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Record Last Updated On: 6/22/2021
Name: America Elizabeth Brown
Death Date: MAR/24/1931 Interment Date: MAR/27/1931 Birth Date: JUL/7/1843
Age at Death: 87y8m17d Cause of Death: ENDOCARDITIS
Location at Death:  St. Joseph, Missouri
Physical Location at Death: 114 Roubidoux street
Sex: F Nativity: AMERICAN Ethnicity: BLACK
Military Branch: Military Rank: War Service:
Other Special Distinctions/Memberships:
Child of: UNKNOWN
Spouse of: 1st Dodd 2nd Alfred Brown
Mother of: William E. Dodd
Father of:
Other Known Relatives:
Brief Biography: Street Smarts by Alonzo Weston Mar 2, 2016 A mailman delivered this piece of black history: A slave girl from St. Joseph gave a speech to Abraham Lincoln, before he became president, in Leavenworth Kansas, in 1859. Her name was America Elizabeth Brown. She was 17 years old at the time. How a slave girl got asked to speak in front of Lincoln is lost to history. Fortunately, her story wasn't lost. It was captured on microfilm of old newspapers in the Downtown library. History lives there for anyone who wants to gaze into the past one microfilm reel at a time. Whizzing through the years on a machine. A lot of people dabble in St. Joseph history. For Jeff Lewis, it is a passion. Lewis, a mail carrier by vocation, is an avid historian by hobby. He came across Brown's story several months ago and shared it with me. The story begins in 1859. That was when Mark Delahay, the editor of a small newspaper in Leavenworth called The Leavenworth Times and an old Illinois legal colleague of Lincoln, invited him to come to his town and speak about slavery. Some people say Delahay was also a distant relative of Lincoln. He married Lincoln's cousin, Louisiana Hanks. According to Abraham Lincolns, Delahay sent several requests to Lincoln before he finally agreed to visit Kansas in November 1859. Lincoln arrived in St. Joseph by train on Nov. 30, 1859. He was met at the station by Delahay and Daniel Wilder, editor of The Elwood Free Press. Wilder write of the account in his newspaper: I took him to a barbershop near the Planter's house and bought for him the New York or Chicago papers at the post office news-stand ... that night he spoke in the dining room of the hotel; the meeting announced by a man going through the streets pounding a gong. Over the next four days Lincoln made stops in Doniphan, Atchison and Leavenworth. For some untold reason, Brown was chosen to speak to Lincoln on his Leavenworth stop. According to the March 24, 1931, edition of the St. Joseph News-Press that reported her death at 82 years old: When the man who became the Great Emancipator asked her what the negro people wanted she said it was schools. Lewis was curious to find if Brown had any relatives still living in St. Joseph. He found Ricky Dodd. Brown was his great-great-great-grandmother. (Lewis) worked with my mom and he was at my mother's funeral and I guess he figured out how to get hold of me through Facebook, Dodd said. Through census records and death certificates it was found that the Dodds were America Brown's relatives. All we ever knew and all my dad and uncle James ever knew was that their grandfather only had three brothers. But we found out they had a sister and her name was Nellie V. Dodd and she died when she was 17, Dodd said. But America Elizabeth Brown, that's who Nellie was living with when she passed away. The newspaper report said Brown died at 9 a.m. March 23, 1931, at her residence at 114 E. Robidoux St. She had suffered an injury which kept her bedridden until her death. The paper story described her: Mrs. Brown was well known not only to members of her race but to many St. Joseph white persons. She was regarded as a woman of remarkable intelligence and had many friends.
Epithet: In a well researched article in 2011, by a NewsPress writer, Alonzo Weston wrote," a slave girl in St. Joseph, responded to Lincoln, before he was President, in a speech in Leavenworth, KS in 1859. He asked what the girl what the negro people wanted the most. "Schools" she immediately answered."
Tombstone Material: N/A Tombstone Shape: N/A Tombstone Condition: N/A
Vault Type: Burial Number: 10780  
Mausoleum: Ashes:  
Other Relatives in Plot: NW PRIV her son William E.Dodd is buried in NW PRIV R11 Gr 23
Lot Owner:
Lot Location:
Block Location:
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GPS Coordinates:
Funeral Home: RAMSEY
Funeral Home City/State: St. Joseph, Missouri
Cost of Interment: 19.00 Date Paid: 11/29/33

William Dodd Brother of America Brown
Courtesy Of:Mt Mora Board

Nellie Doodd, wife of William Dodd
Courtesy Of:Mt Mora Board
Photo(s) of Tombstone:
Tombstone photo
Other Photo(s):

Courtesy Of:St. Joseph News-Press Mar 24, 1931 shared by Jeff Lewis

Courtesy Of:St. Joseph News-Press Mar 25, 1931 shared by Jeff Lewis

death certificate
Courtesy Of:Missouri archives

Newspaper article part one
Courtesy Of:St. Joseph News-Press March 2, 2016

Newspaper article
Courtesy Of:St. Joseph News-Press March 2, 2016

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