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1826 Slave Revolt on Ohio River
Start Year : 1826
On September 17, 1826, Bourbon County, KY, slave traders Edward Stone and his nephew Howard Stone were among the five white men killed by the 75 or so slaves who were being taken down river aboard a flatboat. Edward Stone had kept his slaves in Bourbon County, chained and shackled beneath his house. In September of 1826, a group of the slaves were marched to Mason County, KY, where they were taken aboard the flatboat headed to the Mississippi slave market. David Cobb of Lexington, KY, and James Gray were hired to convey the crew down the Ohio River. The boat stopped in Louisville, KY, where a white man named Davis boarded the boat. Davis was from Natchez, MS, or Paris, KY, depending on which account you read. The boat had gone about another 100 miles when the slaves revolted and killed the five white men and threw their bodies overboard. The 75 slaves, males and females of various ages, attempted to escape into Indiana, which had become a state in 1816 with a constitution that prohibited slavery [read more at IN.gov], though there were both free Blacks and slaves in the state. There were also active Underground Railroad stations in Indiana [read more at IN.gov], two of which were along the Ohio River bordering Kentucky and near Breckinridge County, KY. In 1824, Indiana passed one of the earliest forms of a fugitive slave law [read more at IN.gov]. The slaves who had escaped from the flatboat were fugitives, property that could be reclaimed. Fifty-six of the slaves were captured and returned to Kentucky to be lodged in the Hardinsburg [Breckinridge County] jail. A Baltimore newspaper reported that some of the slaves were brought to Maryland and sold. Three of the slaves supposedly admitted taking part in the revolt. Nothing is known or has ever been written about the 19 slaves who escaped, nor has it been acknowledged that there were slaves on the flatboat who made their way to freedom. "...[T]he balance separated, and as yet have not been heard of."- - [source: "To the editor: Hardinsburg, Sept. 19, 1826," Richmond Enquirer, 10/17/1826, p. 4]. A possibility that has not been discussed in the literature suggests there may have been a prepared plan for the slaves to escape into Indiana and make their way further north via the Underground Railroad. Reading, writing, and knowledge of maps would not have been necessary in order for the slaves to have known about Under Ground Railroad stations on the Indiana border; messages and codes were passed between slaves in the form of songs and quilts and other non-written methods. The focus of the newspapers during the time of the revolt and later written histories centers on the killing of the five white men, the capture of the 56 slaves, and the subsequent trial and executions. Five of the captured slaves were hanged: their names, the only names given to any of the slaves in the newspapers, were Jo, Duke, Resin, Stephen, and Wesley [source: If We Must Die, by E. R. Taylor, p. 162]. One other slave named Roseberry's Jim is mentioned in the Village Register newspaper article, "The Negro Trial" dated 11/14/1826. According to the article, five of the slaves were hanged; forty-seven were sold; the remainder was brought back to Bourbon County. One of the slaves was a mulatto boy named Louis (or Lewis) who was not for sale; he was Edward Stone's body servant and had tried to save Stone's life, but he too was beaten during the revolt [source: "To the editor: Hardinsburg, Sept. 19, 1826," Richmond Enquirer, 10/17/1826, p. 4]. Four months after the revolt, Louis (or Lewis) was given his freedom by Stone's widow in January of 1827. According to author J. W. Coleman, he remained in Kentucky on the land and in the house he was given near the Edward Stone house in Bourbon County [source: Slavery Times in Kentucky, by J. Winston Coleman, pp. 174-176].

 

Edward Stone was one of the first slave traders to openly advertise his intentions of selling slaves to the Deep South markets. Much of what has been written about the day of his death contains varying and sometimes conflicting details, as well as name variations for the men who were killed and various accounts as to how the day unfolded. For additional information see "Horrible Massacre" in the column headed "Louisville, Ken. Sept. 23" in the Baltimore Patriot & Mercantile Advertiser, 10/07/1826, p. 2; "The Louisville, Kentucky, paper...," Norwich Courier, 10/11/1826, p. 2; Speculators and Slaves by M. Tadman; I've Got a Home in Glory Land, by K. S. Frost, Chapter 3 - On Jordan's Bank; Black Heritage Sites, pp. 110-111, by N. C. Curtis; and Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad, by J. Blain Hudson. See also Ancestry.com website Edward Stone by N. A. Bristow; blog entry Edward Stone's Demise, by T. Talbott; and Edward Stone in the History of Slavery: Glossary, a Kentucky Educational Television Underground Railroad website.

 

 
See photo image of Edward Stone's house, The Grange, photo image in Explore UK.
Subjects: Executions, Freedom, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Bourbon County, Kentucky / Mason County, Kentucky / Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky / Indiana / Mississippi / Maryland

20th-Century Photos of Ex-Slaves
Start Year : 1929
End Year : 1939
This is a flickr site by beeskep that contains photograph images of former slaves who were interviewed for the Slave Narratives. Documenting the lives of former slaves began in 1929 at Fisk College [now Fisk University] and at Southern [now Southern University and A&M College]. The work was continued by Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1934. The narratives were part of the Federal Writer's Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

Subjects: Freedom, Photographers, Photographs, Works Progress Administration (WPA) / Work Projects Adminstration (WPA)
Geographic Region: Unites States

Adam (slave of Justice G. Robertson)
Start Year : 1862
In the fall of 1862, during the Civil War, Colonel William L. Utley of the 22nd Wisconsin Volunteers was in Kentucky when a small Negro boy named Adam sought refuge in his camp. Adam was a runaway slave about 15 or 16 years old; he was small for his size and has been described as a crippled dwarf. Around his neck was welded a collar with eight inch spikes. The collar was removed, and Adam was cared for and employed in the camp. He had been there but a short time when his owner, former Chief Justice George Robertson (1790-1874), arrived to claim Adam as his property. Robertson was well known throughout Kentucky: he practiced law in Lexington and had been a Kentucky Representative, an Associate Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and a law professor at Transylvania University in Lexington. He would become a justice of the Court of Appeals in 1864. In spite of his prominence in Kentucky, when Justice Robertson arrived to claim Adam, Colonel Utley cited the article of war that would allow Adam to leave with Robertson on his own; however, Adam could not be forced to leave with Robertson, who left the camp empty handed. Both Utley and Robertson appealed to President Lincoln to help resolve the matter, but the President did not take either side and refused to get involved with the dispute. Justice Robertson proclaimed that an injustice had taken place, and he gave public speeches and wrote letters to newspapers stating his case. Colonel Utley was sent word that he would never leave Kentucky with Robertson's slave. As the 22nd Wisconsin Volunteers were marching through Louisville, KY, Colonel Utley warned the citizens that he intended to take Adam and all other refugees in their company, and if the townspeople attempted to attack them as they had other regiments with refugees, then the 22nd Wisconsin would follow orders to shoot to kill and the town would be burned to the ground. The 22nd Wisconsin marched through Louisville with loaded weapons and bayonets. Adam and another escaped slave were at the head of the line. There were no attacks from the townspeople. Colonel Utley, from Racine, Wisconsin, took Adam to Wisconsin, where he settled in Waukesha as a free person. The collar he had worn into Utley's camp was put on display in the Racine post office. Justice Robertson filed a civil suit in Kentucky against Utley for Adam's value, $908.06. The Kentucky newspapers carried story after story about the bold theft of Justice Robertson's slave. Prior to the settlement of the matter, and in an unrelated march, Utley was taken prisoner in Spring Hill, TN, by Confederates, and the matter of the stolen slave was all but forgotten. After the war and after all slaves had been freed, Justice Robertson still wanted to be paid for the value of his slave, $908.06, plus costs of $26.40. Robertson's lawsuit was brought to the Circuit Court of Wisconsin in 1868, and Utley was ordered to pay Robertson the total sum. In turn, Utley filed a claim with the United States Congress for reimbursement, and in 1873, the Senate voted in favor of the reimbursement and passed it on to the House for approval. Colonel Utley was reimbursed in full. For more see "Claim for the value of a Kentucky slave," Daily Evening Bulletin, 02/20/1873, issue 116, Col. B; and "Colonel William [F.] Utley and Adam the African American Slave," by Kevin Dier-Zimmel [online at ancestry.com community website].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Racine and Waukesha, Wisconsin

The African American Herndons from Simpson County, KY
Start Year : 1852
The following information was submitted by Gayla Coates, Archives Librarian at the Simpson County Kentucky Archives. Melford, Solomon, Bob, and Amy were the slaves of James Herndon in Simpson County, KY. In 1852, they were all to be freed when James Herndon's will was probated. The will stipulated that the slaves were to be freed if they agreed to go live in Liberia, Africa; otherwise, they were to remain in bondage to a member of James Herndon's family. Robert Herndon (b. 1814) and Melford D. Herndon (b. 1819) sailed to Liberia in 1854 aboard the ship Sophia Walker. Solomon Herndon (b. 1811) left aboard the ship Elvira Owen in 1856. In Monrovia, Liberia, Melford Herndon attended the Day's Hope mission school where he learned to read and write. He became a missionary among the Bassa people. During the American Civil War, his salary for his missionary work was discontinued. Melford returned to the U.S. and was able to secure assistance for the mission in Liberia. He also brought two of his sons to Liberia. While in the U.S., he was ordained a minister at the First African Baptist Church in Philadelphia. Herndon also collected $2,000 to build a school and meeting house for the Bassa people. He returned to Liberia in 1865 and continued his work without a salary. In 1869, Melford Herndon left his brother in charge of the school in Liberia and again returned to the U.S. for additional fund-raising and to locate his other four children. In 1873, Melford Herndon was back in Herndonville, Liberia. He would again return to the U.S., bringing with him ten Africans who would become students at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. When he returned to Liberia, he brought along his sister, Mrs. Julia Lewis, from Kentucky. They sailed on the ship Liberia, which was sponsored by the Pennsylvania Colonization Society. For more see G. Coates, "Melford D. Herndon: Freed Slave and Missionary to Liberia," Jailhouse Journal, vol. 18, issue 2 (04/2009), p. 22. [The Simpson County Historical Society is housed in the old jail, thus the name of its journal.]
Subjects: Education and Educators, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Simpson County, Kentucky / Monrovia and Herndonville, Liberia, Africa

African American Slavery in Mexico - Tom West
According to author J. K. Turner, Tom West was born free in Kentucky and later became a slave in what was described as an experiment in Mexico. Turner met West in 1908-1909. West had earned $2 per day in a brickyard in Kentucky, and he left the U.S. for Mexico by way of Florida along with 80 other African Americans, with the promise of earning $3.75 or 7.5 pesos per day. They were to work at coffee and rubber plantations in La Junta. Once in Mexico the group was locked away at night, and armed guards watched over them as they worked during the day. Unbeknownst to West and the other African Americans, they had been sold as slaves to an American plantation owner and were forced to work off their purchase price before they would be paid for their labor. Those who escaped and then captured were beaten, and according to Turner, the Diaz government turned a blind eye to the whole affair. African American slavery in Mexico was considered a failure, and Tom West was freed after two years on the plantation but remained in Mexico. For more see Barbarous Mexico, by J. K. Turner.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Mexico

The African Repository and Colonial Journal (periodical)
Start Year : 1825
End Year : 1892
Published by the American Colonization Society, the journal was first known as The African Repository and Colonial Journal. In 1850 the title changed to The African Repository and in 1892 to Liberia. The journals contain reports, records, and activities of the American Colonization Society. Included in the issues are the names of slave owners, estates, and the freed slaves who were to be colonized in Liberia, Africa. An example of the listing can be found under the heading "African Colonization in Kentucky at the Google Book Search site.
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Inheritance, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Liberia, Africa

Alexander, Henry
Birth Year : 1802
Henry Alexander was a slave from Mayslick, KY, who purchased his freedom when he was 21 years old. He was a merchant and is listed in the 1840 U.S. Federal Census as a free man. Henry and his wife, Lucy Alexander, had a daughter, Maria Ann Alexander, who graduated from Oberlin College with a Literary Degree in 1854 and taught for a while in Covington, KY. Maria married Mifflin W. Gibbs, and the couple moved to Vancouver Island, Canada. Mifflin Gibbs would become the first African American judge in the United States. Harriet A. Gibbs was one of the couple's five children. For more see F. Fowler, "Some undistinguished Negroes," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 5, issue 4 (Oct. 1920), p. 485.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Mayslick, Mason County, Kentucky / Vancouver Island, Canada

Allensville (KY) Emancipation Celebration
For more than 123 years, on or around August 8, the Allensville community has been celebrating the Emancipation of African Americans. About 200 people attended the celebration in 1992. For more see "Kentuckians celebrate Emancipation Proclamation," The Evansville Courier, 08/10/1992, Metro section, p. A4.
Subjects: Freedom, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky

American Fugitive Slaves in the British Metropolis (London, England)
Start Year : 1851
The "American Fugitive Slaves in the British Metropolis" was an ad hoc association formed August 1, 1851, by American fugitives who were in exile in London, England. The organization was established to assist fugitive slaves in finding jobs, education, and settling in England. The organization was founded in response to the passing of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 in the United States, which had prompted a greater influx of fugitives in England. There was also the influence of British abolitionists and the American abolitionist who were touring England, Scotland, and Wales; the men were lecturing against slavery in the United States. One of the touring abolitionists was William Wells Brown. Author R. J. M. Blackett mentions in his book, Building an Antislavery Wall, p.5, that not all American fugitives in England were destitute or survived by begging in the streets [as the Avery sisters had attempted]. Blackett noted that fugitive William Watson had enrolled in school. The "American Fugitive Slaves in the British Metropolis" was a short-lived organization. For more information see R. J. M. Blackett, "Fugitive slaves in Britain: the odyssey of William and Ellen Craft," Journal of American Studies, April 1978, v.12, no.1, pp.41-62; and Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky by F. Frederick.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Fraternal Organizations, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Kentucky / London, England, Europe

American/Brazilian Slaver "Kentucky" (ship)
Start Year : 1844
In 1844, the slave ship Kentucky, which had been sold by Americans to Brazilians, sailed to Inhambane and Quelimane, Mozambique, under the American flag. The crew was made up of both Americans and Brazilians. Inhambane and Quelimane, located on the southeast coast of Africa, were off limits to the slave ship by treaty. Nonetheless, once the cargo of 530 adult Africans was shackled aboard the Kentucky, the ship was turned over to the Brazilians, and all or some of the American crew returned to Brazil on another ship. The next day, the Africans attempted an unsuccessful revolt. Those thought to be guilty were tried by the ship captain, and 46 African men and one woman were hanged, then shot in the chest and thrown overboard. In addition, 20 men and six women were severely flogged. When the ship reached Brazil, the entire incident was recounted and recorded at the U.S. Consul in Rio de Janeiro and forwarded to the U.S. Congress [House Ex. Doc. 61 & Senate Ex. Doc. 28, both in 30th Congress]. In 1845, Consul Henry A. Wise (Virginia) appealed to President James K. Polk to take a stand against pirate slave ships sailing under the American flag as license for the types of barbarity exhibited on the Kentucky and the slave trade in general. No stand was taken. The Kentucky was eventually found by a British armed vessel, it was tucked away on the Angozha [Angoche] River in Mozambique. With no way to escape by sea, the crew of the Kentucky set the ship on fire and escaped by land. For more see The American Slave Trade: an account of its origin, growth and suppression, by J. R. Spears (published in 1900); and An Exposition of the African Slave Trade: from the year 1840, to 1850 inclusive, by U.S. Department of State, Representative Meeting (1851) [both titles available in full-text via Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Lynchings, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Slave Trade (U.S.)
Geographic Region: Inhambane and Quelimane, Mozambique, Africa / Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America / United States

Anderson, Robert B.
Birth Year : 1843
Death Year : 1930
Anderson was born in Green County, KY. His mother and siblings were the property of Colonel Robert Ball, and his father was the property of Alfred Anderson. When he was six, Anderson's mother had a dispute with the mistress and was sold for field work in Louisiana. Robert never saw his mother again. In 1864, Anderson ran away to Lebanon, KY, where he joined the Army. He served in the west and received an honorable discharge, whereupon he returned to Kentucky but eventually moved out west, in 1870 settling in Nebraska. As a farmer, he had both years of prosperity and years of poverty until he finally found security with a farm of 1,120 acres that grew to be 2,000 acres. Anderson married in 1922 at the age of 79; his wife was 21. His wife's family soon moved in and his wife took over his affairs, which resulted in the land being heavily mortgaged. It was around that time, in 1927, that Anderson had his book published by the Hemingford Ledger: From slavery to affluence; memoirs of Robert Anderson, ex-slave. In 1930, he deeded all of his property to his wife. Robert Anderson died after the car he was riding in overturned; his wife, her brother and a friend survived. Ball's wife, Daisy Anderson, who passed away in 1998, had been one of the three surviving Civil War widows in the U.S. For more see D. D. Wax, "Robert Ball Anderson, ex-slave, a pioneer in Western Nebraska, 1884-1930," Nebraska History, vol. 64, issue 2 (1983), pp. 163-192.
Access InterviewListen to the oral history and read the transcript of Daisy Anderson and Alberta Martin, two of the last living Civil War widows, at radiodairies.org.
Subjects: Agriculturalists, Produce, Authors, Freedom, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Green County, Kentucky / Lebanon, Marion County, Kentucky / Box Butt County, Nebraska

Anderson, Sandford Woodford and Polly Ann
Sanford Anderson, Sr. (b.1836) was born in Kentucky, the son of a slave woman and her white master named Woodford. His mother was sold after he was born, and Anderson was given his freedom and his father's last name. When he was a young man, Sanford left his father's plantation and went to work on the Anderson farm; he then took the name Anderson as his last name. He married a slave named Polly Ann (b.1842) and established a blacksmith business. The family moved to [Springheld] Springfield, Ohio, in 1877 and Anderson supported his family with his new blacksmith business. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, the couple is listed with nine children, and all living in the Mad River District in Ohio. Dorothy Evans Bacon was the great-granddaughter of Sanford and Polly Anderson. Highlights of the Anderson family history can be found in the article "The Bacons: a fighting spirit on the color line," Newsweek, Special: Fiftieth Anniversary Issue, vol.101, issue 10, February, 1983, pp. 33-34, 36. The article includes a photo of Dorothy Evans [Bacon] and her parents.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Blacksmiths, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Kentucky / [Springheld] Springfield, Ohio

Archives of Ontario (Canada)
The archives is a program of the Ontario Ministry of Government Services. The archives are made up of a number of collections, including government records, genealogical records, an art collection, and sound and moving images. The exhibit, Black Canadian Experience in Ontario 1834-1914: Flight, Freedom, Foundation, included the stories of former Kentuckians, such as Solomon Moseby and the Emancipation of Susan Holton. Holton and her children were taken to Ohio by Mary Kirk and given their freedom in 1848. The family moved on to Canada. For more information contact the Archives of Ontario.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, National Resources
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Ontario, Canada

Aunt Charlotte and King Solomon
Aunt Charlotte was a slave brought to Lexington, KY, in the late 1700s. She was freed and inherited property after her owners died. She supported herself by selling fruit and baked goods at the open market. She and William "King" Solomon had known each other in Virginia, and Aunt Charlotte's story is tied to his in the literature. Solomon was a white vagrant who supported his drinking with wages earned as a digger of cisterns, graves, and cellars. In the spring of 1833, as punishment for his vagrancy, local officials put Solomon up for sale as a slave for one year; at the end of that year he was to return to court. Aunt Charlotte purchased Solomon for $13; she outbid two medical students who were investing in a future cadaver. Aunt Charlotte set Solomon free, and he promptly managed to get liquor, later making his way back to Aunt Charlotte's home, where he passed out on a Thursday. He woke on a Saturday to find that many had died or were dying of cholera while others were evacuating the city. Aunt Charlotte was preparing to leave, but when Solomon refused to go, she would not leave him. People were dying quicker than they were being buried--the gravediggers had deserted the city. Solomon took up his shovel and began burying the dead. His dedication probably prevented further spread of the disease. Both Solomon and Aunt Charlotte survived the epidemic. When Solomon returned to court, the judge shook his hand and others thanked him for his heroic deeds. Solomon died in the poorhouse in 1854; he is buried in the Lexington Cemetery. In 1908 a large tombstone was placed at his grave. It is not known what became of Aunt Charlotte. For more see "King Solomon of Kentucky" in Flute and Violin and other Kentucky Tales, by J. L. Allen; and "King Solomon, Heroic Gravedigger" in Offbeat Kentuckians, by K. McQueen.
Subjects: Alcohol, Freedom, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Inheritance
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Virginia

Autobiography of a Female Slave, by Mattie Griffith
Start Year : 1856
The Autobiography of a Female Slave was written by Owensboro, KY, native Mattie Griffith. The book was initially thought to be a Kentucky slave narrative, and even today it is still occasionally mistaken as such. Martha "Mattie" Griffith was a white abolitionist who wrote the book in hopes of raising money to emancipate her slaves and resettle them in a free state. A few weeks after the book was published, Griffith admitted writing the story based on real life incidents that she had witnessed. The Louisville Courier denounced the book as abolitionist propaganda. The book did not sell well, but Griffith received money from the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1858 that she used to free and resettle her slaves. Griffith and her sister, Catherine, had inherited their slaves from their deceased parents, Catherine and Thomas Griffith, who died in 1830. The girls were raised by family members in Louisville, KY, and around 1854 they were both living in Philadelphia, PA, where Mattie wrote her book. Beginning in 1859, she wrote a serialized anti-slavery novel with a mulatto heroine from Kentucky: "Madge Vertner," published in the National Anti-Slavery Standard newspaper, July 1859-May 1860. In 1866, Mattie Griffith married Albert Gallatin Browne from Massachusetts. She died in Boston in 1906. This entry was suggested by James Birchfield, Curator of Rare Books at the University of Kentucky Libraries. For more information see the Mattie Griffith Browne entry in the American National Biography Online database; Slippery Characters, by L. Browder; and J. M. Lucas, "Exposed Roots: from pseudo-slave narratives to The Wind Done Gone, the authenticity of representations of black history has always been in question," 02/27/2002, at Indyweek.com (Independent Weekly).
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Migration North, Inheritance
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Boston, Massachusetts

Avery, Rose and Minnie [Becca Richards]
During the last two months of 1857, there were several articles in the newspapers in London, England, about two fugitive slaves from Kentucky said to be named Rose and Minnie Avery. The young women were between 18 and 20 years old. In November, the women were seen begging on Black-man Street, both were said to be dressed in the white attire that U.S. slaves wore. The women were taken to the police station by Constable Hinchliffe, 85M, who said he had witnessed one of the women carrying a box used to collect money, and the other woman carried a placard that read "Fugitive Slaves." At the Southwark Police Court, the women said that they were fugitive slaves from a plantation in Kentucky and had escaped to Philadelphia, PA, after their father died and their mother was sold. They said that a benevolent person and free colored persons had taken care of them and later paid their passage on the ship "Jane" that took them to Greenock, England. They supposedly had arrived the previous spring and had not been able to find employment in domestic services in Greenock, so they had walked to London and were living on Bishopsgate-street with a Mrs. Flynn and her husband Mr. Flynn who was a laborer. The women said that they still had not found employment and had resorted to begging on the street. When ask if they had any skills, they said that they could knit. The women had one shilling and the magistrate gave them 4s from the poor box. The news of the slave fugitives from Kentucky was soon printed in the newspapers. The women were described in the North Wales Chronicle newspaper as very attractive, well educated, quadroons who were half-castes ["Story of two Kentucky fugitive female slaves," 11/21/1857, issue 1607]. The police station received numerous letters with small sums of money and offers to take-in the young women. The women had already received a portion of the money, and they were to buy wool for the making of gloves and caps, which they were to sell rather than begging on the streets. Each week, they received money from the donations received at the Southwark Police Station. In December, on their return to court, the women said that they had rented a room from a Mrs. Smith in Crown-court, Wentworth-street, for 2s per week. This was verified by the constable. The women presented the gloves and caps that they said they had made, and they showed how much money they had in their possession. They said that they had been given 5s and 10s from strangers who had heard about their plight, but most of their money had been used for food and a few clothes. The magistrate ordered that they be given a few more shillings from the contributions sent to the court on their behalf. The women also presented a letter that was supposedly from a man in Brighton who wanted to take them in as a nurse and to work in his shop, but the letter was not signed. The magistrate ask that the women report back to court in a week, and sooner if the man who wrote the letter came back to see them. In the mean time, the women's story would continue to be investigated by the Mendicity Society and the Southwark Police Court. As the women were leaving court, a New York merchant gave the constable £2 with which to purchase clothing and boots for the women. The women received the items. When they returned to court, there were three reports, one from the Mendicity Society, one from police investigator Officer Hewett, and one from the M division of the police department. According to the reports and the witnesses who were also in the courtroom, the women were impostors. The older of the two women lived with a black man on Crown-court, Wentworth-street. She may have been from America, but only recently arrived in England. The younger woman lived with an Irish woman who may have been her mother. Her father was an older black man who lived at St. Luke's Workhouse, Chelsea, and the younger woman had visited him and given him money. She had also written a letter to him and signed her name as Becca Richards. Also, the ship "Jane" that had supposedly brought the two women to England, had not been in Greenock for 18 months. The younger woman and the older black man denied knowing each other, though witnesses in the courtroom identified her as the person who had visited him several times and said that she had written the letter. The magistrate concluded that the younger woman was a fake, and therefore, both women were fakes. The women were directed to leave the court and were warned that if they were picked up again for begging, then they would be severely punished. Benevolent persons who had sent money to the courts and the police station, for the women's care, would be contacted and asked if they wished their money to go to the women through application, or have the money added to the poor box. For more see "Southwark. - Kentucky Fugitive Slaves," The Morning Post, 11/18/1857, p.7; "Southwark," Daily News (London, England), 11/18/1875, issue 3591; "Fugitive slave girls from Kentucky," The Morning Chronicle, 11/26/1857, issue 28371; "Fugitive slave girls in London from Kentucky," Hampshie Advertiser & Salisbury Guardian, 11/28/1857, p.3; "The Fugitive slaves from Kentucky," The Morning Chronicle, 12/1/1857, issue 28375; "Kentucky fugitive slaves; extraordinary deception," North Wales Chronicle, 12/12/1857, issue 1609; and "The Kentucky fugitive slaves turn out to be impostors," Hampshire Advertiser & Salisbury Guardian, 12/12/1857, p.3.
Subjects: Freedom, Hoaxes, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Greenock and London England, Europe

Ballard, John and Amanda
John (1830-1905) and Amanda Ballard (b. 1840-died before 1900) were the first African Americans to settle in the hills above Malibu; the site, Negrohead Mountain [a refined version of the name], was named in recognition of the Ballards early pioneering presence in the area. There was an effort underway to rename the peak Ballard Mountain. John Ballard, a former slave from Kentucky, was a blacksmith, a teamster, and a firewood salesman. He was a free man when the family arrived in Los Angeles in 1859. John was able to earn enough money to purchase 320 acres near Seminole Hot Springs, and the family later moved near Santa Monica. John helped found the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles; the services were first held in 1872 in the home of co-founder Biddy Mason. Mason, like Ballard, had been a former slave; she won her freedom, along with 13 others, in an 1856 California court case. Mason settled in the city of Los Angeles. It is not known how John Ballard gained his freedom. When the Ballards moved to their mountain home, the family was sometimes harassed; their house was burnt down in an attempt to run them out of the area, but the Ballards refused to leave. John, and Amanda, who was born in Texas, first appear in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census. The couple had seven children according to the 1870 Census, all of whom were born in California. By 1900, John Ballard was a widow and his daughter Alice, who was a nurse, and two grandsons, were living with him. For more see Happy Days in Southern California, by F. H. Rindge [John Ballard is not referred to by name but rather as an "old colored neighbor"]; Heads and Tails -- and Odds and Ends, by J. H. Russell; B. Pool, "Negrohead Mountain might get new name," Los Angeles Times, 02/24/2009, Domestic News section; and R. McGrath, "Santa Monica peak renamed Ballard Mountain," Ventura County Star, 10/07/2009, Local section. For more on Biddy Mason see The Power of Place, by D. Hayden.

