Chad Brown, the ancestors of the distinguished Brown family of Rhode Island, was born in England about 1610. He is said to have been “one of that little company who fled with Roger Williams from the persecution of the then colon of Massachusetts.” The lot which was assigned to him in the division of lands which was made in Providence included within it what is now
the college grounds of Brown University. He seems to have a man of importance in those early time, having been chosen, with four other citizens, to draw up a plan of agreement for the peace and government of the colony, which for several years constituted the only acknowledged government of the town.
Mr. Brown may be regarded as the first “elder”, or regular minister of the First Baptist church in Providence, the church founded by Roger Williams. While Mr. Brown was the minister of the First church in Providence there arose a great controversy, which agitated not only the town, but the whole colony. It was with references to the “laying on of hands,” alluded to in Heb. vi. 1, 2, and Mr. Brown was earnest in maintaining the obligatoriness of the rite, as being one of divine authority. He died about the year 1665.
“His death,” says Dr. Guild, “was regarded by the colonists as a public calamity, for he had been the successful arbitrator of many differences, and had won the not unenviable reputation of being a peace-maker.” Roger Williams spoke of him, after his death, “as that wise and godly soul, now with God.” He was the worthy head of honored descendants.
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