For a list of the images in this collection click here and go to the WHMC photograph database
Brenda Jenkins Mahr, Griffin Brander's great, great granddaughter, donated photocopies of his papers to the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri-St. Louis on July 21, 1988. On December 7, 1988, Harriet Gulliford, another of Brander's great, great granddaughters, gave the repository additional photocopies of family papers.
On May 19, 1801, a free black, William Brander, married Lucy Scott in Petersburg, Virginia. The marriage produced many children, including a son named Griffin, born in 1814. As a "free man of color" Griffin Brander lived in Petersburg until the 1840s. In 1835, he married his first wife, Agnes King, and acquired property in the city from Ashton P. and Ann Johnson in 1839. Census records imply that Griffin and Agnes Brander still lived in Petersburg, Virginia in 1840. This collection contains no further information on Agnes Brander.
Documents in the collection suggest that Brander migrated to Missouri from Virginia sometime between 1841 and 1843. Evidence for this includes Brander's transfer of his Petersburg property to his brother Henry Brander on April 28, 1841; Ashton Johnson's endorsement on April 29. 1841 of Brander's free man paper; and the birth of Lucy Ann Brander on May 19, 1843, in Missouri.
Lucy Ann was the first child born to Griffin Brander and Catherine Lucas, a slave woman. On June 21, 1845, they had another daughter, Mary Ann Brander. Their mother's status determined that Lucy and Mary were also slaves.
In Portland, Callaway County, Missouri, Brander purchased Catherine and Mary from James and Matilda Gill on February 21, 1851. The Gills, a Callaway County pioneer family, owned a plantation and slaves near Portland. Brander later bought Lucy and on December 23, 1856, he emancipated Catherine, Lucy, and Mary.
Griffin Brander's name as a resident of St. Louis first appeared in the 1854 City Directory. He lived on Cass Avenue. By 1859 , Brander had bought a house on Warren Avenue where he lived until his death in 1888. For some years afterward, his daughter, Lucy Brander Henderson, and family resided in the house on Warren Avenue.
Although they considered themselves married, Griffin Brander and Catherine Lucas, like many other blacks, legalized their union after the Civil War. On January 2, 1867, Henry H. White, pastor of the Central Baptist Church, officiated at their wedding, recorded in St. Louis marriage records on January 29, 1867.
To support his family, Brander worked as a laborer or servant from 1854-1859. From 1859-1887, he held various jobs including; tobacconist, driver, teamster, and trader. In 1868, Brander obtained a license from St. Louis City to use his wagon to haul coal and oats. In 1872, East St. Louis, Illinois licensed Brander for the same purpose.
Catherine Brander died on November 21, 1887. Six months later on May 19, 1888, Griffin Brander died. In 1989, descendants of the Branders still lived in the St. Louis area.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The Griffin Brander Papers contain the personal papers of a free black man born in Virginia in 1814. He migrated to Missouri in the 1840s. The papers reflect Brander's efforts to maximize his freedom while living in the Antebellum South and post-Civil War St. Louis, Missouri. The collection consists of photocopied documents. The originals remain with the family. Two series comprise the collection.
The personal papers series, 1801-1988, document Brander's experiences and family background. Important documents in this series include Griffin Brander's 1840 free man paper, the bill of sale for Catherine and Mary Brander from James and Matilda Gill, and the emancipation papers for Catherine, Lucy, and Mary Brander.
The second series, 1880-1988, contains two photographs of Lucy Brander Henderson and one photograph of Alice Jenkins Colquitt. This series also includes an oral history tape made on October 4, 1988 with two of Brander's descendants, Alice Colquitt and Brenda Mahr. They told Brander's story as handed down from generation to generation to Dr. Louis Gerteis, History Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Marguerite Beeby, Graduate Assistant at the Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri-St. Louis.
SERIES 1 - PERSONAL PAPERS, 1801-1988, FOLDERS 1-31
Arranged in alphabetical order. Contains deeds, correspondence, free man paper, emancipation papers, slave bill of sale, licenses, tax receipts, marriage notices, death certificates, a will, and a paper entitled "A Free Man of Color: Griffin Brander, 1801-1888" written by Marguerite Beeby for the UM-St. Louis History Department in December 1988.
SERIES 2 - PHOTOGRAPHS AND TAPE, 1880-1988, #12312-12314, TAPE T-1040
Arranged chronologically. Includes two photographs of Lucy Brander Henderson (#12312-12313) and one of Alice Colquitt (#12314). The tape (T-1040) contains an interview with Alice Jenkins Colquitt and Brenda Jenkins Mahr on October 4, 1988. Interviewer were Dr. Louis Gerteis and Marge Beeby.