See video about John Ballard and the naming of Ballard Mountain, "Local activists responsible for 'Negrohead' Mountian name change," a thegriot.com/NBC News website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Blacksmiths, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Barr, Henry
Birth Year : 1834
Death Year : 1902
Barr, a barber, was the first African American to build a commercial building in Watertown, NY, prior to 1910 when there 76 African Americans in the community. Barr had arrived in Watertown in 1865; he was an escaped slave from Kentucky and had been living in Montreal before moving to New York. Barr had a chicken farm and owned a dry cleaners and clothes dying shop before building the three story building named Barr Block. He was a successful businessman and leader in the African American community. He was one of the first Board of Trustee members of what is today Thomas Memorial AME Zion Church. The Henry Barr Underground Railroad Community Development, Inc. was named in his honor. For more see L. L. Scharer, "African-Americans in Jefferson County, New York; 1810-1910," Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, vol. 19, no. 1 (Jan. 31, 1995), pp. 7ff.; and J. Golden, "Blacks have long had faith in Watertown," Watertown Daily Times, 02/26/1995, Lifestyles and Leisure section, p. G1.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Watertown, New York

Batson v Kentucky
James Kirkland Batson, of Jefferson County, KY, was charged with second-degree burglary and receipt of stolen goods. In jury selection for his trial, all African American candidates were excused. Batson insisted that the entire jury be removed because all of the African Americans had been removed, a violation of his Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The judge denied the motion, and Batson was convicted on both counts in 1984. The Kentucky Supreme Court denied Batson's appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision in 1986. For more see Peter W. Sperlich, "Batson v. Kentucky," in The Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions, Kermit L. Hall, Oxford University Press, 1999; Oxford Reference Online; U.S. Supreme Court Batson v. Kentucky 476 U.S. 79 (1986); and Epstein and Swickard, "Court forbids rejection of jurors on basis of race," Detroit Free Press, 05/01/1986.
Subjects: Freedom, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ben (former slave)
Cleveland, OH, was founded in 1796. Ben, an escaped slave who had lived on the Young Farm in Kentucky, is recognized as the first African American in Cleveland. He came to the city in 1806 after the family he was with drowned in a lake and Ben almost froze to death. It was thought that Ben left Cleveland and moved to Canada. His story, including his near capture, are told on p. 12 of Cleveland's Harbor, by J. C. Ehle, W. D. Ellis, and N. A. Schneider. An earlier account can be found on pp.339-343 in the Early History of Cleveland Ohio by C. Whittlesey [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio / Canada

Berry, Isaac, Sr.
Birth Year : 1831
Death Year : 1914
Isaac Berry, Sr. was a violin player who was born a slave in Garrard County, KY. He was willed to one of his owner's daughters. The daughter married James Pratt, and the family moved to Missouri. With the permission of Mrs. Pratt, Berry ran away and James Pratt posted a $500 reward for Berry, dead or alive. Berry made his way to Ypsilanti, MI, [see George McCoy] by following the railroad tracks, the trip taking him three weeks. Members of the Underground Railroad helped Berry to make his way on to Detroit, then to Canada. Berry's daughter, Katy Pointer, was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, in 1864, and the family moved to Mecosta, MI, in 1877. Isaac Berry, Sr. was a blacksmith and a carpenter, he was the husband of Lucy, who was born in New York; both are last listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. The Berry family was among the early settlers of Morton Township in Mecosta, MI, where Isaac Berry built a school for Negro children and other structures. Isaac Berry, Sr. was born March 10, 1831 and died January 11, 1914 [source: Michigan Certificate of Death at Seeking Michigan, online digital archive]. For more see Negro Folktales in Michigan, edited by R. M. Dorson; and A northside view of slavery. The Refugee: or the Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada, by B. Drew (1856).
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Blacksmiths, Inheritance, Carpenters, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Garrard County, Kentucky / Missouri / Ypsilanti, Detroit, and Mecosta, Michigan / Canada

Bibb, Henry W.
Birth Year : 1815
Death Year : 1854
Henry Walton Bibb was born a slave in Shelby County, KY, to Mildred Jackson, a slave, and James Bibb, a white politician. Henry Bibb taught himself to read and write. He had many failed escape attempts, which eventually led to his being sold. Bibb was last owned by Indians before he escaped to Detroit, Michigan. He became an abolitionist lecturer and later moved to Windsor, Ontario, Canada, where he edited the Voice of the Fugitive newspaper. He also organized the Refugee Home Society for runaway slaves. For more see Narrative of the life and adventures of Henry Bibb, an American slave, by H. Bibb [available online at the Documenting the American South website]; The Kentucky Encyclopedia; and "Death of Henry Bibb," New York Daily Times, 08/19/1854, p. 3.

   See photo image of Henry W. Bibb at the Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Shelby County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Bishop, Stephen
Birth Year : 1821
Death Year : 1857
Stephen Bishop was 17 years old in 1838 when both he and Mammoth Cave were purchased by Franklin Gorin, a Kentucky attorney. A year later, they were both sold to Dr. John Croghan. Bishop, the first African American cave explorer, was the first guide and explorer of Mammoth Cave, the world's longest cave system. He knew the cave system better than all others, which made him a responsible tour guide. He also made a published map of the cave. After receiving his freedom, Bishop had planned to take his wife Charlotte and their son to live in Liberia, Africa, but he died before he could do so. Stephen Bishop is buried in the cemetery near the entrance to Mammoth Cave. For more see Kentucky's Black Heritage, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; In Remembrance (pdf); The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and J. C. Schmitzer, "The sable guides of Mammoth Cave," Filson Club History Quarterly, 1993, vol. 67, issue 2, pp. 240-258.
Subjects: Explorers, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Parks
Geographic Region: Mammoth Cave National Park, Edmonson County, Kentucky

Black Shakers (Pleasant Hill, KY)
In 1995 a celebration of the African American contributions to the Shakers, entitled "Dark Angels - The Story of African-American Shakers," was held at the Shakertown Meeting House at Pleasant Hill in Mercer County, KY. There had been 19 African Americans at the village, including Alley Hyson, the first to arrive, in 1807, and two slaves whose freedom was purchased by the Shakers. For more see L. Stafford, "Event Puts Spotlight on Black Shakers," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/08/1995, COMMUNITY section, p. 7; and contact Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, KY.
Subjects: Freedom, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Pleasant Hill, Mercer County, Kentucky

Blackburn, Thornton and Ruth (or Lucie)
The Blackburns were escaped slaves from Louisville, KY. They had been settled in Detroit, Michigan, for two years when, in 1833, Kentucky slave hunters captured and arrested the couple. The Blackburns were jailed but allowed visitors, which provided the opportunity for Ruth to exchange her clothes - and her incarceration - with Mrs. George French; Ruth escaped to Canada. The day before Thornton was to be returned to Kentucky, the African American community rose up in protest. While the commotion was going on, Sleepy Polly and Daddy Walker helped Thornton to escape to Canada. The commotion turned into a two day riot and the sheriff was killed. It was the first race riot in Detroit, and afterward the first Riot Commission was formed in the U.S. Once in Canada, Thornton designed, built, and operated Toronto's first horse-drawn carriage hackney cab and cab company. He was born in Maysville, KY in 1812. Ruth died in Canada in 1895. For more see The Detroit Riot of 1863; racial violence and internal division in Northern society during the Civil War, by A. S. Quinn; I'v Got a Home in Glory Land by K. S. Frost; and Thornton and Lucie Blackburn House.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Toronto, Canada

Board, Sally [Petersburg, Kentucky]
Birth Year : 1805
Death Year : 1892
Sally Board was born in Fort Harrod, KY; her mother was a slave who had been purchased (or loaned) in 1790 to care for widower Phillip Board's children. A few years later Sally was born; Phillip Board was her father and owner. By 1810, Sally's mother was no longer at the Board farm, but Sally remained. As an adult, she married a slave named Peter, and his name became Peter Board. Land that Sally either purchased or received from her father was developed into a small African American community called Petersburg. Sally was eventually freed, and she then purchased her husband's freedom. Their children, however, remained slaves until after the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. In 1878, when Sally was 72 years old, she and the whole community of Petersburg moved to the new territory and settled in Morton City [Jetmore today], Hodgeman County, Kansas, abandoning Petersburg. Today Petersburg is part of the Kentucky community know as Nevada. For more information about Sally, the Board family, and other Exodusters, including the family of Eliza Broadnax Bradshaw, see "Exoduster" Sally Board, an American Heritage: from Kentucky Slavery to a Kansas Homestead, 1805-1892, by R. O. Pleasant & J. P. Neill. [Ray Pleasant is an African American and John Neill is White; they are cousins, both descendants of Phillip Board.]
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Fort Harrod (Old Fort Harrod State Park), Mercer County, Kentucky / Petersburg, Mercer County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Nevada, Mercer County, Kentucky / Morton City (now Jetmore), Kansas

Bobtown, Farristown, and Middletown (Berea, KY)
African Americans were able to buy land in the Bobtown, Farristown, and Middletown communities after the Civil War. This change was in part due to the influence of Rev. John G. Fee. Farristown was founded in 1835, named for the Farris families who lived in the area. Middletown is so named because it is about midway between Farristown and Berea. Bobtown is the oldest of the three communities, originally founded around 1769 when it was called Joe Lick. The name was changed around 1872 in honor of African American resident Uncle Bob Fitch. Each of the communities had an African American church: First Baptist Church in Middletown was organized in 1894, Farristown Baptist Church in 1883, and New Liberty Baptist Church in Bobtown in 1866. For more information and photos see Early History of Black Berea, by Berea College, or contact the Berea College Library.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Bobtown (was Joe Lick), Madison County, Kentucky / Farristown, Madison County, Kentucky / Middletown, Madison County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Bond, James M.
Birth Year : 1863
Death Year : 1929
James M. Bond was born in Lawrenceburg, KY. He was a slave the first two years of his life. When he was 16 years old, Bond walked to Berea College, where he was a student in the primary grades and continued up to the time he graduated from college in 1892. He was also a graduate from Oberlin College, where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree. He returned to Kentucky and led the fund-raising for Lincoln Institute, the school provided for African Americans after the segregation of Berea College. He was in charge of the YMCA work with the soldiers at Camp Taylor. Bond was also the first director of the Kentucky Commission on Interracial Cooperation, and in that position he spoke out against segregation. James M. Bond was the brother of Henry Bond; they were the sons of Jane Arthur, a slave, and Reverend Preston Bond. James Bond was the husband of Jane A. Browne Bond, the father of J. Max Bond, Sr., Thomas Bond, and Horace Bond, and the grandfather of Julian Bond, civil rights leader and former Georgia senator and representative. For more see The Bonds, by R. M. Williams; and the article and picture of James M. Bond and his three sons on p. 228 of The Crisis, vol. 27, issue 5 (March 1924) [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Fathers, Freedom, Grandparents, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky / Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Boyd, Francis A.
Birth Year : 1844
Death Year : 1872
Francis A. Boyd was born in Lexington, KY, to Nancy and Samuel Boyd, free African Americans. Reverend Francis Boyd was author of Columbiana: or, The North Star, Complete in One Volume (Chicago: Steam Job and Book Printing House of G. Hand, 1870). His biography and criticism can be found in Early Black American Poets, pp. 76-77. For more see Black American Writers Past and Present: a biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by Rush, Myers, & Arta.
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Poets
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Bradshaw, Eliza
Birth Year : 1827
Death Year : 1913
Eliza Bradshaw, born on a plantation in Mercer County, KY, was a slave who was sold when she was seven years old and again when she was 17. A few months later, she married Lewis Bradshaw, another slave, and they eventually had seven children. Eliza endured beatings and once had salt poured into wounds on her head. The beatings stopped when she scalded her master with boiling water. In 1879, Lewis and Eliza Bradshaw moved their family from Harrodsburg, KY, to Hodgeman County, Kansas. They were among the "Exodusters" who were migrating West. Lewis died about six months after their arrival. For more see E. Bradshaw, "An Exoduster Grandmother," Kansas History, 2003, vol. 26, issue 2, pp. 106-111.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / Hodgeman County, Kansas

Branegan, George [Poynts vs. Branegan]
According to author Charles Lindquist, it was reported in the Michigan Freeman on October 13, 1839, that slaveholders from Kentucky had tried and failed three times to seize a slave named George Branegan who was living in Adrian, Michigan, and later they failed in Jonesville. When the slaveholders took Branegan into custody in Jonesville, they were confronted by a vigilance committee that prevented them from taking him back to Kentucky. The case went to court: Poynts vs. Branegan. When the authenticated laws of Kentucky, showing that one man could own another, could not be produced in one hour as requested by the judge, Branegan was set free. For more see The Antislavery-Underground Railroad Movement: in Lenawee County, Michigan, 1830-1860 by C. Lindquist.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Jonesville and Adrian, Michigan

Breeding, Polly
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1939
Polly Breeding was born New Year's Day, 1849, in Lafayette, KY, the daughter of Phyllis Hiser, a slave, and Thomas Pound, a freeman. Thomas Pound's family had gained freedom when his grandmother, who was white, had a child by his grandfather, who was one of her slaves. According to the reprint from WPA Projects, "Aunt Polly Breeding was the oldest and most noted slave near Edmonton, Kentucky." A brief history of the family is in the Quarterly of the Metcalfe County Historical Society, vol. 4, issue 1 (Winter 1985). Polly Breeding died of influenza on March 12, 1939, according to her Kentucky Death Certificate #8186 file #87. She was a widow, her husband was Milton Breeding.
Subjects: Freedom, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Lafayette and Edmonton, Metcalfe County, Kentucky

Brent, George
Birth Year : 1821
George Brent was born near Greensburg, KY; he and his parents were slaves owned by Louis C. Patterson. Brent's father gained his freedom and moved to Lexington, KY, where he secured a note for the purchase of his son. George Brent then moved to Lexington, was employed as a blacksmith and became a freeman when he paid off the note of $1,200 at the end of three years. A year prior to his freedom, George Brent married Mildred Smith, a free born woman from Campbellsville, KY. In 1837, the Brent family moved to Illinois, eventually settling in Springfield at 1417 East Adams Street. Springfield had become the capital of Illinois in 1837 thanks to the efforts of Abraham Lincoln and several others. The Brent family was among the first African Americans to settle in Sangamon County. George Brent became an ordained minister in 1864 and the following year was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Springfield. The church was formerly known as the Colored Baptist Church, that was started in 1838 [more information at the Zion Missionary Baptist Church website]. The first church building was constructed under the directorship of Rev. George Brent. He and three others made the bricks from which the church was built; Rev. Brent and the three men were owners of the brick yard. Rev. Brent was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church until 1887. George and Mildred Brent had four children in 1870, according to the U.S. Federal Census, February of that year, two of the children were killed when they were struck by lightning [see George Brent at Find A Grave]. For more see History of Sangamon County, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities by Inter-State Publishing Company (Chicago) [full-text available at Google Book Search]; and contact the Springfield, Illinois, African American History Foundation.

*The last name is spelled as Brents and Brentz in the census records.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Blacksmiths, 1st African American Families in Town, Free African American Slave Owners, Killed by Lightning
Geographic Region: Greensburg, Green County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky / Springfield, Illinois

Brodis, James, Sr. "Jim" [Joseph M. Dorcy v. Maria Brodis et al.]
Birth Year : 1833
Jim Brodis, Sr. was a runaway slave from Kentucky. He escaped from his master while they were mining in California. Brodis fled to Pajaro Valley, California, where he eventually purchased a farm. A street there is named in his honor and memory in Watsonville. Brodis [or Brodies] is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census as a farmer, also listed are his wife Maria (b.1843 in Nova Scotia) and their five children. In 1908, the Supreme Court of California denied a rehearing in the case of Joseph M. Dorcy v. Maria Brodis and others. James Brodis had passed away, leaving all assets to Maria and the children. A land dispute led Dorcy to file a lawsuit against Maria et al. over the ownership of a tract of land in Santa Cruz. The court had ruled in favor of Maria et al., and Dorcy sought a retrial. For more see Dorcy v. Bordis on p.278 of v.96, first series of the Pacific Reporter, July 6-September 7, 1908 [full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Santa Cruz, California

Brown (Byrd), Calvin
Calvin Brown is listed in the National Archives as Calvin Byrd; he changed his name after the Civil War. Brown had been a slave who ran away from his owner in Louisville, KY, on August 14, 1864, and three days later he enlisted in the 108th Infantry, Company A. He fought in the Battle of Vicksburg in 1865, where he was injured, then later fell ill due to an unrelated disease. In 1996, Brown and other African American Civil War soldiers were honored with the dedication of a national memorial site. Calvin (Byrd) Brown was the great-grandfather of Mr. Shirley Foley, Jr. For more see L. Wheeler, "The unseen soldiers get their due memorial to honor blacks who fought in Civil War," Washington Post, 09/03/1996, Metro section, p. B1. *Last name also spelled Bird in some sources.
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Vicksburg, Mississippi

Brown, Clara
Birth Year : 1803
Death Year : 1885
Clara Brown was born in Virginia. She and her three children were sold separately, and Clara was brought to Kentucky. She purchased her freedom in 1858 and moved to Missouri before moving on to Colorado, where she became involved in several business ventures, including opening a laundry and investing in mines. Brown profited from her investments and returned to the east to bring 34 of her relatives out west. Much later she was able to find only one of her children. For more see The Book of African American Women: 150 Crusaders, Creators, and Uplifters, by T. Bolden.

See photo image of Clara Brown at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Migration West
Geographic Region: Virginia / Kentucky

Brown, William W.
Birth Year : 1814
Death Year : 1884
William Wells Brown was born in Lexington, KY. His mother, Elizabeth, was a slave; his father, George Higgins, was white. Since his mother was a slave, Brown too was a slave. He eventually escaped and made his way north, where he participated in abolitionist activities. He wrote a play, poems, songs, and books, including Clotel, the first novel published by an African American. Brown was also a historian and practiced medicine. For more see From Slave to Abolitionist by W. W. Brown and L. S. Warner; and Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave. Written by Himself [full-text at UNC University Library Documenting the American South].

See image of William Wells Brown from frontispiece of the title Narrative of William W. Brown, a fugitive slave, at Documenting the American South website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Freedom, Historians, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Broyles, Moses
Birth Year : 1826
Death Year : 1882
Moses Broyles was a slave who was born in Maryland, according to the 1880 U.S. Census. His mother's name was Mary and his father's name was Moses. Moses Jr. was sold at the age of three or four to a slave owner named John Broyles in Kentucky, and he lived in McCracken County, and later worked in Paducah to purchase his freedom for $300. White children he played with had taught him to read, and Moses Broyles also had the gift to recite, sing, and give speeches. While still a slave, he began preaching in Paducah, and helped build the first Colored Baptist meeting house in Paducah. Moses Broyles would become a religion leader and an education leader among African Americans in Indianapolis, IN. Broyles purchased his freedom when he was an adult and left Kentucky, he moved to Lancaster, IN, in 1854. He was a prominent student at Eleutherian Institute in Lancaster, where many of the students were from Kentucky. In addition to his education, Broyles also learned furniture-making. Broyles would become a minister and led the Second Baptist Church in Indianapolis from 1857-1882. He also led in the establishing of several other churches in Indiana, and helped found the Indiana Baptist Association. He also taught school in Indianapolis, teaching at one of the first schools in the city for African Americans. He is author of the 1876 title The History of Second Baptist Church. The church prospered under Broyles leadership, and the congregation increased from 30 to 630. Broyles was a Republican and pushed for African Americans to align themselves with the Republican Party. Moses Broyles was the husband of Francis Broyles, and in 1880 the couple had seven children [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. The family lived on Blake Street in Indianapolis. For more see J. C. Carroll, "The Beginnings of public education for Negroes in Indiana," The Journal of Negro Education, vol.8, no.4, Oct. 1939, pp.649-658; Second Baptist Church Collection, 1912-1985 at the Indiana Historical Society[user info .pdf]; T. Sturgill, "Celebrating Black History Month: Three stories of survival," The Madison Courier, 02/16/2011 [article online at The Madison Courier.com]; and see Moses Broyles in the various entries in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis by D. J. Bodenhamer and R. G. Barrows.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Maryland / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Lancaster and Indianapolis, Indiana

Bruner, Peter
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1938
Peter Bruner was born a slave in Winchester, KY. After several attempts at running away, he finally succeed in 1864 by enlisting in the Union Army at Camp Nelson, KY. For 2 1/2 years, he served in the 12th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment - Company G. Bruner next settled in Ohio, where he attended school and married. He was later employed at the Western Seminary near Oxford, Ohio, and also worked at Oxford College and Miami University. [Oxford and Western were merged into Miami University.] Peter Bruner is buried in the Woodside Cemetery in Oxford, Ohio. For more see A Slave's Adventures Toward Freedom; Not Fiction, but the True Story of a Struggle, by P. Bruner [full-text available at UNC University Library Documenting the American South website].

See several photo images of Peter Bruner at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Oxford, Ohio

Bryant, Isabella
Birth Year : 1890
In 1917, United States District Court Judge John Raymond Hazel ruled that Isabella Bryant was a U.S. citizen because her father, a former slave from Kentucky, had become a U.S. citizen when slaves were emancipated in Kentucky. At the time, Isabella Bryant was living on Caledonia Avenue in Rochester, New York. Her case was represented by lawyer Edwin C. Smith, who had asked the courts to grant Bryant the writ of habeas corpus. Isabella Bryant knew that her father was born in Kentucky around 1854. His name was Henry Bryant, he was a Methodist, and was born in the United States [source: Canada Census, 1901]. He was the husband of Ellen Bryant and the family of seven lived in Hamilton, where Isabella was born around 1890. Her father was never naturalized as a Canadian citizen; therefore, the courts determined that he was an American citizen and so was his daughter; therefore, Isabella Bryant could not be deported from the United States. The U.S. Department of Labor had described Isabella Bryant as an unwed mother of two children; supposedly, the first child was born in Canada and the second in the United States. Isabella Bryant had visited her sister, Mrs. Matilda Taylor, in July of 1915. Her sister lived at 11 Egerton Street in Rochester, NY [source: Immigration Card 446-E ; 07/25/15]. Isabella Bryant's immigration card describes her as an African(Blk) woman standing 5 feet 8 inches tall. Also on the card is her mother's name and address: Ellen Johnson, 101 Carolina Street, North Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It is not known how long Isabella Bryant stayed in the U.S. before returning to Canada, but in August of 1915 she immigrated to the U.S. She arrived at the port of Buffalo, NY, according to the List Or Manifest of Alien Passengers Applying for Admission, Sheet No. 14, a U.S. Department of Labor, Immigration Service form. Isabella Bryant is listed as African (Blk), and her Canadian address is the same as her mother's address in North Hamilton. She entered the U.S. and lived in Rochester, NY, for two years, then the U.S. Department of Labor ordered her deported because she was said to be an undesirable alien who would probably become a public charge. Bryant refused to leave and hired lawyer Edwin C. Smith. The case was another example of the citizenship question concerning former slaves. Also, the Immigration Act of 1917 [info] had passed in February of 1917 to further ban undesirables from entering and/or remaining in the United States. In Isabella Bryant's case, having a child out of wedlock had made her an undesirable alien, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This was the time period during World War I, just prior to the United States sending American troops into battle. The ruling by Judge John R. Hazel allowed Isabella Bryant to remain in the United States. She was still living in Rochester, NY, in 1920 and is included in the U.S. Census, where she is listed as white and single; she was employed as a domestic. There are no children listed with Isabella Bryant on the immigration forms or in the 1920 Census. For more see "Slave's daughter is an American," The Post Express, 04/12/1917, p. 33.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Hamilton, Ontario, Canada / Rochester, New York

Burleigh, Angus A.
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1939
Angus A. Burleigh was the first adult African American to attend and graduate from Berea College in Berea, KY. Burleigh had been born free, the son of an English sea captain and an African American woman, but after his father's death the family was sold into slavery, first in Virginia, then in Kentucky. Burleigh ran away and joined the Union Army when he was 16 years old. In 1866, he had finished his stint with the Army and enrolled at Berea with the encouragement and support of John G. Fee. After his graduation in 1875, Burleigh immediately left Kentucky and headed north, where he would spend the rest of his life preaching and teaching. For more see "Hasan Davis and the story of A.A. Burleigh," Kentucky Life, Program 807. Hasan Davis gives a phenomenal live performance of A. A. Burleigh's life in The Long Climb to Freedom. You have got to see it! Program 807 is available at the UK Young Library Audio Visual Services.

