Michigan congressman and senator, head of the U.S. Office of Price Administration; papers include correspondence, legislative files, speeches, political files, business and legal records, diaries and scrapbooks, visual materials, and sound recordings.
The Prentiss M. Brown Collection is rich and full and offers researchers materials on a variety of local and national topics reflecting the diversity of the man's private and public life. The earliest item in the collection is a letter book dated 1902-04 of James J. Brown, like his son a prominent St. Ignace attorney. The collection then picks up Prentiss M. Brown's entrance to the legal profession in 1917, traces his rise to public office, his work in Congress and with the O.P.A., and then concludes with his later business interests and his crusade upon behalf of the Mackinac Bridge.
The Brown Collection comprises approximately twenty-eight feet of correspondence, letterbooks, scrapbooks, diaries, speeches, topical and legislative files, photographs and phonograph records, and legal case files and business records. Covering the period 1917 to 1973, the papers concentrate most heavily in the years 1932-1942 when Brown was in the U.S. Congress. The greatest gap in the collection is in the period of the 1920s when Brown was making his first bids for political office. Also missing are any extensive files for the time of Brown's O.P.A. directorship. What the collection has on the O.P.A. are largely speeches, scrapbooks, and congratulatory letters.