Update on Publication of Henry Martin Bradley Autobiography

The 1907 Autobiography is now an InDesign file with a layout of 50 pages containing 24 drawings by Maeve Bradley.  It is currently being proofread by our editor Nancy Brooks.  It will be a 5.5 by 8.5 inch book with an additional 41 pages of scanned genealogical material.  I will experiment to see how some pages of photographs print when we order proof copies.  So the final book will be about 92 to 100 pages, a perfect bound paperback, with a color cover and an ISBN number.  It should be available in June.

Below is the current draft of the first page of the Autobiography:

Update on June 20th, 2017: copies of the 114 page book are available.



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Dan Beach Bradley: Missionary & Doctor to the Royal Court of the Kingdom of Siam

If you trace back seven generations to Captain Jesse Bradley who fought in the Revolutionary War, and then trace forward from his older brother Jabez by two generations you come to Dan Beach Bradley who lived from 1804 to 1873.  He went to the Kingdom of Siam as a missionary physician with his wife in 1835 and stayed there until his death in Bangkok (now Thailand).

Through treating the prince during a serious illness, he gained the trust and friendship of the future King Mongkut of Siam.  This was the King who desired to westernize the Kingdom and was portrayed in the musical “The King and I”.  Dan Beach Bradley also was a friend of Anna Leonowens, the English governess whose memoirs were the basis of that story.

Besides bringing Western medical practices to Siam and serving the royal court, Dan Beach Bradley brought the first Thai script printing press to Siam.  He founded the first newspaper, “The Bangkok Recorder” and printed 10,000 copies of the Opium Edict of 1839 for King Mongkut banning the use of opium in the Kingdom.  He was the first of a direct line of five generations of Bradley missionaries.


Rev. Dr. Dan Beach Bradley

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Danyell Broadley de West Morton, a Common Ancestor for Many American Bradleys

Danyell Broadley de West Morton lived in Bingley, Yorkshire, England from 1588 to 1641 and was the father of our ancestor, William Bradley, who emigrated to New Haven, Connecticut in 1637.  He was married three times and fathered children with each of his wives.  His first wife, Elsabeth Atkinson, had eight children: Agnes, William, Daniell, Mathew, Michaell, Samuell, Abraham and Marie.  William’s brother Daniell also emigrated to New England where he was a yeoman farmer and miller and had the misfortune of being killed by an Indian raiding party in 1689 when caught alone on the road outside Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Danyell’s second wife was Annis Holdroide and their only child Esther died in infancy.

His third wife was Elizabeth Sheaffe and they had five children, Ellin, Joshua, Daniell, Nathan and Steuen.  After the father’s death, William as the oldest son, made provision for the emigration of his stepmother and his half siblings to come and settle in Connecticut.  Many American Bradleys are descendants of these half siblings.

Joseph Philo Bradley who was appointed to the US Supreme Court by President Grant, and served from 1870 to 1892, was interested in genealogy and traced his ancestors to Francis Bradley of Fairfield, Connecticut who emigrated in 1637 and concluded that Francis was probably the first cousin of William Bradley.

William’s stepmother Elizabeth lived until 1683 and outlived all three of her husbands, her two American husbands were both from Guilford.

This genealogy of the descendants of Danyell Broadley de West Morton was prepared by Saul M. Montes-Bradley and is available at this link.

Joseph P. Bradley

Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. Bradley

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Jesse Alva Bradley, His Children & Grandchildren 1952 Family Portrait


Duncan Scott Bradley sent me this photograph taken in 1952 in Duluth.  He is the ten year old in the center of the top row with his mother and father to the right side of him.

He is the son of Jesse Duncan Bradley and Mary Alice Manley Bradley, the grandson of Jesse Alva Bradley and Mabel Duncan Bradley pictured in the center of the photograph.  He is the great grandson of Alva William Bradley and Orleana Tenney Bradley who are both in the Family Portrait of 1891.  Alva was Henry Martin Bradley’s oldest son.


In this detail from the Family Portrait of 1891 my grandfather, Edward Cook Bradley, on the left appears to be arm and arm with his first cousin Jesse Alva Bradley.  Jesse’s brother Frank is on the right.  I like to think that Ed and Jesse were pals as first cousins can be, and as I have been with my first cousin David Bruce Bradley.

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New Family Stories from Cousins

In doing the Henry Martin Bradley Autobiography reprint and Kickstarter project I have been hearing from some cousins of mine.  Cece Menard Lane and her brother John Menard, 2nd cousins and grandchildren of Lucile Bradley Shepard, wrote me on Thanksgiving saying that they wanted to contribute to the reprint project with checks.  Cece then wrote me a letter saying that she is old enough to remember our great grandfather Edward Luther Bradley and his house at 2229 East 1st street in Duluth.  She said he played the card games “Slap Jack” and “War” for her.