See photo image of Angus Burleigh at the Long Climb to Freedom website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Virginia / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Calvin and Porter Townships (Cass County), Michigan
Around 1840, escaped slaves, mostly from Kentucky, found their way to Calvin and Porter in Michigan. Quakers had established the settlements, and when slave owners attempted to reclaim the slaves, their efforts were resisted and the communities continued to grow. Ex-slaves from the Saunders' plantation in West Virginia moved to Calvin in 1849 and became the majority of the township's population. Over the years the population spilled over into Porter. Both Calvin and Porter are located in the South Bend/Mishawaka metro area of Michigan on the Indiana border. Today Calvin's population is about 2,000, Porter's about 3,800. For more see the reprint by Booker T. Washington, "Two Generations Under Freedom," The Michigan Citizen, 12/19/1992, vol. XV, issue 4, p. A12;  Negro Folktales in Michigan, edited by R. M. Dorson. For more on the raids led by Kentucky slave owners see B. C. Wilson, "Kentucky kidnappers, fugitives, and abolitionists in Antebellum Cass County, Michigan," Michigan History, vol.6, issue 4, pp. 339-358.  See also the Perry Sanford entry.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Calvin and Porter, Michigan / West Virginia / West Bend, Indiana

Caroline (escaped slave) [Donnell v. State]
Start Year : 1847
End Year : 1852
Caroline was a runaway slave from Trimble County, KY, who made a daring escape with her four children in 1847. Escorts in the Underground Railroad helped the family reach the Greenbriar Settlement in Indiana (near the Decatur County/Franklin County line), where they were captured and locked in a livestock feed house. Owner George Ray had posted a reward for the family, and he sued Luther Donnell for rescuing the family from the feed house and helping them toward freedom in Canada. For more see Hoosier farmer gave costly help to fleeing slave and her children at Indianapolis Star Library Factfiles website, indystar.com; and pictures of the historical marker at IN.gov.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Trimble County, Kentucky / Greenbriar Settlement, Decatur County, Indiana / Canada

Cato (former slave/then again slave)
It was reported in the New York Times that in 1850 a widow named Shaw sold a slave named Cato to Dr. Benjamin Beall and B. Tucker. The article stated that Cato received his freedom in 1856, as had been stipulated by Shaw prior to the sale. Once free, Cato went to Cincinnati but was unable to find work, so he returned to Alexandria, KY, to work again for Beall. Cato accompanied Beall to Lexington, KY, to sell his cattle. After selling the cattle, Beall sold Cato for $900, and he was then shipped down South. In 1857, Beall sued the Cincinnati Enquirer for libel when it ran an article insinuating that he had enticed Cato back to Alexandria from Cincinnati in order to sell him into slavery. Beall won his case. For more see article 5 in the New York Times, 08/02/1865, p. 6 and the untitled article in the New York Times, 03/12/1857, p. 2.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration South
Geographic Region: Alexandria, Campbell County, Kentucky

Cedar Creek and Mill Creek, KY
The Cedar Creek Black Cemetery is located in Hardin County, KY. Buried there are the descendants of the former slaves who lived in the area. After gaining their freedom, an African American community was established around the cemetery, along with the African Methodist Episcopal Church and a school. There was a second African American community near Wright Cemetery. According to author Gary Kempf, there are two cemeteries behind the Wright Cemetery where African Americans were buried. The land that held the communities and the cemeteries was taken over for the expansion of Fort Knox Military Reservation. For more see The Land Before Fort Knox by G. Kenpf.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Cedar Creek, MIll Creek, Fort Knox, Hardin County, Kentucky

Chambers, Greenberry and Charlotte
Greenberry Chambers, from Barren County, KY, and a former slave, is recognized as the first permanent settler of Blaine Township in Minnesota. Chambers was a fugitive slave in 1864 when he joined Company H of the 15th U.S. Colored Infantry. After the Civil War, Chambers gathered his wife Charlotte and their five children and moved to Minnesota, where he purchased 160 acres of land thought to be totally useless. The family farmed the land for almost a decade before moving to St. Paul. Charlotte Chambers died in 1884 and Greenberry died in 1898. For more about the Chambers family see Circle Pines & Lexington, Minnesota by S. Lee; History of Upper Mississippi Valley by N. H. Winchell, et al.; and "The Story of Greenberry Chambers" at the City of Blaine website.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, Military & Veterans, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Blaine and Saint Paul, Minnesota

Church Street (Walton, KY)
According to the history page at the Walton, KY, website, a small African American community was developed by former slaves in North Walton after the Civil War, and the community founded the Zion Baptist Church in 1872. The Steele and Ingram families are mentioned as long-time residents of the community. Walton is located in Boone County in Northern Kentucky. For more see the Walton, Kentucky, history page, 1850s-1890s.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches
Geographic Region: Walton, Boone County, Kentucky

Civil War Colored Troops, Columbus, KY
Birth Year : 1861
During the Civil War, Fort DeRussey was located within what is now the Columbus-Belmont State Park. The town of Columbus was considered the state's most powerful Confederate stronghold in 1861; the location was crucial to the defense of the Upper Mississippi River. The following year, the town would be taken over by the Union Army and Columbus would become a refuge for runaway slaves, and second to Camp Nelson for recruiting and training African American soldiers. Fort DeRussey was renamed Fort Helleck, and by the end of the war, the majority of the Union soldiers in that part of the state were African American. For more see B. Craig, "Monday PMs Feature; Fortress town became haven for runaway slaves," The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 11/28/1999.
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Parks
Geographic Region: Columbus-Belmont State Park, Columbus, Hickman County, Kentucky

[Clarissa] Street vs. Ferry
Start Year : 1853
In January 1853, Clarissa, a slave, was given her freedom by Judge J. Crenshaw of the Kentucky Court of Appeals; the decision was a new legal point of view. Clarissa, who was owned by Mrs. Trigg, had accompanied Mrs. Alexander to Philadelphia in 1838. Mrs. Alexander was a close relative to Mrs. Trigg. The laws of Philadelphia had been discussed prior to the trip: if a slave lived in the city for at least six months, then the slave became a free person. Mrs. Trigg was willing to take the chance that Clarissa and Mrs. Alexander might be in the city six months or longer (which they were), because she knew that Clarissa would not abandon her husband and children, who were slaves in Kentucky. Also, Clarissa, and all of the other slaves owned by Mrs. Trigg, were to be freed when Mrs. Trigg died. Clarissa returned to Kentucky and continued living as Mrs. Trigg's slave. Prior to Mrs. Trigg's death, she had taken a loan from Mrs. Ferry, her adopted daughter, and used Clarissa as collateral to secure the note. The debt was to be repaid from Mrs. Trigg's estate. However, when Mrs. Trigg died, there were not sufficient funds to repay the debt. All of the Trigg slaves except Clarissa were freed; Clarissa became the property of Mrs. Ferry. Clarissa sued Ferry to gain her freedom. For more see article 12 in the New York Daily Times, 01/31/1853, p. 6; "The Slavery agitation--will it never cease?," New York Daily Times, 02/01/1853, p. 4; and "Court of Apeals of Kentucky, January, 1853. Ferry vs. Street," The American Law Register (1852-1891), vol. 1, issue 5 (Mar., 1853), pp. 295-300.
Subjects: Freedom, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Clarke, Daniel
Death Year : 1872
Clarke was born in Africa. When he was a child, he was captured by slave traders and brought to the U.S. He first lived in Clark County, KY, then came to Frankfort, KY, as a servant to U.S. Congressman and later Kentucky Governor James Clarke. At the end of Gov. Clarke's term (1836-1839), Daniel Clarke continued as a servant to all of the following Kentucky governors until his death in 1872. At some point prior to his death, the Kentucky Legislature passed a law giving Daniel Clarke a pension of $12 per month. A joint resolution was introduced by Senator Webb in honor of Daniel Clarke's years of dedicated service to Kentucky governors. For more see "Death of the Kentucky Governor's Servant," New York Times, 02/29/1872, p. 5. Also thought to be the same Daniel Clarke at rootsweb.com.
Subjects: Freedom, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Slave Trade (U.S.)
Geographic Region: Africa / Clark County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Clarke, John Milton and Lewis Garrard
The Clarke brothers, John Milton (1820-1902) and Lewis (1818-1897), were born in Madison County, KY. Their father was a white weaver from Scotland. Their mother, Letitia Campbell, was the daughter of plantation owner Samuel Campbell. John and Lewis were at times seen as white slaves. The brothers escaped in 1842, Lewis to Dawn, Ontario (he later returned to Oberlin); and John to Cambridge, where he became the first African American elected to a public office on the Cambridge Common Council. The character George Harris in Uncle Tom's Cabin was based on Lewis Clarke. For more see Cambridge Historical Commission; Narrative of the sufferings of Lewis and Milton Clarke, by L. G. Clark and M. Clark [full-text at the website by S. Railton & University of Virginia]; and Literature in The Economist, 02/13/1847, p. 183.

See image of Lewis Clarke from frontispiece of Narrative of the Sufferings of Lewis Clarke by L. Clarke, at NYPL Digital Gallery.

See image of J. Milton Clarke from Narratives of the Sufferings of Lewis and Milton Clarke by L. G. Clark, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Ontario, Canada / Oberlin, Ohio / Cambridge, Massachusetts

Clay, Henry (former slave)
Birth Year : 1861
Clay was born to slaves in Louisville, KY, and in 1892 left for New Orleans to join a railroad construction crew that was transported to Guatemala, Central America. The crew of 75 men were to build a railroad from Puerto Barrios to Guatemala City. The pay was to be in Guatemalan silver at $10 per day per worker, but none of the men got paid because the contractor ran off with the silver and left the crew stranded. Clay remained in Guatemala for 39 years. He was one of the last three crew members still alive when he returned to the United States in 1931. Many of his fellow crew members had died fighting during the revolts in Guatemala; revolutionists were recruited with the promise of $150 in silver and a rifle. Clay had preferred to fish for a living rather than fight as a Guatemalan revolutionary. For more see "Old Negro returns, ends 39-year exile," New York Times, 07/15/1931, p. 21.
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New Orleans / Puerto Barrios and Guatemala City, Guatemala, Central America

Coe Colony (Cumberland County, KY)
Start Year : 1866
In 1866, Ezekiel and Patsy Ann Coe purchased land on Coe Ridge, located on the back of Coe Plantation in Cumberland County, KY. Ezekiel (born around 1817 in North Carolina) and Patsy (born around 1825) were of African, Indian, and White lineage and had been slaves. They reclaimed their children, who had been slaves owned by various members of the white Coe family. When brought together, Ezekiel and Patsy's family made up a small, prosperous community, the nucleus of Coe Colony. Added to their numbers were a few other African Americans and white women. White agitators tried to drive the colony out of the area, resulting in murders on both sides and a race feud in 1888. The Coe family remained on the ridge for almost a century, farming and logging prior to the Great Depression. They later took on the business of running moonshine and other activities that brought federal agents and law officers to the area. For more see The saga of Coe Ridge; a study in oral history, by W. L. Montell; KET Productions' Kentucky Life Program 518, The 'Afrilachians'The Chronicles of the Coe Colony, by S. Coe; and L. Montell, "Coe Ridge Colony: a racial island disappears," American Anthropologist, New Series, vol.74, issue 3 (Jun., 1972), pp.710-719.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Coe Ridge, Cumberland County, Kentucky

Cole, James H. and Mary D.
When James Cole died, he was the wealthiest African American in Michigan. He had been a slave born in 1837 in Mississippi. He had escaped and settled in Detroit. On his way to freedom, Cole passed through Kentucky and was aided by a slave family. He had been in Detroit a few years when he met a young girl who was a member of the Kentucky family that had helped him during his escape. Cole and the 13 year old girl, Mary D. (born 1850 in Kentucky), were later married; they would become the parents of several children, one of whom was Thomas A. Cole, the father of Florence Cole Talbert, a noted concert and operatic soprano, who performed in Kentucky in 1922. She was sponsored by the Progressive Choral Society of Bowling Green, KY. The recital took place at State Street Baptist Church. Talbert was assisted by Charles R. Taylor, a Howard University student, and R. Lillian Carpenter was the pianist. The Cole family fortune was earned by James H. Cole who was a carpenter, blacksmith, and real estate investor. James and Mary Cole are listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. For more see P. Turner, "In retrospect: Florence Cole Talbert - Our Divine Florence," The Black Perspective in Music, vol.12, issue 1 (Spring, 1984), pp. 57-79. For more on Florence Cole Talbert, see "The Progressive Choral Society of Bowling Green, Ky...," The Crisis, April 1922, v.23, issue 6, p.274; Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919, by T. Brooks; and The Negro Trail Blazers of California, by D. L. Beasley.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Blacksmiths, Carpenters, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Mississippi / Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Coles County, Illinois [Anthony and Jane Bryant]
The African American settlers of Coles County, Illinois, came from Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee, all around 1840. The settlers from Kentucky included Isom and Lucy Anne Bryant (Lucy was from Kentucky); the Derixson (or Derrickson) Family, escaped slaves from Nicholas County, Kentucky; and Mr. and Mrs. George Nash (George was from Kentucky). A famous slavery case that took place in Coles County involved Anthony Bryant, a free man, and his wife Jane Bryant, a slave, and her four children [some sources say six children]. Slave owner Robert Matson, from Bourbon County, wanted to take Jane and the children from Coles County back to Kentucky, and he enlisted the help of lawyers U. F. Binder and Abraham Lincoln. Matson lost the case, and the Bryant Family moved to Liberia, Africa. For more see History of Negro Slavery in Illinois and of the Slavery Agitation in that State, by N. D. Harris (1904); and J. W. Weik, "Lincoln and the Matson Negroes," Arena, v.17, 1896-97 Dec-Jun, pp.752-758 [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Court Cases, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Nicholas County, Kentucky / Bourbon County, Kentucky / Coles County, Illinois / Liberia, Africa

Cologne, Texas
Start Year : 1898
The community of Cologne is located on U.S. Highway 59 in Goliad County, Texas. Former slaves Jim Smith and George Washington are credited with establishing the African American settlement. The first settlers, five families of former slaves from Tennessee and Kentucky, moved to the area in 1870. First known as Centerville, the community's name was changed to Cologne when the post office was established in 1898; the post office was discontinued in 1925. In 1997, as the community was preparing for the Juneteenth celebration, the population was estimated to be 85. For more see C. Clack, "Juneteenth, born of slavery, evolves into free-form day of joy," San Antonio Express-News, section SA Life, p. 1E; Cologne, Texas, by C. H. Roell, at the Texas State Historical Association website; Cologne, Texas at TexasEscapes.com; and From These Roots by F. D. Young.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Cologne (was Centerville), Goliad County, Texas

Colored Emigration Movement
Start Year : 1830
End Year : 1856
Colored emigrationists worked toward the development of a plan for free Colored persons to leave the United States, both before and after the Fugitive Slave Bill became law in 1850. Geographic locations that were considered for settlements included Canada, Liberia, Haiti, Santo Domingo, British West Indies, California, Mexico, and Central America, and they were among the same locations considered by the colonizationists and abolitionists. September 20, 1830, the Convention of Coloured Persons met in Bethel Church in Philadelphia, PA, to "consider the propriety of forming a settlement in the province of Upper Canada, in order to afford a place of refuge to those who may be obliged to leave their home, as well as those inclined to emigrate with the view of improving their condition" [source: Richard Allen, "Movements of the people of colour," Genius of Universal Emancipation, April 1831, vol.11, p.195]. The name of the organization was modified with the influence of William Cooper Nell, an integrationist in Boston, MA. The Proceedings of the National Convention of Colored People, and Their Friends, was held in Troy, NY, October 5-9,1847. Delegate representatives were appointed from the northern states of New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and the southern or border state of Kentucky was represented by Andrew Jackson (Colored). Within the organization, Jackson was a member of the Executive Committee on the National Press for the Free Colored People of the United States. The committee was to investigate the creation of a unified press that would help advance the colored race. In addition to planning for emigration, the convention members sought to establish business and economic independence by trading with Jamaica and Africa. Attending members included Frederick Douglass, who was an anti-colonist and anti-emigrationist, and two fugitive slaves from Kentucky, Lewis Hayden and William W. Brown. In 1854, the National Emigration Convention of Colored People was held in Cleveland, OH, August 24-26, led by Martin R. Delany. In addition to emigration for free Colored persons, the idea was expanded to the creation of a Colored nation. Most of the delegates were from Pittsburgh, PA, and the others came from Louisiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Canada. Those opposed to emigration, such as Frederick Douglass, were not invited or welcomed at the 1854 convention. The convention was held again in 1856. As the country moved toward the Civil War, the attention of the national Colored emigrationists was focused less on leaving the United States, and more on the uncertainty of what might happen in the United States. Emigration of free Colored persons was not a new idea, small colonies from the United States existed before the convention met in Philadelphia in 1830, see the NKAA entries Freemen Community on Samana Bay (Dominican Republic), Town near Amherstburg, Ontario, and Kentucky, Canada. For more about later colonies see the NKAA entry Proposed American Negro Colony in New Granada. See also William Cooper Nell, Selected Writings 1832-1874, by D. P. Wesley and C. P. Uzelac; "Proceedings of the National Convention of Colored People and Their Friends, held in Troy, N.Y., 6-9 October 1847" in Minutes and Proceedings of the National Negro Conventions, 1830-1864 by H. H. Bell; see "National Emigration Convention of Colored People" in The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History online; H. H. Bell, "The Negro Emigration Movement, 1849-1854: a phase of Negro nationalism," The Phylon Quarterly, vol.20, no.2, 2nd Qtr., 1959, pp. 132-142; and H. H. Bell, "Negro Nationalism: a factor in emigration projects, 1858-1861," The Journal of Negro History, vol.45, no.1 (Jan., 1962), pp. 42-53.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Troy, New York / Cleveland, Ohio

Colored Ladies' Soldiers Aid Society (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1864
The Society provided aid to Colored soldiers in the Union Army. Similar groups had formed in other states, and it is believed that after the Civil War the Louisville organization was involved with developing a school for children and assisted with the building of a hospital. In 1865, the Colored Ladies' Soldier's and Freeman's Aid Society participate the first 4th of July celebration parade by free persons in Louisville. For more see Natural Allies: women's associations in American history, by A. F. Scott; and p.129 in Autobiography of James L. Smith by J. L. Smith [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Colored Union Benevolent Society No.1 and No.2 (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1843
According to author Jacqui Malone, the Union Benevolent Society was formed in 1843 by free African Americans in Lexington, KY, to bury the dead, care for the sick, and give support to orphans and widows. The organization received support from whites who permitted a lodge run by slaves in 1852. The organization also secretly participated in the Underground Railroad, assisting in the escape of slaves. The organization was also referred to as the Lexington Colored People's Union Benevolent Society No 1. The Union Benevolent Society, No.2, of Colored People of Lexington, was incorporated in 1870. The organization had existed for a number of years. In 1870, the executive members were James L. Harvey, President; Jordan C. Jackson, Vice President; Henry King, Secretary; and Leonard Fish, Treasurer. For more information on the Colored Union Benevolent Society No.1 see Steppin' on the Blues: the visible rhythms of African American dance, by J. Malone. For more about Benevolent Society No. 2 see chapter 699 of Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Passed, 1869, pp.349-351 [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky, Fraternal Organizations, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Convention of Free Negroes of Kentucky
A convention of Free Negroes was organized in Philadelphia by James Forten in 1813. The National Convention of Free Negroes was called in 1830 by Arthur Tappan and Simeon S. Jocelyn. The convention members were anti-colonizationist, against deporting former slaves and free persons, and stood for the abolition of slavery and for equal citizenship to all free persons. The Convention of Free Negroes of Kentucky was also established with branches in various cities. The exact starting date of the organization is not known, and very little has been written about the group. According to an article in The Lima Argus newspaper, in 1847, the Kentucky Convention of Free Negroes and the Kentucky Colonization Society had agreed that a representative party of free Negroes from Kentucky would be allowed to go to Liberia for one year to inspect the colony, then return to make a full report to their constituencies. Persons were nominated from Lexington, Maysville, Danville, Richmond, and Louisville. The purpose of the proposed plan was to convince more free Negroes in Kentucky to migrate to Liberia. The chosen delegates were Stephen Fletcher, J. Merriwether, H. Underwood, and A. Hooper. They left the United States in 1847, and returned August 1848, along with S. Worrell, a North Carolina delegate. The Kentucky delegates' report on the Liberia Colony was favorable, the colony was healthy and prospering satisfactorily. However, Jesse Merriwether wrote an unfavorable report and advised against emigration to Liberia. For more see The Chronological History of the Negro in America, by P. M. Bergman and M. N. Bergman; "Convention of Free Negroes," The Lima Argus, 07/27/1847, p. 2; and "Arrival of the Liberia Packet," The Adams Sentinel, 08/14/1848, p.1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa

Corbin v Marsh (Nicholas County, KY)
Start Year : 1865
The Militia Act of 1862 [from Selected Statutes] initially authorized men of African descent as laborers for the Federal Army and Navy, but the men would become soldiers. The act granted freedom to the men and their mothers, wives, and children. In October 1865, the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Kentucky decided the act of Congress was unconstitutional. The case was to be taken to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and if necessary, to the U.S. Supreme Court for final adjudication. But it was in Nicholas County, KY, where the case of Corbin v. Marsh was taken to the Kentucky Appeals Court. The judgment affirmed that the act was unconstitutional and not law on December 11, 1865. Judge Williams dissented from the majority of the court. No opinion was sought from the U.S. Supreme Court. For more see Select statutes and other documents illustrative of the history of the United States, 1861-1898, by W. MacDonald [full-text at Google Book Search]; "The Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Kentucky, has decided the act of Congress freeing the wives and children of colored soldiers, unconstitutional," Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, 10/10/1865, issue 238, Col. C; and Corbin vs Marsh 63 Ky. 193; 1865 Ky. 2 Duv. 193.
Subjects: Freedom, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky / Nicholas County, Kentucky

Crawford, James Columbus and Henrietta Arnold
James (b.1872) and Henrietta Crawford (b.1873) were born in Fayetteville, Georgia. James' mother had been a slave and remained on the plantation after her freedom. James and Henrietta were married and had a family when they left Fayetteville some time after the year 1900, according to the U.S. Federal Census. They migrated north to Louisville, KY. Two of their grandchildren are Raymond Ponder and Alberta O. Jones. Information provided by Ms. Nicole M. Martin, the Crawford's great, great granddaughter.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Fayetteville, Georgia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Crosswhite, Adam and Sarah
In 1844 the Crosswhites and their four children escaped from Carroll County, Kentucky, and made their way through the Underground Railroad to the African American community in Marshall, Michigan. The community was made up of about 50 residents, most of whom were escaped slaves from Kentucky; the town of Marshall had about 200 residents. By 1847, the Crosswhite family had been located by Francis Giltner, who intended to claim his slaves and return them to Kentucky. On behalf of Giltner, Francis Troutman led a party of four to the Crosswhite home. The party was confronted by a crowd of African Americans and whites that numbered more than 150 people. Troutman and his comrades would not back down, so they were arrested for assault, battery, and housebreaking. The Crosswhites escaped to Canada. Francis Giltner sued the leaders of Marshall for the cost of the escaped slaves. The U.S. Circuit Court of Michigan decided in favor of Giltner. The Crosswhites would later return to settle in Marshall. Adam Crosswhite was born around 1800 and died in 1878, and Sarah Crosswhite was born around 1796; the couple is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, still living in Marshall. For more see J. H. Yzenbaard, "The Crosswhite case," Michigan History, vol. 53, issue 2 (1969), pp. 131-143; J. C. Sherwood, "One flame in the inferno: the legend of Marshall's Crosswhite affair," Michigan History, vol. 73, issue 2 (1989), pp. 40-47; and Case No. 5,453 - Giltner v. Gorham et. al - in Book 10 of The Federal Cases, pp.424-433 [full text at Google Books].

