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The Family of Jack and Sallie Foster [Blyew v. United States]
Birth Year : 1868
In Lewis County, KY, during the summer of 1868, five members of the Foster family were attacked by John Blyew and George Kennard, who used a carpenter's ax and some other bladed tool to hack at the bodies of the family members. Jack, his wife Sallie, and his grandmother Lucy Armstrong, who was blind, were killed outright. Richard, the Foster's 16 year old son, took shelter under his father's body. He later regained consciousness and crawled 300 yards to a neighbor's house for help. Richard died two days later. The two youngest children were the only survivors: Laura Foster, 8 years old, hid and was unharmed, while her 6 year old sister, Amelia, was hacked about the head but lived. A posse was formed and Blyew and Kennard were arrested and indicted on four counts of murder. The court hearings began October 26, 1868, with the following evidence presented: Richard Foster's dying statements, Laura Foster's written testimony [it was illegal in Kentucky for African Americans to give testimony against whites during criminal proceedings], and the testimony of those who investigated the crimes. One of the reasons given for the murders was retaliation for the Civil War and the potential for another war about African Americans. The trial was held in U.S. Court for the District of Kentucky before Judge Bland Ballard. The prosecuting attorney was Benjamin H. Bristow, who would later become the first U.S. Solicitor General and serve as Secretary of the Treasury in the Grant Administration before becoming a Republican presidential nominee in 1876. Two years prior to the Foster family murders, Congress had passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which gave jurisdiction to federal courts for all causes, civil and criminal, affecting persons who are denied or cannot enforce any of the rights secured to them in the courts or judicial tribunals of the state or locality, where they may be. The understanding of the provisions of the act was the reason Blyew and Kennard were tried in a federal court. Their case was presented to an all-white jury [it was still illegal to have African American jurors in such cases in Kentucky]. None of the jury members were from Lewis County. Blyew and Kennard were found guilty and sentenced to hang. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court as a Writ of Error. Blyew v United States was one of the first cases for the full court to analyze the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Kentucky Governor J. W. Stevenson called for a special legislative session, and funds were appropriated for use in the Blyew v United States case to hire the distinguished lawyer, Judge Jeremiah S. Black, to represent Kentucky's sovereign rights as a challenge to the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. It was determined by the governor and many of the Kentucky legislators that the 1866 Act exceeded the authority of Congress and was an unconstitutional intrusion of authority. The U.S. Supreme Court deliberated for more than a year before rendering a judgment on April 1, 1872, that reversed the convictions of Blyew and Kennard with a 5-2 majority. Prior to the decision, the Negro testimony law in Kentucky was repealed, and Blyew and Kennard were indicted and to be tried in the Lewis County Circuit Court in 1873. In Blyew's case, there was a hung jury, and the case was then to be prosecuted in federal court. But before the retrial could take place, Blyew escaped. In George Kennard's case, he was convicted and sentenced to hard labor for his natural life. He was pardoned by Governor Blackburn in 1885 due to his health. Kennard died of senility on April 5, 1923 in Carter County, KY, according to his death certificate. John Blyew was recaptured in 1890, and the Lewis County Circuit Court convicted and sentenced him to life in prison. Governor W. J. Worthington pardoned Blyew in 1896, and Blyew, his wife Emma, and granddaughter Mary, were residing in Cincinnati, OH in 1900, according to the U.S. Federal Census. The surviving Foster sisters, Laura and Amelia, were taken in by a white family named Ruggles. It has been written that Laura, who was born around 1860, died of measles after living with the Ruggles for a few years, but according the U. S. Census, she was with the Ruggles' family as a servant up to 1880. Amelia (1862-1936), who was described as having horrendous scars on her head, was single and remained in Lewis County doing housework up until 1934 when she became ill, according to her death certificate. For more see Blyew v. United States, 80 U.S. 13 Wall. 581 (1871) [full-text at Justia.com]; R. D. Goldstein, "Blyew: variations on a jurisdictional theme," Stanford Law Review, vol. 41, issue 3 (Feb. 1989), pp. 469-566; and Race, Law, and American Society, by G. J. Browne-Marshall.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky, Court Cases, Blind, Visually Impaired
Geographic Region: Lewis County, Kentucky

Farris, Elaine
Birth Year : 1955
On June 22, 2004, Elaine Farris became the first African American school superintendent in Kentucky, at age 49. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and is pursuing her doctorate at the University of Kentucky. She has taught in Winchester, where she was also an assistant principal and principal. Elaine Farris was the school superintendent of Shelby County in 2004. She left that post in 2007 when she was named Deputy Commissioner with the Kentucky Department of Education. In 2009, Farris was named Superintendent of Clark County Schools. For more see G. Kocher, "A Kentucky first, a racial barrier broken, Shelby County breaks ground by hiring black schools chief," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/23/04; R. H. Ismail, "4 Kentucky educators named to key state-level positions," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/30/2007, p. B2; and KET's "Connections with Renee Shaw" - #310: Elaine Farris.

 
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Shelby County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Farris, Samuel
Birth Year : 1845
Samuel Farris was born in Barren County, KY. At a young age, he was taken to Mississippi to work on a cotton plantation. After his master died, Farris attempted to make his way back to Kentucky but ended up in Alabama, then later made his way to Memphis. He worked on steamboats for 13 years, then changed his occupation to undertaking. His business was located at 104 DeSoto Street in Memphis, according to the Memphis, TN, City Directory for 1890 and for 1891. In the 1890s Samuel Farris was a member of the A.M.E. Church and considered a wealthy businessman -- worth $15,000. For more see the Samuel Farris entry in Afro-American Encyclopaedia: Or, the Thoughts, Doings... by James T. Haley, pp. 207-208 [UNC University Library, Documenting the American South].

  See photo image of Samuel Farris on p.208 of the Afro-American Encyclopaedia by J. T. Haley.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Migration South
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee

Faulkner, Broadus [Bonus Army Riot]
Start Year : 1899
End Year : 1961
Broadus Faulkner was a member of the Bonus Army which was made up of more than 43,000 protesters, mostly WWI veterans and family members. The protesters, both Blacks and whites, were seeking cash payments for veterans' Service Certificates. The U.S. Government had issued more than three million certificates that were to mature in 1945; they were 20 year certificates that represented the pay promised to veterans plus compounded interest. With the Great Depression, unemployed veterans marched on Washington during the spring and summer of 1932, led by former Army Sargent Walter W. Waters, the veterans had gathered at the Capital to convince Congress to make immediate payments. The protesters camped-out near the White House and the encampment was named Hooverville. The campers lived in tents and makeshift huts. June 1932, the House passed a bill for payment, but the bill was blocked in the Senate. July 1932, the Attorney General ordered the police to evacuate the Bonus Army. A riot broke out. President Hoover called out troops to force the protesters out of Washington. Several veterans and their family members were injured and two were killed. Hooverville was burned to the ground. August 1932, the Washington D.C. grand jury indicted three men for their role in the riot. Broadus Faulkner, a 32 year old African American from Kentucky, was charged with felonious assault and assault to kill Patrolman John E. Winters. Faulkner and Bernard McCoy, a Chicago bricklayer who was also indicted, had thrown bricks at the police. John O. Olson, the third man to be indited, was a carpenter whose last address was in Nebraska. Olson had used a table leg as a weapon against the police. For more see "Three Indicted in bonus army fight," Kingsport Times, 08/16/1932, p.1 & 6; and The Bonus Army by P. Dickson and T. B. Allen.

Broadus Faulkner, born in Paint Lick, KY, November 28, 1899, was the son of Isiah and Jane Smith Faulkner. In 1910, the family of seven lived in Buckeye, KY [source: U.S. Federal Census - last name spelled "Faulconer"]. In 1920, Faulkner lived in Cincinnati, OH, where he worked as a laborer; he was a private in the  U.S. Army during WWI; and in 1926 he was sentenced to prison in Chelsea, MI for breaking and entering [sources: 1920 and 1930 U.S. Federal Census; "2 would-be robbers of fur store caught," The Owosso Argus-Press, 03/01/1926, p.6; and "Three Bonus men indicted," The Milwaukee Journal, 08/16/1932, p.12]. Faulkner also served 90 days in Philadelphia, PA for stealing. Following the Bonus Army riot in 1932, Faulkner, Bernard McCoy, and John O. Olson were jailed. They were represented by lawyers Dan McCullough and Frank S. Easby-Smith, and after their trial, all three of the jailed men were freed with a suspended sentence [source: "Men jailed in Bonus Eviction Riot Freed," The Toledo News-Bee, 11/25/1932, p.1].  By 1940, Broadus Faulkner had moved to Los Angeles, CA [source: U.S. Federal Census], where he died May 3, 1961 [source: California Death Index]. 

See photo image of Broadus Faulkner, John O. Olson, and Bernard McCoy under the caption "Accused in Captol Bonus Riot" on p.4 of the Florence Times, 08/20/1932.
 
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paint Lick and Buckeye, Garrard County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / Los Angeles California

Fayette County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Fayette County is one the three original counties formed by Virginia in 1780. Today the county is located in the central Bluegrass Region surrounded by six counties, including its southern boundary of the Kentucky River that is shared with Madison County. Fayette County was named for Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat who was a military officer in the American Revolutionary War and during the French Revolution. There are many locations in the United States named for General Lafayette. The county seat of Fayette County in Kentucky is Lexington, created by Virginia in 1782, and named after Lexington, MA. Fayette County encompasses the second largest population in Kentucky. In the First Census of Kentucky, 1790, there were 14,626 whites, 3,752 slaves, and 32 free persons. In 1800, the population was 14,028, according to the Second Census of Kentucky; 9,715 whites, 4,225 slaves, and 88 free coloreds. In 1830, there were 13 African American slave owners in Fayette County, and 15 in Lexington. By 1860, the county population had increased to 12,585 [excluding the slaves], and ten years later, after slavery had ended in Kentucky, the Fayette County population was 26,736, according to the U.S. Federal Census. There was a significant slave population in Fayette County, below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 1,553 slave owners
  • 9,946 Black slaves
  • 858 Mulatto slaves
  • 518 free Blacks
  • 153 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 1,720 slave owners
  • 8,537 Black slaves
  • 1,611 Mulatto slaves
  • 453 free Blacks
  • 232 free Mulattoes

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 10,795 Blacks
  • 1,590 Mulattoes
  • About 406 U.S. Colored Troops listed Fayette County, KY, as their birth location.