My first cousins tell me that their father, Bruce Burris Bradley, proposed marriage to their mother, Ruth Atkins, in that same house.  I have also heard from 3rd cousin Press Norpell, widow of the former family trustee Tim Norpell.  She has the 1891 family portrait in her house just as I do.  I would love to hear where the other copies of the 13 1/2 by 20 inch, 1891 family portrait ended up.  She also confirmed that she still has one of the two original bound copies of the Autobiography of 1907.

Rumsey Young, also a 3rd cousin, came for a visit and told me the history of the Norpell family.  Carl Norpell who married Adie May Bradley was a lawyer in Ohio and his father emigrated from Germany.  His son Max was also a lawyer and researched and printed the Genealogy update of 1927.  Max’s sister Louise was Rumsey’s grandmother.  Max was the father of Tim who also was a lawyer.

Finally, I have been trying various items with Zazzle such as shirts and mugs using the carte de visite photograph of Henry Martin Bradley that was in the album given to me by my 3rd cousin Ruth Boone.  Her grandmother was Alice Bradley Edwards, the oldest child of Henry.  So I now offer the Henry Martin Bradley 15 ounce coffee mug at $18 postpaid.  All proceeds go to the Autobiography project.

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Autobiography Publication as a Kickstarter Project is Funded

The Kickstarter project is over and is funded at $1,053.00 which is 175% of our goal.  That means we can produce a quality book.  Thank you so much for your support!

We now have an editor!  My old and dear friend Nancy Growald Brooks has agreed to edit this book.  We are not deleting anything from Henry’s Autobiography but it is in need of more paragraph breaks.  I just transcribed a section where he went over 2 and one half pages without breaking for a new paragraph.  Nancy is retired from being an editor at the Smithsonian American History Museum and did exhibits and publications.  How perfect is that?

I have now transcribed the entire Autobiography and it comes to 51 solid pages of text in Word.  It has been edited by Nancy Brooks.  I am working on the Introduction and Afterword.

My daughter Maeve Sullivan Bradley, an art student at the University of Virginia, has agreed to illustrate the book during her winter break.  She will illustrate it with small pen and ink drawings that will break up the text and make the book more visually appealing.

The book will also contain carte de visite photographs of Henry, his mother, his brother Nathan and his five children and their spouses.

The proceeds of this Kickstarter crowdfunding project will ONLY be used for the actual printing cost of the book which will be issued under the Railway Station Press label with me as publisher.

If you wanted to contribute to the cost of reprinting the Autobiography but did not want to go through Kickstarter you can make your contribution payable to “Railway Station Press” care of Stuart Bradley, 105 East Glendale Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301.  You will also receive a copy of the Autobiography by May 2017 and my gratitude, of course.

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Henry Martin Bradley as a younger man in Bay City, Michigan

Autobiography of Henry Martin Bradley will be Published in 2017

After 110 years “A Brief Autobiography of Henry M. Bradley” will be published in 2017.  Only three copies of the original 96 page, small 1907 privately printed book are known to have survived.  The rest were destroyed by his son Edward Luther Bradley.  I believe that this small book would have appeal beyond his direct descendants and at the very least should be available in genealogical libraries and local historical societies in the places that Henry describes.

The Autobiography is an invaluable historical resource of early Ohio history in the 1830’s and 1840’s where Henry’s family was clearing the forest for farming and living with the danger of wolves and bears.  Henry then worked in the cloth industry.  He goes on to describe his lumber business and the rough and tumble politics in Bay City, Michigan in the 1860’s and 1870’s.

Later in life, he moved to Duluth, Minnesota and became wealthy from iron ore lands that he prospected in northern Minnesota.  It was this wealth that led him to have the 1891 Family Portrait taken, write and print the Genealogy of 1898, and write and print his Autobiography of 1907.  Henry died in 1918 at the age of 94.

I am in the process of retyping the Autobiography and will divide it into chapters, add an introduction and photographs, and lay it out in the computer program Adobe InDesign.  The result will be a PDF file that can be printed in a small press run.  It is my plan to purchase enough copies that I can be the principal distributor of the book under my press name Railway Station Press.  See the Items For Sale page at that website by clicking here.  Railway Station Press serves as the e-commerce site for this website.

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Here is the first page of the Autobiography scanned from an original copy owned by Melissa Rumsey Young.