Information from "Kind Regards of S. G. Brown" selected Poems of Solomon G. Brown compiled by Lousie Daniel Hutchinson and Gail Sylvia Lowe, reads, "Brown wrote this 'memorial verse' in honor of his friend, Isaac Brown, who died April 26, 1894. Isaac Brown had been president of the Pioneer Sunday School Association, founded by S. G. Brown. This poem was read at the memorial service May 13, 1894. Privately printed."
The first African American employee of the Smithsonian Institution, Solomon G. Brown (1829?-1906) dedicated 54 years of service to the Smithsonian under three Secretaries: Joseph Henry, Spencer Baird, and Samuel P. Langley. The Social Habits of Insects, his first public lecture, was given before the Young People's Literary Society on January 10, 1855. Dedicated to his community, Brown was involved with a citizens' group that encouraged the Freedmen's Bureau to purchase land in the District of Columbia for homesteading by African Americans-some recently freed from slavery. He also served as a member of the House of Delegates under the Territorial Government of the District of Columbia in which he represented both blacks and whites residing in the Anacostia (Hillsdale) section of Washington, D. C. Solomon G. Brown retired from the Smithsonian on February 14, 1906, and died at his home in Anacostia, D.C., on June 24, 1906.
Henson Family papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Dr. Myrtle Henry