Deed of Manumission for Lucy Goode Brooks and three children, October 21, 1862. Richmond City Hustings Court Deed Book 78A:393–394, Library of Virginia.
Enslaved Virginians faced a perilous existence and were in constant jeopardy of being sold or of having their families broken up. Lucy Goode Brooks and her husband Albert Royal Brooks received permission from their separate owners to live together as a family. Beginning late in the 1850s, Albert Brooks paid Daniel Von Groning, the owner of Lucy Brooks, in installments to purchase the freedom of his wife and three of their seven children. In October 1862 their freedom was secured through a deed of manumission, which was recorded in the city of Richmond the following month in these words, "I do hereby declare the said servants and the future increase of the females forever manumitted and free." The stipulation that the children of Lucy Brooks's daughters would also be free was necessary inasmuch as the children of enslaved women were legally born enslaved.