Rachel Brownfield

There are so many notable people in Laurel Grove South Cemetery that there will often already be articles and stories written about that person. When someone has written it better than we ever could, we will give you a short summary and then link to the original history for you to read in full. There are so many writers much more talented than us, and we’d rather celebrate their talents that try to rehash an already great work. The main purpose of this site, after all, is to have these stories all in one place.

When you think of a landowner in the Civil War period who owns their own business and helps the Union in secret, who would you think of? Whoever it was you pictured, from now on it will be Rachel Brownfield (1833-1884). She came to Savannah from South Carolina as a slave, and she turned the notion of what it was to be a Black woman during the Civil War Era on its head. She was bold and resourceful, and she will go down in history as one of the strongest women in the South.

David T. Dixon discovered her story and wrote about her life here.

A photo I took of Rachel’s grave
Rachel in the 1880 Census (5th bracket down)
Rachel in the local directory (right hand side, bottom half of page)
Rachel’s deposit slip (top row, second from the left)
Rachel’s will
Documentation of Rachel’s death

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