The Enslaved Community

Charlotte [Brown] Bishop Bransford

Charlotte was married to Stephen Bishop until his death in 1857. She later married Nicholas Bransford, also a cave guide at Mammoth Cave.

It is believed that she met Stephen Bishop when he came to Locust Grove in 1842 to draw the map John Croghan published in Rambles in Mammoth Cave.

However, there is a signature on the walls at Mammoth Cave for “Charlotte Brown, 1841,” one that says “Charlotte Bishop, 1848,” and a heart containing several names, including “Stephen Bishop, 1843,” with “Mrs. Charlotte Bishop” written underneath.

Charlotte worked as a cook and a chambermaid in the hotel while at Mammoth Cave. She and Stephen had one son together, Thomas, who was born between 1843 and 1844. He was emancipated with his parents in 1856 but disappeared from historic records around the age of 16, and it is assumed he died young.