See photo image of Adam Crosswhite and additional information about he and his wife Sarah Crosswhite, at the Seeking Michigan website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Carroll County, Kentucky / Marshall, Michigan / Canada

Cunningham, James C.
Birth Year : 1787
Death Year : 1877
James C. Cunningham was a free-born Caribbean violinist, band leader and dance teacher. He came to Louisville, KY, in 1835 and formed a band that played at various events, including a ball for President-elect Zachary Taylor. Cunningham also played a role in the underground railroad. He was born in the West Indies and served in the British Navy. He was the father of James R. Cunningham. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber: and History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.
Subjects: Freedom, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / West Indies

Cyrus, Mary Clark
Birth Year : 1824
Death Year : 1908
Mary Clark Cyrus, born free in Kentucky, moved to Detroit, MI, with her husband in 1844. She is recognized for her role as a leader in the Underground Railroad as a member of the the Detroit Anti-Slavery Society. For more see Hine Sight: Black Women and the Re-Construction of American History, by D. C. Hine.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Davids, Tice
Davids was a Kentucky slave who successfully escaped to Ohio in 1830. The term "Underground Railroad" is thought to have been coined based on his escape. His owner had been pursuing Davids but lost track of him in Ohio. It is said he claimed that Davids disappeared as if swept away on an underground railroad. For more see The Virtual Underground Railroad Experience: and "The Railroad and its passengers," chapter 1 in Stories of the Underground Railroad by A. L. Curtis [provided online by the Community College Open Textbook Collaborative].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Davis, Ellen
Birth Year : 1843
Death Year : 1927
Ellen Davis was the daughter of John Davis, an Irishman [John J. Cummins is listed as the father on her death certificate]. She was from Fayette County, KY, and had been a slave belonging to the mother of wealthy horseman John T. Hughes (1840-1924) of Fayette County. When Davis was about 18 years old, she had a son by Hughes, who never married. Their relationship was temporarily interrupted during the Civil War, but resumed in 1872, when Davis became free and after J. T. Hughes' mother had died. The relationship continued until 1924 when J. T. Hughes died. In his will, he left $30,000 to various persons, and his faithful colored man, Alex Rankin, received 96 1/2 acres of land [Alex Rankin d.1935, his wife Nannie d.1939, they are buried in African Cemetery No.2]. Ellen Davis received the mansion Elkton and hundreds of acres of farmland plus all of the home belongings, farm equipment, and stock. Their son, Robert Henry Hughes, who had spent most of his life in Buffalo, NY, received 160 acres. The remainder of the estate went to the Midway Orphan's Home. The will was contested and the case went to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, December 1925. The will was allowed to stand as written and Ellen Davis, in a situation very similar to that of Margaret Pryor, was thought to be the wealthiest Negro woman in Kentucky. But unlike Pryor, 80 year old Davis sold the estate that neighbored thoroughbred farms that belonged to wealthy men such as John E. Madden, Samuel D. Riddle, and Joseph E. Widener, who bought 587 acres. Payne Whitney, a relative of J. T. Hughes from New York, bought the Elkton mansion and 277 acres. Ellen Davis died at the age of 84 in Fayette County, KY, on December 8, 1927. According to her death certificate, she is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery. For more see "Bayless v. Hughes' EX'Rs et al. (Court of Appeals of Kentucky. Dec. 15, 1925)," South Western Reporter, vol. 278, pp. 162-163; "Made richest Negress in South by court," New York Times, 12/17/1925, p. 13; and "New property cost breeders $326,000," New York Times, 03/01/1926, p. 14. The Rankins' death dates and cemetery information provided by Yvonne Giles - "The Cemetery Lady".
Subjects: Freedom, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Inheritance, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Doram, Dennis and Diademia
Dennis and Diademia Doram were free African Americans who lived in Danville, KY. Diademia, her mother, and her siblings were emancipated in 1814. As an adult, she and her husband, Dennis, owned hundreds of acres of land and had a considerable sum of money in the bank. Their portraits, by Patrick Henry Davenport, hang side by side in the Kentucky Journey Gallery at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort, KY. The center received 65 original documents of the Doram-Rowe family, including the emancipation papers for Diademia's immediate family. For more see "Kentucky Historical Society places portrait treasures on display," Kentucky Historical Society News, January 2006; A. Jester, "Pictures of Prosperity - Restored Portraits of Couple Show the Fruits of Freedom Black History Month Freed Slaves," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/02/2002; or visit the Kentucky Historical Society.

See image of Dennis and Diademia Doram at A State Dvided, a KET [Kentucky Educational Television] website.
Subjects: Freedom
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Dunbar, Joshua
Birth Year : 1817
Death Year : 1885
An escaped slave from Shelby County, KY, Dunbar served with two Massachusetts Colored Regiments during the Civil War. He separated from his wife, Matilda Dunbar, in 1874. He was the father of Paul L. Dunbar. Johshua Dunbar was born in Garrard County, KY. He was a slave who last lived in Shelby County, prior to joining the Union Army. He received an honorable discharge in October 1865, and was employed as a plasterer. Dunbar was admitted to a U.S. National Home for Disabled Veterans in Dayton, OH, in 1882. According to the Home's records, Joshua Dunbar died August 16, 1885. He is buried on the grounds of the Veterans Affairs Center on West Third Street in Dayton, Ohio. For more see L. Dempsey, "Dunbar's dad may rest with dignity," Dayton Daily News, 01/25/04, Local section, p. B1.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Garrard County, Kentucky / Shelby County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio

Duncan, Cruz [Cruz McClusky]
Birth Year : 1844
Death Year : 1916
In 1910, Cruz Duncan was appointed an aid on the staff of Commander in Chief Van Sant of the G. A. R. (Grand Army of the Republic). Duncan was a former slave by the name of Cruz McClusky. He escaped slavery in Kentucky and joined the Union Army in Pennsylvania, serving with the 8th U.S. Colored Infantry and surviving the Civil War. After the war, he changed his last name to Duncan and returned to Kentucky. He married Mary Beal (also from Kentucky) with whom he had three children; Mary's daughter, Florence Keller, also lived with them. They lived in Louisville, KY, until 1871, then moved to Indianapolis, IN, where the family lived at 23 Columbia Street. Duncan was employed as a laborer. He became a minister and also held all of the leadership positions with the G. A. R. Martin R. Delany Post [Colored] in Indianapolis. He was one of the first African Americans to be elected to the National Encampment. For more see "Wooden Indian inspires; starts Negro in ministry," The Indianapolis Star, 01/16/1910, p. 12; and "No color line allowed", New York Times, 08/07/1891, p. 1. A picture of Cruz Duncan appears on p. 12 of The Indianapolis Star, 01/16/1910.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Early School in Louisville, KY
Start Year : 1838
End Year : 1838
Jerry Wade, described as a mulatto, was a barber at the Galt House in Louisville, KY. He had purchased his freedom and that of his family. Wade was fairly well off and rented one of his homes to his son and his family. The front of the house was rented to Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm and her husband, both of whom were white. Jane Swisshelm, from Pennsylvania, was an abolitionist and advocate for women's rights. Around 1838 she opened a school for African Americans in the Wade home. Both she and the students were harassed by whites, and Wade was notified that his house would be burned down if the school continued. All of the students withdrew from the school. For more see Half a Century, by Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm, 1815-1880; and Jane Cannon Swisshelm was active against slavery!, an African American Registry website. See also the entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Barbers, Education and Educators, Freedom, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Pennsylvania

Ecton, George French
Birth Year : 1846
Death Year : 1929
George F. Ecton was a slave born in Winchester, KY, the son of Antonia and Martha George Ecton. He and a friend received forged freedom papers and made their way to Cincinnati in 1865. They were employed as deck hands on the Sherman (ship). Ecton soon returned to Cincinnati, where he was employed at a number of locations. He also came down with small pox there but recuperated and began attending a school taught by Miss Luella Brown. In 1873, he left Cincinnati for Chicago, where he managed the Hotel Woodruff dining room. While in Chicago, Ecton ran for and was elected to a seat in the 35th General Assembly. He was also the owner of property worth $10,000. Ecton married Patti R. Allen (b. 1855) in 1877; she was also from Winchester, KY. George F. Ecton died September 17, 1929 and is buried in the Lincoln Cemetery in Chicago [source: Illinois Death Certificate #rn26889]. For more see "Hon. George French Ecton" in Men of Mark, by W. J. Simmons and H. M. Turner [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Chicago, Illinois

Edrington, Gustavus V.
Birth Year : 1813
Gustavus V. Edrington was an escaped slave from Kentucky. When his owner attempted to take him back to Kentucky, the Brookville, IN, community came to his rescue. Edrington had come to Brookville by way of Butler County, OH, where he married Malinda Jefferson in 1838. Malinda was born in 1823 in Ohio, and Edrington was born in Virginia in 1813; they were both described as Mulattoes. Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to Iowa, where their four children were born; Iowa was a free state. In 1850, the year their fourth child was born, the Edringtons moved to Brookville, Franklin County, IN. They are listed as free in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. Gustavus owned a barbershop. Brookville was a fairly new town: the area had been inhabited by several American Indian tribes before the Moravian missionaries settled there in 1801. Franklin County was incorporated in 1811. Many families were drawn to the area when construction was started on the Whitewater Canal in 1834; it would become a major avenue for waterway transportation. And the population jumped again with the building of the Duck Creek Aqueduct in 1848. There were 2,315 heads-of-households in 1830, and 17,979 persons in 1850, including 115 free Blacks (nine born in KY) and 104 free Mulattoes (five born in KY). Slavery had been prohibited in the Indiana territory by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, but it allowed the reclaiming of fugitive slaves. Settlers from Kentucky and Virginia who owned slaves ignored the ordinance, and the Indiana territorial legislature created laws that circumvented the ordinance, thus allowing for both slavery and indefinitely indentured servants. The abolitionist members of the legislature gained control around 1809 and were able to overturn many of the pro-slavery and indentured servant laws. Gustavus Edrington had been in Brookville about six years when his owner and a posse from Kentucky arrived and identified Edrington as a fugitive slave; he was put in jail and was to be taken back to Kentucky and slavery. News of his capture spread fast, and when night fell, the men of Brookville went to the jail and released Gustavus Edrington. They next found the men from Kentucky and told them to leave town or they would be hanged--the men left town. Edrington continued his barber business in Brookville until some time during the Civil War when he moved to Centerville, IN, and opened a barbershop and a soda fountain. For more see "Slave hunters got rebuff at Brookville," Greensburg Daily News, 11/27/1936, p. 4; "Bury me in a free land: the Abolitionist Movement in Indiana," by Gwen Crenshaw (an IN.gov website).

Subjects: Barbers, Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Virginia / Kentucky / Butler County, Ohio / Iowa / Brookville, Franklin County, Indiana / Centerville, Indiana

Elizabethtown (KY) Emancipation Day
Start Year : 1882
The 1882 celebration held in Elizabethtown, KY, was joined by African Americans from southern Illinois. The event is noted as the first recorded Emancipation celebration for southern Illinois. For more see S. K. Cha-Jua, America's first Black town: Brooklyn, Illinois, 1830-1915, p. 104.
Subjects: Freedom, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky

Estill, Monk
Death Year : 1835
Monk Estill arrived in Kentucky in the 1770s as a slave and was later freed, the first freed slave in Kentucky. He made gunpowder at Boonesborough, KY. His son, Jerry, was the first African American born in Kentucky. For more see the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 [electronic version available on the University of Kentucky campus and off campus via the proxy server], and The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.


See depicted image and additional information about Monk Estill at Madison County Historical Society website.
Subjects: Businesses, Early Settlers, Freedom
Geographic Region: Boonesborough, Madison 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

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

Ferrill, London
Birth Year : 1789
Death Year : 1854
A slave from Virginia, Ferrill became minister in 1820 of the Lexington First African Baptist Church, which became the largest church in Kentucky with 1,828 members. His exact birth date is not known. 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: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette 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

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

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

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

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 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

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

Gaddie, Daniel Abraham, Sr.
Birth Year : 1836
Death Year : 1911
Reverend D. A. Gaddie was born in Hart County, KY, the son of a slave owner whose last name was Jamison. He changed his last name to Gaddie after he was freed. Gaddie was a blacksmith and became an ordained minister in 1865. A very active member of the Association of the Kentucky Baptist, he was pastor of a number of churches in Louisville, including the Green Street Baptist Church during the 1870s. It is estimated that Rev. Gaddie baptized more than 1,000 people. Rev. Gaddie received an honorary Doctor of Divinity in 1887 from State University [later Simmons University] in Louisville, KY. Some sources say that he was a graduated of the school. Gaddie was also a member of the school's Board of Trustees for seven years, and of the Executive Board for 16 years. Rev. D. A. Gaddie's name can be found on a number of African American marriage certificates, including that of James Cambron and Lucenda Fry Cambron, married in 1895. For more see Afro-American Encyclopaedia: Or, the Thoughts, Doings..., by James T. Haley, p. 476 [available online at the UNC Library, Documenting the American South website]; the Daniel Abraham Gaddie entry in v.4 of the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and the Rev. Daniel Abraham Gaddie entry in Men of Mark by W. J. Simmons and H. M. Turner [available full view at Google Book Search].

See depiction of Reverend D. A. Gaddie on p.648 in Men of Mark by W. J. Simmons and H. M. Turner.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Hart County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Garner, Margaret
Birth Year : 1833
Death Year : 1856
Margaret Garner was a runaway slave who was later recaptured and died in a shipwreck on the way back to Kentucky. She had killed one of her children rather than have the child returned to slavery. Toni Morrison's novel, Beloved, is based on Margaret Garner. For more see "Horrible Affair," Louisville Daily Courier, 01/30/1856; and Modern Medea, by S. Weisenburger.

See depiction of Margaret Garner and additional information at National Underground Railroad, Freedom Center website.
Subjects: Freedom
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Gaunt, Wheeling [or Whelan]
Birth Year : 1812
Death Year : 1894
Wheeling Gaunt was a slave born in Carrollton, KY, the son of a white merchant and a slave mother who was sold down South when Gaunt was a small child. Gaunt bought his freedom from lawyer John F. Gaunt in 1845 for $900, and he also bought his wife, Amanda Smith Knight (b.1821), and his brother, Nick. Wheeling Gaunt and his family moved to Yellow Springs, OH, where he became a wealthy man. Prior to his death, he donated nine acres of land to the city with the stipulation that the income from the land be used to distribute 25 pounds of flour to Yellow Springs' widows at Christmas. In the 1950s the amount of flour was decreased and the widows receive 10 pounds of flour and 10 pounds of sugar. The tradition has continued for more than a century. For more see S. Deal, "Wheeling Gaunt: our remarkable patron. What we know. What we think" [.pdf], 03/17/2005; "Widows the benefactors of century-old tradition," by CNN interactive, December 1996; and "Ex-slave honors widows from grave," The Cincinnati Post, 12/17/1996, News section, p. 45A.

See photo image of Wheeling Gaunt in the Ohio Memory Collection online.
 
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky / Yellow Springs, Ohio

Gloucester, John
Birth Year : 1776
Death Year : 1822
John Gloucester was born a slave in Kentucky. He was a gifted singer and the first African American minister of the first African American Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Before his church was built, Gloucester would sing outside, and when a crowd had gathered, he would begin preaching. In Kentucky, Gloucester had been owned by Reverend Gideon Blackburn, a leader in the Kentucky Presbyterian denomination. When Gloucester was ordained a minister, he was given his freedom. He preached throughout the United States and abroad, raising enough money to buy the freedom of his wife and children. The family settled in Philadelphia around 1807. For more see The Negro Church. Report of a Social Study..., edited by W. E. B. DuBois [full text at UNC Library, Documenting the American South]; and A Popular History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, by J. H. Patton.

See image of John Gloucester at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Gomez, Hazel E. J. Thompson
The following information comes from In Darkness With God, by A. L. Gomez-Jefferson. The author's mother was Hazel Gomez (1891- 1983), born in Toledo, OH, the wife of Bishop Joseph Gomez (1890-1979). Bishop Gomez [or Gomes], of the AME Church, was also a civil rights leader and pioneer; he was born in Antigua. Hazel Gomez's maternal grandfather was John Dent, a slave born in Paducah, KY. John escaped from slavery by taking his master's horse and riding to Ohio, a free state, where he met and married [Mt.] Sterling, KY, native Sara Jane Grubb. The Dents had twelve children; one of their daughters, Julia Anne, was Hazel Gomez's mother. On the paternal side of her family, Hazel Gomez's grandfather, George Henry Thompson, was born in 1804 in Madagascar, an island nation off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. His birth name was Hari Orara, but it was changed when he was sold into slavery in Kentucky. He escaped and settled in Philadelphia. In 1826, he married 14 year old Eliza Elizabeth Ford, who was white, and they moved to Canada, where they had eleven children. Their son, George Thompson, was Hazel Gomez's father.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Ohio / Madagascar, Africa / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Canada

Gore, Jerry
Birth Year : 1947
Jerry Gore was born in Maysville, KY. An Underground Railroad historian, he is also a founding member of the National Underground Railroad Museum, Inc. and founder of the Freedom Time Company and the Kentucky Underground Railroad Association. He has been a consultant on the history of the Underground Railroad for a number of projects and programs and was featured on the History Channel's "Save Our History: The Underground Railroad." He is the great-great-grandson of Addison White, famous Ohio fugitive of the Underground Railroad. In 2012, Jerry Gore was the recipient of the Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award. For more see Jerry Gore at the Footsteps to Freedom website.

See video with Jerry Gore receiving the 2012 Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award, at the Freedom Time website.
Subjects: Freedom, Historians, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Gragston, Arnold
Birth Year : 1840
Death Year : 1938
Gragston was born Christmas Day on the Jack Tabb Plantation in Mason County, KY. Tabb allowed Gragston and other male slaves to visit nearby farms, and it was while Gragston was out "courtin'" that he received his first offer to become an Underground Railroad conductor by taking a pretty girl across the river to Ripley, OH, where she would be met by other conductors. That was in 1860, and for the next four years Arnold would carry slaves by boat across the Ohio River, making three or four trips a month from Dover (Mason County), KY, to Ripley. All during this time, Gragston remained in slavery, never receiving any kind of payment for helping others to freedom. His days as a conductor ended in 1864, the night he was pursued after returning to the Kentucky side of the river. He dared not return to the Tabb Plantation for fear of being caught; Gragston hid in the woods and fields, sometimes sleeping in the trees and in hay piles. The riverbank was being guarded, so Gragston waited for the right opportunity, then he and his wife slipped across the Ohio River to Ripley. They eventually moved on to Detroit, MI, where they remained as their family grew to include 10 children and 31 grandchildren. For more see Arnold Gragston in the Gutenberg EBook, Slave Narratives, vol. 3, Florida Narratives; and "Bracken County marker to honor abolitionist, slave," Kentucky Post, 06/21/2002.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Dover, Mason County, Kentucky / Ripley, Ohio / Detroit, Michigan

Granson, Milla
Granson, a slave in Kentucky, was taught to read by her owner's children. She secretly taught other slaves to read, which helped some to write passes that led to their freedom. For more see Black Women in America, 2nd ed., vol. 2.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Freedom
Geographic Region: Kentucky

"The Great Slave Escape of 1848 Ended in Bracken County"
Start Year : 1848
This article, by John E. Leming, Jr., describes this escape attempt as "the largest single slave uprising in Kentucky history." Patrick Doyle, a white, was the suspected leader of the slave revolt; he was to take the 75 slaves to Ohio, where they would be free. The armed contingent of slaves made its way from Fayette County, KY, to Bracken County, KY, where it was confronted by a group of about 100 white men led by General Lucius Desha of Harrison County, KY. During an exchange of gunfire some of the more than 40 slaves escaped into the woods, but most were captured and jailed, along with Patrick Doyle. Doyle was sentenced to 20 years of hard labor in the state penitentiary, and the slaves were returned to their owners. For more see Leming's article in The Kentucky Explorer, June 2000, pp. 25-29; and American Negro Slave Revolts, by H. Aptheker.
Subjects: Freedom, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Fayette County, Harrison County, & Bracken County, Kentucky

Green, Elisha W. [Green v. Gould]
Birth Year : 1815
Death Year : 1893
Elisha W. Green was born in Bourbon County, KY. He was a slave of John P. Dobbyns as well as a pastor in Maysville, KY, and Paris, KY. He was allowed regular travel between the two cities, traveling by train and stage, sometimes passing without incident but at other times denied admittance or attacked. After gaining his freedom, Green later had a whitewashing business and learned a number of skills in order to earn income for his family. He led in the building of an all African American community, Claysville, in Paris, KY. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas; Life of the Rev. Elisha W. Green..., by E. W. Green [available online at UNC Documenting the American South]; and C. L. Davis, "Green v. Gould (1884) and the Construction of Postbellum Race Relations in a Central Kentucky Community," The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, vol. 105, issue 3 (Summer 2007), pp. 383-416.

See image of Elisha W. Green on frontispiece page of Life of the Rev. Elisha W. Green... by E. W. Green, at Documenting the American South.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Freedom, Religion & Church Work, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Green, Nancy
Birth Year : 1834
Death Year : 1923
Born a slave in Montgomery County, KY, Nancy Green was the world's first living trademark: she was the original "Aunt Jemima." Green did not develop the pancake mix nor did she own the company or any part of it. Green was first introduced as Aunt Jemima at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She received a lifetime contract and traveled all over the country promoting Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix until her death in 1923. The pancake company was sold to the Quaker Oats Company in 1925. The image of Nancy Green as Aunt Jemima continued until the 1950s, when there was outspoken criticism. Since that time the image has received a number of upgrades. Nancy Green left Kentucky for Chicago when she was hired as a nurse for the Walker family, whose children grew up to become Chicago Circuit Judge Charles M. Walker and Dr. Samuel Walker. Green was the first African American missionary worker and an organizer of the Olivet Baptist Church, one of the largest African American churches in Chicago. She died in a car accident in 1923. For more see Nancy Green, the original "Aunt Jemima", an African American Registry website; Notable Black American Women. Book III, ed. by J. C. Smith; and "Aunt Jemima, victim of auto," Urbana Daily Courier, 10/27/1923, p. 7 [full-text of article in Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection].

See image of Nancy Green as Aunt Jemima at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Nurses
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Greenstead, Elizabeth Kay
Greenstead is described as a mulatto servant who lived in Virginia and sued the Col. John Motram estate for her freedom in 1653. She later married the lawyer who handled her case, William Greenstead. They had two sons, John and William. Their descendants include Danville, KY, school Principal William C. Grinstead and Louisville Mayor James F. Grinstead (1845-1921), born in Glasgow, KY. For more on Elizabeth Kay Greenstead see PBS Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families; and M. H. Guthrie, "Black ancestry shines new light on color," Dayton Daily News, zone 6, p. 4, 01/30/03. See also James Fauntleory Grinstead, and Mayors of Louisville: records, 1870-1909, at the Filson Historical Society.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Mayors
Geographic Region: Virginia / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hamilton, Jeff
Birth Year : 1840
Death Year : 1941
Jeff Hamilton, a slave, was sold to Texas Senator Sam Houston; he had been placed on the auction block in Huntsville, TX, in 1853. Jeff Hamilton was born on the Gibson Plantation in Kentucky, and the Gibsons had moved to Texas. Mr. Gibson was killed and his widow married James McKell, who had both gambling and drinking habits. McKell had sold Hamilton to pay a debt. Jeff Hamilton remained with the Houston family even after Sam Houston freed all of his slaves in 1862, becoming Sam Houston's personal servant. After Houston died, Hamilton was employed as a janitor at Baylor Female College [now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor]. During his lifetime, Hamilton was recognized at historical events due to his close association with the historical figures he had met while serving as Houston's personal servant. After his death, Hamilton was honored with two historical markers, one at his grave in East Belton Cemetery and the other at Mary Hardin-Baylor campus. He was the author of My Master: the inside story of Sam Houston and His Time. For more see Jeff Hamilton, by J. C. Davis at The Handbook of Texas Online website.

