13 October 2010
Bibliography of Clara Brown
During the time of slavery many African Americans suffered from the harsh treatment of their owners. Clara Brown was one of the many slaves that experienced separation from her loved ones, forced into labor and abuse.
Clara Brown was born into slavery in 1803 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Brown and her mother were separated from her father when they were bought by tobacco farmer Ambrose Smith. From the time she was very young, she worked in the fields with some of Smith’s other slaves. When she was nine years old, she and her mother were moved to Kentucky with the Smith family. At the age of eighteen, she married another slave named Richard in 1818. Together they had four children: Richard, Margaret, Paulina Ann, and Eliza Jane. Tragedy struck Brown’s family when daughter Paulina Ann died. The death of their owner, Ambrose Smith, also brought more sadness to Brown and her family in 1835. After Smith’s death, Brown, her husband, and her surviving children were sold at an auction, breaking the family apart. She would spend much of her life searching for her loved ones. In her fifties, Brown’s life changed for the better after the death of her latest owner, George Brown. His daughters gave Brown her freedom in 1859, and she went to work for a St. Louis merchant. That family moved to Leavenworth, Kansas, and her boss helped her set a laundry business there. But she didn't stay long. At the time, many people were moving west in search of gold and other opportunities. She wanted to find something even more precious—her family. Brown traveled west to look for them, working as a cook on a wagon train in exchange for her transportation. It is believed that she was the first African American woman to make to Colorado’s gold rush region. Once she reached Colorado, she moved from town to town, seeking economic opportunities. Settling in Central City, she made...