"Aunt" Clara Brown In her own words. Early Life Harsh Life Famous Quote "I will always go where Jesus calls me."
Born in 1800 into a life of slavery in Virginia, Clara Brown, after many years of hard work, grew into a community leader and philanthropist, helping many freed slaves to settle and rebuild their lives during the California gold rush.
Aged 18, she married Richard, also a slave. Together, they had four children. When the owner of their plantation died, the family were torn apart and sold separately to distant plantations. Clara was granted freedom at the age of 56.
She gained work as a cook, and travelled with the family she worked for to Colorado. From then on, she worked in a number of jobs, which were very hard, and involved heavy physical labour. Eventually, when she settled in Denver, working at a bakery, Clara helped to found a non denominational Sunday school, as well as starting a laundry business while being a midwife, cook and nursemaid. As her earnings grew, she invested in a lot of land and property, and gave extensively of her time and resources to the community.
During this time, she found out that most of her family had died, or were never heard of again. But while she was trying to find out what had become of her loved ones, she helped hundreds of newly freed slaves to move to Colorado and find jobs and homes.
Towards the end of her life, she was reunited with her youngest daughter Eliza Jane.
One could easily say that the best years of Clara's life were lost to slavery and loss. Though these difficult circumstances dominated the majority of her years, and cost her everything, including her family, and everyone she had ever loved, her strength and determination brought her into middle age and freedom, where she built a thriving business, and improved the lives of countless people.
If you are slightly more advanced in years, society might label you as “past your sell by date”. But as long as you have breath in your lungs, the truth is, you can still pursue your dreams, make an impact and create a fantastic life for yourself. But you now have the advantage of extra life experience!
Check out these inspiring stories of some more older people thriving as entrepreneurs...
This goes for people of any age!
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