See photo image with Jeff Hamilton at Walker County Treasures website
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

Happy, Jesse
Immediately after the first race riot in Canada, a reaction to the attempted return of runaway slave Solomon Moseby to the United States, the Canadian government received a request in 1837 for the extradition of another Kentucky escaped slave, Jesse Happy. Happy had escaped four years earlier, and the horse that he had ridden away on had been left on the U.S. side of the border. Happy had written his former master, David Castleman of Fayette County, telling him where to find the horse. In the U.S., stealing, in this particular case horse-stealing, was considered a serious enough offense for Happy to be returned to Kentucky. But that was not so in Canada; the matter was forwarded to the Law Officers of the Crown in London, England: "Since slavery did not exist in Canada the crime of escape could not exist there and the use of the horse in Happy's case had been to effect escape and not for theft." Happy was not extradited to Kentucky and remained free in Canada. No other extradition requests for runaway slaves were made to Canada until after the Ashburton Treaty (1842) was settled between Britain and the U.S. For more see pp. 170-171 in The Blacks in Canada: a history, 2nd ed., by R. W. Winks; W. R. Riddle, "The Fugitive Slave in Upper Canada," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 5, issue 3 (July 1920), pp. 340-358; J. M. Leask, "Jesse Happy: a fugitive slave from Kentucky," Ontario History, vol. 54, issue 2 (1962), pp. 87-98; and J. H. Silverman, "Kentucky, Canada, and Extradition: the Jesse Happy case," The Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 54 (1980), pp. 50-60.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Canada / London, England, Europe

Harris, Albert and Maria
Start Year : 1886
Like many enslaved couples in Kentucky, Albert and Maria Harris considered themselves to be husband and wife. They were separated and sold by their owner. At the end of slavery, they searched for each other for 37 years and on February 17, 1886, they were remarried in Saline County, MO. Maria was 66 years old, she had been living in Louisville, KY, and Albert was 71 years old, he had been living in Missouri. Sources: Missouri Marriage Records [p.253]; and "Albert Harris, aged 71,..." in the column "Doings of the Race" on p.1 of the Cleveland Gazette, 03/06/1886.
Subjects: Freedom
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Saline County, Missouri

Harris, H. C.
Birth Year : 1850
H. C. Harris was a former slave who was born in Kentucky and owned by Alexander Moore, a bookbinder in Lexington. Harris was stolen by Tatin Sites Harper and became one of the best jockeys in the state. Harris later rode for J. T. Moore, Williams and Owens, and T. F. Tracey. He was also a stable foreman for Tracey. In 1875, Harris went to New York to work for Frank Bennece until he was able to develop his own stable. Harris retired from the horse industry and moved to Washington, D. C. in 1881. By 1898, he was an attaché caring for the horses at the White House. For more see Leading the Race by J. M. Moore; and "Mrs. Harris surprised," Colored American, 06/25/1898, p.5
Subjects: Freedom, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New York / Washington, D. C.

Harrison, Nathaniel "Nate"
Birth Year : 1819
Death Year : 1920
Nate Harrison was an African American man from Kentucky who was referred to as the first white man on Palomar Mountain. He was actually the first man who was not Native American to live on the mountain. There is a monument to Harrison near the spring where he built his cabin. It was thought that Harrison had been a slave brought to the West around 1848, and who had escaped from his owner and hidden in the mountains. He didn't talk much about his life in Kentucky. Nate knew all of the Palomar Mountain trails and had provided spring water to those on the trails. Others in the area knew of his existence, but Nate Harrison was not named in the U.S. Federal Census. When Nate got so feeble that he could not take care of himself, members of the African American community in San Diego took Nate from his mountain cabin and placed him in the San Diego County Home for the Aged. He died soon after being placed in the home and was buried in a pauper's field. For more see V. S. Bartlett, "Uncle Nate of Palomar" [available .pdf online at the Peter Brueggeman, Palomar Mountain History Resources website].

See photo image and additional information about Nate Harrison at the San Diego State University website.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Palomar Mountains, California

Harrison, Tom
Born a slave in Kentucky, Harrison escaped to Ohio around 1854 after his two brothers were sold downriver. Harrison ended up in London, Ontario, Canada, where he met and married his wife. After seeing a play with Edwin Booth playing the role of Richard III, the couple named their son Richard Booth Harrison (1864-1935); he became a famous actor playing in Negro shows, including Shuffle Along and Carmen Jones, and played the role of 'De Lawd' in the film Green Pastures. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and The Papers of Winston Coleman.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Ohio / London, Ontario, Canada

Hart v. Fanny Ann
Start Year : 1825
End Year : 1827
In Montgomery County, KY, the 1803 will of William Hart granted freedom to his slaves when they turned 30 years old, along with all of their children, should they have any. The slaves freed by his will were Alsy, Lucy, Anna, Selina, and Turner. Lucy turned 30 in 1825 when her daughter Fanny Ann was 10 years old. William Hart's heir interpreted the will to mean that Lucy was free, but Fanny Ann would not be free until she turned 30. Fanny Ann filed suit in the Montgomery Circuit Court and was granted her freedom in accordance with the terms of William Hart's will. The Hart heir appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals of Kentucky where the lower court's judgment was affirmed with costs on October 22, 1827. The point of contingency in the case was the word "with" and whether it denoted connection to. The courts were asked to determine whether, when a slave is promised freedom, the slave's children also should be freed at the same time. For more see Hart v. Fanny Ann, Court of Appeals of Kentucky, 22 Ky. 49; 1827 Ky.; and "Hart v. Fanny Ann" in A Practical Treatise on the Law of Slavery, by J. D. Wheeler [full-text in Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky

Hayden, Lewis [Grant]
Birth Year : 1815
Death Year : 1889
Lewis Hayden was born into slavery in Lexington, KY; his name at birth was Lewis Grant. He escaped and left Kentucky with the help of abolitionists Calvin Fairbank and Delia Webster. On January 4, 1845, Webster received a sentence of two years hard labor for her part in the escape; she was pardoned on February 24, 1845. Also during February, Fairbank was sentenced to 15 years. Hayden, who had relocated to Canada, changed his name from Lewis Grant to Lewis Hayden. The Hayden family soon returned to the U.S. Lewis, an abolitionist, worked with his wife, Harriet, to challenge racial segregation on railroads in Massachusetts and provide for runaway slaves passing through Boston. Lewis also gained some degree of wealth and raised $650 to purchase his freedom and to help Fairbank get out of prison. Fairbank was pardoned on August 23, 1849. Lewis Hayden was elected to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1873, which was seven years after the state's first African American Legislators Charles Lewis Mitchell and Edward Garrison Walker. For more see Black Bostonians, by J. O. Horton and L. E. Horton; Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston; and Delia Webster and the Underground Railroad, by R. P. Runyon.

See image of Lewis Hayden at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Migration North, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Railroad, Railway, Trains, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Canada / Boston, Massachusetts

Heath, Andrew
Birth Year : 1832
Death Year : 1887
Andrew Heath was a slave born in Henderson County, KY. He had become an ordained minister in 1867 and was an assistant pastor. Heath became a free man, and after the death of Rev. Henry Adams, he was named pastor at Fifth Street Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. Heath was also a member of the first Baptist Convention held in Kentucky and served in several leadership capacities with the General Association. He is said to have baptized 1,500 persons. Heath was well respected among the Baptists; thousands of people paid their respects when he died in 1887. For more see the Andrew Heath entries in the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and in Men of Mark, by W. J. Simmons and H. M. Turner.

See photo image of Rev. Andrew Heath at the New York Public Library Digital Library.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Henderson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Henson, Josiah
Birth Year : 1789
Death Year : 1883
Josiah Henson was brought to the Riley Plantation in Owensboro, KY, as a slave, he escaped to Canada and returned many times to lead his family and others to freedom. He spoke at abolition meetings. Henson is believed to have been portrayed as the Uncle Tom character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. For more see The Life of Josiah Henson, by J. Henson; and American Biographies, by W. Preston.

See photo image of Josiah Henson at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Canada

Hickman, Willianna Lewis and Daniel
Scott County, KY natives and former slaves, Daniel (1841-1917) and Willianna Hickman left Kentucky with their six children, part of the 140 Exodusters heading to Nicodemus, Kansas. In her narrative about the trip, Willianna Hickman tells of a measles outbreak and how the families followed the trails made by deer and buffalo because there were no roads. When they arrived at Nicodemus, she was shocked to see that families were living in dugouts. The Hickman family continued on to their homestead, 14 miles beyond Nicodemus, to Hill City. Minister Daniel Hickman organized the First Baptist Church, the Second Baptist Church, and the WaKeeney Baptist Association. He was elected the first county coroner. The Hickman family moved to Topeka in 1903. For more see the Willianna Hickman entry in We Are Your Sisters: Black Women in the Nineteenth Century, ed. by D. Sterling, pp. 375-376; and the Daniel Hickman entry in vol. 4 of African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Nicodemus, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Scott County, Kentucky / Hill City and Nicodemus, Kansas

Hind, Richard
Hind experimented with plants and developed new farm crops; he was thought to be the first person to cultivate watermelons in Kentucky. Hinds Bend on the Kentucky River is named after him. Hind had been a slave at Boonesborough. For more see Kentucky's Black Heritage, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: Agriculturalists, Produce, Freedom
Geographic Region: Boonesborough, Madison County, Kentucky

Hubbard, Theodore C.
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1904
Theodore C. Hubbard was the first African American to enlist at Camp Lincoln with the Illinois National Guard; he was an orderly under Edgar P. Tobey, captain of Battery D. Hubbard joined the Union Army in 1861, the only African American soldier at the camp until the formation of the 9th Battalion of Chicago in 1893. The battalion would later become the 8th Illinois, the first Negro regiment sent to Cuba during the Spanish-American War. At the time of his enlistment, Theodore C. Hubbard was a fugitive slave who was born in Kentucky. After the war, he served as the official messenger of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago from 1887-1904. He was the husband of Amanda Hubbard. In 1900, the family of four lived on 30th Street in Chicago, sharing their home with four boarders, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Hubbard was a commander of the John Brown Post No. 60 G.A.R., colonel of the commander in chief's staff of the G.A.R., and a member of the 19th Illinois Veteran's Club. For more see Theodore C. Hubbard in "Telegraphic Brevities," Grand Rapids Tribune, 04/27/1904, p. 2; and Illinois Writer's Project, "Camp Lincoln," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, vol. 34, issue 3 (Sept. 1941), pp. 281-302.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

"Information Wanted" (Newspaper ads)
Start Year : 1854
End Year : 1946
Placing ads in African American newspapers was one method former slaves used to search for family members who had been taken away, or ran away, or who had been left behind. This type of search was a long shot given the extremely low literacy rate among the newly freed slaves. Success depended on someone reading the ad, recognizing the names, and contacting the persons mentioned in the ad. There is no evidence to support the success or failure of the practice, which was continued into the 21st Century. As early as 1865, the standard heading for the ads was "Information Wanted." An example in the June 24, 1870 edition of The Elevator newspaper [CA] on p. 4 reads, "Mrs. Charlotte Powell of Sacramento wishes information of her relatives, consisting of her father, mother, three brothers, and two sisters. Her father's name was Sam Mosley; he was owned by a man named Joe Powell, who lived in Kentucky at a place called Amandy." Five years earlier, The Black Republican newspaper [LA] ran a series of "Information Wanted" ads with very brief content; the following comes from the April 29, 1865 issue, p. 2: "Mrs. Ritty Green wishes to find her son Dudley Green. Both are from Scott County Kentucky, near Georgetown. Any information respecting him may be addressed to this newspaper. ap29." The ads sometimes included a line encouraging other African American newspapers to copy and run the ad, such as the following, published in The Freeman newspaper [IN] on April 18, 1891, p. 8: "Of, "Billie" Kay, sometimes known as Billie Burse, who thirty-five or eight years ago lived in Hopkinsville, Ky., but shortly afterward moved to the state of Missouri. The name Kay was his master's name, by which he was generally known. Any information relative to him or children will be thankfully received by Mrs. Susan Hillyard, Indianapolis. Care of the Freeman. [Missouri paper please call attention.]" The ads continued to be published by African American newspapers until the late 1940s, but with a noticeable change that had started around 1900: more ads were being published for relatives and friends in search of those they had lost contact with well after the Civil War, and ads for agencies such as insurance companies that were searching for missing heirs. The change was actually a return to the previous use of the "Information Wanted" ads prior to 1865 and in reference to free African Americans. The ads appeared in the Frederick Douglass' Paper as early as 1854. An example is the following ad printed June 30, 1854, on p. 3: "Evelina Evans, who resided in New York City in the year 1850, left that city and went to Canada the same year; since that time she has not been heard from by her relations. Her husband's name was James Evans. Address her uncle, Henry Jackson, Evansville, Indiana. Papers friendly to the cause of Humanity, please notice."
Subjects: Freedom, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Ishmaelites of Kentucky
There are two discussions about the existence of the the Tribe of Ishmael.

According to earlier sources, between 1785 and 1790, an Islamic denomination called Ishmaelites was first noticed in Nobel County (now Bourbon County), KY. The group was led by Ben and Jennie Ishmael. Individual members were of a multiracial background of African, Native American, and poor whites. The first generation included escapees from slavery and the Indian Wars, all having made their way to Kentucky from Tennessee, North & South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. In the early 1800s, the Ishmael's son John led the group across the Ohio River to the area that today is part of Indianapolis; soon afterward the group became a nomadic community. They were viewed as odd and referred to as gypsies. The group was suspected of having a high infant death rate, and in the 1880s it was common for the children to be taken away from their parents. Adult members were arrested on an array of charges, then imprisoned, committed, or bound to servitude. By the late 1800s, three-fourths of the patients at the Indianapolis City Hospital (a mental institution) were from the Tribe of Ishmael. In 1907 the compulsory sterilization law was passed in Indiana, and the procedure was used to further reduce the number of new births by Ishmaelite members. For more see Black Crescent: the experience and legacy of African Muslims in the Americas, by M. A. Gomez, pp.196-200; and O. C. M'Culloch, "The Tribe of Ishmael: a study on social degradation," Proceedings of the National Conference of Charities and Correction at the Fifteenth Annual Session Held in Buffalo, NY, July 5-11, 1888, pp. 154-159. See also The Tribe of Ishmael: a group of degenerates... at the Eugenics Archive website.

According to more recent sources, the Tribe of Ismael is a myth, and Ben and Jennie Ishmael were Christians. One of the current sources is the 2009 title Inventing America's "Worst" Family by Nathaniel Deutsch. The book traces how the Ishmael Family, a poor Christian family that included a Civil War veteran, was used as a representation of the urban poor in the late 1800s, then during the 1970s, became a very much admired family credited with founding an African American Muslim movement and community. For additional information see E. A. Carlson, "Commentary: R. L. Dugdale and the Jukes Family: a historical injustice corrected," BioScience, vol.30, issue 8 (August 1980), pp. 535-539; R. Horton, "Tribe of Ishmael" in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, by D. J. Bodenhamer, et al.; and E. F. Kramer, "Recasting the Tribe of Ishmael," Indiana Magazine of History, v.104 (March 2008), pp.36-64 [available online in IUPUI Scholar Works Repository].
Subjects: Communities, Early Settlers, Freedom, Hoaxes, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Nobel County (Bourbon County), Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Tennessee / North Carolina / South Carolina / Virginia / Maryland

Jackson, Andrew
Birth Year : 1814
Jackson was born in Bowling Green, KY. He narrated to a friend the story of the 26 years he spent as a slave. In the published biography that came of this narration, Jackson recounts his failed attempt to escape and the cruelty he suffered and witnessed before his eventual successful escape. For more see Narrative and Writings of Andrew Jackson, of Kentucky: Containing an Account...Written by a Friend [available online at UNC Documenting the American South website].
Subjects: Authors, Freedom
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Jackson, Edward C.
Birth Year : 1831
Death Year : 1912
Edward C. Jackson, a slave, was born in Lexington, KY. In 1850 he married Matilda C. Blair, who was free and who had also purchased his freedom. The couple moved to Xenia, OH, where they owned a grocery store, and during the Civil War, they moved to Springfield, OH, where they owned a second-hand store. By 1868, the couple had moved back to Xenia, where Jackson became one of the first African American city council members. He was also a trustee on the Board of Wilberforce University and was a member of the Wilberforce Lodge Free and Accepted Masons. Jackson and his wife had eight children, and he was the uncle of John H. and Jordan Jackson Jr. For more see "Born a slave in Lexington," Lexington Leader, 02/11/1912, p. 2.

*Additional information provided by Yvonne Giles: Edward C. Jackson's wife's name is misspelled [Malinda C. Blain] in the obituary notice found in the Lexington Leader, her name was Matilda C. Blair [source: Deed book #35, p213, 12 October 1858; taxes and fees paid May 1859]. She signed a contract with George W. Sutton for the purchase of her husband Edward Jackson on 12 October 1858. She paid $800, four hundred down and four hundred by May 1859 even though the contract was for three years. The contract makes no mention that Matilda C. Blair is a 'free woman of color.' The contract called for a deed of emancipation to Edward Jackson once all money had been received.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Xenia, Ohio / Springfield, Ohio

Jackson, Eliza or Isabelle (Belle) Mitchell
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1942
Mitchell was born in Perryville, KY and raised in Danville, KY. Her parents, Mary and Monroe Mitchell, purchased their freedom. Belle became an abolitionist and the first African American teacher at Camp Nelson, with John G. Fee. She became a prominent teacher in Fayette County and one of the founders of the African American Orphan Industrial Home. She was actively involved with the Colored women's club movement. She was married to Jordan Jackson. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; African American Women: a biographical dictionary, by D. C. Salem; and Lexington's Colored Orphan Industrial Home by L. F. Byars.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Freedom, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Perryville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Fayette County, Kentucky

Jim Crow (term)
It is not definitively clear how the term "Jim Crow" came to be associated with the segregation of African Americans and whites in the United States. The use of the term was expanded to define a certain genre of music in the 1830s. Abolitionist newspapers in Massachusetts were using the term in the 1840s in reference to the segregated railway cars. By the 1890s the term was applied to segregation and exclusion laws and norms in border states and the south. By the 1940s the term had been further used to define behavior, speech, violence, and other forms of discrimination and segregation. Also in the 1940s, the term was used by the military to refer to lookout units or individual men in such units. For more see the Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History, vol. 3, 2nd edition, ed. by C. Palmer; and the Oxford English Dictionary.
Subjects: Freedom, Jim Crow

Johnson, Beverly [James Williams, Sr.]
Birth Year : 1840
In 1858, Beverly Johnson escaped from slavery in Kentucky and made his way north to York, MI. Johnson changed his name to James Williams, Sr. and was a cigar maker; he is listed in the 1860 census. He later established a cigar factory in Saline, MI, and became a farmer. He was the husband of Mary Williams who was born in Ohio, and her mother was from Kentucky [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. The couple had three sons, James Jr., Henry, and Charles. James Williams, Sr. was a widower in 1900, according the census. This was about the same time that his son Charles E. Williams graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and started practicing law in Detroit with Michigan's renowned Negro lawyer, **Robert J. Willis. Under the new civil service law, Charles Williams was appointed a life tenure of office as a general clerk in the Detroit Assessor's Office. For more see "Charles E. Williams" in the Michigan Manual of Freedmen's Progress, compiled by F. H. Warren [available full text online as a .pdf at the Western Michigan University website].

**The mother of Robert Jones Willis was an escape slave from Kentucky, for more see "Michigan gives lawyer a birthday" in Day by Day column by Wm. N. Jones in the Baltimore Afro-American, 05/25/1929, p.6.
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / York and Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan / Detroit, Michigan

Johnson, James Bartlett
Birth Year : 1830
Death Year : 1900
James Bartlett Johnson was born in Taylor County, KY. He was enslaved, but his wife, Mary A. Buchanan, had been free since she was three years old. The family was separated in 1856 when Johnson was sold to a Louisiana plantation. While there, Johnson began preaching and organized a church where he preached to the slaves. Johnson escaped and joined the Union Army in 1861, serving for three years. When he was discharged, he made his way to Kentucky, where he found his wife and child after having been separated from them for nine years. The family moved to Louisville, KY, where Johnson was ordained a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church and became a member of the Kentucky Conference. He was called into service in Springfield, KY, and in Lebanon, KY. While Johnson was in Lebanon, the church was burned to the ground, and the members left due to the split between the AMEZ and Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church. The Springfield and Lebanon churches and congregations were later restored under one circuit. Bishop Johnson served in several other churches and was a respected leader of the AMEZ Church. James Bartlett Johnson died in Louisville on September 9, 1900 [source: Kentucky Death Records, 1852-1953]. For more see image and additional information about James Bartlett Johnson in One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Church..., by J. W. Hood, p.332-335 [available full-text at UNC Documenting the American South].


Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Taylor County, Kentucky

Johnson, Perry
Birth Year : 1855
Death Year : 1928
In 2009, Rev. Charles H. Johnson was searching for information about his great-grandfather in Mt. Sterling, KY and Spencerville, OH, when he was hired as minister of the church his great-grandfather helped build in 1904. His great-grandfather's name was Perry Johnson, he was a fugitive slave from Montgomery County, KY. The name of the church he helped build is Spencerville Friends Church (Quaker). Perry Johnson came to Spencerville by way of Cincinnati, OH. He had been the slave of Thomas Johnson, a Kentucky Legislator from Mt. Sterling, KY, who served with the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Johnson Avenue, in Mt. Sterling, KY, is named in his honor. It was just prior to the start of the Civil War when Perry Johnson left Montgomery County and headed north with a group of fugitives in the Underground Railroad. Perry's first stop was in Cincinnati, OH, where he stayed until about 1870, according to Rev. Charles H. Johnson. When he was about the age of 15, Perry Johnson left Cincinnati and went to Marion, OH, where he was taken in by Thomas and Nancy Beckerdite. He remained with the Beckerdite family for 19 years and learned to read and write. The Beckerdite couple came from North Carolina. According to Rev. Charles H. Johnson, the Beckerdites were white, German, and Quakers. In the U.S. Census, Thomas Beckerdite is listed as Black in 1870 and as Mulatto in 1880. His wife Nancy is listed as white in 1870 and as Mulatto in 1880. Their eight year old daughter Florence is listed as Mulatto in 1880. Florence would become the wife of Perry Johnson in 1888; Perry was 33 years old and Florence was 15. In 1900, Perry, Florence, and their five children lived in Spencerville, OH, and Perry worked as a rig builder in the oil field [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The family was Quaker and participated in the services that were held in members' homes. In 1904, the Spencerville Holiness Mission Church was constructed and Perry Johnson was one of the builders. Between 1906 and 1909, the church was renamed the Spencerville Friends Church (Quaker), according to Rev. Charles H. Johnson who referenced the history of Spencerville Friends Church from a loose-leaf book that was compiled by Wanda Lies in 1997. The book has about 70 pages, and Perry and Florence Johnson are listed as charter members of the church. At some point after the Civil War, Perry Johnson was able to reunite with his siblings who would also move to Ohio: William Pepsico, Carol Stewart, Wally Stewart, and Herald Stewart. Perry and Florence would remain in Spencerville, OH, for the remainder of their lives. When Florence's father died, her mother lived with Florence, Perry, and their seven children [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Perry had an eggs and poultry business. Perry Johnson died in 1928 and Florence Johnson died in 1959. This entry was submitted by Miles Hoskins of the Montgomery County Historical Society and Rev. Charles H. Johnson, minister of the Spencerville Friends Church (Quaker).