For more see the Fayette County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; History of Lexington, Kentucky by G. W. Ranck; History of Fayette County, Kentucky by W. H. Perrin; Black Marriage Bonds of Fayette County, Kentucky, 1866-1876 by G. Garrison; and African American Presence by Historic South Hill Neighborhood Association.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J]
Geographic Region: Fayette County, Kentucky

Fayette County Rural Library Service, Negro Efforts
Start Year : 1938
End Year : 1939
The Fayette County Rural Library Service was established on August 22, 1938, as part of the Library Project in Fayette County established by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The effort was supported by the U.S. Works Progress Administration, Lexington Public Library, Fayette Community Council, and Fayette County Board of Education [source: Library Project in Fayette County, 1937-1939, Scrapbook 46m29, letter pasted inside of front cover]. Mrs. Hammond Dugan was the supervising librarian; there was also a supervising body of women known as "Friends of the Fayette Library," they acted in an advisory capacity; and Mrs. Preston Johnson was the chairperson of the Friends group [source: "A Library on wheels brings the riches of literature to rural Fayette," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/12/1939, p.28]. For Negroes in Lexington and Fayette County, the Douglass Community Library was opened at Douglass High School [source: "Fayette County rural library service," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/16/1938]. The site was described as the Negro branch of the Fayette County free circulating collection of books for the Negro community. Books and magazines could be borrowed between 9am-3pm. Mrs. P. E. Stephens was in charge of the branch. The Fayette County Rural Library Service boasted that it had established the first Negro library center in the county; the first service to blind Negroes and shut-ins to whom books were read aloud; and the first story-telling for groups of Negro children [source: "A Library on wheels brings the riches of literature to rural Fayette," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/12/1939, p.28]. In 1939, the project ended. In the summary report, item 10 pertained to service to Negroes: "At the time of the library's closing, we were planning and working toward the dispersal of large quantities of magazines and throughout the many Negro settlements in the county. This, we felt, would give the colored people a great deal of good reading matter in spite of the fact that we were not able to supply them with books except in their one school center. We had also planned to hold weekly story-telling hours in the colored communities." -- [source: "Library Project in Fayette County, 1937-1939, file folder 46m29, archival material]. The Douglass Community Library was included in the two circulation reports found in the archival file [there were no dates on the reports], on one report the circulation number was 857 for adults and 1,797 for juveniles. On the other report, the circulation number for adults was 139, and for juveniles 187. For more about the overall effort see the Library Project in Fayette County, 1937-1939, scrapbook and file folder at the Univerity of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center. The next library for Negroes in Fayette County, KY, would be the Charlotte Court Library in 1940. See also Laura Carroll Colored Branch, and Colored Reading Room, Lexington Carnegie Public Library.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Works Progress Administration (WPA) / Work Projects Adminstration (WPA), Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Fergus Falls (Otter Tail County, Minnesota)
Around 1849, 40 free African Americans, most from Virginia and Kentucky, arrived near what is today St. Paul, Minnesota. Minnesota had recently been organized as a territory, and small groups of Kentuckians would continue to make their way to the area for the next half century. In 1896, real-estate agents distributed fliers to Kentucky African American veterans visiting the fairgrounds in St. Paul; the fliers highlighted Fergus Falls as a good settlement area. About 50 African Americans from Kentucky moved to Fergus Falls in 1897, joining others who had been there since the end of the Civil War. The community was described in a newspaper article as "the first exclusive Colored colony in Minnesota." The family of activist Mary Lee Johnson, who was born in Kentucky, moved to the area sometime after 1910. The lack of suitable homesteads and employment led many to leave the area. By 1970 only 15 residents remained in the African American community of Fergus Falls. For more see the quote in the article "Colored colony," Illinois Record, 05/14/1898, p.2; African Americans in Minnesota, by D. V. Taylor; and P. Miller, "Activist Mary Lee Johnson dies," Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities, 10/12/1997, News section, p. 7B.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Communities, Freedom, Migration West, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Virginia / Kentucky / Fergus Falls, Otter Tail County, Minnesota

Ferguson, Andrew
Birth Year : 1828
Andrew Ferguson was a slave born in Paris, KY, owned by Dr. Andrew Todd. Ferguson was given his freedom with the condition that he live in Liberia, Africa. At the age of 24, his name is listed among the freeman, all bound for Liberia, in the 1853 publication of The African Repository, v.29, p. 70 [available full-text at Google Book Search]. Ferguson remained in Liberia for two years, then returned to the U.S. as a free man and settled in Louisville, KY, where he was employed as a janitor in the Hamilton Building. He was a member of the Board of Missions for Freedom Colored Church that had been holding services in a rented hall. When it came time for the church to find a permanent home, Ferguson confidentially encouraged Pastor J. R. Riley to consider a church on Madison Street that was for sale by a German denomination. Once the pastor had made up his mind, Ferguson, with the pastor in attendance, paid $4,880 in cash for the building. The deed was made out to the trustees of the church. After the purchase, Ferguson continued as an unassuming member of the congregation, holding no positions in the church. For more see "A Noble Deed of a Colored Man," The Presbyterian Monthly Record, vol. 32 (1881), pp. 321-322 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ferguson, Denver and Sea (brothers)
Denver Darious Ferguson (1895-1957) and Sea Ferguson (1899-1974) were born in Brownsville, KY, the sons of Samuel H. and Mattie Whitney Ferguson. Denver was a journalist and established The Edmonson Star News. He was also a WWI veteran then moved to Indianapolis in 1919 and owned a printing company. Sea, a college graduate, followed his brother to Indianapolis and worked in his printing company. The brothers would leave the printing business, and around 1931 they began establishing entertainment businesses on Indiana Avenue: Trianon Ballroom, Royal Palm Gardens, the Cotton Club, and Sunset Terrace Ballroom. They also established Ferguson Brothers' Booking Agency and brought many big name African American entertainers to Indianapolis, and some lesser known names including Kentucky natives Jimmy Coe and Gene Pope. The Ferguson brothers also owned Ferguson Hotel. They are recognized for making Indianapolis a major stop on the African American entertainment circuit. Denver Ferguson was said to be quite a wealthy man up to WWII [source: "Denver Ferguson, pioneer businessman dies," Indianapolis Record, 05/18/1957, pp.1&7]. Sea Ferguson is said to have become a millionaire as a result of his real estate business. He was also an officer with the The National Negro Bowling Association (TNBA). Sea Ferguson is said to be the 3rd African American to build a bowling center; Ferguson's Fun Bowl opened in March 1941 at 750 N. West Street in Indianapolis, IN. For more see The Jimmy Coe Discography website; and "Sea Ferguson's Fun Bowl," The African Diaspora Archaeology Network, March 2008 Newsletter, p.9 [online .pdf].
Subjects: Bowlers and Bowling, Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Brownsville, Edmonson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Ferguson, Thelma B.
Birth Year : 1959
Ferguson, born in Memphis, TN, was the first African American woman to be named President of Chase Bank Kentucky. The appointment was made in 2005, and in 2008 Ferguson was promoted to the new position of Market Manager for the Metro New York area with JP Morgan Chase & Co. It is believed that Ferguson was also the first African American woman to head a major bank in Kentucky. For more see "Chase's promotion of Ferguson is well received," Business First, 07/29/2005 [available online]; and Thelma Ferguson in Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, pp.64-65.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Migration North
Geographic Region: Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ferrill, London
Birth Year : 1789
Death Year : 1854
A slave from Hanover County, VA, London Ferrill became minister in 1820 of the Lexington First African Baptist Church, which became the largest church in Kentucky with 1,828 members. London Ferrill was born in 1789, the slave of Mrs. Ann Ferrill Winston, who gave him the name of her birth place, London, England [source: "Rev. London Ferrill; Kentucky's greatest Negro preacher" in the title Lore of the Meadowland by J. W. Townsend, pp.28-34]. All of the slaves had the last name Ferrill. Ann F. Winston died when London Ferrill was nine years old and he was sold to Colonel Samuel Overton for $600, separating him from his mother.  London Ferrill's wife purchased his freedom (it is assumed that she was already free) and the two left Virginia for Kentucky and settled four miles outside of Lexington. The family of three is listed in the 1820 and the 1830 U.S. Federal Census. London Ferrill began preaching in the homes of his congregation. He was eventually ordained by the Elkhorn Baptist Association. He requested and was granted permission to remain in Kentucky by the General Assembly [free Negroes were to leave the state, unless they were born in Kentucky]. At the age of 20, London Ferrill was baptized by Rev. Absalom Waller. When Lexington and Fayette County were hit by cholera, London Ferrill lost his wife on June 11, 1833. After the death of his wife, Ferrill moved into Lexington and would become the founder of the First Baptist Church for Colored People. The church was on the corner of East Short and Deweese Streets. London Ferrill died in Lexington on October 12, 1854, and is buried in the Old Episcopal Third Street Cemetery. He had no children when he died, but left a will giving his property to his adopted children. For more see Biography of London Ferrill, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Colored Persons, Lexington, Ky at the Documenting the American South website; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Hanover County, Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Fields, Holloway, Jr.
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 2006
Holloway Fields, Jr. was born in Lexington, KY. In 1951, he became the first African American student to graduate from the University of Kentucky (UK) and from the UK College of Engineering with an electrical engineering degree. Fields was valedictorian of his 1945 graduating class at old Dunbar High School; he also was president of the student council and captain of the football team. He first enrolled at the Illinois Institute of Technology and then transferred to the University of Kentucky following the U.S. District Court decision forcing the University of Kentucky to become desegregated. Fields went on to become an engineer with the General Electric Company, retiring in 1991. Fields was also a World War II veteran and a resident of Syracuse, NY, where he died. Holloway Fields was the son of Holloway Sr. and Margaret Fields. According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived on Montmullin Street at the home of Rosie Bryant, who was Holloway Fields' maternal grandmother. For more see "Holloway Fields, Jr., UK's first Black graduate, passes away," UK News, 02/28/2006 [available online]; and "First black to earn bachelor's degree from UK dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/01/2006.

See photo image and additional information at the UK College of Engineering website.
Subjects: Engineers, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Syracuse, New York

Fields, Sharon B.
Birth Year : 1951
Sharon B. Fields was born in Paris, KY, she is an educator, politician, and a minister. She was also the first African American woman to become a city commissioner in Paris, KY. William B. Reed, the first African American commissioner in the city, was one of the candidates during Fields' first run for a seat on the commission in 1989. Fields was a new contender and had her supporters, but for some, her candidacy represented a split in the African American vote and it was feared that she would greatly decrease the chances of having at least one African American city commissioner. Others felt that one African American male candidate was most appropriate. Fields lost her first election by 3 votes. But, she was appointed to the commission when one of the commissioners stepped down. In 1990, she was a teacher at Paris High School and a city commissioner. She was a commissioner, off and on, for 10 years. Today, Rev. Fields is a member of the Paris Independent School Board of Education. She has also served as pastor of the Eminence Christian Church in Eminence, KY. Reverend Fields earned her undergraduate degree in education at Eastern Kentucky University, a masters in education at Georgetown College (KY), a masters in public affairs at Kentucky State University, and a divinity masters at Lexington Theological Seminary. She was the first African American woman vice moderator and moderator for the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. Reverend Fields is also an author, she has written numerous articles for religious magazines such as Just Women; articles for the Bourbon Times and The Bourbon Citizen; and an article for Essence Magazine on social security benefits for out-of-wedlock children. She is the co-author of In Other Words--; stories of African American involvement in the early years of the Stone-Campbell movement in Kentucky. This entry was submitted by Kellie Scott of the Paris Bourbon County Public Library. For more information on Sharon B. Fields as a city commissioner, see the commission records at the Bourbon County Clerk's Office; also contact Sharon B. Fields.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Fifth Street Baptist Church (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1815
The church was founded in 1815, known at that time as the First Baptist African Mission. In 1842 the congregation separated from the First Baptist Church of Louisville, forming the Colored Baptist Church of Louisville. It is one of the oldest African American churches in the city, and one of the oldest among African American Baptist churches. The church archive is available at the University of Louisville Archives and Record Center. Historical Sketch of The Fifth Street Baptist Church of Louisville, Kentucky, by G. A. Hampton, is included in the archive collection.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Figgs, Ukari O.
Birth Year : 1977
Ukari Figgs was born in Georgetown, KY. In high school, she was an outstanding student and athlete, leading the Scott County girls' basketball team to a state title in 1995, the year she was named Miss Basketball of Kentucky. She played college ball at Purdue University, helping them win the 1999 women's NCAA title; Figgs was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. She graduated in 1999 with a degree in mechanical engineering and was drafted into the WNBA; Ukari Figgs was the first African American woman from the Bluegrass region to play in the WNBA. She was a member of the 2001 Los Angeles Sparks WNBA title team. In 2004, Figgs retired from the WNBA, where she had averaged 6.5 points, 3.1 assists, 2.3 rebounds, and had played in 151 games on three different teams. She was an engineer at Toyota Manufacturing in Georgetown, KY, and an assistant coach with the male varsity team at Scott County High School from 2004-2009. Figgs was named the assistant coach to the Purdue women's basketball team in 2009. Two years later, June 2011, Ukari Figgs was named the University of Kentucky's assistant athletic director for women's basketball. For more see Ukari Figgs, WNBA player information and Ukari Figgs Announces Retirement. See also M. Carmin, "Coaching lures Figgs back to Purdue," Journal and Courrier, 04/14/2009, Sports section, p.1,3C; and J. Tipton, "Figgs named women's basketball AD - 1995 Miss Basketball coached at Purdue," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/11/2011, p.D6.

