Albert Royal Brooks was a Richmond businessman who thrived before the American Civil War (1861–1865) despite
his enslavement. In the antebellum
years Brooks took advantage of the common though illegal practice of earning wages for his
work, which he then invested in an eating house and a prosperous hack and livery
stable. Between 1862 and 1865 Brooks managed to purchase his freedom, his wife's, and that of most of their children. After the war Brooks became
a commu. . .
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