papers include correspondence, financial material, newsclippings and scrapbooks on the Brunot's personal and professional life.
Sponsor Note
This finding aid has been encoded as a part of the Historic Pittsburgh project a joint effort of the University of Pittsburgh and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Funding for this portion of the project has been donated by the Hillman Foundation.

Preferred Citation

Papers of the Brunot Family, 1834-1968, MSS#6, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania.

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Biographical Sketch of the Brunot Family

The first member of the Brunot family to arrive in North America was Dr. Felix Brunot (1752-1838), who accompanied his foster brother, General Lafayette from France to America during the Revolutionary War. In 1797, Dr. Brunot arrived in Pittsburgh and built a family home on an island in the Ohio River which later became Brunot's Island. Dr. Brunot operated a medical practice in an office on Liberty Street in Pittsburgh. Dr, Brunot's wife, Elizabeth Krieder Brunot, was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania in 1768 and died in Pittsburgh in 1845. Dr. Brunot had at least two sons. Hilary Brunot (1795-1872), was born in Philadelphia and accompanied his father on the move to Pittsburgh. Hilary graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and served in the latter stages of the War of 1812. When his regiment disbanded in 1821, he returned to Pittsburgh and manufactured white lead from 1824 to 1849. Hilary later served on the city council of Pittsburgh from 1839-1844. Hilary married Ann Tankard Reville (1797-1873) of Maryland in 1819 and had nine children. Only three of these children reached adulthood: Felix, Elizabeth and Hilary. The other of Dr. Brunot's known sons was Reverend Sanson K. Brunot (1805-1835), and Episcopal Minister who practiced in Western Pennsylvania and other parts of the country. Late in his life, Sanson left the Pittsburgh region and traveled to Key West, Florida for his health. While the warm climate of Florida could not recuperate Sanson, he was able to found a vibrant Episcopal Congregation in Key West before his death in 1835.

Felix Reville Brunot (1820-1898) was the first born child of Hilary and Ann Brunot and was born in Newport Barracks, Kentucky. At the age of fourteen, after attending Western University in Allegheny, he enrolled at Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, he was employed as a civil engineer. Felix moved to Rock Island, Illinois and operated a flour mill in Camden, Illinois from 1842 to 1847. In 1846, he married Mary Ann Hogg (1822-1899). The couple returned to Pittsburgh in 1847 where Felix co-founded the Singer, Nimick and Co. steelworks. Felix was a director, and later president, of the Allegheny Valley Railway in the 1850s and 1860s.

Felix Brunot twice refused a military commission to serve in the Civil War and instead chose to arrange and lead volunteer teams to aid wounded soldiers. In 1862, he was captured by the Confederate Army and was a prisoner at Libby Prison in Richmond Virginia for three months. He returned to Pittsburgh in time to serve as the Chairman of the Pittsburgh Sanitary Fair which was held in 1864. In 1868, President Johnson named Brunot the chairman of the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. Brunot spent four summers, over the six years that the Bureau was active, visiting Native Americans and Indian agencies throughout the western territories to provide the federal government with recommendations on the treatment of the Native American peoples.

Felix Brunot's philanthropic activities established him as one of prominent donors to many institutions in the city. In 1848, he co-founded the Young Men's Mercantile Library Association which operated a commercial library which was open to men at a nominal fee. The Association sponsored courses and lectures and through Brunot's efforts, built a permanent home in 1870.Brunot was a director of several organizations including: Allegheny Cemetery Association, Western Pennsylvania Hospital, Allegheny General Hospital and the Western University of Pennsylvania, and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Mary Ann Hogg Brunot (1822-1899) was the daughter of George and Mary Ann Breading Hogg of Brownsville, Pennsylvania. She was active in many charitable activities including serving on the board of the Young Women's Boarding Home, the Colored Children's Home, the Pittsburgh and Allegheny Women's Christian Association and the Allegheny Tract Society. When she died in 1899, the estate of Mrs. Brunot left various charities $225,000.

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Scope and Content Notes

The Brunot Family Papers include correspondence, financial material, newsclippings and scrapbooks on the Brunot's personal and professional life. These papers document various personal and professional concerns of the Brunot family during the 19th century. While these materials are not comprehensive and represent only segments of the Brunot's lives, they offer material for study in a wide variety of fields. Strong components include early correspondence of brothers Hillary and Sanson Brunot, an outgoing letterbook of the Pittsburgh Sanitary Fair and material relating to Felix and Mary Brunot's philanthropic activities. Little material is covered in more than one series except for the correspondence of Felix R. Brunot with his wife, arranged with the papers of Mary Ann Hogg Brunot, and his correspondence with other family members, arranged with the letterbook of other family members. Two folders of photographs have been separated out of the papers.

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Arrangement

The Brunot Family Papers are arranged in three series. Series have been designated for the papers of Felix R. Brunot, Mary Ann Hogg Brunot and other family members.

The Brunot Family Papers are housed in one archival box.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Digital Research Library, University Library System Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, Spring 2000

Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
library@hswp.org

Revision Description

 Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002 July 1, 2006

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or publish, please contact the curator of the Archives.

Acquisition Information

These materials came in two accessions, 1973 and 1987, and were combined into one body of papers in 1993.

Acc# 1973.68 Gift of Mrs. C. L. Snowden, Jr., (Papers).

Acc# 1987.66 Gift of Elizabeth Brunot, (Correspondence of other family members and Pittsburgh Sanitary Fair Letterbook).

