Facebook Twitter

Donate to BlackPast Blog
  • African American History
  • African American History in the West
  • Global African History
  • Perspectives

NOTE: will not disclose, use, give or sell any of the requested information to third parties.

5 + 4 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Shop Amazon and help in the Classroom

Flake, Green (1828-1903)

Image Ownership: Public Domain
Little is known about the first years of Green Flake’s life.  Born enslaved, at the age of ten he was given as a wedding gift to James Madison Flake, who married Agnes Love in 1838 in Anson, North Carolina.  They moved shortly thereafter to Mississippi.  By April of 1844, the couple and several of their slaves, including Green, had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) and traveled to the Mormon center: Nauvoo, Illinois. Soon, the Saints were preparing for the largest religious migration in American history.  From Illinois, they would journey on foot or in covered wagons to what is now Utah.

Green Flake, by then a strapping sixteen-year-old weighing nearly two hundred pounds, was chosen as one of three “colored servants” in the vanguard pioneer company. Many of Green’s descendants claim it was he to whom Brigham Young’s famous words were directed at the journey’s end: “This is the right place; drive on.”

Green married Martha Crosby, also a slave of Mormon pioneers and a sister of the other two “colored servants,” Hark Lay and Oscar Crosby. The marriage was threatened when a widowed, impoverished Agnes Flake requested that Green be sold.  The sale never happened, and Green and Martha went on to have a large posterity. By the time Green Flake died, he had achieved some fame as a vanguard pioneer.  He had already chosen and even helped carve his own epitaph: “In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions.”  He is buried in the Union Cemetery of Salt Lake City, Utah.

John Brown, Journal of Pioneer John Brown (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1941);Margaret Blair Young and Darius Aidan Gray, Standing on the Promises (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000-2003);


Brigham Young University

Entry Categories:

Copyright 2007-2015 - v2.0 | | Your donations help us to grow. | We welcome your suggestions. | Mission Statement is an independent non-profit corporation 501(c)(3). It has no affiliation with the University of Washington. is supported in part by a grant from Humanities Washington, a state-wide non-profit organization supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the state of Washington, and contributions from individuals and foundations.