John Crenshaw and Mary Donoho Elliott
Slaveowners, Neighbors and Friends of the Brooks

    Mary Elliott owned slave John Donaho from at least 1818 until she died in 1864.  Sometime around the death of her husband, John Crenshaw Elliott, in 1827, her slave John began a lifetime relationship with Winnie Brooks, the  daughter of free African-American  Sarah Brooks (c1787-c1842) living nearby, probably on the plantation of neighbor Daniel Lattimore (1875-1833). Sarah raised daughter Winnie and four sons, Jerry, John, Nathaniel and Daniel while she likely lived in a slave cabin working for subsistence. Brooks family lore tells that the father of Sarah’s children was a slave, perhaps named Robert, on a nearby unknown plantation. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Winnie had five children by Elliott slave John Donaho between 1827 and 1847. Though we know very little about her slave father,  we know much about her slave husband. Winnie Brooks and John Donaho  were legally married in 1873.   John and Winnie, the second of two Brooks odd couples pairing freewoman and slave, are buried together in Brooks Chapel Cemetery.

    I am  looking for manumission records for John Dunaho in particular or any Elliott records that document Elliott and Brooks interactions  It is not known whether he was freed at widow Elliott’s death in 1864, the Civil War in 1865 or perhaps earlier, though it appears he was still legally an Elliott slave in 1860. Are thereElliott papers, bibles or archives that might shed light on other relationships with the free Brooks living nearby? Perhaps Winnie’s father was an Elliott slave, who sired five children by bond-servant Sarah Brooks. Circumstantial evidence points to the Elliotts or their neighbor, Daniel Lattimore, as yhe likely landlords for free woman Sarah Brooks. The other may have been the owner of her slave husband.  If you have records or folklore that can shed light on these mysteries, please e-mail me by clicking on the e-mail icon below.                 

   

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Elliott Cemetery



Lattimore House

Slaves 1860 Mary Elliott.jpg

Slave Schedule 1860

$Marriage Brooks,Winnie 1873.jpg

Marriage License 1873

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