See photo images and additional information about Ukari Figgs at the Los Angeles Sparks website and WNBA.com.
Subjects: Basketball, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California / West Lafayette, Indiana / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Filipino Students Denied Admittance to School [Louisville, KY]
Start Year : 1904
In 1904, four engineering students from the Philippines were denied admittance to DuPont Manual Training High School in Louisville, KY. The Kentucky Board of Education ruled that the students' color debarred them from the privilege of public schools. The question the board pondered was whether Filipinos were Negroes. It was decided that the term "Colored" applied to Negroes, Indians, and all other brown races. The law required the separation of races in Kentucky schools. The four students were located elsewhere; they were members of the Filipino Student Movement, an American government plan for the Americanization of selected Filipino students. The first group of students was comprised of 75 males between the ages of 16 and 21 who ranked highest on the program examination and met other criteria. Four students were recommended for Kentucky University [University of Kentucky] and four for the DuPont Manual Training High School. None of the students came to Kentucky: the engineering students were redirected elsewhere and the Kentucky University students decided to attend the University of Michigan. When a student completed his studies in the United States, he was to return to the Philippines to become an employee of the civil service for the equal number of years spent in the United States. Control of the Philippines had been passed from Spain to the United States with the signing of the 1898 Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War; the United States paid 20 million dollars to Spain for the Philippines. For more see "Their color debars them," Spokane Daily Chronicle, 07/07/1904, p. 3; "Filipino students," Evening Bulletin, 07/07/1904, p. 4; "The Filipino students," Evening Bulletin, 09/07/1904, p. 1; and p. 929 of the "Report of the Superintendent of Filipino Students in the United States covering the Filipino Student Movement, from its inception to June 30, 1904," in the Fifth Annual Report of the Philippine Commission 1904, Part 3, by the Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department. For more about the U.S.-Philippines relationship, see Bound to Empire, by H. W. Brands and Crucible of Empire, by J. C. Bradford.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Race Categories
Geographic Region: Philippines / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Finn, Marvin
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 2007
Marvin Finn was an internationally known urban folk artist who lived in Louisville, KY. He began making toys as a child in Clio, AL, where he lived with his family, including 12 siblings. After coming to Kentucky in 1940, he worked at various jobs, carving toys as time allowed. After his wife died in 1966, he began making toys full-time. His work was highlighted in 1985 when the Kentucky Art and Craft Gallery opened in Louisville. For more see Marvin Finn: Wizard of whimsical whittling; Folk Artists Biographical Index, 1st ed., edited by G. H. Meyer; and P. Burba, "Fans flocked to his work; artist Marvin Finn dies," Louisville Courier-Journal, 01/31/2007, News section, p. 1B.


Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Migration North
Geographic Region: Clio, Alabama / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Finney, Nikky
Birth Year : 1957
Born in Conway, South Carolina, Nikky Finney is an associate professor of creative writing and a former director of the African American Studies and Research Program at the University of Kentucky. She is a graduate of Talladega College in Alabama. She is a nationally recognized poet and author of books of poetry including On Wings Made of Gauze, Rice, and The World is Round. Her work has also been published in anthologies. She was a screenwriter on the documentary, M & M. Smith: for posterity's sake. In 2011, Nikky Finney received the National Book Award in Poetry. In 2012, Nikky Finney left the University of Kentucky and returned to South Carolina. For more see "BIBR talks to Nikky Finney," Black Issues Book Review, March/April 2003, vol. 5, issue 2, pp. 28-29; K. Hamilton, "You are only as writerly as the last thing you've written," in Monty, a supplement to the print magazine, Montpelier at James Madison University; and D. Shafa, "Stepping up," Kentucky Kernel, 09/27/06, Campus News section. UKnow article, "UK Professor Nikky Finney wins National Book Award for Poetry," available online, a University of Kentucky publication website.



  See photo and additional information about Nikky Finney at "The Beauty and Difficulty of Poet Nikky Finney" by N. Adams, 04/08/2012, 6:39 AM, a NPR website.

Access Interview Read about the Nikky Finney oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.

 

  See the Nikky Finney interview with Renee Shaw, program #843, "Connections with Renee Shaw" at the KET (Kentucky Educational Television) website.

 
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration West, Poets
Geographic Region: Conway, South Carolina / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Firmatown (Woodford County, KY)
Start Year : 1877
(Also known as Fermantown.) There are two accounts of how Firmatown came to be: The first states the land was given to freemen by their former master, the second that an African American man named Furman won 18 acres in a lottery with a ten cent ticket. In either case, in 1877 there was a landowner named Furman living in Firmatown, along with R. Peters, R. Brown, and H. Smith. By the turn of the century there were 150 people in the community. An 1892 picture of the Fermantown Colored School is included in the Hifner Photo Collection at the Kentucky Historical Society website. For more see Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms: a dichotomous rural settlement pattern in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region, by P. C. Smith.
Subjects: Communities, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Firmatown (Fermantown), Woodford County, Kentucky

First African Baptist Church (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1790
The First African Baptist Church is considered the first west of the Allegheny Mountains, and is said to predate the first Baptist Church for whites. The church was founded by Peter Durrett, who was a slave also known as Old Captain. Durrett was born in Caroline County, Virginia in the 1700s and arrived in what is now the state of Kentucky around 1785. He and his wife lived in Lexington and the First African Baptist Church was located at the corner of what would become known as Lexington and Euclid Streets. Durrett preached to the slaves who were allowed to attend his church, and there was a beginning congregation of 50 members. Today the First African Baptist Church is located at 465 Price Road in Lexington, KY. For more about the history of the church and it's preachers, the community, and other African American churches that developed from the First African Baptist Church, see One Grain of the Salt by Dr. L. H. McIntyre.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

First Name "Kentucky"
Start Year : 1800
Many things have been given the name "Kentucky": ships, trains, dams, plantations, businesses, communities, literary characters, gambling wheels, and race and show horses. But there have also been living persons with the first name "Kentucky" dating back to at least the early 1800s. Looking at the census records, it is noted that during the 1840s and 1850s there were a few persons who had been honored with the name. In 1850 there were about nine persons named "Kentucky," both male and female, about half actually born in the state of Kentucky. There were about 18 in 1860, and by 1870 there were about 30. The numbers continued to grow very slowly until there was an all time high in 1900 of about 70 persons named "Kentucky"; then the numbers started to slowly decline. In the 1940 U.S. Census, about 41 people were named "Kentucky." The name is still given to a few newborns each year in the United States. To date, within the U.S. Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current, there are 17 persons with the first name "Kentucky,"; the most recent death was in 2007. Slaves were also named "Kentucky" in the U.S.; many of the persons listed below were born prior to 1865, when slavery was to end in the United States with the ratification of the 13th Amendment. There was at least one slave outside the U.S. named "Kentucky"; born around 1758, he was the slave of Sir William Barton in St. Michael Parish in Barbados, Lesser Antilles [source: Slave Registers of Former British Colonial Dependencies 1817, Office of Registry of Colonial Slaves and Slave Compensation Commission, The National Archives of the UK (TNA), Kew, Surrey, England]. African Americans who were not slaves in the United States with the first name "Kentucky" can first be found in the 1860 Census and the 1870 Census, both male and female, and all but two were born and lived outside the state of Kentucky. Overall, "Kentucky" has not been among the most popular first names with any group of people in the United States. Looking at African Americans with the first name "Kentucky," it has most often been in the south, in particular in Mississippi, that people were most likely to name a female child "Kentucky." The name is not among those found in the Popular Names by State, a database at the U.S. Social Security website, but it is found in baby names books such as The Complete Book of Baby Names, by L. Bolton, and The Best Baby Names Treasury, by E. Larson.

 

African Americans Named "Kentucky"

 

1860 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Sloan (f) - born 1850 and lived in KY

1866 Alabama Census

  • Kentucky Heston (or Horton) (m) - 30-40 years old

1870 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Brown (f) - born 1853 in VA and lived in AR
  • Kentucky Whorton (f) - born 1865 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Nixon (m) - born 1840 in SC lived in FL
  • Kentucky Simmons (f) - born 1845 and lived in KY
  • Kentucky Steward (f) - born 1859 and lived in MO
  • Kentucky Walker (f) - born 1851 in MO lived in OH
  • Kentucky Wright (m) - born 1863 and lived in GA

1880 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Price (f) - born 1859 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Ream (f) - born 1853 and lived in TX
  • Kentucky Taylor (f) - born 1856 and lived in AR

1900 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Bivins (f) - born 1855 and lived in AR
  • Kentucky Freeman (m) - born 1891 and lived in TX
  • Kentucky Humphrey (f) - born 1894 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Jordan (f) - born 1876 in KY and lived in KS
  • Kentucky Malet (m) - born 1880 and lived in LA
  • Kentucky Mabry (f) - born 1893 and lived in AR
  • Kentucky Price (f) - born 1870 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky M. Reid (f) - born 1845 in KY lived in OK
  • Kentucky Shannon (f) - born 1852 and lived in AR
  • Kentucky Tubb (f) - born 1888 and lived in MS

1910 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Childers (m) - born 1900 and lived in OK [noted as mulatto and/or Native American]
  • Kentucky Gambrell (f) - born 1892 and lived in SC
  • Kentucky Humphrey (f) - born 1894 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Malony (f) - born 1889 and lived in AR
  • Kentucky White (f) - born 1886 and lived in MS

1918 World War I Draft Registration

  • Kentucky Childers (m) - born August 4, 1900 - KS
  • Kentucky Lewis (m) - born March 20, 1872 - TN

1920 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Brazeale (f) - born 1890 and lived in SC
  • Kentucky Childers (m) - born 1900 in OK lived in KS
  • Kentucky Jenkins (f) - born 1868 and lived in TX
  • Kentucky Price (f) - born 1856 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Shannon (f) - born 1855 and lived in AR
  • Kentucky Woods (f) - born 1917 and lived in MS

1925 Kansas Census

  • Kentucky Childers (m) - born 1900 in OK and lived in KS

1930 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Davis (f) - born 1885 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky U. Davis (m) - born 1929 and lived in AL
  • Kentucky Evens (m) - born 1907 and lived in TX
  • Kentucky Jackson (f) - born 1894 in MS lived in IL
  • Kentucky Y. Lewis (m) - born 1872 and lived in TN
  • Kentucky Petty (f) - born 1912 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Shannon (f) - born 1853 in KY lived in AR
  • Kentucky Smith (f) - born 1909 in KY lived in NY
  • Kentucky Weathersby (f) -born 1857 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Williams (f) - born 1906 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Woods (f) - born 1917 and lived in MS

1940 U. S. Census

  • Kentucky Brazeale (f) - born 1891 and lived in SC
  • Kentucky Carter (m) - born 1928 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Davis (f) - born 1890 and lived in MS
  • Kentucky Y. Lewis (m) - born 1872 and lived in TN
  • Kentucky Thomas (f) - born 1907 and lived in TN
  • Kentucky Weathersby (f) - born 1856 and lived in MS

Texas Death Certificate

  • Kentucky W. Shannon - died March 27, 1935

North Carolina Birth Index

  • Kentucky Illinois Fulton - born November 30, 1932

* Sherman J. Ferguson (1908-1975), AKA Kentucky Ferguson [BoxRec], welterweight boxer from Lewiston, Maine.  Fought from the early 1920s to the early 1940s. W 10 (10 KO); Lost 13 (12 KO); Draw 1
Subjects: Other
Geographic Region: Kentucky

First Open Housing Ordinances in Kentucky
Start Year : 1966
Bardstown and Nelson County, KY, were first in the state to adopt the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights' model open housing ordinance, which prohibited racial discrimination in housing, effective July 28, 1966. Covington and Kenton County were next to pass the ordinance, followed by Lexington and Fayette County. Source: A Kentucky Civil Rights Timeline, by KET (Kentucky Educational Television); and Freedom on the Border, by C. Fosl and T. E. K'Meyer.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

First Standard Bank (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1921
End Year : 1931
First Standard Bank in Louisville, KY, was one of the first African American banks in Kentucky. Wilson Lovett was president; W. W. Spradling was vice president and chairman of the board; and Dr. L. R. Johnson and Bishop B. C. Clement were vice presidents. Richard L. Jones, from Alabama, was a member of the group that helped organize the bank and he served as the cashier. Jones left the bank in 1922 for a position with the Chicago Defender newspaper, and in 1954, he was named director of the U.S. Foreign Operations Mission to Liberia. J. R. Ray became the second cashier at the bank. Wilson Lovett resigned as president in 1929 for a position with Supreme Life Insurance Company, and J. R. Ray was named president of First Standard Bank. The bank was first located on 7th Street, and would later be located at the corner of 6th and Walnut Streets. The First Standard and American Mutual merged in January of 1931 to become Mutual Standard Bank, but tough economic times, the Depression, forced the back to close in May of 1931. The next African American bank in Kentucky would be the Continental National Bank that opened in Louisville, KY, in 1974. For more see "Brigadier General to Liberia," The Topeka Plaindealer, 09/03/1954, pp.1 & 2; and J. Blain Hudson, "First Standard Bank" in The Encyclopedia of Louisville edited by J. E. Kleber.

