The Drown Newsletter

Issue 4 September 1994



The following was published in the Pennsylvania Magazine in 1927:

The Badge of Merit

On August 7, 1782, General Washington issued an Order creating the Badge of Merit. This was a narrow piece of cloth, the colour of the facings of the uniform, to be fixed to the left arm of the uniform coat, and was awarded to non-commissioned officers and soldiers who had served with good reputation more than three years in the Continental Army. For a second period of three years another piece of cloth was to be worn. One of the certificates found reads:

"By his Excellency GEORGE WASHINGTON, Esq; General and Commander in Chief of the Forces of the United States of America. These are to certify that the bearer hereof Samuel Drown, Drum-Major in the Rhode Island Regiment, having faithfully served the United States Six Years and nineteen days and being enlisted for the War only, is hereby Discharged from the American Army. Given at HeadQuarters the 15th, June 1783, -- George Washington. By his Excellency's Command J. Trumbull, Genl. Sy.

Registered in the Books of the Regiment, Rhode Island, J. Greenman, Adjutant. The above Samuel Drown has been honored with the Badge of Merit for Six Years faithful service. Jereh. Olney, Lieut. Col. Comd. Rhode Island Regt."


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Records Being Protected in Utah

Some 20 miles south of Salt Lake City, two-lane Route 210 climbs east up Little Cottonwood Canyon. The canyon walls rise sheer, majestic and remote against the mountain sky. A mile or two up the canyon, an asphalt drive hairpins back into a parking area: the entrance to the Granite Mountain vaults maintained by the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). A broad entry tunnel leads straight into the stone heart of the mountain, and to a grid of six arched vaults. Three access tunnels connect spacious work areas with the storage vaults. A mighty, 14 ton steel door seals off the central main tunnel. There are six vaults off the main tunnel. Each vault holds a thousand of more steel filing cabinets. Each cabinet holds 825 rolls of microfilm and each roll contains names and records by the thousands -- names left behind in deeds and marriage licenses, family bibles, parish registers, probate and cemetery lists. For the past 50 years, Mormon genealogical experts have been filming these records in settlements, villages, towns and cities on every continent. Transferred to print, their data would fill almost 5 million large volumes.


Dr. Solomon Drowne.

Solomon Drowne was born in Providence, Rhode Island, March 11, 1753, son of Solomon Drowne and Mercy Tillinghast Arnold. After pursuing a thorough preparatory course of studies, Dr. Drowne entered Rhode Island College (now Brown University), where he graduated with the highest honors in the class of 1773. He also obtained degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth College. After graduating, he entered the Army of the Revolution as a Surgeon, and served from the beginning of the war until its close. In 1784, he visited Europe in pursuit of his medical studies and was a frequent guest at the residence of Thomas Jefferson, Ambassador to France and made the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin. Later, he lived for a time in Marietta, Ohio, Morgantown, Virginia and Providence, R.I. and, during his travels, visited with General Washington. He finally settled in Foster, R.I. where he died February 5, 1834.


Aaron B. Drown b. abt 1750 in Rochester, NH

married: Mary Emmons b. 1752 of Wells, Me.


Aaron b. abt 1172 in Coxhall, Me.

James b. 1774 in Coxhall, Me.


Mary (Polly)

Abigail b. 1788

Joseph b. 1789

Solomon b 10 Aug 1792

Coxhall, Maine in now called Lyman (York).



There is an old tradition to the effect that the surname Drown, or Drowne, as originally written, as an English patronymic was first applied to a child found alone in a boat at sea, too young to give an account of himself, and from the fate which doubtless would have been his but for his fortunate discovery and resude, he was given the name Drown.

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