1800 – 1885
Philanthropist. Pioneer. Born a slave in 1800 in Virginia, she was freed in her 50s. Brown was the first African American woman to make it to Colorado’s gold rush region. Settling in Central City, she made money by running a laundry business and became quite a success. Brown earned enough to buy property and invest in mines.
She helped sixteen other former slaves start a new life in Central City, Colorado. In 1879, Brown traveled to Kansas to help freed slaves who had migrated there to build a community and farm the land.
Before her death in 1885, she was made a member of the Society of Colorado Pioneers for her role in the Colorado gold rush.