“Aunt” Clara Brown
1800 - 1885

“Aunt Clara Brown was one of Colorado’s earliest business-women and philanthropists of any race. She never turned away anyone in need.

Born a slave in Virginia, she married young and gave birth to four children. In 1859, she was freed by her owner but separated from her family. Working as a cook on a wagon train, Brown arrived in Denver during Colorado’s Gold Rush. Dirty miners swarmed to her laundry in Central City, where she earned a living and enough to invest in local mines and property. As “Aunt Clara’s” profits in mines and real estate grew, her generosity increased. Brown’s most generous act was to buy freedom for relatives and friends still trapped in the brutal system of slavery in the South.

"I always go where Jesus calls me.“ – Aunt Clara Brown


  • Title: Clara Brown

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