Brownsville History and Descendants

Brownsville was a community nested in Frostburg, Maryland. It began with two women of color, Tamar Brown and Elizabeth Jackson. Both were formerly enslaved people who purchased and raised homes on neighboring lots. With the support of other formerly enslaved people in Allegany County, they organized and nurtured an African American community that lasted from the 1860’s through the 1950’s. Frostburg State University now exists where Brownsville once stood. The story behind Brownsville’s existence and displacement is too rich and dense to share here. What is documented about Brownsville can be found in Lynn G. Bowman’s book: Being Black in Brownsville: Echoes of a “forgotten” Frostburg.

These are just some of the family names of Brownsville community members. Some of these families still reside in and near Frostburg today.  Are you a Brownsville descendant? Please contact us. We’d love to include you in our project.