See photo image of First Standard Bank in the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Collections.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Fisher, Lester C.
Birth Year : 1891
Death Year : 1926
Lester C. Fisher, born around 1891, was a horse groomer from Kentucky. He was employed at the Fairmont Jockey Club in Madison County, IL [source: Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths Index]. Fisher died July 16, 1926 in Collinsville, IL.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Collinsville, Illinois

Fisher, Mary Ann
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 2004
Born in Henderson, KY, Fisher was a rhythm and blues singer whose career began in Louisville, KY. She toured with Ray Charles, with whom she had a relationship, and also toured with others before becoming a solo act and later returning to Louisville. Her first album Song Bird of the South was released in 2004. She can also be heard on the albums Early Girls, v.4, What'd I Say, and Talk'n 'Bout You. She can also be seen performing on the KET Mixed Media Programs 523, 541, and 813 [available online]. During her childhood, Fisher and some of her eight siblings were placed in the Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children in Louisville. Fisher was adopted after her first year at the orphanage. The orphanage was also home to Jonah Jones, Dicky Wells, and Helen Humes. For more see "Fisher, Louisville's 'queen of blues,' dies," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 03/13/04, News section, p.01B. View image and listen to Mary Ann Fisher - Put On My Shoes on YouTube.

Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Fite, Samuel "Sam"
Birth Year : 1864
Owner of Fite's Studio in Owensboro, KY, he was considered the best photographer in the city. Fite, who was thought to be from Kentucky, was born in Canada. His wife was Georgia Fite, she was born in 1868 in Tennessee, and the couple lived on Elm Street in Owensboro, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, p. 511, by G. F. Richings at the Documenting the American South website.
Subjects: Photographers, Photographs, Migration South
Geographic Region: Canada / Tennessee / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Fitzbutler, Henry
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1901
Henry Fitzbutler, born in Maiden, Ontario, Canada, attended medical school in Detroit, enrolling in the Detroit Medical School in 1871 at the age of 29. He practiced medicine with his wife, Sarah, in Louisville, KY, where he pushed for a medical school for African Americans: the Louisville National Medical College opened without race restrictions. Fitzbutler also published the African American newspaper, Ohio Falls Express. Only the July 11, 1891 issue is still available, on microfilm, at the University of Louisville Archives and Record Center. Henry Fitzbutler was the father of Mary Fitzbutler Waring. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000; see Henry Fitzbutler at Find a Grave; and the Henry Fitzbutler entry in The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography by J. T. White [available full-text at Google Book Search].

See photo image of Henry Fitzbutler at Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South
Geographic Region: Maiden, Ontario, Canada / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Fitzbutler, Sarah Helen M.
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1923
Dr. Fitzbutler graduated from the Louisville National Medical College in 1892. She was the first woman of color to earn a medical degree in Kentucky; she went on to practice medicine in Louisville with her husband, Dr. Henry Fitzbutler. Sarah was born in Pennsylvania, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, and after marrying Henry, the Fitzbutler family lived in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada before moving to the U.S. Sarah died in Chicago in 1923, according to her death certificate. She was the mother of Dr. Mary Fitzbutler Waring and several other children. For more see "Henry Fitzbutler: Detroit's First Black Medical Student," by L. L. Hanawalt, Detroit in Perspective: a Journal of Regional History (Winter 1973), pp. 126-140; and In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Mothers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Pennsylvania / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Fitzpatrick, Jack "Jackie"
The 6'4" center was a member of the 1953 Kentucky High School Athletic League (KHSAL) championship basketball team from Dunbar High School in Somerset, KY. The team was unbeaten for the season and runners-up in the 1954 National High School Tournament, held at Tennessee State University in March of that year. The tournament matched the best African American high school teams from as many as 17 states. Fitzpatrick played college ball at Knoxville College, a historically black college in Tennessee. He continued his career by playing guard for the Harlem Globetrotters and Saperstein's Chicago Majors, an American Basketball League team, from 1961 to 1963. Jack Fitzpatrick was inducted into the Dawahares-Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2005. For more see Shadows of the past, by L. Stout; P. Kuharsky, "Black teams lived out hoop dreams," The Tennessean (newspaper), 02/24/2005, p. 1C; and the KHSAA 2005 Inductees (pdf).
Subjects: Basketball, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky

Fleming County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Fleming County, located in northeastern Kentucky, was formed in 1798 from a portion of Mason County. It is bordered by four counties along the Licking River. The county was named for John Fleming an early settler who secured land in Kentucky via the Virginia Land Act. Flemingsburg is the county seat, it was founded in 1796. The county population was 5,016, according to the 1800 Second Census of Kentucky; 4,752 whites, 254 slaves, and 10 free coloreds. In 1830 there was one free African American slave owner in Fleming County. The population increased to 10,471 by 1860, according to the U. S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 530 slave owners
  • 1,812 Black slaves
  • 325 Mulatto slaves
  • 115 free Blacks
  • 44 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 609 slave owners
  • 1,412 Black slaves
  • 668 Mulatto slaves
  • 73 free Blacks
  • 40 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,067 Blacks
  • 477 Mulattoes
  • About 122 U.S. Colored Troops listed Fleming County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Fleming County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Blacks Living in Fleming County, Ky.: federal census 1880 by E. R. H. Grady; and Blacks Living in Fleming County, Kentucky: federal census 1900 by E. R. H. Grady.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J]
Geographic Region: Fleming County, Kentucky

Fletcher, Theodore Thomas Fortune, Sr.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1988
T. Thomas Fortune Fletcher, Sr. was an educator and a poet. He lived for ten years in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he established and was principal of Medane Alem Secondary School for boys. He was also a professor of English at the Haile Selassie First University. Fletcher was born in Nicholasville, KY, the son of Robert and Mattie B. Spillman Fletcher. T. T. F. Fletcher, Sr. earned his English and journalism graduate degree from Columbia University, and his Ph. D. from New York University. His 1945 dissertation is titled Robert Bage, a Representative Revolutionary Novelist. When Fletcher was an undergraduate at Fisk University, several of his poems, including "Night" and "White God," were published in 1927 in Ebony and Topaz: a collectanea, edited by Charles S. Johnson. His other poems were published in a number of sources including three poems in The Crisis in July of 1935: "To one who died in the spring," "Request," and "I have found beauty infinitely sad" [poems online in Google Book Search]. Fletcher was also an international traveler, he was living in New York when he arrived from France in 1928, from Italy in 1934, from Scotland in 1936, and from Egypt in 1947 [source: New York Passenger List]. Fletcher was an associate professor of English at Lincoln University in Missouri prior to his taking a special leave and sailing to Ethiopia in July of 1946, at the invitation of the Imperial Ethiopian Government. When Fletcher returned to the U.S. in 1956, he was hired as an English Professor, and would become a dean, at Cheyney State University. He retired from the school in 1974. One of his former students was newsman Ed Bradley (1941-2006). Theodore Thomas Fortune Fletcher, Sr. was the husband of Jeane Simon (1908-1997), from New York, and the father of Theodore Jr. For more see p.704 in The American Negro Reference Book by J. P. Davis; "Only sense of humor keeps Harlem Poet living, he says," Baltimore Afro-American, 01/25/1930, p.2; "Party given for principal," Baltimore Afro-American, 04/14/1951, p.10; "Sigma Gamma Rho ships to Addis Ababa," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/25/1953, p.6; and J. Nicholoson, "Theodore Fletcher, Cheyney Scholar," Philadelphia Daily News, 04/13/1988, Local section, p.71.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / New York / Missouri / Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Flippin, J. C.
Birth Year : 1933
Death Year : 1991
Born in Franklin, KY, Flippin was the first African American councilman elected to office in Franklin, in 1977 (prior African American members were appointed). He served in Korea and earned a sharpshooter's medal. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 17.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky

Floyd County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Floyd County, located in eastern Kentucky, was formed in 1800 from portions of Fleming, Montgomery, and Mason Counties, and is surrounded by five counties. The county was named for John Floyd, a land surveyor and early explorer. Prestonsburg, once named Preston's Station, is the county seat, named for its founder John Preston from Virginia. Preston, a land surveyor, was also a member of the Virginia Legislature. Prestonsburg is the oldest settlement in the Big Sandy Valley. The 1800 county population was counted as 478 in the Second Census of Kentucky: 447 whites and 31 slaves. The population increased to 6,241 in 1860, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 42 slave owners
  • 110 Black slaves
  • 39 Mulatto slaves
  • 0 free Blacks
  • 0 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 185 slave owners
  • 105 Black slaves
  • 42 Mulatto slaves
  • 4 free Blacks 
  • 0 free Mulattoes 

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 58 Blacks
  • 81 Mulattoes
  • About 4 U.S. Colored Troops listed Floyd County, KY, as their birth location.

For more see the Floyd County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; The Big Sandy Valley by W. R. Jillson; Slave Narratives, Volume 7 by Projects, A Work Projects Administration; and Floyd County, Kentucky History by the Floyd County Bicentennial History Book Committee.
See photo image of children at recess at the Colored Grade School in Wheelwright, KY, at Kentucky Digital Library - Images.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J]
Geographic Region: Floyd County, Kentucky

Foley, Shirley, Jr.
Birth Year : 1916
Born in Louisville, KY, Mr. Shirley Foley, Jr. was a 1938 graduate of Fisk University and a 1940 graduate of Indiana University. Foley was married to the late Mary Frances Eaves, who was also from Louisville. He lived in Silver Spring, MD. Foley worked for the federal government for 38 years, including a tour of duty in the Pentagon's Department of Defense, and later was with the U.S. Department of Labor. He also did a two year temporary assignment in the U.S. Virgin Islands, assisting in the establishment of the Federal Office for Alien Employment Certification. Foley retired from the U.S. Department of Labor as a Manpower Development Specialist and traveled all over the world. He is the great-grandson of Pvt. Calvin Byrd (a.k.a. Calvin Brown), a slave born in Louisville, who ran away and enlisted in the 108th Infantry in 1864. Foley is also the nephew of Esther Maxwell Barrens. This information came from Mr. Shirley Foley, Jr. For an overview of Alien Employment Certification, see A. Weber, "The Role of the U.S. Department of Labor in Immigration," International Migration Review, vol. 4, issue 3 (Summer 1970), pp. 31-46.
Subjects: Employment Services, Immigration, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Silver Spring, Maryland

Ford, Raymond
Birth Year : 1944
Death Year : 1966
Raymond Ford was the first soldier from Bardstown, KY, to be killed in Vietnam. He died February 20, 1966 -- his name is included on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Coffee Tree Road in Frankfort, KY. The familiar photograph of Ford's mother holding his Purple Heart is included in the ProQuest Black Studies Center database.

