Seth Collins Brace was born to Reverend Dr. Joab and Lucy Brace in Newington, Connecticut, on August 3, 1811. After teaching for several years in Massachusetts, Brace began studying at the Divinity School at Yale University in 1835. Following his studies at Yale, Brace became the editor of the North American in Philadelphia in 1839, a position he held off and on until 1845. From 1842 to 1843 Brace served as a professor of mathematics and rhetoric at Delaware College in Newark, Delaware. Brace's later teaching positions included four years at the Young Ladies' Seminary in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and six years as a private tutor in New Haven, Connecticut. In addition to teaching, Brace also served for one year as the librarian of the Mercantile Library in Philadelphia.
Brace's church service began in 1857 with a one year post at the Presbyterian Church in Newark, Delaware, followed by another one year post at the Congregational Church at Curtisville in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Brace moved to the Congregational Church in Bethany, Connecticut in August of 1860, and was ordained one year later on June 26, 1861. He left this pastorate on May 18, 1864.
Brace moved back to Philadelphia in 1870, where he remained for the rest of his life. He died at the age of 86 on January 25, 1897.
Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University Deceased during the Academic Year ending in June, 1897: Including the Record of a Few Who Died Previously, Hitherto Unreported.Record presented at the meeting of the Alumni, June 29th, 1897. No. 7 of Fourth Printed Series, and No. 56 of the whole Record. New Haven: Yale University, 1897.
The Seth C. Brace collection comprises eight original pencil sketches and one modern reproduction of an original watercolor depicting churches and landscapes surrounding Newark, Delaware, drawn by Delaware College mathematics professor Seth C. Brace between 1842 and 1844.
Four area churches are represented in the collection, including the following: Calvin, Wesley, St. Thomas Episcopal, and Whitely Creek. Also included are three views of the landscape surrounding Newark to the north, south, and southeast. The final item, a color reproduction of a watercolor, depicts the town of Newark as seen from the north. The original of this watercolor is held by the University of Delaware's University Archives.
These drawings were given to the University of Delaware Library in 1926 by Miss Miriam Hill of Orange, Virginia, who was a great niece of Seth C. Brace. After finding the sketches in her great uncle's possessions, Miss Hill contacted Pierre S. du Pont about donating them to the library. After receiving news that the sketches were of interest to the library, Miss Hill donated them with the help of University Trustee Hugh Rodney Sharp.