The Drowne family papers encompass the correspondence and documents of several generations of an old and distinguished Rhode Island family, with the bulk of the materials consisting of writings and other materials pertaining to the life of Solomon Drowne, M.D. (1753-1834). The documents date from 1636 to 1936 and contain important information on members of the Arnold, Bowen, Brown, DeWolf, Greene, Rhodes, Russell, Stafford, and Tillinghast families of Rhode Island; and the Foster, Hall, and Ward families of Connecticut. The collection also includes material pertaining to the history of Brown University. Dr. Solomon Drowne, a member of the Brown Class of 1773, taught at Brown from 1811 until his death in 1834. Many other members of the family also attended Brown. The collection thus contains correspondence reflecting on the early history of the University (1770-1820) - including letters signed by Brown's first Presidents: James Manning, Jonathan Maxcy, Asa Messer, and Asher Robbins, as well as later materials.