See photo images concerning Raymond Ford at the Magnum Photos website.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Foree, George W.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1989
Foree was born in Ballard County, KY. She was a member of the Paducah Art Guild. Her artwork, which came from remembered images, has been included in several exhibits. For more see Black Kentucky Artists: an exhibition of work by black artists living in Kentucky (1979).
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts
Geographic Region: Ballard County, Kentucky

Foree, Jack C.
Birth Year : 1935
Foree was born in New Castle, KY, the son of Etta and Jesse Foree. He attended a segregated, two-room grade school in New Castle and received his high school diploma from Lincoln Institute. He is also a graduate of Kentucky State University, Spalding University, and Indiana University. Foree was a math teacher and administrator in the Jefferson County School System. He is now the president of Sky Brite of Louisville, Inc., a janitorial service he founded in 1970. Foree is also president of Grace Bible College, Inc., located in Louisville. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army. Information submitted by Jake Karnes. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1988-2007.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: New Castle, Henry County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Foreign Labor
At the close of the Civil War, Kentucky and other southern states were faced with a labor shortage. The slaves were free and labor stabilization was an ongoing issue. Plantation owners across the south led the movement to bring in foreign labor, claiming it was necessary because paying wages for Negro labor had made the Negro prone to laziness and unreliability. Foreign laborers were sought from the north, Europe, and China. Approximately 3,500 persons, including a small contingency of Chinese immigrants, came to Kentucky, most settling in Louisville. It was not nearly enough to address the labor shortage, however. For more information see A History of Kentucky, by T. D. Clark; and R. T. Birthoff, "Southern Attitudes Toward Immigration, 1865-1914," The Journal of Southern History, vol. 17 (Aug. 1951), pp. 328-360.
Subjects: Immigration
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Forest Hill School (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1907
End Year : 1910
On Tuesday, September 3, 1907, the Lexington City School No.4, known as Forest Hill School, was opened on College Street, located between Georgetown Street and Newtown Street. The school was held in the five rooms of a rented cottage. The building was to be a temporary accommodation until the school board built a new school building. Forest Hill School was open to Colored children who lived in the communities of Smithtown, Yellmantown, Newtown, Peach Orchard, and Forest Hill, and those who lived on the following streets: Jefferson, West Short, Main, Second, Third, Fourth, Ballard, Todd, Georgetown, Maryland, Payne, and Henry. The school principal was D. I. Reid, assistant principal was Julia A. Watkins, and the teachers were Mary E. Buckner and Florence E. Hardin. The school was open only three years, it was abolished in 1910, and the students were to attend Russell School. In spite of the school being closed, the plans for the construction of the Forest Hill School remained in place. In 1907, Forest Hill School was one of the many schools that were opened for Colored children in Lexington during the first decade of the 1900s. The need for more schools and better education was a cause that touched the lives of African Americans throughout Lexington. In 1911, community members approached the Lexington School Board and asked that the Forest Hill School be reopened. The request was denied, but there was still the promise of a new school building. By 1915, the new school still had not been completed, and a group of prominent Colored people in Lexington wrote the Lexington School Board, and pushed for improved schools and education for Colored children, and they wanted the Forest Hill School to be completed as was planned. The school board responded by accepting bids for the construction of the school. James F. Fitzgerald was the successful bidder for the plumbing and the cost was estimated at $1,054, it was the lowest of four bids. The estimated cost of the school was $20,000. In spite of the bids, however, the Forest Hill School building was never constructed. For more see "Forest Hill School," Leader, 04/10/1910, p.24; "New school," Lexington Leader, 09/01/1907, p.18; "Supt. M. A. Cassidy," Lexington Leader, 06/20/1910, p.5; "What about Forest Hill Negro School?," Lexington Leader, 06/11/1911, p.5; and p.119 in A History of Blacks in Kentucky by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; and "Kentucky: Louisville and vicinity," Domestic Engineering and the Journal of Mechanical Contracting, July 3, 1915, v.72, issue 1, p.32 [available online at Google Books]. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

The Forgotten Kentucky Regiments: United States Colored Troops From Kentucky
The Civil War in Morgan County website.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Morgan County, Kentucky

Former Kentucky Slaves form town near Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada
Start Year : 1817
According to the Abolitionist, as early as 1817 a community of about 150 escaped slaves from Kentucky had made their home in Upper Canada. The former slaves had escaped at various times. They were witnessed by Captain Stuart, who lived in Upper Canada between 1817-1822. When Stuart returned to the area in 1828, the population had doubled. The former slaves had formed a town (name unknown) on a tract of land purchased a few miles from Amherstburg, Canada. For more see p. 37 of the Abolitionist, vol. 1, issue 3 (March 1833) [available at Google Book Search]. Author Betty DeRamus mentions in her book that Amherstburg was a well-known haven for escaped slaves, but the city was not always a safe place for them. For more see Forbidden Fruit, by B. DeRamus; and An Enduring Heritage, by R. E. Reindeau. For earlier accounts of Amherstburg as a receiving station for escaped slaves, see The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom, by W. H. Siebert.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada

Fort Knox Officers Training
Start Year : 1947
In 1947 the first desegregated class of army officers was trained at Fort Knox Armory School. In the year 2000, Warren Taylor was the last survivor from that class. For more see M. Woolhouse, "Fort Knox pioneered integrated military," The Courier-Journal, 07/04/2000.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, & Meade Counties, Kentucky

Fort Spring (Fayette County, KY)
Formerly referred to as Slickaway and Reform, the community was located on Versailles Road. The more recent name, Fort Spring, is from a local tavern that had a spring under it; the tavern had been used as a fort during the Civil War. The community was established by white residents, and in 1826 Henry and Patty Sthreshley sold 1 1/2 acres of land to freeman Henry Clark. A few other African Americans moved to the area. Following the Civil War, adjoining land owned by Mr. H. W. Worley may also have been sold to African Americans, which added to the population of the community. By 1882, Fort Spring had 100 African American residents, making them the majority in the community. For more see the Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer, and Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms: a dichotomous rural settlement pattern in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region, by P. C. Smith.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Fort Spring (Slickaway, Reform), Fayette County, Kentucky

Fortson, Bettiola Heloise
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1917
Bettiola Fortson was a poet, essayist, and suffragist. She was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the daughter of James Fortson. At the age of nine, she was a boarder with the William Evans family on E. 13th Street in Hopkinsville, KY, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. When she turned 12, she went to live with her aunt, Toreada Mallory, on Armour Avenue in Chicago, IL. When her aunt went abroad, Fortson lived with her mother, Mattie Arnold, in Evansville, IN, where she attended Clark High School. The family of four lived on Oak Street (Mattie, who was a widow, and her children Robert, Bettie, and James Jr.) [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Bettiola Fortson would become a poet and was poet laureate of her high school class, she graduated in 1910, and returned to Chicago where she worked in the feather industry and owned her own millinery business. She was a journalist and president of the University Society Club, 2nd vice president of the Alpha Suffrage Club, and city organizer of the Chicago Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. She was the author of the 1915 title Mental Pearls: original poems and essays. For more see Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood by A. M. Knupfer; Six Poets of Racial Uplift by E. T. Battle et. al.; Black American Writers Past and Present by T. G. Rush; and "Miss Bettiola Fortson," Broad Axe, 08/01/1914, p.2 [picture with article].
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Migration North, Poets, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Evansville, Indiana

Foster, James A.
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1891
Reverend Foster, a Kentucky native who had a limited education, was involved in establishing higher education for African Americans in Alabama. He gained his prominence via the church, serving as the first recording secretary of the Colored Baptist of Alabama State Convention and later as convention president. He had left Kentucky for Alabama when he was a young man, and it is not known if he was ever enslaved. Foster was ordained in Montgomery in 1867 and served as pastor at Mt. Meigs Church and Columbus Street Church. He was a trustee of the Alabama State Normal School and Swayne School. Alabama State Normal was originally Lincoln School in Marion, AL, and later became Lincoln Normal. In 1887, the school was moved to Montgomery and renamed Alabama State Normal School [now Alabama State University]. Swayne School opened in 1867 and was renamed Talladega College in 1869 [now Talladega University]. Reverend Foster was also one of the original incorporators of Selma University in 1881; the school was founded in 1878 as Alabama Baptist Normal and Theological School for the training of ministers and teachers. For more see "Reverend James A. Foster" in The Cyclopedia of the Colored Baptists of Alabama, by C. O. Boothe, pp. 141-142 [available full-text at UNC Documenting the American South].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Montgomery, Alabama

Foster, Leonard N. "Leo"
Birth Year : 1951
Born in Covington, KY, Leonard Foster was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1971 and remained with them until 1976, when he was traded to the New York Mets. He played second and third base and shortstop. Foster ended his baseball career in 1977. For more see Leo Foster in the Baseball Almanac.

 
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Fountain, Pierson
Birth Year : 1838
Death Year : 1910
Pierson Fountain and his family were among the earliest settlers in Harlan, Iowa, and later in Douglas, Iowa. Pierson Fountain owned 200 acres of land in Douglas, and he and his family were the only African Americans in Shelby County, Iowa. Pierson was a farmer and his wealth came from working the land. He was said to be one of the most influential men in the area. Pierson Fountain was born in Meade County, KY, the son of William and Maria Fountain according to author E. S. White [source: Past and Present of Shelby County, Iowa, v.2. by E. S. White, pp.876-877]. The family was enslaved in Kentucky and Pierson escaped to Indiana [source: The Barber and Lacey Families of Kirkman, Iowa by D. Williams]. According to author E. S. White, Pierson Fountain left Kentucky in 1861 and lived in Noblesville, IN. On May 31, 1863, Pierson Fountain enlisted in the 55th Massachusetts Colored Infantry [source: U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Records]. After his discharge from the Army, Pierson Fountain, his wife Elizabeth Ann Roberts Fountain, and their son Augustus, were living in Harlan, Iowa, with Charles Kidd [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census]. Charles Kidd was a white man, which may have played into the entire household being listed as white in the census. Also, author E. S. White did not mention in his book that Pierson Fountain was a black man. In the census records, 1880-1910, the Fountain family is listed as Black. In 1900, Charles Kidd was again living with the family and was listed as white in the census. Pierson and Elizabeth Fountain were the parents of four children, Augustus, Ida, Jessie, and Edward. Pierson Fountain was a member of the G. A. R. and he was a Mason. For more see "Prominent colored man," Evening World-Herald, 08/18/1910, p.3.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Meade County, Kentucky / Harlan and Douglas, Iowa

Fouse, Elizabeth B. Cook
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1952
Elizabeth B. Cook Fouse was an advocate for African American women's opportunities and equal rights. A schoolteacher who was active in social and religious activities, she served as president of the Kentucky Federation of Colored Women and was founder of the Phillis Wheatley YWCA in Lexington, KY. She was a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. In 1944 Fouse was appointed by Governor Simeon Willis to serve on the Kentucky Commission for the Study of Negro Affairs. She was married to W. H. Fouse. For more see Jesus, Jobs, and Justice, by B. Collier-Thomas; and the Fouse Family Papers in the Kentucky Digital Library.


See photo images of Elizabeth B. Cook Fouse and others, in the Collection Inventory [click on links at the bottom of the page] in Explore UK.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association), Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Fouse, William Henry
Birth Year : 1868
Death Year : 1944
William H. Fouse was the first African American graduate of Otterbein College in Ohio. He served as principal of William Grant High School in Covington, Russell School in Lexington, and was the first principal of old Dunbar High School as well as supervisor of African American schools in Lexington, KY. He developed the Bluegrass Oratorical Association and the Bluegrass Athletic Association. He was married to Elizabeth R. Fouse. For more see Fouse Family Papers in the Kentucky Digital Library, and Who's Who of the Colored Race. A general biographical dictionary of men and women of African descent, vol. 1, edited by F. L. Mather. See also, the three files labeled "Fouse Papers (W. H. Fouse)" in the Fayette County section of Box 7 of the Kentucky Education Collection, Series I.