See the stone that marks the grave of Perry Johnson at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky / Spencerville, Ohio

Joice, James and Jemima
In 1863, James Joice (1807-1872), an escaped slave from Kentucky, was a cook and valet for Lt. Addison B. Partridge of the Union Army. When Partridge left the army, Joice followed him to Freemont Township in Illinois. Two years later, James returned to Kentucky and brought his wife, Jemima (1824-1920), and their children, Asa (d. 1924) and Sarah (d. 1941), up North. They were the first African American settlers in Ivanhoe, IL. Asa would become the first African American elected to public office in Lake County. The family remained in the community and are all buried in the Ivanhoe Church Cemetery. For more see Daily Herald articles, "First Black settlers found home in Fremont Township," 02/08/1997, Neighbor section, p. 1; and "Joices play important role in history," 02/21/1999, Neighbor section, p. 1. See also "A touch of the past," Chicago Tribune, Magazine section, p. 7.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / [Freemont Township] Ivanhoe, Lake County, Illinois

Jones, Abel Bedford and Albert Thomas
Birth Year : 1810
The following information on the Jones brothers comes from Dr. Michael F. Murphy, Historian of Education at the University of Western Ontario; Dr. Murphy is working on a book about the schooling of colored and mulatto children in London, Ontario, Canada between 1826 and 1865. The Jones brothers played a major role in the schooling of these children. The brothers had been slaves in Madison County, KY. Abel was a field-hand and Albert worked for a millwright who owned a large merchant mill. Albert earned enough money to buy his freedom in 1833; he was 23 years old. He also purchased the freedom of Abel and a younger brother. The brothers immigrated to London, Upper Canada (now Ontario). Albert became a barber and merchant, and Abel was a barber and an herbal dentist. The brothers did quite well with their businesses. Abel may have been involved with the African American resettlement program. The brothers were interviewed by Samuel Ringgold Ward, S.G. Howe, and Benjamin Drew when these commentators reported on the condition of fugitive slaves in Canada. Abel's whereabouts are unknown after the mid 1850s. In 1866, Albert, often referred to as Dr. Jones, and his large family left London. Perhaps they returned to Kentucky. The Jones children were Betsy, Paul, Elizabeth, George B., A.O., Frances A., Victoria S?, Torreza O?, Albion, and Princess A. If you have more information or would like more information about Abel and Albert Jones, please contact Dr. Michael F. Murphy at murfy@sympatico.ca.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Education and Educators, Fathers, Freedom, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Dentists
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / London, (Upper Canada) Ontario, Canada

Jones, Edward "Ned"
Death Year : 1865
Rev. Edward "Ned" Jones is considered the first African American Methodist preacher in Kentucky. He began preaching around 1830 in the white Methodist Church at the corner of Clay and Nashville Streets in Hopkinsville, KY. Ned was the slave of William Fee Jones, a Presbyterian minister. The Methodist Church purchased Ned's freedom so that he could preach to the slaves. When he attempted to form an African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in 1856, he was accused of trying to incite an insurrection among the slaves, and was jailed for three months. When released, Ned moved to Bowling Green, KY. The Hopkinsville Colored AME Church was established by the Southern Methodist soon after the Civil War ended. Ned would return to Hopkinsville, where he preached to both whites and Africa Americans, and he would become known as the most prominent preacher at Freeman's Chapel. Rev. Edward "Ned" Jones was the husband of Anna B. Jones, and the grandfather of Kentucky native Bishop E. W. Lampton (1857-1910) of the AME Church of Greenville, MS. For more see p.240 in Counties of Christian and Trigg, Kentucky by W. H. Perrin [title available online at Kentucky Digital Library-Printed Books]; and H. D. Slatter, "Bishop Lampton's grandmother dead," Baltimore Afro-American, 02/20/1909, p.1.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Jones, Louis
Birth Year : 1852
Louis Jones was born on the Cassiday Plantation near Bowling Green, KY. About a year before his father died, Jones and his mother were sold to an owner in Okolona, MS. His father, John T. Jones, was married to Nancy J. Cassiday. While in Mississippi, Jones was freed. As an adult, he had a series of jobs, including, in 1881, working as a janitor in the Office of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission in Springfield, IL. Jones was a member of the African American community that had migrated to Springfield. He belonged to the Masons Blue Lodge No. 3, and his wife, Ada Chavons Jones, was a member of Shiloh Court No. 1 and Eastern Star Chapter No. 2. For more see History of Sangamon County, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities, by Inter-state Publishing Company (Chicago); and contact the Springfield, Illinois, African American History Foundation.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Okolona, Mississippi / Springfield, Illinois

Jones v Van Zandt (1847)
Start Year : 1842
End Year : 1847
The case was the second of four major slave cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1842, a civil suit was brought by Wharton Jones for $500, the value of an escaped slave who had left Kentucky with eight other slaves and traveled into Ohio. The slaves had been aided by abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor, John Van Zandt, who had been born in Fleming County, KY. Van Zandt later moved near Glendale, Ohio, where Van Zandt was caught transporting the nine escaped slaves from Boone County, KY. One of the slaves, Andrew, thought to be worth $500-$600, escaped, and the others were placed in jail. Van Zandt and the eight remaining slaves were extradited to Kentucky, where Van Zandt was charged with harboring and concealing the escaped slaves. His attorneys, Salmon P. Chase and William H. Seward, unsuccessfully argued that in Ohio all people were presumed free, and Van Zandt could not have known that he was transporting runaway slaves. The U.S. Supreme Court heard the case in 1847 and upheld the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. The slaves remained in bondage, and Van Zandt was ordered to pay the fee. For more see Paul Finkelman "Slavery," The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, Kermit L. Hall, Oxford University Press, 2005; Oxford Reference Online; Jones v Van Zandt, 46 U.S. 215 (1847); and the Jones v Van Zandt case, full text at Justia.com.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Fleming County, Kentucky / Boone County, Kentucky / Glendale, Ohio

Joplin, Florence G.
Birth Year : 1841
Death Year : 1881
Florence Givens Joplin was born free in Kentucky around 1841; her family moved to Texas when she was a child or teen. It is believed that she was the daughter of Milton and Susie Givens (or Givins). Florence was the wife of Giles (or Jiles) Joplin, and the mother of composer Scott Joplin, the second of her six children. Florence Joplin was a banjo player and singer. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., supp., ed. by M. M. Spradling; and Ragging it: getting Ragtime into history (and some history into Ragtime), by H. L. White.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

Joplin, Giles
Birth Year : 1842
Giles (or Jiles) Joplin was a slave who may have passed through Kentucky on the way to Texas with his master. They had come from North Carolina, where it is speculated that Giles was born around 1842. Giles Joplin, a fiddler, was the father of composer Scott Joplin. Giles left his wife, Florence, and their six children, in 1880 for another woman. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., supp., ed. by M. M. Spradling; and Ragging it: getting Ragtime into history (and some history into Ragtime), by H. L. White.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Kentucky
Juneteenth (June 19) is the celebration of the freedom of African American slaves. In Kentucky, Representative Reginald Meeks (D-Louisville) led the push to make Juneteenth a holiday in Kentucky. And though Juneteenth is declared a holiday in Kentucky, it is not yet celebrated statewide. For more see the Juneteeth video [#217] at "Connections with Renee Shaw," 07/07/2007, at KET (Kentucky Educational Television); and HB42.
Subjects: Freedom, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kavanaugh, Nelson
Kavanaugh was a freed slave from Richmond, KY, who made his way to Texas in 1837 and settled in Houston. He was one of the many barbers in the Republic of Texas; barbering ranked second to farming as an occupation for freemen. For some residents, there were too many freemen and there was fear of an uprising by the freemen, aided by abolitionists. A law was enacted that required all freemen to leave; Kavanaugh appealed to the Texas Congress that he be allowed to remain in the Republic of Texas. No action was taken by Congress and Kavanaugh left the area some time after 1846 when he appeared on the Washington County, Republic of Texas Tax List, and the Poll List. For more see the Black Studies Research Sources: Race, Slavery, and Free Blacks - Series 1: Petitions to Southern Legislatures, 1777-1867, Reel 15; H. Schoen, "The Free Negro in the Republic of Texas," Chapter IV, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, vol. 41, issue 1 [Online]; A. F. Muir, "The Free Negro in Harris County, Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, vol. 46, issue 3, [Online]; and "Memorial of Nelson Kavanaugh" in the Texas State Library.
Subjects: Barbers, Freedom, Migration West
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Houston, Texas

Kentucky Land Grants, African Americans
Start Year : 1782
End Year : 1924
The Commonwealth of Virginia issued land grants to settlers in the western Virgina area that is today known as Kentucky. The land was transferred to individuals through a process called patenting, and the final document of purchase was the patent deed. The Virginia series of the Kentucky land grants were issued before 1792. After Kentucky became a state, June 1, 1792, the land grants were issued in the Old Kentucky series by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Land warrants included treasury, state, county, and military warrants issued to soldiers as payment for service in the French-Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. There were a few free African Americans who owned patent deeds, such as Free Frank who had 50-200 acres in Pulaski County from 1826-1827, Free Jack with 8 acres in Pulaski County in 1856, and Colored Man Jim with 17 acres in Taylor County in 1858. For more see Kentucky Land Grants by W. R. Jillson; and see Kentucky Land and Property, a FamilySearch website. Contact the Kentucky Land Office / 700 Capital Ave., Ste. 80 / Frankfort, KY 40601 / (502) 564-3490.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky Land Grants
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Pulaski County, Kentucky / Taylor County, Kentucky

Kentucky Slave Narratives
The memories of former Kentucky slaves were recorded as part of the 1936-1938 Federal Writers' Project, Slave Narratives: a folk history of slavery in the United States from interviews with former slaves - Kentucky Narratives. The title is available full-text online at Project Gutenberg and includes a brief glimpse of the lives of former slaves such as Eliza Ison, who lived in the African American community of Duncantown in Garrard County; George Scruggs of Calloway County, a slave of racehorse owner Vol Scruggs; and Reverend John R. Cox of Boyd County, minister of the Catlettsburg A.M.E. Church and also the city's first African American truant officer.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky

The Kentucky Union for the Moral and Religious Improvement of the Colored Race
Start Year : 1834
This organization was formed in 1834 with White members from several denominations in Kentucky; the members were referred to as the best religious leaders in the state. They were also referred to as the "Gradual Abolitionists" by author G. H. Barnes. The group's purpose was to provide religious and moral instruction to slaves and to support the gradual emancipation of slaves for colonization. Reverend H. H. Kavanaugh of Lexington was president, the ten vice presidents were from various parts of Kentucky, and the executive committee of seven members was located in Danville, KY, with Reverend John C. Young, Centre College, serving as the chair. The group produced a circular that was distributed to ministers of the gospel in Kentucky. In 1835, the group brought before the Kentucky Legislature the bill that called for the gradual emancipation of the slaves--the bill did not pass, losing but by a narrow margin. For more see The Religious Instruction of the Negroes. In the United States, by Charles C. Jones [available online at UNC Documenting the American South website]; The Evangelical War Against Slavery and Caste, by V. B. Howard; The Feminist Papers by A. S. Rossi; The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus, by American Anti-Slavery Society [available online via Project Gutenberg]; and The Antislavery Impulse, 1830-1844, by G. H. Barnes.
Subjects: Freedom, Religion & Church Work, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky v Dennison (1861)
Start Year : 1859
End Year : 1861
This was the last of four major slave cases heard by the U. S. Supreme Count. The case involved Willis Lago, a free African American who lived in Ohio; in 1859 he had helped a slave named Charlotte escape from Woodford County, Kentucky, into Ohio. Charlotte's owner, C. W. Nuckols, filed an indictment against Lago, and the state requested, via Kentucky Governor Beriah Magoffin, that both Charlotte and Lago be returned to Kentucky. Lago was to be extradited to stand trial for seducing and enticing Charlotte to escape. Ohio Governor William Dennison refused to extradite Lago or Charlotte. The case went before the Supreme Court in 1861: Dennison was admonished, but there were no orders that Lago and Charlotte be extradited to Kentucky. "Taney ruled that interstate extradition was a matter of gubernatorial discretion, to be performed out of comity and good citizenship. This precedent remained good law until 1987." For more see Paul Finkelman "Slavery," The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, Kermit L. Hall, Oxford University Press, 2005; Oxford Reference Online; and Kentucky v Dennison 65 U.S. 66; 16 L. Ed. 717; 1860 U.S. LEXIS 376; 24 HOW 66.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Ohio / Woodford County, Kentucky

Kentucky's Underground Railroad at KET
KET looks at the fugitive slave movement in this one-hour documentary.
Subjects: Freedom, Genealogy, History, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky

The Kidnapping of Daniel Prue and John Hite
Start Year : 1858
Prue, 18, and Hite, 19, were tricked into following Napoleon B. Van Tuyl from Geneva, NY, to Columbus, OH, where they were to be employed at a hotel. Van Tuyl, about 21 years old, had been a clerk in a dry good store in Geneva. The three were traveling by train, and along the way, Van Tuyl met up with Barton W. Jenkins from Port Royal, KY, and Henry Giltner and George W. Metcalf from Carrollton, KY. Prue overheard Van Tuyl use an alias while discussing the sale of his two slaves, Prue and Hite. Prue also realized that the train had passed Columbus, and when he tried to get off at the next stop, he got into a scuffle with Jenkins. Prue escaped, and Jenkins and Van Tuyl went searching for him. Hite, unaware of what had taken place, remained on the train with Giltner and Metcalf and was eventually taken to Carrollton, KY, and put in jail for safe keeping. Van Tuyl arrived two days later, and Hite was sold for $750 to Jenkins; $200 was deducted for the Kentucky men's services in attempting to get Prue and Hite to Kentucky. A few days later, Jenkins sold Hite to Lorenzo Graves of Warsaw, KY, and Hite was locked away in Louisville, KY. When all parties involved realized that Van Tuyl had conned them, Hite was returned to New York. His release had come about thanks to the Geneva citizens who had persuaded New York Governor John A. King to send an agent to Kentucky to retrieve Hite. Van Tuyl fled to New Orleans, LA, where he was arrested and taken to Frankfort, KY, to stand trial for obtaining money by false pretenses. Van Tuyl was acquitted, but Kentucky authorities turned him over to the authorities in Geneva, NY, to stand trial for kidnapping. For more see M. C. Sernett, "On freedom's threshold: the African American presence in Central New York, 1760-1940," Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, vol. 19, no. 1 (Jan 31,1995), pp. 43ff.; and Geneva (N.Y.) Kidnapping Case in The Fugitive Slave Law and Its Victims, by S. May [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Slave Trade (U.S.)
Geographic Region: Geneva, New York / Columbus, Ohio / Port Royal, Henry County, Kentucky / Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky / Warsaw, Gallatin County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New Orleans, Louisiana / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Kleizer, Louisa and Mary (sisters)
The following information comes from the unpublished manuscript Tracking Free Black Women in Bourbon County: the Intriguing Case of the Kleizer Women, by Nancy O'Malley.

 

As part of a larger ongoing project to gather information about free people of color, particularly women, in Bourbon County, Kentucky, the existence of two sisters, Louisa Warren and Mary Malvina Kleizer, was uncovered. They owned property and were businesswomen in Paris and both sisters eventually “passed for white”. They are thought to be the daughters of Bourbon County blacksmith Henry Kleizer, who  died intestate in 1836, probably on his farm of 147 acres on the Iron Works Road. The inventory of his estate included “1 Negro woman and 2 children” valued at $800. On July 4, 1836, Henry’s father, John Kleizer, acting on his son’s request, freed the woman, 42 year old Jude, an African American, and her two mulatto daughters, 14 year old Louisa Warren, and 12 year old Mary Malvina. Sadly, Jude died of cholera in 1849.

 

On May 29, 1850, Louisa and Mary Kleizer purchased a house and lot on Main Street in Paris, KY, for $800 from William and Catherine P. Duke. The lot was part of in-lot 14 near the corner of Main and Mulberry (now 5th) Streets. The property corresponds to 428 Main Street where the City Club is now located. Louisa's 8 year old daughter named Ellen Burch, a mulatto, lived with the two sisters. When they were censused in 1850, Louisa was 24 years old and was not listed with an occupation nor could she read or write. Mary was 22 years old, also without an occupation, but was able to read and write. Ellen Burch had attended school during the year.

 

George W. Ingels, a white stable keeper, began a relationship with Mary Kleizer that resulted in the birth of four children by the next census in 1860. The two sisters, under the spelling of Cliser, are listed as living together in Paris and working as confectioners. Their real estate had increased in value to $1400, split between them, with a combined personal worth of $1000. Mary’s children included Jennie Elizabeth aged 8, Louisa aged 5, George W. aged 3, and Mollie aged 1.

 

In 1867, Mary and George moved with their children to Cincinnati, Ohio, leaving Louisa Kleizer and Ellen Burch in Paris, KY. Williams’ 1868 Cincinnati Directory listed George W. Ingels as a partner in the firm Arnold, Bullock & Co. James L. Arnold, Thomas L. Arnold, W.K. Bullock and George W. Ingels were wholesale grocers, commission merchants and liquor dealers at 49 W. Front Street. In the 1869 directory, George was associated with J. L. Arnold in a coal dealership under the firm name of Arnold & Ingels. George W. Ingels appears in the 1870 census for Cincinnati, Ohio, living with Mary who assumed his surname as did their children. Mary and her children are all identified as mulatto in this census. Two more children, Hiram, aged 8, and Birchie (a nickname for Burch), a daughter aged 5, had been born in Kentucky since the last census.

 

In the 1870 census, Louisa Kleizer is a notions and fancy goods merchant in Paris, KY, and her daughter Ellen Burch was working as her clerk. The 1860 census indicated that Louisa had married within the year, but no evidence was found to indicate that she had a husband. She is not listed with a husband in 1870.

 

In October of 1880, George and Mary Ingels sold Mary’s half-interest in the Paris Main Street property to Louisa Kleizer for $900. Louisa was living by herself by this time and was listed as a widow without an occupation. No record of any marriage was found in the Bourbon County records for Louisa Kleizer.

 

In the 1880 census record, Mary is still listed as mulatto, all of her and George’s children are listed as white. The family lived on Hopkins Street and was still living there in 1890. Mary and George Ingels lived in Cincinnati for the rest of their lives. By 1900, they were living on Wesley Avenue just a few blocks from their former home on Hopkins Street. The census taker incorrectly spelled their name as Engalls. George reported that he was 76 years old, born in February of 1824 and married for 47 years. He was a landlord. His wife Mary was identified as white rather than mulatto. She was 75 years old, born in February of 1825.

 

George W. Ingels died on July 23, 1901 and was buried in the Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. His “wife” followed him in death on May 24, 1907 and was buried beside him. [They could not have been legally married while in Kentucky since interracial marriage was prohibited, and they may never have formally solemnized their relationship. Interracial marriage was not legalized in Ohio until 1887. No marriage record has been found for George and Mary Ingels although they clearly considered themselves married.] All of their children remained in Cincinnati and were buried in the family lot at Spring Grove Cemetery.

 

Louisa Kleizer’s whereabouts are unknown between 1881 when she purchased an easement along an alley on one side of her property on Main Street in Paris, KY, and December 17, 1902 when she died in Massachusetts. Limited evidence suggests that she left Paris and moved to Springfield, Massachusetts where her daughter, Ellen Burch, was living with her husband, a white man named Charles Knight, and their children. After the Civil War, he worked as an armorer at the U.S. Armory until his death at age 65 on August 9, 1904.

 

Ellen, who went by the name Ella, also crossed the boundary between white and black. Her husband was a New Hampshire native who fought in the Civil War with a New Hampshire company and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for meritorious conduct at the Battle of the Crater. Charles and Ella had three daughters, Clara Louise born in February of 1879, Sarah Elizabeth born in July of 1880, and Laura Gertrude born in July of 1883.

 

No record was found for Louisa Kleizer in the 1900 census in either Bourbon County or Massachusetts. Her death date was discovered in a deed that was filed when Ella Knight and her daughters sold Louisa’s property on Main Street in Paris, KY, in 1910. The deed stated that Louisa Knight had died intestate in Springfield, Massachusetts “about four years” earlier. The place of Louisa’s death was incorrect in the deed; she actually died in Northampton about 15 miles north of Springfield but was buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Springfield. Louisa's daughter, Ella M. Burch Knight, died in 1932, and she and her family are also buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.

 

Louisa’s death record confirms that her father was Henry Kleizer; her mother’s name is recorded as Julia rather than Judith with the surname Johnson.

 

Sources:

 

Ancestry.com website

 

Bourbon County deed books, County Clerk’s office, Paris, Kentucky

Samuel B. Kleizer to Henry Kleizer, July 20, 1833, Deed Book Z, p. 616.

William and Caroline P. Duke to Louisa and Mary Kleizer, May 29, 1850, Deed Book 44, p. 332.

George W. and Mary Ingels to Louisa Kleizer, October 27, 1880, Deed Book 65, p. 54.

Charles Henry and Louisa Singer to Louisa Kleizer, need date, Deed Book 65, p. 363.

Ella M. Knight, Clara Louise Knight, Sarah Elizabeth Knight, and Laura Gertrude Knight to W.W. Mitchell and William Blakemore, February 19, 1910, Deed Book 96, p. 330.

 

Bourbon County manumission book, County Clerk’s office, Paris, Kentucky, deed of emancipation from John Kleizer to Jude and her daughters, Louisa Warren and Mary Malvina, July 4, 1836.

 

Historical Census Browser, 2004, Retrieved 13 November 2013, University of Virginia, Geospatial and Statistical Data Center: http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu

 

Inventory of Henry Kleizer, Bourbon County Will Book K, p. 204, June 14, 1836, County Clerk’s office, Paris, Kentucky

 

Federal censuses, Bourbon County, Kentucky and Hamilton County, Ohio; various years

 

Find-A-Grave website for George W. Ingels family

 

Mapquest.com website

 

Paris True Kentuckian, October 4, 1871 issue (Original at the Bourbon County Citizen/Citizen Advertiser office in Paris)

 

Sanborn Insurance maps, Kentucky Digital Library website

 

For more information contact

Nancy O'Malley, Assistant Director

William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and

Office of State Archaeology

1020A Export Street

University of Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky 40506

Ph. 859-257-1944

FAX: 859-323-1968
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Mothers, Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Springfield and Northampton, Massachusetts

LaForce Family Slaves
During the Revolutionary War, Loyalists from North Carolina sought refuge in the Kentucky territory. Rene LaForce (spelling varies, also La Force), a Huguenot, died en route. His wife, Agnes Moseby LaForce, their children and their families, and 13 slaves completed the journey and settled near Martin's Station, located three miles south of Paris, KY. In June, 1780, a British garrison from Detroit approached the LaForce family fortress with about 150 soldiers aided by Native Americans, all led by Captain Henry Byrd. (Detroit was British territory until 1796.) Though the LaForce family claimed to be Loyalists, there was an exchange of gunfire, and lives were lost on both sides. The garrison overtook the fortress, and the inhabitants were marched to Detroit, where the slaves became the property of the garrison soldiers and Native Americans, while the LaForce family was sent to jail in Montreal, Canada. Agnes LaForce and her family were eventually set free, and she attempted to regain the slaves, but even with a good word from George Washington, she was unsuccessful. In 1813 and 1814, her son, William LaForce, who had returned to settle in Woodford County, KY, continued to fight for the return of the slaves without success. The slaves were Betty and her children Hannah, James/Tim, Ishmael, Stephen, Joseph, Scippio, and Kijah; and Hannah's children Candis, Grace, Rachel, Patrick, and Job. For more about the LaForce Slaves see "Descendants of Betty 'Bess' (LaFORCE)" - Generation 1 and Generation 2; and La Force Efforts to Recover Slaves, by L. S. Wark. For more information about the attack on the LaForce Family see W. R. Riddell's articles "The Early British Period," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 5, issue 3 (July 1920), pp. 273-292; and "Two Incidents of Revolutionary Time," Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, vol. 12, issue 2 (August 1921), pp. 223-237.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Martin's Station, Bourbon County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Detroit, Michigan / Montreal, Canada / Woodford County, Kentucky

Lee, Amanda
Birth Year : 1843
In 1894, Amanda Lee was the owner of the first house built in the town of Cynthiana, KY, according to Lucinda Boyd. It was not known who actually built the house, a log cabin built around 1790, or how Lee came to own it. Lee was a free woman of color born in Kentucky in 1843. She is listed as a domestic servant of the John Dellows family in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. Dellows was a tailor from Missouri and his wife, Sallie, was from Ohio. The town of Cynthiana, KY, was established in 1793. Amanda Lee was one of several free African Americans in Harrison County, KY, prior to 1860 who had the last name Lee. One of the earliest, Judy Lee, the daughter of Samuel V. Lee, was born around 1809 and died around 1852. For more see "First House,"  Chronicles of Cynthiana and other Chronicles, p. 9, by L. Boyd.
Subjects: Freedom
Geographic Region: Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky

Lee, Everett, Jr. and Sylvia Olden
Birth Year : 1916
Everett Lee (1916- ), from Wheeling, WV, was the first African American to direct a white orchestra, the Louisville Philharmonic in 1953; the audience was integrated. Everett was also the first African American to conduct a Broadway show. He was the husband of Sylvia O. Lee (1917-2004), who was born in Mississippi. She was a pianist and vocal coach, the first African American professional musician at the New York Metropolitan Opera. Sylvia's paternal grandfather, George Olden, had served in the Union Army when he was a teen after running away from slavery at the Oldham Plantation in Oldham County, KY. Her father, Rev. J. C. Olden, was living in Louisville, KY, when he arranged for Everett to conduct the Louisville Philharmonic. For more see "Schiller Institute Dialogue with Sylvia Olden Lee, Pianist and Vocal Coach," 02/07/1998, [reprinted from Fidelio Magazine, vol. 7, issue 1 (Spring 1998)]; and W. M. Cheatham, "Lady Sylvia speaks," Black Music Research Journal, vol. 16, issue 1 (Spring 1996), pp. 183-213.

See photo image of James C. Olden and his then son-in-law, Everett Lee, at the Courier-Journal.com "Black History Month | 1953 Everett Lee," 02/01/2010.
Subjects: Freedom, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Wheeling, West Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Mississippi / New York / Oldham County, Kentucky

Lewis (slave)
In 1850, a slave named Lewis escaped from Alexander Marshall's ownership in Fleming County, KY. Lewis went to Columbus, OH, where he hid for three years. Marshall Dryden captured Lewis in 1853 and attempted to take him back to Kentucky, but instead, Dryden was arrested in Cincinnati for kidnapping. John Jollife and Rutherford B. Hayes defended 19 year old Lewis when the case went before Commissioner Samuel S. Carpenter. Carpenter insisted that in Ohio, "a black person was free until proven a slave." At the trial there was a large crowd of blacks and whites, which made Carpenter nervous, so he spoke in a whisper. So many people filled the courtroom that while the proceedings were taking place, Lewis eased through the crowd. Someone placed a hat on his head, and he slipped out the door before anyone opposed to his leaving was able to take notice. Lewis got help from members of the Underground Railroad: dressing as a woman, he escaped to Canada. After the trial, Carpenter confessed that he would not have forced Lewis to return to Kentucky; Carpenter resigned from his post the following year. For more on Lewis and other Kentucky African American fugitives who were not quite so lucky, see S. Middleton, "The Fugitive Slave Crisis in Cincinnati, 1850-1860: Resistance, Enforcement, and Black Refugees," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 72, issues 1/2 (Winter - Spring, 1987), pp. 20-32.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Fleming County, Kentucky / Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio / Canada

Lightfoot, Carter
Birth Year : 1794
Death Year : 1845
This entry was researched, written and submitted by
Nancy O’Malley, Assistant Director
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Ph. 859-257-1944
FAX: 859-323-1968

Carter Lightfoot was a free black man who lived in Paris, Kentucky where he made a living as a barber. Nothing is known of his early life or the circumstances of his freedom.  However, he was free by 1830 when he is listed in the Bourbon County federal census as the head of a household of four, including himself (between 36 and 55 years of age), an adult female between 24 and 36 years of age, and a male and a female both between 10 and 24 years. The older female may have been his wife, Jane, although she was still technically a slave in 1830. On April 4, 1831, Carter purchased Jane’s freedom from John Harvey (alternately spelled Hervie) of Frankfort. The manumission record described him as 37 years old, with yellow skin color (a common way to identify light-skinned people of color), 5’ 3 ½” in height "spare but of good size" and with a scar on his left nostril. The manumission record indicated that Carter signed with his mark. 
 

