Gustavus Richard Brown

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Gustavus Richard Brown (October 17, 1747[1][2] – September 30, 1804[3][4]) was a lifelong friend of George Washington, a physician, helped found the hospital department of the Continental Army, and a botanist.[5] He is best known as one of the doctors summoned to attend to George Washington the night he died.[6][7][8]

South elevation of Dr. Gustavus Brown's home Rose Hill on Rose Hill Road, vicinity of Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland. Built late 18th Century, restored 1937. Photograph by Thomas T. Waterman, 1940, for the Historic American Buildings Survey.

Gustavus Brown studied medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland, graduating in 1768. In addition to medicine, he was elected to the legislature of Maryland, and served as a judge, he was a member of the Maryland state convention of 1788 and voted to ratify the U. S. Constitution.[9][10] During the American Revolution, he helped establish the hospital department and was surgeon-general of the Continental Army, he was called on by General Washington to inspect the Maryland troops and enroll the names of the able-bodied men.[11]

Around 1780, he bought and combined four tracts of land from his neighbor, now known as "Betty's Delight".[8] Combining this land with his own, he built and in about 1783 moved into Rose Hill, his manor house[12][13] Rose Hill is adjacent to the Thomas Stone National Historic Site.

Along with Dr. James Craik, "Dr. Gustavus R. Brown, another prominent resident of Port Tobacco, and Dr. Elisha Cullen Dick, attended [George] Washington during his final illness, December 14, 1799. Dr. James Craik was so impressed with Dr. Brown's medical skills that he suggested to Mrs. Washington (Martha), that if any case should occur that was seriously alarming, she should send for Dr. Brown."[14]

The Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary in Waldorf, Maryland is named after him. His younger sister, Margaret, married Thomas Stone, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence.

In some records Dr. Brown is confused with his father of the same name, who came from Dalkeith, Scotland in 1708;[15] the elder Gustavus Brown settled at Middleton (named after his family homestead near Dalkeith, Scotland) in Charles County, Maryland, as related by his descendant Moncure Daniel Conway.[16]


  1. ^ "Gustavus Brown". Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2008-12-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ "Gustavus Richard Brown / Peggy Graham". Archived from the original on June 30, 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Ridgely pp 63-64
  4. ^ "Gustavus Brown Burial Site, Charles County, Maryland". Archived from the original on 2008-06-15. Retrieved 2007-11-29. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ Jean Butenhoff Lee (1994). "The Price of Nationhood: The American Revolution in Charles County". W. W. Norton & Company: 4. ISBN 0-393-03658-8. Archived from the original on 2014-06-30. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ Wilstach, pp 102-104
  7. ^ "George Washington Really Did Sleep Here". Maryland Office of Tourism. Retrieved 2007-10-01.[dead link]
  8. ^ a b Arnett, pp 44-45
  9. ^ Scharf, pp 749
  10. ^ "Maryland Manual, 1926". 137. Maryland State Archives: 320. Archived from the original on 2010-04-29. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ Edward Huntington Merrell, D. D. (1906). "John Scott Horner: A Biographical Sketch". Madison, Wisconsin: State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Archived from the original on 2008-10-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help) Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin at its Fifty-third Annual Meeting Held November 9, 1905
  12. ^ Sometime after the 1783 tax assessment, according to the Maryland Historical Trust web page.
  13. ^ "Rose Hill". The Historical Marker Database. June 17, 2007. Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved 2008-11-01. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ George Washington Masonic National Memorial, John P. Riddell, Curator, Replica Lodge Room
  15. ^ "Who was Dr. Gustavus Brown?". Charles County Board of Education. Archived from the original on 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2007-10-05. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  16. ^ Conway, pp 1-5.