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Name:    Brooks, William P.
Profession:  Clergy
Category:  African-American Experience, Religion
Born/Started:    1826
Description:    Reverend William P. Brooks was born a slave in Virginia in 1826, moved to Missouri in 1842, and purchased his freedom in 1846. He became actively involved in the Underground Railroad and black education and was also appointed president of the National Freedmens´s Saving and Trust Company.

Rev. Brooks also conducted a wood and coal business in St. Louis from 1855 to 1865. In 1865, he sold his business to devote more time to his ministry. That same year, the federal government established the National Freedmen’s Savings and Trust Company to encourage ex-slaves to save their money. Reverend Brooks was appointed president of the bank. In 1873, the bank fell victim to the financial crisis that swept the country during the panic of 1873.

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