"The Browns, one of the great mercantile families of colonial America, were Rhode Island slave traders. At least six of them -- James and his brother Obadiah, and James's four sons, Nicholas, John, Joseph, and Moses -- ran one of the biggest slave-trading businesses in New England, and for more than half a century the family reaped huge profits from the slave trade. 'When James Brown sent the Mary to Africa in 1736, he launched Providence into the Negro traffic and laid the foundation for the Brown fortune. From this year until 1790, the Browns played a commanding role in the New England slave trade.' Their donations to Rhode Island College were so generous that the name was changed to Brown University."
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