Dunbar-Graham Family Network

According to the will of their enslaver, Molly and her children would receive their freedom upon reaching the age of 31. When one of Milly's daughters and her children were later sold, their freedom at age 31 was a condition of the sale. By the late 1830s, two of Milly's children were still enslaved by Richard Brown's descendants, and they successfully petitioned the court for their freedom.


The names and birth dates of Milly's children (except Rachel) are from the Appraisement of Frances Alexander's Estate. Rachel's birth date is approximated in jury instructions which stated that she was born after Elizabeth Brown's 1807/08 removal from Maryland into Alexandria.

1. In the inventory of the estate of Richard Brown taken November 9, 1789, Molly is listed as about 16 years old. Inventory of Rev. Richard Brown, Charles County Maryland Wills 1788-1791, pp 274-280, accessed October 3, 2016 via Probing the Past: Virginia and Maryland Probate Inventories, 1740-1810. [back]

2. In her petition for freedom filed in an Alexandria, Virginia court, Christy's name is given as "Christiana Dunbar." In the petition for freedom filed on behalf of her children, she is identified as "Christy Brown formerly Christy Dunbar." See Christiana Dunbar v. Richard B. Alexander, June 1851 and Georgiana et al. v. Admr. of Richard B. Alexander, May 1858, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, Local Government Records Collection, Arlington County Court Records, Arlington County (Va.) Judgments (Freedom Suits), 1795-1858, Box 2. [back]