From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Hathaway, Robert Elijah

(born: 1842  -  died: 1923) 

This entry was submitted by Yvonne Giles and the information comes from her research.


Born in Nicholas County, Kentucky, on June 25, 1842, Robert Elijah Hathaway was a slave to Senator Garrett Davis of Bourbon County, KY. Robert E. Hathaway escaped from his owner, and on June 6, 1864, he joined the U.S. Colored Troops, Co. B, 100th Infantry. "His regiment was engaged in repulsive action against John Bell Hood in Tennessee [in] December [of] 1864." After receiving an honorable discharge, Robert E. Hathaway returned to Lexington, KY on January 1, 1866 and lived with his mother, Easter Jackson, and stepfather, Isham Jackson. Robert E. Hathaway was a founding member of the Kentucky State Benevolent Society, which was the organization that founded the First Convention of Colored Men of Kentucky in 1866. Robert E. Hathaway was also a minister and served at the following Disciples of Christ Churches in Kentucky: Midway in Woodford County, Little Rock (39 years) in Bourbon County, and Germantown (27 years) in Mason County. Robert Hathaway also served as an elder at East Second Street Christian Church in Lexington, KY. He was co-organizer of the 1872 Convention of Negro Disciples, Church of Christ, and he served as president of the State Convention in 1902. He was also active on the local level. "News articles listed R. E. Hathaway as one of the committee members who consistently questioned the actions of the City Commissioners regarding the money voted on for establishing park facilities for the colored people. A tribute, following Robert E. Hathaway's death on March 2, 1923, credited him with the securing of Douglass Park and Booker T. Washington School, as well as the founding of the Colored Civic League." The VFW Post #1096 is named in his honor. Hathaway was also a member and the commander of Charles Sumner Post No.61 (1913-1916). He was a member of Masonic Sardis Lodge No.8. He was a member (1898) and president (1904 & 1912) of the Emancipation League in Lexington, KY. Robert E. Hathaway was the husband of Rachel Scott of Lexington, KY, and they were the parents of Fannie, Isaac, and Eva. Rachel Scott Hathaway died in July of 1874, and Robert next married Amanda Newman of Carlisle, KY. Robert E. and Amanda Newman Hathaway are buried next to each other in Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington, KY. Rachel Scott Hathaway is buried in African Cemetery No.2 in Lexington, Kentucky.


Lexington City Directories from 1875-1928.

U.S. Federal Census records from 1870-1920.

"Tribute to R.E. Hathaway," Lexington Leader, p.2, c8, 03/08/1923.

U.S. Descriptive List of Colored Volunteer Army Soldiers, 1864.

Fayette Circuit Court, 07/09/1868, case #2055.

"Rachel Scott" in the Colored Marriage Record, Fayette County, B1, p.256, 12/27/1869.

"Amanda Newman" in Colored Marriage Record, Nicholas County, B#2, p.174, 09/10/1895.

USCT Pension Certificate #446256, 05/04/1898.

Kentucky Christian Evangel, Church of Christ Archive records, Nashville, TN (2015.

Fayette County Circuit Records, Book #23, p.32, July 1883.

Proceedings of the 1st Convention of Colored Men in Kentucky, p.32, 1866.

Negro Disciples in Kentucky, 1840-1925 by Claude Walker, 1959 Thesis, College of the Bible, Lexington, KY.

"Christian Missionary Convent" in the column "Colored Circles," Lexington Leader, p.3, c6, 08/06/1902.

GAR state encampment journals contributed Jack Mills, Elijah P. Marrs Camp #5.

"President of Emancipation Committee," Lexington Leader, p.3, c4, 11/20/1904.

"President of Emancipation Committee," Lexington Leader, p.2, c5, 12/29/1912.

Death notice of Robert E. Hathaway in Lexington Leader, p.2, c7, 03/01/1923.

"Sardis Lodge No.8 members to conduct services," Lexington Leader, p.2, 03/02/1923.

"VFW Post #1096" in column "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, p.2, c7, section 1, 02/13/1924.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Nicholas County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Bourbon County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Woodford County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Mason County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Bracken County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Carlisle, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Little Rock, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Midway, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Germantown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Giles, Yvonne Y.
NKAA Entry: Convention of Colored Men of Kentucky
NKAA Entry: White, Fannie Fletcher Hathaway
NKAA Entry: Hathaway, Isaac Scott
NKAA Entry: African Cemetery No. 2 (Lexington, KY)
NKAA Source: Lexington leader (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Proceedings of the First Convention of Colored Men of Kentucky : held in Lexington, March the 22d, 23d, 24th and 26th, 1866 : with the Constitution of the Kentucky State Benevolent Association
NKAA Source: Negro Disciples in Kentucky, 1840-1925 (thesis)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hathaway, Robert Elijah,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 23, 2023,

Last modified: 2019-09-14 01:21:37