See photo image of William Henry Fouse and others in the Collection Inventory [bottom of page] in Explore UK.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Fowler, Robert A. [Colored Railway Employees' Beneficial Association of America}
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1930
Robert A. Fowler, a Pullman Porter, was employed by the Pullman Car Company in Cincinnati, OH, according to his World War I registration card. He and his family lived at 3015 Kerper Avenue. Fowler was the founder and organizer of the Colored Railway Employees' Beneficial Association of America around 1909. The organization was incorporated in Cincinnati, Ohio. Fowler was born in Georgetown, KY, the son of William and Luella Burden Fowler. He was the husband of Laura Bell Watson Fowler, who may have been his first wife. In 1920, Robert Fowler was the husband of Ella D. Fowler (b.1877 in LA) and the father of Watson Fowler (b.1904 in KY), all according to the U.S. Federal Census. Robert Fowler died January 16, 1930, and was buried in Georgetown, KY on January 30, 1930, according to the Ohio Death Index. In the 1930 Census, Ella D. Fowler is listed as a widow with two children and still living at 3015 Kerper Avenue. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Migration North, Pullman Porters, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Fowler, Sharon
Birth Year : 1947
Fowler is mayor of West Buechel. She is in her third term; she was elected mayor in 1994 and re-elected in 1998. She was also on the West Buechel City Council from 1990-1994. Fowler is owner and director of Paradise Island Academy Day Care Center. West Buechel, located in Jefferson County, KY, was incorporated into a 6th class city in 1952. For more see S. Smith, "W. Buechel mayoral matchup looks familiar," Courier-Journal, 10/11/2006, Neighborhoods section, p. 1C.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: West Buechel, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Fox, Robert and Samuel
The Fox brothers owned a grocery store and one of the three leading undertaking businesses in Louisville, KY. Their undertaking business would eventually be merge with that of J. H. Taylor. In 1870, the Fox brothers and Horace Pearce went against the public streetcar policies when they boarded the Central Passenger's car at Tenth and Walnut Streets. All three men were removed from the car and jailed and their case would be resolved in U.S. District Court. Robert Fox (b.1846) and Samuel Fox (b.1849 ), both born in Kentucky, were the sons of Albert and Margaret Fox. For more see History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.; and the entry Streetcar Demonstrations.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Jim Crow, Corrections and Police, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Francis, Delma J.
Birth Year : 1953
Francis is from Lancaster, KY, the daughter of Marie Terry Francis and George Francis, Jr. She is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Louisville. Francis was the first African American editor of the Eastern Kentucky publication, The Eastern Progress, from 1974 to 1975. She was the first woman to work on the city desk of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, in Richmond, Virginia, and is presently a reporter with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. For more see H. Hagans, "First black Progress editor faced more than deadlines," The Eastern Progress Online, 02/23/2006; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

Francis, Edward and Eliza
Edward Francis (b.1830 in VA) was a former slave of Edy Francis from Madison County, KY. He enlisted in the Union Army in 1864 and was trained at Camp Nelson, KY. He was a member of the 114th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops. Francis and Eliza (b.1839 in KY), the parents of three children, could not read or write, yet much of what is known about them comes from the letters that were written for them while Edward was away in the Army. Their letters are an example of how soldiers kept in touch with their families when neither were literate. When the war ended, Edward Francis' unit was transferred to Texas, where they served for two additional years. When he returned home to Madison County, Francis and Eliza had two more children. Edward married Susan Miller in 1893. For more see M. Meyers and C. Propes, "I Don't fear nothing in the shape of man," Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, vol. 101, issue 4 (2003), pp. 457-478.
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Virginia / Madison County, Kentucky

Francis, Lelia Iles
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1999
Lelia I. Francis was born in Salt Lick, KY. She and her husband, Charles Francis, moved to Dayton, Ohio, in 1943. In 1947, Lelia I. Francis became the first African American realtor in Ohio and the second in the United States; she was a real estate broker for more than 50 years. She also helped establish the Unity Bank and an African American mortgage company. Francis was also an activist: she was one of the marchers arrested in 1967 for a protest that attempted to get more African Americans hired in downtown stores. Lelia I. Francis was a graduate of Kentucky State University and taught in rural schools in Kentucky before moving to Ohio. For more see J. H. Smith, "Lelia Iles Francis Dies, she was the first black realtor in Ohio and fought for job opportunities and better schools," Dayton Daily News, 07/26/1999, METRO section, p. 3B.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration North, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Salt Lick, Bath County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio

Frankfort Colored Library (Franklin County, KY)
Start Year : 1938
End Year : 1962
In the late 1930s, the WPA established a colored branch library in Frankfort, KY, according to the June 1944 Bulletin of the Kentucky Library Association, v.9, p.29. The library came about with the assistance of Mrs. Robert M. Fort, a member of the Frankfort Library Board. The library was closed by 1943 when the WPA financial support ended, and Mrs. Fort asked that the colored library be reopened. A building at 306 Mero Street, a three room house, was purchased and leased to the Frankfort Public Library by Mr. J. M. Perkins. There was an agreement between Perkins and the library: as long as the building was used as a library, there would be no charge for the lease. The library was managed by trained African American librarians, two of whom were Alice Simpson and Anna M. Wolfe, the mother of George C. Wolfe. The Frankfort Colored Branch Library closed in 1962. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; and "With librarians and libraries in Kentucky," Bulletin of the Kentucky Library Association, II, p.13.

See photo image of a colored library [unknown location] created by the WPA, the image is part of the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives [KDLA] Electronic Records Archives.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Frankfort, KY, Klan Violence
Start Year : 1871
On March 25, 1871, a letter was sent to the U.S. Congress asking for protection from the Ku Klux Klan for the newly-freed African Americans in Kentucky. The letter was from Colored citizens of Frankfort & vicinity, signed by Henry Marrs, a teacher; Henry Lynn, a livery stable keeper; N. N. Trumbo, a grocer; Samuel Damsey; B. Smith, a blacksmith; and B. T. Crampton, a barber. The letter contained a list of 116 incidents of beatings, shootings, hangings, tarring and feathering, and other violence that had taken place around the state. For more see Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States, vol. 2, ed. by H. Aptheker.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Freedom, Lynchings, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Franklin, Benjamin
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1935
Born in Lexington, KY, into slavery, Benjamin Franklin chose his name during his christening. In 1868 he traveled to Europe, assisting a sick man by the name of Newcomb. He returned to Kentucky and assisted Kentucky Chief Justice George Robertson, who had had a stroke. Franklin was also a barber in Lexington, later moving the business to Midway. For about 40 years, he was a chiropodist in Lexington. He held several other jobs, all of which allowed him to accumulate considerable means, including bank stock. His wife was Susan J. Britton Franklin (d.1914) and their home, "designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style," was built in 1884 at 560 North Limestone Street in Lexington, KY. Benjamin Franklin died in 1935. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; Lexington, Heart of the Bluegrass, by J. D. Wright, Jr.; and see Benjamin Franklin in "Colored Notes," Leader, 03/19/1935, p.11 & 03/20/1935, pp.7 & 17.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky

Franklin Colored Benevolent Society No.1 (Franklin, KY)
Start Year : 1874
The Act to incorporate the organization was passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in February 1874, with R. R. Burnley as president; William Butts, vice president; John H. Perdue [or Purdue], secretary; and King Boisseau as treasurer. The organization purpose was "intellectual, moral, and social improvement of its members, and works of benevolence and charity." [John H. Purdue may be the great great grandfather of John J. Johnson. For more see Chapter 486 of the 1874 publication Acts Passed at the...Session of the General Assembly, pp. 543-544 [available at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Fraternal Organizations, Grandparents, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky

Franklin County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Franklin County, located in central Kentucky, was formed in 1794 from portions of Mercer, Shelby, and Woodford Counties. It is surrounded by six counties, and was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin. Frankfort is the county seat and the state capital, it is believed to have been named for Stephen Frank, a pioneer who was killed during an attack by Indians in 1780 at a location on the Kentucky River that became known as Frank's Ford. The 1800 county population was 5,078, according to the Second Census of Kentucky; 3,687 whites, 1,369 slaves, and 22 free coloreds. In 1830 there were six African American slave owners in Frankfort. By 1860, the population was 9,270, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the figures for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 634 slave owners
  • 2,748 Black slaves
  • 612 Mulatto slaves
  • 248 free Blacks
  • 110 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 598 slave owners
  • 2,553 Black slaves
  • 834 Mulatto slaves
  • 252 free Blacks
  • 197 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 3,647 Blacks
  • 1,048 Mulattoes
  • About 123 U.S. Colored Troops listed Franklin County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Franklin County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; visit the Center of Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African Americans (CESKAA) at Kentucky State University; Capital on the Kentucky by C. E. Kramer and W. B. Scott; Early Frankfort and Franklin County, Kentucky by W. R. Jillson; A Brief History of the Colored Churches of Frankfort, Kentucky by E. E. Underwood; and Community Memories: a glimpse of African American Life in Frankfort, Kentucky W. L. Fletcher et. al.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J]
Geographic Region: Franklin County, Kentucky

Frazer, Patterson Tilford, Jr.
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1947
Frazer was born in Allensville, KY, the son of Henry and Sarah Frazer, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Patterson Frazer came to Hopkinsville, KY, at the age of 12 to attend Hopkinsville Male and Female College, according to authors W. T. Turner and D. K. Stone. His uncle, P.T. Frazer, Sr. was principal of the school. Patterson Frazer would continue his education at Meharry Medical College where he earned his M.D. He opened a medical practice in Cadiz, KY, and would leave the practice to serve in the U.S. Army during WWI. He was a lieutenant in the Colored M.R.C. (Medical Reserve Corp). At the end of his military service, Frazer opened a medical practice in Hopkinsville, KY. He would remain in the city for the remainder of his life. He is remembered for his successful medical career, and for Frazer's Natatorium. A natatorium is a swimming pool in its own building. It was a rare thing to have such a facility for African Americans in the 1930s. For more see "P. T. Frazer, Jr. M.D." in Hopkinsville by W. T. Turner and D. K. Stone; and The Meharry News, vol 14, issue 3, p.7 [available online .pdf].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Swimmers, Swimming, Swimming Facilities
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky

Frederick Douglass, Convention Presidential Nominations, and Kentucky
Start Year : 1848
End Year : 1888
June 23, 1888 is hailed as the day that Frederick Douglass received one vote from the Kentucky Delegation at the Republican Convention in Chicago, making him the first African American nominated to be a U.S. presidential candidate. This was actually the second time that Frederick Douglass had received a single vote to be a U.S. presidential candidate; his first vote came during the National Liberty Party Convention, June 14-15, 1848 in Buffalo, NY [source: The African American Electorate, by H. Walton, Jr. et al; see chapter 10: "The first African American nominees and public office holders, 1776-1870," pp. 179-190; and African Americans and the Presidency, edited by B. A. Glasrud and C. D. Wintz; see chapter 1: "Beginning the Trek," pp. 17-30]. Also, Douglass was nominated as a vice president of the United States candidate during the Equal Rights Party Convention in June of 1872; he was to run with Victoria Woodhull, who was nominated as the presidential candidate for the Equal Rights Party; Frederick Douglass declined the nomination [source: The Woman Who Ran for President; the many lives of Victoria Woodhull, by L. B. Underhill]. However, more attention is given to the fact that Frederick Douglass received one presidential nomination vote at the 1848 convention and one at the 1888 convention. He was never a contender for the presidential election; there was some very stiff competition. In 1848, the newly named National Liberty Party nomination winner was Gerrit Smith; during the presidential election, the party was on the ballot in only four states and Gerrit Smith got 2,545 votes. The Liberty Party members were abolitionists and their party was in decline; it had lost members to the newly formed Free Soil Party, which was opposed to the expansion of slavery, but members were not necessarily abolitionists. Martin Van Buren won the Free Soil Party presidential nomination in 1848; both he and Gerrit Smith were defeated in the presidential election by Zachary Taylor. At the 1888 Republican Convention, former Indiana Senator Benjamin Harris won the presidential nomination and went on to win the presidential election, he defeated President Grover Cleveland. Frederick Douglass was a supporter of the Republican Party (see the Frederick Douglass' Papers), beginning in 1856. He believed that the Republican Party had the political strength to end slavery in the United States, much more so than his party, the Radical Abolitionists [source: Frederick Douglass: oratory from slavery, by D. B. Chesebrough]. He would eventually join the Republican Party. In 1888, when Frederick Douglass received a vote from the Kentucky Delegation at the Republican Convention in Chicago, the event was not noted in U.S. newspapers. It was not until the early 1980s that media sources, including those on the Internet, made the 1888 presidential nomination into an annual note, while perhaps not knowing about Frederick Douglass' earlier presidential nomination vote at the 1848 Liberty Party Convention and the vice president nomination at the 1872 Equal Rights Party Convention.

 

Kentucky Delegation at the 1888 Republican Convention

[source: Proceedings of the Ninth Republican National Convention held at Chicago, Ill., June 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 25, 1888, printed by order of The Republican National Committee, pp. 92-93].