Two white men, named Joseph (abbreviated as Jos.) and possibly Josiah (abbreviated as Jos’h) Lightfoot, and living in separate households, are also listed in the 1830 census for Bourbon County and may have some connection to Carter. Only one of the men, Jos’h (Josiah), owned slaves.
 

The other two younger household members are unidentified but probably were not his children. In late June of 1833, Carter Lightfoot had his will prepared, possibly in reaction to the cholera that was raging through Kentucky at the time and aware that he might be one of its victims. His will instructed his executor, John G. Martin, to pay all his debts and leave the rest of his property to his wife Jane. Of their children, he wrote, “If she [Jane] could in any way be instrumental with the property I have given her above in obtaining the freedom of my children by her I greatly desire it."
 

Carter may have also wished to secure his wife’s inheritance of the house and lot after his death. His will made reference to a house and lot that he owned in Paris. On March 29, 1831, Carter entered into a mortgage agreement with Aris Throckmorton, Joseph Biggs and J. C. Smith in which they served as security for the purchase of the house and lot referred to in the will. Carter and the three men negotiated a promissory note for $550.00 that enabled the purchase of the property, giving Carter until October of 1831 to pay the note back. This he managed to do and the deed was formally transferred to him on October 20, 1831. The property lay on the northwesterly side of Main Street and was part of inlot 2. Carter’s lot fronted 13 ½ ft on Main Street, extending back 72 ft. It was sandwiched between an impressive three story commission house belonging to Charles S. Brent and a building that occupied the corner of Main Street and present day 2nd Street. Its current address is 203 Main Street. The building on the lot today is a two story brick commercial building with a heavy Italiante cornice both on the shopfront and at the roofline. Langsam and Johnson (1985) suggest that this building was built after 1877. If this is so, it replaced the earlier building purchased and occupied by Carter Lightfoot from approximately 1830 until 1845 when he died; his wife Jane may have lived here a few years longer, possibly to 1851, when a court appointed administrator sold it to Benedict B. Marsh.
 

Around the time Carter Lightfoot bought his Main Street property in Paris, he submitted an advertisement in the local Paris newspaper, The Western Citizen. The ad appeared in an 1831 issue but is dated October 30, 1830 so must have run multiple times. It read:

CARTER LIGHTFOOT

BARBER, HAIR-DRESSER, &C

RESPECTFULLY informs his customers and the public generally that he has settled himself permanently in Paris and may be found at his shop, opposite Timberlake’s Hotel, where he will accommodate all those who may please to call on him. Those having demands against him, will present them for payment—and those indebted will please recollect that punctuality is the life of business.

The ad is interesting for several reasons. It indicates that he had taken possession of his Main Street property by October of 1830, possibly renting it with the intent to purchase, and operated his barbering business there. He probably also lived there, a common practice of tradesmen of the time. He acknowledged having some personal debts which he was in a position to repay and was owed money that he wished to collect. Although he was apparently illiterate, the wording of the ad suggests a certain gentility and refinement in its use of the adage about punctuality in paying one’s debts. Finally, the postscript references the continuation of his services from an earlier time, perhaps on a more itinerant basis, in which he traveled to his customers rather than working out of a shop. With the acquisition of a shop on the main street of the county seat, however, he took his place as one of the town’s businessmen with a social status that greatly contrasted with the status of a slave or even a free black laborer of lesser skills. It is also possible that he was the only barber in business in Paris in the 1830s and early 1840s. Five years after his death in 1845, only one black barber, George Morgan, was identified as such in the 1850 federal census and, like Carter Lightfoot, he owned real estate—probably in Paris and possibly next to a hotel operated by Charles Talbott.
 

Barbering was an occupation with some intriguing social implications between the barber and his customers. By the 19th century, the occupation of barber had become closely associated with African-Americans, largely due to the common practice of the white elite to have their hair cut and beards shaved by slaves. This association led to a decline in status of barbers among whites and a decline in white competition. Free blacks benefited as a result even though their clientele was, by necessity, exclusively white, a practice that tended to encourage segregation of barbering services and placed black barbers in the position of being dependent on white clients for their livelihood. Given the very personal nature of cutting and dressing hair and its relationship to personal image and appearance, barbers had to be very careful in performing their services. Complaints about barber shop hygiene were common and barbers were cautioned to disinfect their tools at an early date. Many customers brought their own brushes, razors and towels when they visited a barber to avoid infection.
 

Carter Lightfoot’s household was again censused in 1840. Only three people were listed: a man and a woman who were between 36 and 54 years of age (Carter and Jane) and a male between 10 and 23. Two of the persons in the household were employed in manufacture and trade. One of these was undoubtedly Carter whose barbering business would have been considered a trade. It’s probable that their children were still held as slaves.
 

Carter died in 1845 and his wife appears to have followed him in death by 1851 when their house and lot were sold by a court appointed agent to Benedict B. Marsh to settle their estate. None of the probate documents associated with the Lightfoot estate mentioned any children and their whereabouts, even their names are unknown. Marsh sold the house and lot in 1855 to another free man of color, Jefferson Porter. Eleven years later, Porter sold the property and the adjoining corner lot to Robert P. Dow and John Hickey. Robert Dow established a prominent commercial presence on this corner as a grocer.
 

Carter Lightfoot was one of only a few men of color who owned property in Paris prior to the Civil War. His profession as a barber was a higher status one for men of color that required more specialized skills and catered to an exclusively white clientele. In many parts of the south, a black barber had either white or black clients but not generally both. It is likely that Lightfoot sought white clients since he went to the trouble of advertising his establishment of a barber shop in Paris in the local newspaper. Had his clients been men of color, he would not have had to advertise in the local paper since many free black men could not read or write. While he did not speculate in urban lots or acquire any other city or county property than his house/barbershop on Main Street, he must, for a time, have been a well known fixture around town. The fate of other Lightfoot family members is unknown. Neither Carter nor his wife Jane succeeded in procuring the freedom of their children before the Civil War abolished slavery. Their children may have lived in Franklin County where Jane’s former master, John Hervie, lived in 1830. With the demise of Carter and Jane Lightfoot within a few years of each other, and no evidence that any of their heirs came forward to claim the estate, the proceeds of the sale of their property on Main Street might have been used to settle their debts and/or added to the city’s coffers as unclaimed assets.
 

Sources:

  • Bourbon County deeds
  • Federal census returns for 1830, 1840 and 1850
  • 1831 Western Citizen on file, The Bourbon Citizen/Citizen Advertiser office, Paris, Ky.
  • Julie Ann Hurst (2005), "Barbershops in Harrisburg’s Old Eighth, 1890-1905,"Vol. 72, no. 4, pp. 443-453, Pennsylvania History.
  • Walter E. Langsam and William Gus Johnson (1985), Historic Architecture of Bourbon County, Kentucky. Historic Paris-Bourbon County, Inc., Paris, and Kentucky Heritage Council, Frankfort.

Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Freedom
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Lizzie's Story (Lizzie Cannon)
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1965
Lizzie Cannon was the descendent of slaves who were sold in 1850 to Lloyd and Sarah Sheff in Leesburg, KY (located in Harrison County and originally called Boswell's Crossroads; the name was changed to Leesburg in 1817). The Sheff's new slave family remained on the Leesburg plantation until the they were sold around 1865, all except the youngest daughter, Delcy. At the age of fifteen, Delcy gave birth to Lizzie on Christmas Day, 1870; she was the daughter of Lloyd Sheff. Her birth was recorded in the family Bible: Lizzie Brent Sheff. Lizzie and her family eventually settled in Nicholasville, KY. The story of the many generations of Lizzie's family is told in the fictional biography, Lizzie's Story, by family member Dr. Clarice Boswell.
Subjects: Freedom, Genealogy, History, Mothers
Geographic Region: Leesburg, Harrison County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Magee, Lazarus and Susan [Rev. James H. Magee]
The Magees were born in Kentucky; Lazarus (d. 1870) was free, and Susan (d. 1868) was a slave belonging to Billy Smith of Louisville, KY. Lazarus purchased Susan and her two children, and the family moved to Madison County, Illinois. There would be many more children, and they were sent to Racine, WI, to be educated. One of the children was Reverend James H. Magee (1839-1912), who was president of the Colored Local Historical Society in Springfield, IL; he formed the Black Man's Burden Association in Chicago. J. H. Magee had attended Pastors College [now Spurgeon's College] in London, England, from 1867-1868. He was an ordained minister, a school teacher, and an outspoken advocate for African American voting rights and education. He has been referred to as a leader of the African American people in Springfield, IL. For more see B. Cavanagh, "history talk 04-28-05" a Illinois Times web page that has been removed; and The Night of Affliction and the Morning of Recovery, by Rev. J. H. Magee.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Mothers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Springfield, Illinois

Magowan, John Wesley [Brooks]
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1895
John W. Brooks was a slave born on the Magowan Farm in Montgomery County, KY. In 1864, Brooks and seven other African Americans left the Magowan farm and headed to Louisville to join up with the 109th Regiment, Company A of the United States Colored Infantry. After the Civil War, Sergeant Brooks returned to Montgomery County and took the last name Magowan. He married Amanda Trimble, supporting his wife and children through his trade as a carpenter. John W. Magowan was one of the more prosperous African Americans in Montgomery County. The family lived in Smithville, and four of the children attended Berea Academy. John and Amanda's sons, Noah and John D. Magowan, were the first African Americans to establish a newspaper in Mt. Sterling, KY: The Reporter. Another son, James E. Magowan, was a successful businessman and community leader in Mt. Sterling. John Wesley Magowan died of consumption [tuberculosis] on February 3, 1895. This entry was submitted by Holly Hawkins of the Montgomery County Historical Society, and comes from her work included in the Civil War display at the Montgomery County Historical Society Museum in 2011. See the death notice for John Wesley Magowan in the Mt. Sterling Advocate, 02/05/1895, p. 1, col. 3. There are several Magowan families listed in the U.S. Federal Census noted as Black and living in Montgomery County, KY.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Military & Veterans, Carpenters, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling and Smithville, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Mason, Jim and Em
In 1920, the Masons may have been the oldest African American couple in Kentucky. Jim was thought to be 108 years old and Em was thought to be 117. They had both been slaves; once freed, they lived in a cabin in Waterford, KY. Em died when the cabin caught fire. Jim was burned in the fire and was placed in the Old Mason's Home in Shelbyville, where he died a short time later. Their story is told in a miniature book published by the Whippoorwill Press in Frankfort, KY. For more see Jim & Em: an 1920-1921 episode in Kentucky history, by J. H. Hamon.
Subjects: Freedom
Geographic Region: Waterford, Spencer County, Kentucky

Mason, John
Mason was an escaped slave from Kentucky who became an Underground Railroad conductor. He had escaped from slavery in the 1830s, when he was about 12 years old, and settled in Ohio, where he later worked as a waiter to pay his way through Oberlin College, graduating in the 1840s. Soon after, he became an Underground Railroad conductor. It has been estimated that he helped more than 1,000 slaves to freedom in Canada. Mason was later captured and returned to his owner in Kentucky, who sold him to a buyer in New Orleans. Mason later escaped, taking another slave with him, and made his way to Canada. For more see The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom, by W. H. Siebert, et al. [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and chapter 5, "Egypt's Border," in Front Line of Freedom, by K. P. Griffler.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Canada

McCoy, George and Mildred
George and his wife, Mildred Goins McCoy, were escaped slaves from Louisville, KY. They settled first in Canada, then in 1852 moved with their 12 children to Ypsilanti, Michigan, six miles east of Ann Arbor and 29 miles west of Detroit. Ypsilanti was a significant link in the Underground Railroad and a major stop for slaves fleeing from Kentucky en route to Detroit and Canada. George was a conductor who aided many of the escapees by hiding them under the boxes of cigars that he delivered to Detroit. As George's cigar business thrived, more slaves were carried to freedom, so many that a second wagon was purchased and driven by his son, William McCoy. George and Mildred McCoy are the parents of inventor Elijah McCoy. For more see M. Chandler, "Ypsilanti's rich in Black history," Detroit Free Press, 02/09/1984, p. 7A.
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Mothers, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Ypsilanti, Michigan / Canada

McCray, Mary F.
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1894
Mary F. McCray, born a slave in Kentucky, was the wife of S. J. McCray. She was freed at the age of 21 after the woman who owned her family, Miss Polly Adams, died in 1859. Fannie, her husband, and family moved to De Smet in the Dakota Territory, where they established the first church and sunday school in their home. Mary, who could not read or write, would become one of the first African American women licensed to preach in the territory; she was pastor of the Free Methodist Church. Mary and her husband also founded the first school for African Americans in De Smet. When their crops failed, the McCray family returned to Ohio, where Mary and S. J. founded the First Holiness Church of Lima. For more see "Mary F. McCray" in vol. 5 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; and The Life of Mary F. McCray, by her husband and son [available online at UNC University Library, Documenting the American South].

See image of Mary F. McCray on p.4 of The Life fo Mary McCray.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky / De Smet, South Dakota Territory / Lima, Ohio

McWorter, Free Frank
Birth Year : 1777
Death Year : 1854
Born in South Carolina, Free Frank McWorter was the son of a slave named Juda and her owner, George McWhorter. Frank and McWhorter settled in Pulaski County, KY, in 1795. Frank worked McWhorter's farm and was allowed to establish his own saltpeter business. He earned enough money to purchase a farm, his wife's freedom, his freedom, and that of an older son. Once free, Frank took the name Free Frank. In 1830, he and the free members of his family moved to Pike County, Illinois, where he accumulated land. Frank eventually established the town of New Philadelphia, continuing to purchase the freedom of his children and grandchildren still in Pulaski County, KY. While in Illinois, Frank officially changed his name to Frank McWorter [without the 'h']. Three years after his death, portions of the New Philadelphia property were sold to purchase the freedom of the remaining family members in Kentucky. For more see Free Frank; a black pioneer on the Antebellum frontier, by J. E. K. Walker.

See bust and additional information about Free Frank McWorter at the United Black America website.
Subjects: Businesses, Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Pulaski County, Kentucky / Pike County, Illinois / New Philadelphia, Illinois

Meachum, John Berry "J. B."
Birth Year : 1789
Death Year : 1854
John Berry Meachum was a slave born in Kentucky who later lived in Virginia. He was hired out and eventually purchased his freedom and that of his father, who was a Baptist preacher. Meachum and his father moved to St. Louis, MO, leaving Meachum's wife and children enslaved in Virginia. For the next eight years, Meachum worked as a cooper and carpenter, saving enough money to purchase his family in 1824. (In some sources, Meachum and his wife, Mary, a slave from Kentucky, are said to have gone to Missouri together.) Two years later, Meachum was ordained a minister and became pastor of the First African Baptist Church, a position he held until his death in 1854. He had helped found the church, which eventually grew to have more than 500 members. Meachum also owned slaves; he had more than 20 slaves, most of them children who worked to purchase their freedom. Meachum was considered a leader among the freemen and slaves; during his time, he was the most outspoken advocate in Missouri for the education of African Americans. Meachum's church was one of five in St. Louis that offered education under the guise of Sunday School. Each Sunday, more than 100 freemen and slaves (with permission) attended classes in the dark basement of Mechum's church. White sympathizers helped teach the classes and provided supplies for the school. One of the students was James Milton Turner (see the Hannah Turner entry). In 1847, although the abolitionist movement was gaining strength in Missouri, it became illegal for African Americans to receive educational instruction or to attend school. It was also illegal for African Americans to lead church services unless a white officer were present. Meachum's school was soon closed. The school was reopened on a steamboat in the Mississippi River; the boat was built by Meachum. For more see The Baptists in America (1836), by F. A. Cox and J. Hoby [available full-text at Google Book Search]; D. D. Bellamy, "The Education of Blacks in Missouri prior to 1861," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 59, issue 2 (Apr., 1974), pp. 143-157; and D. L. Durst, "The Reverend John Berry Meachum (1789-1854) of St. Louis," The North Star: a Journal of African American Religious History, vol. 7, issue 2 (Spring 2004), pp. 1-24 [pdf].

See the image and additional information about John Berry Meachum at the First Baptist Church of St. Louis website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Carpenters, Sunday School, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Virginia / Saint Louis, Missouri

Meaux Settlement (Anderson County, KY)
Meaux Settlement was an African American community established in Anderson County, KY, by Jane Anderson Meaux. The community was established prior to Meaux's death in 1844, and is mentioned on p.205, v.4 of History of Kentucky by W. E. Connelley and E. M. Coulter. All of her slaves were to be freed if they agreed to go live in Liberia, Africa. Those who refused were to remain enslaved after her death. James M. Priest, who would become Vice President of Liberia in 1864, had been one of Meaux's slaves. The Anderson County community was still known as Meaux Settlement in 1913 [source: "Historic Happenings in Kentucky," Lexington Leader, 02/02/1913, p.1]. For more see "To Liberia," Lexington Leader, 01/12/1909, p. 9.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom
Geographic Region: Anderson County, Kentucky

Merry, Nelson G.
Birth Year : 1824
Death Year : 1884
Merry was a Kentucky slave who moved to Nashville, TN, with his master and at the age of 16 was willed to the First Baptist Church, which freed him in 1845. Merry was a preacher at the First Colored Baptist Church and in 1853 was the first ordained African American minister in Nashville. The First Colored Baptist Church became the largest church in Tennessee with more than 2,000 members. Merry founded several African American churches and the Tennessee Colored Baptist Association. For a year, he was editor of The Colored Sunday School Standard. He was the husband of Mary Ann Merry, b.1830 in TN. In 1860 the family of seven lived in the 4th Ward of Nashville, TN. For more see "History of Nelson G. Merry," The Tennessee Tribune, Spirituality & Issues section, vol. 17, issue 49 (Dec 14, 2006), p. D5; and the "First Baptist Church, Capitol HIll, Nashville" by B. L. Lovett in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture [online version].
Subjects: Freedom, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Migration to Kentucky District of Detroit, MI
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1950
Beginning in 1860, the majority of the African American population that had migrated to Detroit lived on the eastside of the city. A large number of the residents had been born in Kentucky, which is how a portion of the eastside became known as the Kentucky District. In addition, according to author B. R. Leashore, in 1860 almost two-thirds of the African American females living as domestics with white families were also from Kentucky. By 1910, those who could afford better housing left the overcrowded district and moved north of Kentucky Street to a middle-class area. The poorer African Americans and Polish residents were left in the Kentucky District, located on Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois Streets, between St. Antoine and Hastings. The streets did not extend to the thoroughfare that led to the more illustrious neighborhoods until the 1950s. The Kentucky District had the worst housing and sanitation in Detroit, and the area was filled with saloons, prostitution houses, and alley vice. The more desperate families had built old sheds or moved stables into the alleys that had been service-ways to the stables and used for the removal of ashes, trash, and garbage. A school was built in the area so that the nearby schools would not be integrated with the children from the Kentucky District. For more see B. R. Leashore, "Black female workers: live-in domestics in Detroit, Michigan, 1860-1880," Phylon, vol. 45, issue 2, (2nd Qtr., 1984), pp. 111-120; Before the Ghetto, by D. M. Katzman; and Residential Mobility of Negroes in Detroit 1837-1965, by D. R. Deskins, Jr.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration North, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Detroit, Michigan / Kentucky

Monroe County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Monroe County is located in south-central Kentucky on the Tennessee state line and is bordered by four Kentucky counties. It was formed in 1820 from portions of Barren and Cumberland Counties and is named for James Monroe, fifth president of the United States. Tompkinsville, which became the county seat in 1820, is named for Daniel Tompkins, who was Vice President during the Monroe administration. Tompkinsville was first known as Watson's Store, founded in 1809, receiving its present name in 1819. The land for the town was owned by Thomas B. Monroe, a cousin of President James Monroe. The 1820 county population was 723 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 7,629 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 190 slave owners
  • 697 Black slaves
  • 134 Mulatto slaves
  • 17 free Blacks [most with last names Fulkes and Howard]
  • 7 free Mulattoes [last names Speakman, Page, Kingrey, Fulkes, and Bedford]

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 200 slave owners
  • 775 Black slaves
  • 150 Mulatto slaves
  • 9 free Blacks [last names Howard, 1 Jackson, 1 Taylor]
  • 9 free Mulattoes [most with last name Speakman, 2 Howard, 1 Colter, 1 Chism]

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 599 Blacks
  • 143 Mulattoes
  • About 15 U.S. Colored Troops listed Monroe County, KY as their birth location.

Freetown

  • Around 1845, Freetown (or Free-town) was established for the freed slaves of William Howard, a wealthy slave owner in Monroe County. Freetown was the first African American community in the county, established on the land that had been provided by William Howard. A roadside historical marker has been placed near the Mount Vernon Church, which also served as a school for the Freetown community. There is also a cemetery near the church.

 
For more see Monroe County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; South Central Kentucky Vital Statistics, by M. B. Gorin; The Saga of Coe Ridge, by W. L. Montell; Black Heritage Sites, by N. C. Curtis; and the Cora Mae Howard oral history interview by James Kelly Shirley (FA 474), at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Monroe County, Kentucky

Moseby, Solomon
In 1833, the government of Upper Canada authorized the return of runaway slave Solomon Moseby to his master, David Castleman, in Fayette County, KY. When authorities tried to take Moseby across the border to the United States, a riot ensued, the first race riot in Canada. Preacher Herbert Holmes was one of the men shot and killed; he was the leader of the resistance group of African and white Canadian women and men. Several others were injured. Moseby escaped and made his way to Britain. For more see D. Murray, "Hands across the border: the abortive extradition of Solomon Moseby," Canadian Review of American Studies, vol. 30, issue 2 (2000), pp. 187-209.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Fayette County, Kentucky / (Upper Canada) Ontario, Canada / (Britain) England, Europe

Moulton, Elvina
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1917
Elvina Moulton, also known as Aunt Viney, was a former slave born in Kentucky. She was the first African American woman in Boise, Idaho, arriving around 1867. She was employed at a laundry and was also a nurse and housekeeper. She was a founding member of the First Presbyterian Church in Boise; Moulton was the only African American member. For more see Elvina Moulton in "Idaho Territory Days" an idaho-humanrights.org website; and A. Hart, "Idaho history - Pioneers of the Gem state," Idaho Statesman, Life section, p. 3.

