This website is dedicated to the memories of Sarah Brooks, c1787-c1840, and two
of her great granddaughters, Lily May Brooks Whitworth of Crowder Mountain and Sara
Ann Brooks Davis of High Point. Sarah, abandoned at four years of age by her mother
around 1791 in Baltimore, Maryland struggled to survive in the strange territory
of Rutherford County, North Carolina as a bond-servant who was passed from one white
family to the next for over seventeen years. Her servitude as a mulatto orphan to
those families was such that she grew up believing she was a slave. In 1808, at twenty-one
years of age, she not only learned that she was a “free person of color”, but
she also learned of her Baltimore birth and subsequent abandonment. From there,
she pursued a life of which we have very few details. We have, however, learned much
about the lives of her offspring, Jerry, Winnie, John, Nathaniel and Daniel. Those
remarkable five children of Sarah and her, as yet, unknown slave partner, whose memory
and spirit lingers on five generations later, made an indelible mark on the culture
and landscape of many counties in the Piedmont region of western North Carolina.
Her two great granddaughters, Lily and Sara , may not have known each other.
However, it is certain that Lily, my grandmother known far and wide as “Mama Lily”,
knew of Sara’s father, Daniel Brooks, 1837 - 1933, a noted Methodist Episcopal minister
and veteran of the Confederate army. Only because Lily and Sara, 2nd cousins descended
from the oldest of Sarah’s children, Jerry and Winnie, worked with diligence and
discipline to document the folklore they heard, is this website possible.