 

At Large

  • DELEGATES
  • William O. Bradley / Lancaster 
  • John W. Lewis / Springfield
  • George M. Thomas / Vanceburg
  • George Denny / Lexington
  • ALTERNATES
  • William L. Hurst / Campton
  • Thomas Forman / Maysville
  • Isaac Curtis / Louisville
  • Hugh Mulholland, Jr. / Paducah

 

Districts

  • DELEGATES
  • 1. W. J. Deboe / Marion
  • N.S. Allison / Mayfield
  • 2. George W. Jolly / Owensboro
  • Ed. W. Glass / Hopkinsville
  • 3. E. U. Fordyce / Bowling Green
  • W. S. Taylor / Morgantown
  • 4. Andrew Thompson / Springfield
  • Charles M. Pendleton / Hartford
  • 5. A. E. Wilson / Louisville
  • W. P. Hampton / Louisville
  • 6. John M. Wilson / Williamstown
  • John P. Errnst / Covington
  • 7. William Cassius Goodloe / Lexington
  • Louis Lebus / Cynthiana
  • 8. John Bennett / Richmond
  • Logan McKee / Danville
  • 9. W. W. Patterson / Ashland
  • W. A. Warford / Flemingsburg
  • 10. John W. Langley / Prestonsburg
  • G. L. Kirkpatrick / Mt. Sterling
  • 11. E. A. Hobson / Greensburg
  • W. W. Jones / Columbia

 

Districts

  • ALTERNATES
  • 1. J. B. Tyler / Princeton
  • G. W. Witty / Milburn
  • 2. T. W. Gadner / Madisonville
  • A. H. Cabell / Henderson
  • 3. E. Scott Brown / Scottsville
  • J. H. Gray / Russellville
  • 4. John W. Sayers / Deatsville
  • S. A. Smith / Elizabethtown
  • 5. Burton Vance / Louisville
  • J. J. Johnson / Louisville
  • 6. Paris E. Morgan / Falmouth
  • D. B. Wallace / Warsaw
  • 7. A. B. Sowards / Georgetown
  • James Walker / Owenton
  • 8. John T. Ballard / Shelbyville
  • James M. Sebastian / Booneville
  • 9. H. C. Metcalf / Brookville
  • H. H. Gambril / Louisa
  • 10. D. G. Colston / Pineville
  • J. L. Bosley / Winchester
  • 11. E. W. Porch / Somerset
  •  W. L. Hazelip / Glasgow

 

Republican National Convention. Fifth Day. Saturday, June 23, 1888. The Fourth Ballot. [p. 183]

Kentucky Total Votes 26

  • Russell Alexander Alger 3
  • William B. Allison 2
  • Walter Q. Gresham 2
  • Benjamin Harrison 6
  • John Sherman 10
  • James G. Blaine 1
  • Joseph B. Foraker 1
  • Frederick Douglas 1

Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Buffalo, New York / Chicago, Illinois

Fredric, Francis Parker
Birth Year : 1805
Death Year : 1881
Francis Parker was a house slave born in Faquier County, Virginia, and at about the age of 14 he was brought to Mason County, KY, by his owner. Parker was about 45 years old when he escaped and was recaptured and whipped. About five years later, with the aid of a farmer who was opposed to slavery, Parker again escaped, this time through the Underground Railroad. He made his way to Canada and got rid of the his owner's last name, Parker, and became Francis Fredric. He gave public speeches against slavery. He married an English woman and in 1857 they moved to Liverpool, England. Francis Fredric had learned to read and write after his escape from Kentucky and in 1863 he wrote two versions of his autobiography Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky, or, Fifty Years of Slavery in the Southern States of America. He returned to the United States in 1865, and Reverend Francis "Frederick" wrote a third version of his autobiography. The Rev. Frederick lived in Baltimore, Maryland, at 11 Lambert Street, and is last listed in the 1881 Wood's Baltimore City Directory.

See the photo image and additional information about Francis Fredric at the African American Registry website.
Subjects: Authors, Freedom
Geographic Region: Faquier County, Virginia / Mason County, Kentucky / Canada / Liverpool, England, Europe / Baltimore, Maryland

Free Blacks, Negroes, and Mulattoes in the 1800 Kentucky Tax Lists
Start Year : 1800
The Second Census of Kentucky 1800 was constructed from the tax lists in the existing Kentucky counties. Below are the names of free Blacks, Negroes and Mulattoes, all taxpayers who were included in the listing. They were among the 739 free Colored persons in Kentucky in 1800. There may have been others named on the lists, but their race was not noted.

  • Robert Anderson, Barren County
  • William Anderson, Barren County
  • John Baker, Nelson County
  • William Blakey, Barren County
  • Abner Bourne, Barren County
  • Peter Brass, Franklin County
  • William Cousins, Nelson County
  • William Daily, Fayette County
  • Isam Davis, Lincoln County
  • Adam Evens, Lincoln County
  • Michael Jackson, Lincoln County
  • Abraham Levaugh, Warren County
  • John Lewis, Jefferson County
  • Bristo Mathews, Lincoln County
  • Edward Mathews, Lincoln County
  • Gloster Rawls, Nelson County
  • George Stafford, Gallatin County
  • Moses Tyre, Bullitt County
  • William Walker, Nelson County

Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C], Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J], Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M], Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Kentucky Counties: Bullitt, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Nelson, Warren

Free, Lee
Birth Year : 1891
Lee Free was a horseman who was born in Hopkinsville, KY. In 1915, he was among 30 horsemen, mostly Americans, who were returning to the United States aboard the ship Bohemian from Liverpool, England, on March 17, 1915 [source: List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States]. Lee Free was 24 years and 4 months old. He lived at 318 Jefferson Street in Louisville, KY. He was 5'8" tall and had a scar on his right cheek.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / England / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Free Negro Farm (Meade County, KY)
Start Year : 1847
End Year : 1931
The Free Negro Farm was located near the segregated community of Stithton in Hardin County, KY. Around 1918, African Americans from Louisville were brought to the area as laborers for the construction of Fort Knox. The laborers were greeted by an armed mob that had to be dispersed before the laborers were led to the Free Negro Farm in Meade County. There are several different accounts of the origin of the Free Negro Farm. The community predated the existence of Stithton and continued long after Stithton became defunct during the development of Fort Knox. The Free Negro Farm was an African American community situated on about 300 acres of land from as early as 1847 to 1931. There is also speculation that the community is much older and was established by Hardin County's first freeman, General Braddock, who was freed in March of 1797. There is also speculation that the community was started by freeman Pleasant Moreman, whose descendants remained in the community until around 1931. For more see P. W. Urbahns, "More Moremans, Pleasant Moreman: the Free Negro of Meade County" Ancestral News, vol .19, issue 3 (Fall 1994), pp. 101-104.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom
Geographic Region: Free Negro Farm, Meade County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Stithton, Hardin County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Fort Knox, Bullitt, Meade and Hardin Counties, Kentucky

Free Persons of Color in Fayette County, Kentucky, 1838
Information taken from the Directory of the City of Lexington and County of Fayette For 1838 & '39, by J. P. B. Mac Cabe.
Subjects: Directories, Freedom
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Free Persons of Color in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, 1859
Information taken from Lexington City Directory. Williams' Lexington Directory, City Guide, and Business Mirror, Volume 1 - 1859-60, compiled by C. S. Williams.
Subjects: Directories, Freedom
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Free Station (Owen County, KY)
Start Year : 1847
Tom Frazier was the first slave to be freed in Owen County, KY, in 1825. He had been owned by members of the Hardin family and Benjamin F. Hawkins. The next slave to be freed was Tobias in 1827; he had been owned by Alexander Guthrie. By 1843, there were 1,143 slaves in Owen County, including those owned by Susannah Herndon Rogers. In 1847, Rogers' will emancipated her slaves, and her property was divided into 10 lots and given to her former slaves, all of whom had the last name Locust. The community that was formed became known as Free Station. In 1849, it became law in Kentucky that a security bond must be posted for every slave who was freed. The law would stall the emancipation of Rogers' brother's slaves [James Herndon]. For more see Mountain Island In Owen County, Kentucky: the settlers and their churches, by J. C. Bryant.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom
Geographic Region: Free Station, Owen County, Kentucky

Freedmen's Bureau Medical Care and Hospital in Kentucky
Start Year : 1865
End Year : 1870
According to author Alan Raphael, the Freedmen's Bureau Hospital in Kentucky was located in Louisville from 1866-1868. The hospital was part of the medical outreach the Bureau provided to the newly freed African Americans. There were also five outdoor dispensary stations. The Negro orphanages in Lexington and Louisville also received patients. The operations provided limited medical care but were practically all that was available due to the lack of income among the newly freed population. Those who happened to live near the medical facilities received the most benefit from the services. The Freedmen's Bureau medical division in Kentucky employed white doctors. The division head was Dr. Robert A. Bell, who lived in Louisville and had been born in 1825 in Pennsylvania. Dr. Erasmus O. Brown was head of the Bureau hospital in Louisville. Other employees were Dr. J. G. Temple (b. 1822) in Covington, Dr. Richard B. Gilbert (1842-1921) in Owensboro, Dr. John A. Octerlong in Louisville, Dr. A. T. Tuggle in Mt. Sterling, and Dr. Ben P. Drake. Dr. Fred Hassig of Paducah provided free medical care to indigents. In spite of the doctors' dedication and their fight to continue the services, the overall medical services provided by the Freedmen's Bureau were short lived and not nearly enough for all who needed the services. For more information see A. Raphael, "Health and Social Welfare of Kentucky Black People, 1865-1870," Societas (Spring 1972), pp. 143-157; and The Healers, by J. Duffy.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Freeman, Maggie L.
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1917
Maggie L. Freeman was an educator and an early African American woman school principal in Bourbon County, KY. She was born in Bourbon County, the daughter of Mary and Willis Freeman. According to the U.S. Federal Census, in 1910, she was a high school teacher at the Colored School in Paris, living with her father. Freeman had been a teacher at the school since 1903 when she was elected as one of the six teachers under principal J. C. Stone. She became the principal of the Bourbon County Training School around 1911. The school was located in Little Rock and was still in operation in 1933. Maggie L. Freeman left Kentucky and was a teacher in Florida. She died in West Palm Beach, FL, on December 19, 1917 and was buried three days later in Paris, KY [source: Florida Deaths Index]. For more see "Teachers Elected," The Bourbon News, 05/15/1903, p. 5; and "Bourbon County Training School" on pp. 264-265 in Negro Education by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education, Bulletin 1916, NO. 39, Volume II [available full-text in Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South
Geographic Region: Paris and Little Rock, Bourbon County, Kentucky / West Palm Beach, Florida

Freemen Community on Samana Bay (Dominican Republic)
Birth Year : 1824
In 1824, an isolated community of about 200 freemen (or escaped slaves) from Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Kentucky was established on Samana Bay as a colony of the Haitian Republic. It has also been written that Haitian President Jean Pierre Boyer conspired with abolitionists in Pennsylvania to finance the passage and resettlement of the former slaves as a strategic move to strengthen his rule. Boyer and his forces had overthrown the previous government of Spanish Haiti in 1822 and slavery had again been abolished. There were a series of rebellions, and Boyer was overthrown in 1843. Haiti became independent in 1844. The Dominican Republic also became independent from Haiti in 1844, and the territory included Samana Bay and the American inhabitants. There would be several attempts by Haiti to retake the Dominican Republic, and the Dominican government sought protection by attempting to become annexed to either Spain or the U.S. During the American Civil War, there were plans by the Lincoln Administration to purchase the country, but the plans fell through. In 1874, Samana bay and inlet were purchased by an American company, backed by the U.S. Government. Samana was redeveloped into what was to become an independent country. The ownership lasted for one year; the company overextended its finances and was not able to pay the annual rent owed to the U.S. Government, so the treaty was revoked. At various points throughout the 19th Century and the early 20th Century, the U.S. Government pursued the idea of annexing the Dominican Republic and leasing Samana Bay to be used as a naval station; Congress vetoed the plans. The U.S. did not establish a presence in the Caribbean until the Spanish-American War. For more see American Negro Songs, by J. W. Works; Central and South America, by A. H. Keane and C. R. Markham [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and Adventure Guide to the Dominican Republic, by H. S. Pariser. See Samana.org website.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / South Carolina / Pennsylvania / Haiti / Samana Bay, Dominican Republic

