Home - Hinds County MSGenWeb

Slave Narratives, Biographies and Stories

A Story of
Mary Brown,
born a Slave ca 1850
Writted and Contributed by Frances Clark Cronin
January 9, 2006

Mary Brown was born a slave in Mississippi ca 1850.  She first married a Brown. I am not sure but it may have been Cephus Brown, worked for the railraod in 1880 and wife Mary born 1850.  She was a cook in a hotel.  In 1880 had son John, age 7, Rose, age 5, Lettice age 3 and a baby. I know that she had a daughter Rosa North who lived just north of Edwards, MS.

In 1909 my grandparents, Samuel Van Clark and Lulah Frances Anderson were married and lived in Edwards,MS.  In 1910 my father, Samuel Van Clark, Jr.  was born and Mary Brown came to live with them.  She remained a part of the household until 1929 living with the family.

My grandparents had five children, four who lived to maturity.  When my father the oldest was born, Aunt Mebbee and my father formed a special bond. She loved all the children but Sammy was her favorite.  She did not let him walk until he was two years old carrying him everywhere.  Another "Nurse" was hired to take care of the other children.  My grandfather died in 1917.  The household was changed. It was now my grandmother, Sammy, Mary, Bettie Lane, Bobbie and Mary Brown in the household. (Mary Brown was called Aunt "Mebbee" by the children as my father could not pronounce Mary}.

Mary Brown continued to be a part of the household until 1929 when my grandmother moved the family to Jackson.  Mary Brown decided to go live with her daughter, Rosa North, who lived a few miles north of Edwards.  When I was born in 1935 one of the first things my father did was to take me to see her.  Mary Brown was blind by this time so she proceeded to take off my clothes and "see" me with her hands.  When she finished she said, "Sammy, she looks just like you".

This picture of Mary Brown was taken in Edwards ca 1914.  This has held a prominent place in all of our families lives.  She sits on a table in my entry hall.  She taught goodness, mercy and love to her family.  I hope that some of her descendants see this and know what a wonderful person she was.


Page Created January 9, 2006
©2006  Jane Combs  All Rights Reserved
Submission Remains the Property of  Frances Clark Cronin