SERIES 2 - PERSONAL PAPERS
1. Bill of Sale, James and Matilda Gill to Griffin Brander, Feb. 21, 1851
2. Bond and Mortgage, Griffin Brander to James Gill, Feb. 21, 1851
3. City of St. Louis vs. Griffin Brander, Sept. 26, 1871
4. Comptroller's Office, St. Louis, Weigh Slips, 1874-1879
5. Correspondence, 1864-1883
6. Death Certificates, 1887-1888, 1931
7. Deed, Daniel Brander and Lucy Brander to James Brander and Elizabeth Brander, October 22, 1839
8. Deed, Griffin Brander to Henry Brander, April 28, 1841
9. Deed, Lucy Brander to Joseph C. Haley, Aug. 5, 1846
10. Emancipation Papers, Catherine, Lucy, and Mary Brander, Dec. 13, 1856
11. Free Man Paper, Griffin Brander, 1840-1841
12. Funeral Bill, Aug. 25, 1859
13. Genealogy, 1814-1964
14. Insurance Payments and Policy, 1857-1882
15. Licenses to Operate Wagon in St. Louis, 1868-1871
16. Licenses to Operate Wagon in East St. Louis, Illinois, 1872-1874
17. Marriage Certification, Griffin Brander and Catherine Lucas, Aug. 27, 1879
18. Marriage Certification, William Brander and Lucy Scott, May 19, 1801
19. Marriage Certification, Griffin Brander and Agnes King, 1835
20. Nebraska Land Deed, 1859
21. Nebraska Land Tax Receipts, 1862
22. Office of Collector of Internal Revenue, 1864-1865
23. Paid Promissory Notes, 1857-1874
24. Paid Receipts, 1856-1874
25. Queen Esther Court Benefit Certificate, May 1, 1882
26. Special Tax Bills. 1871, 1876
27. Summons, June 2, 1874
28. Tax Assessment Forms, 1875, 1879
29. Tax Receipts, City of St. Louis, 1858-1887
30. Will, John Brander, Sept. 16, 1848
31. "A Free Man of Color: Griffin Brander, 1814-1888," Research Paper by Marguerite Beeby, 1988
SERIES 2 - PHOTOGRAPHS AND TAPE
32. Photographs #12312-12314, 1880s, 1890s, 1987
Oral History, T-1040 Alice Jenkins Colquitt and Brenda Jenkins Mahr, interviewed by Dr. Louis Gerteis and Marguerite Beeby, October 4, 1988
Afro-American--Families f. 1-32
Afro-American--History f. 1-32
Afro-Americans f. 1-32
Afro-Americans--Social Conditions f. 1-32
Baltimore Life Insurance Company f. 14
Branch, Thomas f. 8, 11
Brander, Agnes King f. 19
Brander, Anderson f. 5, 30-31
Brander, Catherine Lucas f. 1-2, 6, 8, 13, 17, 25, 31
Brander, Daniel f. 7
Brander, Griffin f. 1-32
Brander, Henry f. 5, 8, 31
Brander, James f. 7
Brander, John f. 30-31
Brander, Lucy Ann f. 7, 9
Brander, Lucy Scott f. 18
Brander, Mary Ellen f. 1-2, 8, 13, 31
Brander, Thomas f. 5
Brander, William f. 18
City of St. Louis, f. 3-4, 15, 17, 26, 28-29, 31
City of St. Louis vs Griffin Brander f. 3
East St. Louis, Illinois f. 16
Emancipation f. 10, 31
Free Blacks f.1-32
Genealogy f. 1-32
Gill, James f. 1-2, 31
Gill, Matilda f. 1, 31
Henderson, Albert f. 5
Henderson, Catherine f. 13
Henderson, John f. 24
Henderson, Lucy Brander f. 5-6, 8, 13, 24, 31
Johnson, Ashton P. f. 10-11
Little Undertakers f. 12
Lucas, H. H. f. 5
Mound City Mutual Fire and Marine Insurance f. 14
Office of Collector of Internal Revenue f. 22
Queen Esther Court, IOI f. 25
Slavery f. 1-2, 31
Taxes f. 21-22, 26, 28-29, 31
Weyrich and Bros. f. 24
Wheeler, William f. 1-2
STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MISSOURI RESEARCH CENTER-ST. LOUIS
222 THOMAS JEFFERSON LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS
8001 NATURAL BRIDGE ROAD
ST. LOUIS, MO 63121