“Story of Two Lives”

“Story of Two Lives: Mother and Daughter United After a Separation of 30 Years” was a headline in the Denver Republican newspaper on February 18, 1882.  Aunt Clara Brown and her daughter reunited after 30 years, an incredible miracle! After slavery, trying to find lost loved ones was a huge issue for many families in what was a chaotic and changing world. The chances of finding a loved one were made even slimmer due to limited resources, limited communication and name changes.

headline daughter

Yet here they both are, together at last. There’s something very exciting about seeing their names in print. It’s some kind of verification of their existence. A more minor miracle than them being able to find each other is the miracle of any copy of this article being findable, or the fact that it was ever written at all.

From what I’ve read, a similar article, which ran in the Council Bluffs, Iowa newspaper, was destroyed in a fire several years ago. That makes this newspaper article even more special.

clara newspaper-2

In order to see the Denver Republican article, it’s necessary to use microfiche at the main branch of the Denver Public Library.

Yes. the old microfiche you are thinking of. Not everything is digitized. Somehow it’s fitting to use older methods to look at this information. It makes the experience seem more real, more tangible, partly because it’s harder to get to and access is more limited.


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