Freetown, Kentucky
Start Year : 1846
Located on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, around 1846 it became the first African American community in Monroe County, KY. The community members were the freed slaves of William Howard, who gave them 400 acres to build homes. Albert Martin gave the land for the church, which was also built in 1846. For more see Mount Vernon AME Church in African American Historic Places by B. L. Savage and C. D. Shull.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches
Geographic Region: Freetown (Gamaliel), Monroe County, Kentucky

French, John B.
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1931
John B. French was a politician, activist, singer, and business owner. He was the first African American to be appointed to the Industrial Commission of Illinois. The appointment came from Governor Len Small in 1922. The Industrial Commission acted on cases received from employees who had been injured on the job and were seeking compensation, and cases presented by persons seeking compensation for family members who had been killed on the job. French was a member of the commission branch that made the final decision on the cases. During World War I, he had also served on the Chicago Housing Committee and the Committee on the high cost of food. In 1920 he was a member of the Chicago Board of Examiners, and he was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for County Commissioner. French was the husband of Carrie Dennie; the couple had married in 1886 in West Bend, Kansas, while John was performing as an elocutionist with the Wilberforce Concert Company. Carrie French, educated at Oberlin College, was a soprano soloist. John French had also been a Jubilee singer, a bell boy, a shipping clerk, a caterer, the manager of Buildings and Grounds at Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University], and steward at a country club. When he was named to the Industrial Commission in 1922, he was owner of a restaurant on Broadway named French's Pastry. In 1930, John French was among the group of Colored leaders in Chicago who were asked to meet with the Woolworth Company attorney, E. H. Williams. There was a problem; three of the Woolworth stores in the south side Colored district of Chicago were being picketed and boycotted. The Chicago Whip had organized the demonstration to force the Woolworth Company to hire Negro employees in the stores that were primarily supported by Negro patrons. John and Carrie French did not live on the south side--they lived at 4650 Winthrop Avenue, on the north end of Chicago. John had moved beyond Hubbard Street, where he had once lived with his family when they moved to Chicago from Kentucky just after the Civil War. John B. French, his mother, and all of his siblings were born in Kentucky. The family is listed as mulattoes in the census records beginning in 1870. John's wife, Carrie Dennie French, was born in 1862. Her mother was a Kentucky native who had migrated to Illinois, where Carrie was born. For more see "Hon. J. B. French makes record in state position," Chicago World, 10/29/1925, p. 3; "John B. French" on page 6 in Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book, edited by E. R. Rather; "The Mr. John B. French...," Cleveland Gazette, 01/09/1886, p. 1; and "Leaders hold conference with Woolworth attorney," Plaindealer, 08/29/1930, p. 1.

See photo image of John B. French at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

See photo image of Carrie Dennie French at the flickr website by puzzlemaster.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Friday, Rufus M.
In May of 2011, Rufus M. Friday was named the president and publisher of the Lexington Herald-Leader. He is the first African American named to the post. Rufus M. Friday had been the president and publisher of the Tri-City Herald in Washington (state), beginning in 2005. While there, he was named the 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Award winner. Rufus M. Friday is a native of North Carolina. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University and played tight end on the football team. For more information see D. Foster, "Herald's publisher wins MLK Jr. Spirit Award," Tri-City Herald, 01/17/2010 [online]; and J. Patton, "Herald-Leader publisher Tim Kelly to retire; Rufus Friday to succeed him," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/06/2011, p.A1. This entry was suggested by Lisa A. Brown.

See video of Rufus M. Friday at Bethel Church Transformation 2008 Conference, on YouTube.

See video of Rufus M. Friday on Connections with Renee Shaw, program #719 at Kentucky Educational Television.

Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Migration East
Geographic Region: Gastonia, North Carolina / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Frison, King D.
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 1981
Born in Alabama, Frison was a coal miner. He was the first African American member of the Benham (KY) City Council, elected in 1975 and re-elected in 1977. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 15.
Subjects: Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Benham, Harlan County, Kentucky

Frye, Helen Fisher
Birth Year : 1919
Helen F. Frye was born in Danville, KY. In 1963 she became the first African American woman to receive a library science degree from the ALA-accredited library school at the University of Kentucky. [James R. O'Rourke graduated from the UK Library School in 1957, and may be the first African American graduate.] Frye and two other students attempted to attend a University of Kentucky extension class taught in Danville in 1954, but they were forced to drop the class because they were African Americans. Though the university graduate program was integrated in 1949, it only applied to students who took classes on campus. Frye filed a lawsuit, but it was dropped when none of the other African American students would testify that they too had been forced to drop the extension class. Later Frye went to the University of Kentucky campus to earn her library degree. In 2006, she was nominated by Danville native Dr. Frank X. Walker for the University of Kentucky's Lyman T. Johnson Award, then chosen as one of the two recipients by the UK Libraries and the UK School of Library and Information Science to receive the award for her many years of service as a librarian, teacher, and civil rights activist. One of her oral history interviews is included in the Civil Rights Movement in the Kentucky Oral History Project at the Kentucky Historical Society. There is an oral history interview in the Centre College Special Collections in Danville. There is an oral history interview at Eastern Kentucky University that was done by David R. Davis as part of the Danville School Integration Project. There are two oral history interviews at the University of Kentucky, one in the African American Alumni Project, and one in the Lexington Urban League Project. Among her many accomplishments, Helen Fisher Frye helped organize the first integrated production on the Centre College campus in 1951: Porgy and Bess, featuring Danville native R. Todd Duncan. Helen F. Frye was one of the first African American students to enroll at Centre College. In addition to her library degree, she earned her B.A. in elementary education at Kentucky State University in 1942, and an M.A. in secondary education from Indiana University in 1949. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; Fifty Years of the University of Kentucky African-American Legacy, 1949-1999; and Helen F. Frye's oral history interviews.

Access Interview Read the transcript and listen to the oral history interview [Firefox browser] at Eastern Kentucky University with Helen Fisher Frye interviewed by David R. Davis, at Kentucky Digital Library.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Fryson, Sim E.
Birth Year : 1947
Since 1995, Fryson has been the CEO and president of Sim Fryson Motor Co. Inc., located in Ashland, KY. The company was listed among the Top 100 Black Businesses by Black Enterprise Magazine. Fryson, the second African American to own a Mercedes-Benz dealership, has more than 30 years experience in auto sales. Born in Charleston, WV, he served in Vietnam with the U.S. Air Force. He is a graduate of General Motors Institute, the University of Detroit, and West Virginia State University. For more see D. E. Malloy, "Sim Fryson in company of champions," Herald Dispatch (West Virginia), 02/27/05, p. 12G; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1990-2007.
Subjects: Automobile Dealerships and Factories, Businesses, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Charleston, West Virginia / Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky

Fulton County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Fulton County, located in southwestern Kentucky, was formed from a portion of Hickman County in 1845. The county is bordered by one Kentucky county, the Mississippi River on the west side, and the state of Tennessee on the south side. The county was named for Robert Fulton [online biography]. Fulton, from Pennsylvania, was an engineer and developed the first commercially successful steamboat, and an enhanced steam warship and submarine. There are many places in the United States named for Robert Fulton. The county seat of Fulton County, KY is Hickman, which was previously named Mills Point in honor of James Mills who settled in the area on a military grant. The town was renamed to Hickman in 1837, in honor of Mrs. G. W. L. Marr (her maiden name was Hickman); Mr. Marr had owned the town site. The 1850 county population was 3,503, and increased to 4,239 in 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 209 slave owners
  • 751 Black slaves
  • 192 Mulatto slaves
  • 4 free Blacks
  • 0 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 216 slave owners
  • 901 Black slaves
  • 141 Mulatto Slaves
  • 16 free Blacks
  • 3 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 824 Blacks
  • 113 Mulattoes
  • About 8 U.S. Colored Troops listed Fulton County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Fulton County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Declaration of Marriage of Negroes and Mulattoes, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, 12 May 1866 to 2 April 1874 by M. H. Adams; Fulton County, Kentucky: histories and biographies by L. Collins and W. H. Perrin; and Fulton by E. R. Jones.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J], Kentucky Land Grants
Geographic Region: Fulton County, Kentucky

Fulton KY's Historic African American Railroaders Oral Histories & More
The following information is from the Fulton KY's Historic African American Railroders website.

 

"The Oral History Project is a series of ten oral history interviews with Fulton’s Illinois Central workers and/or family members,  that focuses on the everyday lives of the African American Illinois Central Workers of the Historic Fulton KY Railroad Station. The 1940 -1970 heyday of the railroad is the primary era of interest for the project, though some of the subjects began their work on the railroad, earlier and some later.

 

The interview videos and 240 pages of photos and backstories are archived by the Kentucky Oral History Commission for 300 years and the videos are available for continuing research and general public use (a research fee is charged) as interested."

 

  See list of interviews and photographs at Fulton KY's Historic African American Railroaders Oral History website.
Subjects: Railroad, Railway, Trains, Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky

Fuqua, Harvey
Birth Year : 1929
Harvey Fuqua was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Lillian Fuqua. [Chicago has also been given as his birth location.] He was married to Gwen Gordy, a sister of Berry Gordy. Fuqua, who is still recording today, has had an extensive career as a singer, songwriter, record producer, talent scout, developer, and manager. He was owner of Tri-Phi Records and Harvey Records and helped develop Motown Records in Detroit, MI. He founded the Moonglows, a doo-wop group, with Bobby Lester (who was from Louisville, KY), Alexander Graves, and Prentiss Barnes; he sometimes shared the lead vocals with Lester. Fuqua and Lester had sung together in high school, and Fuqua had sung with Barnes in Cleveland when they were members of the group, Crazy Sounds, the group who would become the Moonglows. In Detroit, the Moonglows gave Marvin Gaye his start, and Fuqua helped produce the song "Sexual Healing" plus a number of other songs by other artists [Gaye's father was from KY]. The Moonglows were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He served as the road manager for Smokey Robinson and is credited with discovering Sylvester, for whom he produced the single "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)." Fuqua left Motown for RCA Records in the early 1970s. This entry was suggested by Tiffany Bowman, a family member of Harvey Fuqua's who lives in Louisville, KY. For more see Harvey Fuqua, a Wikipedia entry; Fuqua performing "Don't Be Afraid of Love" on YouTube; the Harvey Fuqua entry in The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd. ed., edited by C. Larkin; Notable Black American Men, Book II, by J. C. Smith; and Encyclopedia of Rock, by P. Hardy, et al.

Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio / Detroit, Michigan

Furbush, William H.
Birth Year : 1839
Death Year : 1902
Thought to be born in Kentucky, Furbush was the first sheriff of Lee County, Arkansas, and also a member of the Arkansas General Assembly. He was a photographer in Ohio, then fought in the Civil War, later moved to Liberia, returning to the U.S. in less than a year. In 1874 he survived an assassination attempt. He may have been the first African American Democrat in the Arkansas General Assembly. For more see B. Wintory, "William Hines Furbush: African-American Carpetbagger, Republican, Fusionist, and Democrat," The Arkansas Historical Quarterly, vol. 63 (Summer 2004), pp. 107-165.
Subjects: Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Photographers, Photographs, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Lee County, Arkansas / Liberia, Africa

Furman, James B.
Birth Year : 1937
Death Year : 1989
Born in Louisville, KY, Furman was a composer, teacher, choral director and church musician. Best known as a choral composer, he composed more than 50 works. Furman attended public schools in Louisville and received his B.A. (1958) and M. Mus. Ed. (1965) from the University of Louisville, completing his Ph. D. coursework at Brandeis University. For more see International Dictionary of Black Composers, ed. by S. A. Floyd, Jr.; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2004; and James Furman Papers at Columbia College Chicago, Center for Black Music Research; and James Furman Papers at West Connecticut State University.

See photo image of James B. Furman at the West Connecticut State University website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

 

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