Daughter of Mary "Polly" Bradley-Perkins and Randall Brown
Enslaved by the Perkins and Bradley Families of Forest Home
|This portion of an 1878 map of Williamson County shows downtown Franklin at the far bottom right, and circled are the landholdings of the Brown and Perkins families along Del Rio Pike and Old Natchez Trace.|
D. G. Beers & Co. Map of Williamson County 1878
Enslaved by the Enoch Brown Family
"I was born in slavery, in Williamson County ... I think I was four when the war started."
"My mammy and daddy was Mary and Enoch Brown." "My missis and master was Polly and Randall Brown."
Enoch Brown was born in Brentsville, Prince William County, Virginia in 1807, the middle child of Joseph and Catherine Brown. According to family lore, Joseph Brown was "cruel and unreasonable." Following the death of his wife Catherine in the early 1820s, 13-year-old Enoch, his brothers Thomas and Alexander "Sandy" and sisters Emily and Nancy left Virginia for Tennessee, taking with them an enslaved woman and man.
|A portion of 1878 Map of Williamson County, Tennessee|
Highlighted portion shows Enoch Brown's 650 acres Hill Home in District 6 west of Franklin
|1850 US Census, Williamson County, Tennessee, District 6|
A portion of page 6 shows the Enoch Brown household of free people
|Slave Census, 1860|
Williamson County, Tennessee - District, page 35
Entry for Enoch Brown
Post War and Reconstruction
|1870 Federal Census|
Williamson County, Tennessee, District 6, page 18
Household of Randall & Polly Brown family: Randall 39, Mary 43,
Malvena 18 , Claborn 16, Cane 10, Martha 9, Narcisssa 7, Mary 6; also living at home were
|Marriage License of Narcissa Brown and Dan Reese. |
Note both names are denoted "col" - for "colored."
|1880 Federal Census|
Williamson County, Tennessee, District 6/233, page 15
Household of Randall Brown and family; living with them (highlighted) is daughter Narcissa with her husband Daniel Reese and family.
1900s - 1920s
|1900 Federal Census|
Williamson County, Tennessee, District 5/113, page 8
"I've cooked a little for other people, but most of my work has been laundry."
1920s - 1940s
As is the case for so many Black families, the 1920 Census-taker appears to have skipped Daniel and Narcissa Brown Reece. It is not clear exactly what happened during the two decades between 1910 and 1930, but we know that several of Narcissa's sons and grandsons registered for the draft of men to serve as soldiers in World War I. (Learn more about the local African American experience during World War I here.)
|In 1918, Naisy and Daniel's son Floyd registered for the draft during World War I. |
|Additionally, their grandson Leonard Rivers likewise registered. He was living in the Bingham community west of Franklin on Boyd Mill Pike. He died the same year from pneumonia.|
Daniel appears to have died during this period and by 1929 Narcissa moved to Nashville to live with their daughters Catherine and Mattie at 710 Overton Street.
|1931 Nashville City Directory|
Narcissa was widowed, living at her home at 710 Overton St in Nashville
Living with her were her daughters Mattie and Katherine.
|The Nashville Globe Friday, August 24, 1917, page 8|
|The Nashville Globe, Friday September 6, 1907, page 3|
Songs: "I Couldn't Hear Anybody Pray." "Ole Time Religion." "Cross The River Jordan."
World War II.
In 1943, Narcissa's daughter Katherine died in Nashville. She was buried in Greenwood Cemetery like her brother Manuel. At the time, the two women were living together at 728 12th Avenue South.
Death of Narcissa Brown Reece.
December 25, 1947