Chancy Brownspacer Chancy Brown (born circa 1819/1821)

Chancy Brown reached Monrovia on August 18, 1842, having sailed aboard the Mariposa from Norfolk, Virginia, under the auspices of the American Colonization Society. Originally from Murfreesboro, North Carolina, Brown was accompanied by his mother, Hannah, his younger brother, Nathaniel, his aunt, Nancy, and six other family members, all of whom had been freed in the will of their late master, a "Mr. Brown." The Brown slaves were undoubtedly granted their freedom on the condition that they immigrate immediately to Liberia, and their passage was probably supported by funds earmarked exclusively for that purpose by the late Mr. Brown.

Little is known of Chancy Brown's activities once in Liberia. The 1843 census lists him as a resident of Monrovia and records his occupation as "shoemaker." By 1856, however, Brown had secured the post of sergeant-at-arms for the Liberian Senate. While Brown's pose in this daguerreotype does not correspond directly to that of the sergeant-at-arms in the Senate watercolor, his epaulette and sword (secured by the sash at his waist) leave little doubt as to his office.

Attributed to Augustus Washington
Sixth-plate daguerreotype, circa 1857
Image courtesy Prints and Photographs Division
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Click here to view the Liberian Senate watercolor.


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