Charles Brockden Brown, an American novelist, born in Philadelphia, Jan, 17, 1771, died Feb. 22, 1810. His ancestors were Quakers who came over with William Penn. At 11 years of age he was placed under the care of Mr. Kobert Proud, author of a "History of Pennsylvania," and from him he derived a knowledge of the classics. He left Mr. Proud's school before he was 16, and soon afterward drew up the plan of several epics on the discovery of America and the conquest of Mexico and Peru. Neither of them was ever published, nor do any fragments of them remain. He determined to pursue law, but presently abandoned the profession for literature. The first of his novels was " Wieland," issued in 1798, and in 1799 he published "Ormond." These two novels were successful, and until Cooper produced his works there were no American fictions to compare with them. His third novel, " Arthur Mervyn, or Memoirs of the Year 1793," depicts the scenes in Philadelphia during the prevalence of the yellow fever. " Edgar Huntley, or the Adventures of a Sleepwalker," was published not long afterward.
The scene of this story, as of "Wieland," is laid in Pennsylvania. In 1800 he published the second part of " Arthur Mervyn;" in 1801, " Clara Howard;" and in 1804, " Jane Talbot." From April, 1799, to the close of 1800, he conducted the "Monthly Magazine and American Review." In 1803 he commenced the " Literary Magazine and American Register," which he continued five years; and in 1806 he commenced a semi-annual "American Register," of which he published five volumes. A collection of his novels in 7 vols, was published in Boston in 1827. Another edition in 6 vols, appeared in Philadelphia in 1857.