John Romeyn Brodhead, an American historian, born in Philadelphia, Jan. 2, 1814, died in New York, May 6, 1873. He graduated at Rutgers college in 1831, studied law, practised for two years in New York, and afterward devoted himself to the study of American history. In 1839 he went to Holland and was attached to the United States legation at the Hague. The legislature of New York having passed an act to appoint an agent to procure and transcribe original documents referring to the history of the state, he was commissioned in 1841. The three following years were spent by him in searching the archives of Holland, England, and France for papers which might serve to illustrate the history of New York, and complete the records of the state at Albany. As the result of his labors he obtained a collection of more than 5,000 separate papers, many of them previously unknown to historians. He deposited his collection in the secretary of state's office, and made his final report as agent, in February, 1845. All these documents were ordered to be published by an act of the legislature of March 30, 1849. On the appointment of Mr. Bancroft as minister to England in 1846, Mr. Brodhead was made secretary of legation, and remained in London till 1849. He now set to work upon his "History of the State of New York," the first volume of which, containing the period under the government of the Dutch, was published in 1853, and the second in 1871. In 1853 he was appointed naval officer of the port of New York, which post he held till 1857.