Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rachel Brown

© Kathy Duncan, 2016


In the early 1970s, my family went to Camden, South Carolina during a family vacation. While we were there, my mother managed to make the acquaintance of our cousin, Stephen Kelly. He drove us around to several family locations. After hearing my mother's account of our family's story of Pink Kelley's war time adventures, Steve arranged for us to meet English Brown, the son of the slave woman who saved Pink's life. 

English Brown regaled us with the story of how the Kelly's acquired his mother. It seems two brothers were working on the battery at Charleston. Each day they noticed a group of slave children at play in the evening. They determined to take one home to Camden with them. On the day they were leaving, they hung a red ribbon from a tree limb and then hid themselves nearby. The children came out to play like always. Then a woman called them in for the evening. One little girl, however, had spied the ribbon, but told no one about it. She was determined to have the ribbon for herself. She slipped back out, unnoticed, to get the ribbon. That's when the brothers nabbed her and took her back home with them. "And that's how they came to have my momma," said English.

I did not know it then, but that was the moment that would inspire me to conduct genealogy research. When we left Camden, we did not know the name of English's mother. Decades later, I was able to research English Brown through census records to learn the name of his mother: Rachel. That is when I realized that she was only a teenage girl when she saved Pink's life. In 1892, Rachel's son English was present with the group that was gathered to see Pink Kelley and others off to Texas. A little over 80 years later, English kept marveling that "Mr. Pink's children" had returned. And we were equally awestruck to meet him.

Census Records of Rachel Brown, former slave of the Kelley family:

13 July 1870, Flat Rock Twp., Kershaw Co., SC, p. 217:

242-282
Brown, Jeremiah 26 M B Farmer b. SC
---Rachel  22 F B Keeps house  b. SC
---Caroline 2 F B  b. SC

28 June 1880, West Flat Rock Twp., Kershaw Co., SC, Dist. 73:

505-579 
Brown, Jerry B M 37  Farmer b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Rachel B F 35 Wife    Keeps house b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Sallie B F 15 Dau  b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Cora B F 12 Dau b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Foster B M 10  b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Minty B F  8 b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---James  B M 6 b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Louisa  B F 4  b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---William  B M 2 b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
 ---Rosa B F 2/12 Apr  Dau b. SC fb. SC mb. SC

21 June 1900, Flat Rock Twp., Kershaw Co., SC, p. 185:

334 - 334 
Brown, Jerry/Jessie?  Head B M Jan 1837 63 M  b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Rachel  Wife  B  F Apr 1851 50 M b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Nancy Dau   B  F Mar 1875 25 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Louisa Dau   B  F Apr 1877 23 S  b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Willie Son  B M Jan 1878  21 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Rosalie Dau  B  F Feb  1881 19 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---English Son  B M Jan  1883 17 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Kate Dau  B  F Jan  1885  15 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Hattie Dau  B  F Mar 1887  13 F b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Florence Dau  B F  Apr  1888 12 F b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Daisy Dau  B F  Jan  1891   9 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
???, Lilly Grd  B  F Apr  1893   7 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC

2 May 1910, Pleasant Hill Twp., Lancaster Co., SC, p. 233:

173-176          
Brown, English Head M B 25 M-4 b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Lizzie Wife  F  B 23 M-4   2-2 b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---Rachel Dau   F  B    2 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC  
---Oland Son  M B 1 6/12 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
 ---Estill Cou  F  B  10 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC

8 Jan 1920, Flat Rock, Kershaw Co., SC, p. 194:

9 - 10  
Brown, English Head M B 38 M b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---, Lizzie Wife  F  B 33 M b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---, Rachel Dau F  B 13 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---, Nannie Dau F  B 11 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---, William Son M B   6 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---, Rosa Dau F  B   4 S  b. SC fb. SC mb. SC

14 Jan 1920, Flat Rock, Kershaw Co., SC, p. 196:

52-53  
Brown, Rachel Head   F  B 80 Wd b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---, Kate Dau F  B 30 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
Scott, Louise Grd F  B 10 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC
---, Annie May Grd  F  B   8 S b. SC fb. SC mb. SC  

Rachel Brown died in Kershaw Co.,SC on 21 May 1920. Her parents were Joseph Kennedy and Lucy Kelly. 
[Source: death certificate]

English Brown died May 1975 in Kershaw Co., SC. He was born 4 Jul 1881 and would have been about 8 or 9 years old when Pink Kelley and family left South Carolina.



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