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Brutus Jackson


Fairvue Plantation and Belmont Mansion


Husband of Frances; Son of Luke and Lucy Jackson


1830 – August 8 – The Fairview Farm Journal recorded the purchase of a ‘cutting vest’ for Brutus. The cost was $1 and it is likely this was actually payment for a thin muslin material that was used to create a pattern for a vest based on his measurements. A vest indicates a possible role in the household such as valet.

1847 – September – The inventory of Isaac Franklin’s estate listed Brutus ($700) and his wife Frances ($600), along with a couple it is assumed are his parents Luke ($300) and Lucy ($200), and brothers Lee ($700), Mark ($700), Warren ($700), and Stephen ($600). Unlike the rest of the enslaved people on the inventory, their ages were not listed. The document goes on to explain that “The above-mentioned slave [Stephen] was charged with attempting to take the life of the overseer, and was let off on condition of being sent out of the State. Luke was also charged with being accessory to that offence, and his whole family became refractory, so that it was necessary to send them away, and were put on the plantation in Louisiana.” Another source stated that the whole family was “sympathetic” to the plot, but it is also possible they were simply outraged that an innocent member of their family was being charged.

1848 – January 29 – The Isaac Franklin Estate paid Adelicia $1,080 for the use of Stephen, Luke and his wife, Brutus and his wife, Lee, Mark and Warren for 18 months on the plantations in Louisiana.

1849 – At some point after Adelicia married Joseph, Brutus was brought back to Nashville to work as Joseph’s valet.

1857 – March – Adelicia wrote in a letter that Brutus had been “drinking all winter and behaving very badly” and was being sent to New Orleans to be sold. No record of his sale has been found, however it is known he was purchased by General Albert Pike as a carriage driver.

1859 - General Pike published an account of his exploration of the west and it included a reference to his slave, Brutus, who crashed a wagon after becoming drunk. Pike spiked the alcohol with something, likely a purgative, and Brutus became so ill he stopped drinking (at least temporarily) after that.

1865 – November - Brutus Jackson was listed on multiple committees for the first Colored Convention of Arkansas which met for the purpose of petitioning the state and federal governments “to grant us equality before the law, and the right of suffrage, because he believes we have earned it and, therefore, we deserve it; we have bought it with our blood, and, therefore, it is of priceless value to us.”

1866 – IRS Tax Assessment Lists mentioned Brutus working as a common carrier when he pays $1.67 in taxes for two months. Also in this year, a court case begins by Nancy and Brutus Jackson over whether they owed money for land they purchased or were owed money for work they did as servants.

1869 – December – The US Census Mortality Schedule showed Brutus died of pneumonia at the age of 53. Mrs. Brutus Jackson paid for his cemetery plot, which was number 35 on January 7, 1870 but the transaction was cancelled and the plot was given to someone else.

1869 – December 28 – The Daily Arkansas Gazette published Brutus’ obituary and reported the had once served as valet for Isaac Franklin and Joseph Acklen as well as General Pike’s carriage driver. It also stated that he had over come his addiction to alcohol and he was a man of “remarkable dignity of character, gentle, considerate and intelligent.”

1870 – The Jackson’s court case concludes and the judge sides with Mrs. Jackson. The records specifically noted that Brutus had died in the interim. Also, US Census records for this year list Nancy Jackson, Mulatto age 36 born in Arkansas as head of the household. Also living in the household are Maria Jackson age 11, Emma Jackson age 6, Brutus Jackson age 3, and Lee Jackson age 1, all listed as Mulatto and born in Arkansas along with Catherine Woodson age 80 (possibly Nancy’s mother) as Black and born in Kentucky.

Other Possible Sources:

1862 – A second story about Brutus during his time with Albert Pike exists in published sources and if true, dates to 1862. It states that before the battle of Pea Ridge, Brutus was entrusted with a carpet bag full of money and told to hide out with it (Gen. Pike was afraid they would be forced into a hurried retreat). Supposedly Brutus, took the money and returned two days later with it and Pike offered to free him on the spot, but he refused. The problem with this story is the only sources for it are from the 20th century and frame Brutus as an example of a ‘faithful slave.’ However one source does mentions that it was given to the author by Gen. Pike’s son

A note about his relations: Brutus was the son of Luke (b. abt. 1783) and Lucy (b. abt. 1785) Jackson. Their names also appear in the Fairview Farm Journal in 1830. Besides Brutus they also had several sons. The oldest son was Henry who married to Jane Craig (b. abt. 1824). They had two known children Delsey born about 1848 and Lucy born about 1859. Warren (b. abt. 1822), Lee (b. abt. 1823) a carpenter who married Hannah Pride (b. abt. 1816). They had a son Napoleon (b. abt. 1849). Mark (b. abt. 1827) who is married to Louisa (b. abt. 1830). By 1861 they have one son John B. Jackson born about 1855 and one daughter Melinda born about 1860. One other person, Alfred Jackson born about 1829 is living on the Panola Plantation in 1850. While the rest of the family is living on contiguous Plantations of Angola and Lochlomond. There may be one Sister Rosetta born about 1836 and living on the Lochlomond in March of 1861. By 1861 Lucy is still living at Lochlomond around the age of 75. It appears that Luke had died within the preceding ten years. At the time of Isaac Franklin’s death it appears all but two of her sons, Henry and Alfred were at Fairview.

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