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Ruth Salisbury Reid in 1974. Papers rearranged and inventory rewritten by  Anne Foster and  Corey Seeman on February 15, 1993.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Sherry Kowalski on February 3, 2000.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Episcopal Church -- Pennsylvania.
  • United States. -- Army -- Military life
  • United States. -- Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Allegheny Cemetery (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • P.E. Foreign Mission House (West Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • Pittsburgh Exposition.
  • Young Men's Mercantile Library Association (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Pittsburgh Sanitary Fair -- (1864)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Allegheny County (Pa.) -- Social life and customs.
  • Butler (Pa.) -- Religion.
  • Kittanning (Pa.) -- Religion.
  • Northwest, Old -- History -- 1775-1865
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Civilian relief
  • Verona (Pa.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Brunot, Felix, -- 1752-1838.
  • Brunot, Felix R. -- (Felix Reville), -- 1820-1898
  • Brunot, Hilary, -- 1795-1872.
  • Brunot, Sanson, -- 1805-1835.
  • Carnegie, Andrew, -- 1835-1919.
  • Hogg, Mary Ann Brunot, -- 1822-1899.

Subject(s)

  • Fires -- Illinois -- Chicago.
  • Indians of North America
  • Indians of North America -- Government relations -- 1869-1934
  • Philanthropists -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Religious institutions -- Pennsylvania.
  • Education -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County.
  • Native American Collection

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Collection Inventory

Series I Felix R. Brunot  (1852-1901) 

Scope and Content Notes

The papers of Felix R. Brunot include correspondence, financial material, personal writings, scrapbooks and other sundry material. The most significant body of Felix Brunot's correspondence covers his role as Chairman of the Pittsburgh Sanitary Fair of 1864. This correspondence primarily consists of an indexed letterbook with onion skin copies of outgoing letters. These copy letters are indexed and include correspondence to significant members of the public and private sector throughout Western Pennsylvania including Andrew Carnegie. Also included are incoming letters regarding the dispute over the disposition of a monument associated with the Sanitary Fair and boosters of Oil City, Pennsylvania in 1866. Brunot's other correspondence primarily reflects his philanthropic work and role as Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. While this correspondence is all incoming and not comprehensive, there are numerous worthwhile pieces including one letter from the P. E. Foreign Mission House in West Philadelphia which is adorned by a tremendous visual letterhead. There are a great deal of newsclippings, obituaries and Brunot's poetry and fiction writing in both manuscript and printed form. The two scrapbooks are from the early 1870s and document his trip into the West as Indian Affairs Commissioner. One was produced by his wife and includes articles written about his trio from Pittsburgh newspapers. The other was produced by A. Wilson, who accompanied Brunot and also used part of the scrapbook as a journal where he recorded his experiences of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Except for the material on Indian Affairs, there is little complementary material in this series of papers.

Arrangement

The papers of Felix R. Brunot are arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Correspondence 
  folder
General  1852-1871 1
  folder
Pittsburgh Sanitary Fair  1864-1866 2
  folder
Newsclippings and Miscellaneous Material  1873-1901 3
  folder
Poetry and Writings  1868-1898 4
  folder
Scrapbook  1870-1872 5
  folder
Scrapbook (A. Wilson)  1871 6

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Series II.  Mary Ann Hogg Brunot  (1834-1968) 

Scope and Content Notes

The papers of Mary Ann Hogg Brunot include personal correspondence, material reflecting her philanthropic work, home life in Allegheny City and at Verona, Pennsylvania. Her personal correspondence is primarily from Felix in the 1840s while he was in Illinois. Most of these letters were written in a cross-hatched fashion in an effort to write more on the individual letters. These are the only truly personal letters for either Felix or Mary Brunot. The philanthropic and miscellaneous material includes information on the organizations she supported, the cover of a scrapbook containing her family's genealogical information and a newspaper account of the death of President Lincoln. These papers are strongest when dealing with her philanthropic work and offer little else to document her activities.

Arrangement

The papers of Mary Ann Hogg Brunot are arranged alphabetically by folder title with miscellaneous materials in the rear.

  folder
Correspondence  1834-1899 7
  folder
Philanthropic Activities  1887-1899 8
  folder
Miscellaneous Materials  c1852-1968 9

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Series III Other Family Material 

Scope and Content Notes

The papers of other family members include correspondence, newsclippings and other sundry material. The wealth of this material is the early correspondence, primarily from Hilary Brunot and his brother, the Reverened Sanson K. Brunot. The correspondence from Hillary Brunot includes copies of outgoing letters and other correspondence documenting his career in the United States Army. These letters were written from 1818-1821 from Newport (Kentucky), Cincinnati (Ohio), Fort Wayne (Indiana) and Fort Howard (Green Bay, Wisconsin). Noteworthy is Hilary's request for his father's permission to marry (March 1819) and his correspondence requesting a change in his military appointment. Other correspondence in this series is from an indexed letter book which primarily includes Sanson's correspondence with Hilary and other Episcopal ministers. Sanson's correspondence with the ministers documents the early history of the Episcopal Church in Butler, Kittaning and other locations in Western Pennsylvania. Other material in this series primarily consists of newspaper clippings on other earlier and later Brunot family members and genealogical information. Of note is a typewritten account of the transferal of the remains of deceased Brunot Family members from Trinity Church yard to Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh.

Arrangement

The papers of other family members are arranged alphabetically by family member with miscellaneous materials in the rear.

  folder
Correspondence  1818-1845 10
  folder
Correspondence-Letter Book  1832-1865 11
  folder
Miscellaneous Materials  1872-1922 12

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