Slave Narratives

from the Rawick Papers, Series 5
Brooks, George Washington
St. Francois County, Missouri

Western Historical Manuscripts Collection
University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri
[Reported by] St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 18, 1937. (Monday)

AS BOY, HE WAS GIVEN TO WOMAN AS WEDDING PRESENT; FREED WHEN WAR BEGAN

George Washington Brooks, a Negro, who was born in slavery 83 years ago, and who died of infirmities Thursday, at the home of Mrs. Herman A. Jensen, 4130 Lafayette Avenue; great-granddaughter of his first owner, the late Capt. James Brooks, of Jefferson County, was buried yesterday at French Village, St. Francois County, where he was freed at the start of the Civil War.

When he was 7 years old Brooks was given as a wedding present to Mrs. Luella Brooks Au Buchon, of French Village. After she freed him he remained as a paid servant. He helped rear her six children and became known in the community as "the shepherd of the flock".

On one occasion during the war, George Brooks, then 9 years old, rode a horse from French Village to Brooks Place, in Jefferson County, through woods in which guerillas were reported, with $1,000 in gold hidden in his boots. Later, when troops were approaching French 'Village, he buried family valuables in the orchard and helped Mrs. Au Buchon to conceal her personal jewelry in a ball of yarn. Soldiers ransacked the house and threw the ball of yarn across a room, cracking a mosaic pin, now an heirloom. George had been at the Jensen home four years.


Return to Slave Narrative main page.
Document scanned by Carol Robinson.