See photo image of Elvina Moulton at Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Project website.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Boise, Idaho

Mountain Island (Owen County, KY)
Start Year : 1850
Mountain Island, in Owen County, KY, was an early white settlement, beginning in the late 1700s. At that time, the area was located in Scott County [Owen County would not be formed until 1819]. Mountain Island is located where Eagle Creek forks into two branches, reconvening on the other side of the island. James Herndon, a bachelor, owned a mill, tavern, and slaves on the island. Flooding, which washed out the roads leading to the island, had begun to make it less ideal as a community. In 1850, Herndon, who still lived on the island, began the attempt to emancipate his slaves, as his sister, Susan Herndon Rogers, had done, but his case was stalled in the courts. The slaves would not be freed until after James Herndon's death in 1853. His will not only freed his 23 slaves but also left them and their heirs Herndon's estate, 125 acres on Mountain Island. The land was to be theirs forever, as stated in Herndon's will. Neighbors put up the security bonds required by Kentucky law for each freed slave. The former slaves had the last names of Carroll, Vinegar, Smith, and Warfield. This entry was suggested by Yvonne Giles. For more see Mountain Island In Owen County, Kentucky: the settlers and their churches, by J. C. Bryant.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom
Geographic Region: Mountain Island, Owen County, Kentucky

Mudd, Celia
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1940
Born in Nelson County, KY, Celia Mudd was the aunt of Kentucky's first African American senator, Georgia D. Powers. Mudd's story is told in Powers' book, Celia's Land, which relates how Mudd, a former slave, came to be the recipient of the 840-acre farm of her former owners. It was after Sam Lancaster's death that Mudd learned that he had willed her the farm. Sam's brother contested the will and the case went to court. For more see Celia's Land, by G. D. Powers.
Subjects: Freedom, Inheritance, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Nelson County, Kentucky

Narratives of Fugitive Slaves (literature influence)
Start Year : 1845
In 1849, The Christian Examiner recognized the narratives of fugitive slaves as a new and marketable addition to American literature; it also provided an early analysis of the potential impact and influence of African American literature. Five authors were noted: Frederick Douglass (pub. 1845), Henry Watson (pub. 1848), and Kentucky authors William W. Brown (pub. 1847), Lewis and Milton Clarke (pub. 1848), and Josiah Henson (pub. 1849). The biographies were expected to have a major effect on public opinion because it was the beginning of an era of more widely-produced book-formatted literature from the voices of those who had been enslaved. The books were translated into European languages and sold overseas. William W. Brown's book had sold more than eight thousand copies in 1848, and Frederick Douglass' went through seven editions before it went out of print. The first slave narratives were written in the latter half of the 1700s and gained wider recognition beginning in the 1840s. The five mentioned narratives, and many others, are available full-text online at the UNC Documenting the American South website. For more see The Christian Examiner and Religious Miscellany, 4th Series, vol. 12 [available online at Google Book Search]; and Slave Narratives and Uncle Tom's Cabin at the PBS website.
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky

New Kentucky, Chatham Township, Canada
Start Year : 1860
Author R. W. Winks described New Kentucky as one of the short-lived all-Negro towns established by escaped slaves from border states. The town, established in 1860, was located in Canada. An earlier town named Kentucky was established in Canada in the early 1800s. For more see p. 245 of Blacks in Canada: a history, by R. W. Winks; and mention of the town at the website Kentiana: Negro Colonies in Kent County, by V. Lauriston.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration North, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: New Kentucky, Chatham Township, Canada (no longer exists)

Nichols, John and Lucy A. Higgs
Lucy A. Higgs Nichols was the only female to serve with the Twenty-third Indiana Regiment during the Civil War. According to information from the New Albany, IN, Carnegie Center, Lucy Nichols was born in North Carolina, April 10, 1838. In the U.S. Federal Census, her birth location has also been given as Kentucky and several other states, and also listed are various birth dates from 1843-1850. In 1898, Lucy Nichols began receiving a pension of $12 per month for her nursing services during the Civil War; the veterans of 23rd Regiment had advocated on Lucy's behalf, and her pension was approved by a special act of the U.S. Congress [HB4741, Congressional Serial Set, v.74, pt.3, p.6107- 1898]. She was one of the few honorary female members of the Grand Army of the Republic Post. According to an article in the Janesville Daily Gazette newspaper, Nichols fought in 28 battles, and she was a nurse, and a cook and servant to the officers. She joined the 23 Regiment in 1862 in Bolivar, TN; Lucy Nichols was a runaway slave. She was a slave in Tennessee when she learned that her owner's slaves were to be confiscated and sold south, Lucy left her husband behind, took her baby daughter and ran. Intending to go north, she arrived at the camp of the Twenty-third Regiment in Bolivar, TN. She was bleeding from the cuts and scratches received from the bushes and brambles she had made her way through during the night. She suffered from exhaustion. When her owner arrived at the camp to retrieve Lucy and the baby, Lucy refused to go with him and the soldiers of the Twenty-third came to her rescue. When the regiment marched south, and Lucy and her baby went with them. Her baby died in Vicksburg, MS. According to the Janesville Daily Gazette article, Lucy remained with the regiment in Thompson Hill, Raymond, Champion Hill, the capture of Jackson, MS, she marched in Sherman's raid, the pursuit of Confederate General Hood in Georgia and Alabama, and she fought in the regiment's last battle in Bentonville, NC in 1865. She was with the regiment when it was mustered out in Washington, D.C. and she went with the men when they returned to the New Albany, Indiana area. On April 13, 1870, Lucy married John Nichols [source: Floyd County, Indiana, Index to Marriage Record 1845-1920, Inclusive Volum, W.P.A. Book Number Indicates Location of Record, Book 6, p.572]. He and Lucy lived in the 5th Ward of New Albany, IN, with John's father Leander Nichols (b.1812 in NC) [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census]. John Nichols (b.1845 in TN) was the son of Leander and Sena Nichols (b.1812 in TN), according to the 1850 Census when the family of ten were listed as free and living in Washington County, TN. As early as 1840, Leander Nichols and his family had been listed as free in the U.S. Census, and Leander was last listed in the 1870 Census as living in New Albany, IN with John and Lucy Nichols. In 1880, John and Lucy were living on Washington Street in New Albany, and nine years later, according to the Janesville Daily Gazette article, the couple lived near Floyd's Knobs. John Nichols is listed in Caron's Directory of the City of New Albany 1888-9 as a fireman at a mill owned by the W. C. Depauw Co., and he lived on Nag[h]el Street. John and Lucy were still living in the home they owned on Nagel Street when the 1900 Census and 1910 Census were taken. John Nichols was a Civil War veteran, he enlisted in Paducah, KY, October 18, 1864, and served with the 8th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery [source: U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Records]. Lucy Nichols is not listed in the military records as a veteran, but having served with the 23rd Indiana Regiment, she participated in all the 23 Regiment reunions, participated in the State Encampments and the Decoration Day Programs, and marched with the veterans in parades. Lucy Nichols died January 29, 1915. [The U.S. Federal Census gives Lucy Higgs Nichols birth location as Tennessee (1870 Census), Kentucky (1880 Census), Virginia (1900 Census), and Tennessee (1910 Census). Her birth year is given as 1843, 1845, 1847, and 1850.] [John Nichol's birth location is also given as Tennessee (1850-1870 Census), Kentucky (1880 Census), Virginia (1900 Census), and Tennessee (1910 Census)]. For more see "Pension for Lucy Nichols," New York Times, 12/14/1898; "Daughter of the regiment," Janesville Daily Gazette, 03/14/1889, p.1; "Colored nurse's pension," Logansport Journal, 07/15/1898, p.5; and see Lucy Nichols in "Obituary Notes," New York Times, 01/31/1915. See a photo of Lucy Higgs Nichols on Facebook. For additional information about Lucy A. Higgs Nichols, contact the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, IN.

  See photo image of Lucy Higgs Nichols, a Wikipedia website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Kentucky / New Albany, Indiana

Paducah (KY) Emancipation Day Reunion
August 8 is noted as the day when Western Kentucky African Americans learned that slavery had ended and therefore is a day of celebration for families in Paducah, KY. In 2005, the Emancipation celebration was held in conjunction with the Ware Pettigrew family reunion. Events include the Emancipation Day Parade. For more see G. Thomas, "Kentucky Emancipation Day Reunion," News Channel 6 (NBC), 08/06/2005; and for the 2008 celebration, see A. Shull, "Eighth of August focuses on churches," Paducah Sun, 08/03/08, State and regional section.

 
Subjects: Freedom, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Page, Lucy and Edward (Ned)
Lucy and Ned Page were slaves from Lexington, KY. Their quest for freedom was the first case to test the Ohio Constitution concerning slaves, fugitive slaves, and indentured persons. In 1804 Lucy and Ned were brought to Ohio along with the family and slaves of Colonel Robert Patterson, founder of Lexington, KY, and Cincinnati, OH. Both Dr. Andrew McCalla and Patterson had bought land near Dayton on which they planned to have a permanent home for their families and their slaves. The Ohio Constitution prohibited slavery but allowed for fugitive slaves to be recaptured, and stated that only free persons could become indentured. The constitution had more than a few ambiguities as to when a slave would become a free person in Ohio in reference to slaves visiting the state for an undetermined time period, as well as for enforcing the time period a slave (now indentured freeman) would be bound for service. Slave owners from Virginia and Kentucky who moved to Ohio had not had a problem keeping their slaves/indentured servants indefinitely. So, McCalla and Patterson planned for their slaves, once in Ohio, to be referred to as indentured persons, and knowing that Lucy and Ned Page would attempt an escape, had a bill of sale showing that Patterson had sold Lucy and Ned to McCalla. Less than a year after Patterson's first load of belongings arrived in Ohio, the plan began to unravel. Patterson's slave, William Patterson, went before the Court of Common Pleas clerk to have his name placed in the Record of Black and Mulatto (free) Persons. Sarah Ball did the same. In 1805, whites in Dayton encouraged Moses and two other slaves to leave Patterson's farm. With the help of attorneys George F. Tennery and Richard S. Thomas, Moses filed an affidavit saying that he was being held as a slave and forced to work at the Patterson farm. Patterson challenged Moses' claim, stating that Moses, a slave, had helped with the move to Ohio, but that he actually belonged to his brother-in-law, William Lindsay, and under the contract terms, Moses was to return to Kentucky to his life as a slave. The court decided in Patterson's favor, and within days Lindsay arrived in Ohio and took Moses back to Kentucky. Lucy and Ned Page also filed an affidavit, but unlike Moses' case, there was evidence that Lucy and Ned Page were Patterson's slaves before leaving Kentucky. When the case went to court, Patterson changed his story, saying that the Pages were actually indentured servants. The courts decided in favor of the Pages. Patterson and McCalla devised a plan to take the Pages by force back to Kentucky, as had been done with Moses. But, when McCalla and slave catcher David Sharp arrived in Dayton, their efforts were resisted by a group of whites and Ned Page, who had armed himself with a pistol. Sharp was arrested for breach of peace and McCalla filed civil suits in the federal district courts. Lucy and Ned Page left Dayton for an unknown location. McCalla's suits were tied up in the courts for ten years. For more see E. Pocock, "Slavery and Freedom in the Early Republic: Robert Patterson's Slaves in Kentucky and Ohio, 1804-1819," Ohio Valley History, vol. 6, issue 1 (2006), pp. 3-26; and for what was thought to be the first case (1808), see The First Fugitive Slave Case of Record in Ohio, by W. H. Smith.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio

Pallbearers (Versailles, KY)
Start Year : 1929
The body of Mrs. Susanna Preston Hart Camden (1867-1929), wife of former U.S. Senator Johnson N. Camden, Jr. (1865-1942), was carried to the burial site in Frankfort, KY, on the shoulders of six African American men. The six men were servants at Spring Hill Farm in Woodford County, KY, where four of the men had been born; they were the children of former slaves at the plantation. Spring Hill was originally owned by the Shelby family; Isaac Shelby, for whom Shelby County, KY, was named, was Kentucky's first governor. Mrs. Camden was a descendant of Governor Shelby. For more see "Mrs. Camden buried; servants bearers," New York Times, 01/14/1929, p. 19. 

  See photo image of Camden Home on Spring Hill Farm in Kentucky Digital Library Image Collections.
Subjects: Freedom, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Woodford County and Shelby County, Kentucky

Paris, Malinda Robinson
Birth Year : 1824
Death Year : 1892
She was born Malinda Robinson in Paris, KY. Her mother, who was free, had been born in Maryland; her father, a slave, had been born in Kentucky. Malinda was the sixth of their nine children. Her parents fought in the Kentucky court system for 14 years to keep the children from being enslaved. The mother finally stole away in the night with all of the children at the insistence of her husband, whom they never saw again. The family settled in Terre Haute, IN. Malinda married William Paris when she was 18 years old, and the couple eventually moved to Canada, then to Detroit. William had escaped to Canada through the Underground Railroad; he was born free and had been captured and put into slavery several times before the move to Canada. For more see her obituary in the St. Clair Republican, 10/27/1892; and the Malinda Paris memorial in Pioneer and Historical Collections, vol. XXII (1893).
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Maryland /Terre Haute, Indiana / Detroit, Michigan

Parker, John P.
Birth Year : 1827
Death Year : 1900
Parker was born a slave in Virginia, son of a white father and a slave mother. He was sold south at 8 years of age but was able to purchase his freedom in 1845. Parker settled near Ripley, OH, where he became an Underground Railroad conductor. He is credited with assisting more than 1,000 escaped slaves across the Ohio River from Kentucky to Ohio. Parker was also a businessman and an inventor: he was one of the few African Americans to receive patents before the year 1900. For more see His Promised Land: the Autobiography of John Parker, ed. by S. S. Sprague; and Blacks in Science and Medicine, by V. O. Sammons.
Subjects: Freedom, Inventors, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Virginia / Ripley, Ohio / Kentucky

Penny, Joe [Pennytown, Missouri]
Birth Year : 1812
Pennytown was located eight miles southeast of Marshall, Missouri; it had been established by Kentucky native and ex-slave, Joe Penny. In 1850, Penny arrived in Missouri, and in the 1860s he purchased eight acres for $160. He settled on a portion of the land and further divided the remainder into lots that were sold to other African American settlers. Joe Penny had come to Missouri as the slave of Jackson Bristol, and later became a free man. He married Harriett Butler, born 1815 in Virginia. In 1880, the Pennys were a family of seven that included Harriett's children and grandchildren, and Joe was a farmer, according to the U.S. Federal Census. The Pennytown community continued to grow as adjoining land was purchased by other African Americans. By 1900, 40 families lived in the 64-acre community with a total population of 200. There were two churches, lodges, a school and a store. The community ceased growing after a few decades, and families began to leave Pennytown for better jobs and educational opportunities in nearby cities. The last family left in 1943, and the older residents left behind eventually died. Today, the one remaining building is the First Freewill Baptist Church. Every year a reunion of Pennytown descendants is held at the church, a tradition that began at the end of World War II. The compiler of the community history collection was Josephine Jackson Lawrence (1929 - 1992); the collection is housed in the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection - Columbia at the University of Missouri. See also Pennytown, by the Friends of Pennytown.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Pennytown, Saline County, Missouri (no longer exists)

Petersburg (Jefferson County, KY)
Located on Shepherdsville Road in Louisville, KY, the community was known as Wet Woods, a swampy area that was settled by Eliza Curtis Hundley Tevis in the 1820s, 1830s, or possibly the 1850s. Tevis had been a slave on the Hundley Plantation, and after she was freed she was the first to purchase land in what would become Petersburg. The community got its name from Peter Laws, who purchased land in Wet Woods and settled in the area at the end of the Civil War. Soon afterwards other freed slaves built homes in the area. In the 1830s, German immigrants had settled in Newburg, the community just south of Petersburg. Over time the entire area became known as Newburg, and with residential and commercial growth and urban renewal, the community was greatly expanded to include more than 3,000 African American residents. For more see E. Sheryl, "19th Century Louisville: Free Black Hamlets," The Courier-Journal, 05/19/2004, Neighborhoods section, p.01A; and Eliza Curtis Hundley Tevis entry in the Encyclopedia of Louisville, edited by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom
Geographic Region: Petersburg/Newburg, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Petersburg (Mercer County, KY)
The community, named for Peter Board, was an African American community located near Fort Harrod in what is known today as Nevada, KY. Petersburg was established by Sally and Peter Board, former slaves who were able to purchase their freedom but not their children's freedom. The land for the community came from Sally's father and owner, Phillip Board. In 1878, all of the residents left Petersburg and moved to Kansas, participating in the Exoduster Movement. For more see "Exoduster" Sally Board, an American Heritage: from Kentucky Slavery to a Kansas Homestead, 1805-1892, by R. O. Pleasant & J. P. Neill.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Petersburg / Nevada, Old Fort Harrod State Park, Mercer County, Kentucky / Kansas

"Petition of Colored People of [Owensboro] Kentucky"
Start Year : 1867
In July 1867, Chief Agent A. W. Lawvill, of the Bureau Refugees, Freemen and Abandoned Lands, forwarded a petition to Congress from the Colored people of Owensboro, KY, concerning unjust taxation by state authorities. African Americans were being taxed $4, while Whites were taxed $2. The complaint also addressed the issue of the school trustees being given the power to decide if there would be a school for Colored children. The petition was signed by 52 African Americans from Owensboro, KY. For more see House of Representatives, Ex. Doc. No. 70, 40th Congress, 2nd Session: Freedman and Taxation: Communication from the Commissioner of Freemen's Affairs, Petition of colored people of Kentucky in relation to unjust taxation by State authority.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Freedom, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Pickard, Joseph
Pickard, a barber, was an escaped slave from Kentucky. He had settled in Lockport, NY, when in the fall of 1823, two slave catchers from Kentucky took him into custody. The people of Lockport would not allow Pickard to be taken back to Kentucky, and the case went to court. Lockport had a number of Quaker residents who were opposed to slavery. When Pickard attempted to escape from the courtroom by jumping out a window, he was aided by Irish canal workers, employees of the Quaker brothers Joseph and Darius Comstock. The prior year the Christmas Eve Riot in Lockport was blamed on the Irish workers having had too much to drink and getting rowdy. John Jennings was killed, which led to the first trial in Lockport. The case of Joseph Pickard took place the following year, and it almost led to a second riot. When Pickard jumped out the window, the Kentucky slave catchers went after him with pistols drawn. There was a brief standoff between the canal workers and the slave catchers before Pickard was again taken into custody and returned to the courtroom. After the case was heard, Pickard was released due to lack of proof that he was the property of a Kentucky slave owner. The slave catchers promptly left Lockport. The Joseph Pickard case is believed to be the first and only fugitive slave case in Lockport, NY. For more see Lockport: historic jewel of the Erie Canal by K. L. Riley; and 1823b. Fugitive Slave Case, Lockport on The Circle Association's African American History of Western New York State, 1770-1830 website.
Subjects: Barbers, Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Lockport, New York

Poindexter, Henry, Sr. [Anderson v Poindexter]
Birth Year : 1826
Death Year : 1889
The decision in the Anderson vs Poindexter case, made by the Supreme Court of Ohio, was viewed by some as in direct opposition to the U.S. Constitution. In the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of the Dred Scott case, Scott, who had temporarily lived in a free state, was denied his freedom because it was concluded that all African Americans, slaves and freemen, were not citizens of the U.S., and therefore could not sue in federal court. In a somewhat similar case, Henry Poindexter, the slave of John Anderson in Campbell County, KY, was given his freedom by the Supreme Court of Ohio. For many years, Poindexter had been allowed to hire himself out in Ohio with Anderson's permission. In 1848, Poindexter made an agreement with Anderson to purchase his freedom. Poindexter received promissory notes from Anderson that specified the cost of Poindexter's freedom; he was valued at about $1,000. Poindexter was the principal of the notes and the sureties were Thomas C. Gowdy, Jackson White, and Francis Donaldson. Once in Ohio, Poindexter and the cosigners refused to pay Anderson the amount of the notes, and Poindexter declared his freedom because Ohio was a free state. Anderson filed suit in the state of Ohio to regain his slave. In 1856, the Supreme Court of Ohio found that Henry Poindexter was a free man. Contrary to the U.S. Constitution, Poindexter was not an escaped slave, nor was he passing through Ohio to another destination; in Ohio he was a free person, and in the opinion of Justice Ozias Bowen, Poindexter had been free since the first time he set foot on Ohio soil; returning to Kentucky had not made him a slave again. He was free when he made the contract with Anderson, and in Kentucky, contracts were not legal between a master and his slave; therefore the contract was void. Henry Poindexter was born in Alabama and was the husband of Harriet Poindexter (b. 1828). The family is listed as free and living in Fairfield, OH, then Hamilton, OH, beginning with the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. Henry was employed as a laborer. According to the U.S. Colored Troops enlistment records, on January 30, 1865, in Dayton, OH, Henry Poindexter enlisted as a private in Company B, 16th U.S. Colored Infantry. After his service in the Union Army, Poindexter returned to Hamilton, where he died December 10, 1889 and was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery. His grave is part of the African American Civil War Memorial. A headstone was provided by the U.S. Government at some point prior to 1903. For more see An Imperfect Union, by P. Finkelman; the second paragraph of "The News" in the Syracuse Daily Courier, 05/18/1857, p. 2; and "In the Supreme Court of Ohio. Poindexter et al. vs Anderson, et al.," The American Law Register (1852-1891), vol. 6, issue 2/3 (Dec., 1857 - Jan., 1858), pp. 78-122.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Alabama / Campbell County, Kentucky / Hamilton, Ohio

Polk, James Knox (former slave)
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1918
This entry was submitted by Yvonne Giles, with additional research and sources provided by Brenda Jackson.

James Knox Polk, according to his obituary, was born into slavery January 21, 1845, on the Bosque Bonita farm, owned by Abraham Buford in Woodford County, KY. His mother, Margie Johnson, chose to name him for the newly elected President of the United States. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Abraham Buford joined the Confederacy, taking James Polk with him to serve as a hostler - handler of the horses. He remained throughout the war with Buford. Polk returned to Woodford County and married Mary Bohannon in 1868. They were parents of Reuben Buford, Ellen, James Henry, Lee Christy, John Knox and Dolly Polk. James K. Polk studied and became an ordained minister in 1871. He founded the Pilgrim Baptist Church at Midway, KY, on the second Sunday in January, 1872. He also became a pastor at the African Baptist Church of Christ in Mortonsville around 1873. The church's name was changed to Polk Memorial to honor the minister who served the congregation for 45 years. Polk was a member and served as moderator twice of the Kentucky General Association of Baptists and served as a delegate to the Colored People's Convention of 1898 at Lexington during the Separate Coach Protest. Comment in his obituary: "Reverend James K. Polk was faithful and devoted to his ministry, a good citizen, a man of integrity and force of character, of kindliness, humility and courtesy." Polk died January 27, 1918, and was buried in Woodford County.

Sources:
Death Certificate #5945, Woodford County, KY.
Obituaries - Lexington Leader, January 29, 1918, p. 5, col. 3; Woodford Sun, January 31, 1918, plus photo.
Polk Memorial Baptist - Woodford Sun, October 30, 2003, p. A3.
Kentucky Historical Society Highway Marker Program, June 22, 2008, Marker #2239.
Brenda Jackson, researcher and family member

Note:
Brenda Jackson found an 1870 census record indicating a James Polk serving in the USCT, 25th Infantry in Texas. No mention of his service was made in his obituary.
1880 Woodford County Census Index, p. 408.
1900 Woodford County Census Index, p. 167A.
1910 Woodford County Census Index, p. 238B.

Additional Sources:
"The degree of D. D. was conferred on Rev. J. K. Polk...," Blue-Grass Clipper, 02/03/1903
"Mrs Margie Johnson, colored, aged 76..." in the column "In and About Versailles.," Woodford Sun, 02/10/1898.
"Polk Memorial Church Celebrating 98th Year," Woodford Sun, 10/04/1951.
"Zebulah Baptist Church (Disbanded)" on p. 34 in Scott County Church Histories: a collection, edited by A. B. Bevins and J. R. Snyder.
More on Confederate General Abraham Buford in Marking Time in Woodford County, Kentucky. by D. C. Estridge and R. D. Bryant; and Dr. M. Myers, "General Abraham Buford: fearless cavalryman," Kentucky's Civil War, 1861-1865, 2011 Sesquicentennial Edition, pp. 32 & 36-38.

 

  See photo image of James Knox Polk, bottom left, on p.163 in Golden jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Midway and Mortonsville, Woodford County, Kentucky

Porter, Jefferson
Birth Year : 1820
Death Year : 1885
Jefferson Porter had been a slave; he was described as a Mulatto in the U.S. Federal Census. He was born about 1820 in Kentucky and died in Bourbon County, KY, before October 12, 1885. Jefferson Porter was freed by Lucy Porter's will in 1846 in Bourbon County. The will specified that Jefferson Porter was to get a shop and a bakehouse and the ground on which they stood, located between her house and the house of Mrs. Sidney Shannon. He also received a lot adjoining Abram Spears' property, two carriages, a wagon, horses and gear, harness and other equipage, and all provender and grain. In return, Jefferson Porter was to pay all of Lucy Porter’s funeral expenses and help support her daughter, Polly Cook, and Polly's children until the children were old enough to support themselves. Not much is known about Lucy Porter; she could not be found as head of household in any previous U.S. Federal Census Records for Bourbon County. Looking at the early census and tax records, it is hard to determine exactly to whom Lucy Porter was married: the records only listed the head of household. No marriage record for Lucy Porter was found in the Bourbon County (KY) Courthouse. What is known is that she freed Jefferson Porter, and he operated a business, owned property, and built a house in a predominately white neighborhood. This was quite an accomplishment for an African American in the pre-Civil War era when the majority of African Americans in Bourbon County, KY, were slaves. According to the 1850 Slave Schedule of Bourbon County, there were approximately 245 free African Americans compared to 7,071 African American slaves. In the 1860 Census of Bourbon County, Jefferson Porter was listed as a confectioner who had $4000 in real estate and $3000 in personal estate. The value of Jefferson Porter's real and personal property are quite high compared to that of other free African Americans in Bourbon County. Charles S. Brent, a banker, and Abram Spears, a railroad agent, were neighbors of Jefferson Porter, and both are listed as white in the 1880 Census. Spears and Brent lived near Main Street in downtown Paris, KY. It is likely that at this time Jefferson Porter lived in the bakehouse or shop that was left to him in Lucy Porter’s will. On April 13, 1865, Jefferson Porter purchased a one and half acre lot from James and Bridget Fee. No house is mentioned in the deed; therefore, it is assumed that Jefferson Porter built the house at 317 West Seventh Street after the purchase of the property. A house is mentioned in later deeds. According to the 1870 Census of Bourbon County, the Jefferson Porter family was living in the 1st Ward of Paris. West Seventh Street was located in the 1st Ward, and the Porter family was probably living in the West Seventh Street house. No wife is listed in this census, and no marriage record for Jefferson Porter has been found for this time. In various census records a woman named Cynthia Harrison is living with Jefferson Porter. Cynthia Harrison's age varies so much in these records, however, that it is hard to determine if she could have been his wife or the mother of his children. In the 1850 Census of Bourbon County she is listed as 40 years old; by 1860 she is listed as being 35 years old. She does not appear in the 1870 Census, but in the 1880 census she is in the household with Jefferson Porter and listed as being 90 years old. It is believed that some of his children were living with Jefferson Porter in the 1870 Census, even though relationships are not given. Jefferson Porter is listed as a grocer living in the same household as Jacob Porter, a 23 year old male, Beverly Porter, a 28 year old male, Anna Porter, a 28 year old female, and Lucy Porter, a 25 year old female. The exact relationship of Cynthia Harrison to the Porter family cannot be determined at this time because she does not consistently appear with them in the records. The family was fairly well off; by 1870 Jefferson Porter had increased his real estate to $4000 and his personal estate to $5000. The 1877 Beers Atlas of Paris, Kentucky shows Jefferson Porter's house on West Seventh Street. In the 1880 Census, Jefferson Porter and Cynthia Harrison are listed as boarders in the household of Sallie Jones, a Mulatto, who was a widowed seamstress with two children. It cannot be determined if Jefferson Porter and the others are living at the West Seventh Street house. Jefferson Porter did not leave a will in Bourbon County, KY, however, it was court ordered that his estate be settled on October 12, 1885, in Bourbon County (KY) Court Order Book W, page 139. The Jefferson Porter family included heirs Beverly and Susie Porter, Jacob M. and Josie Porter, William and Eva Porter, Jefferson Jr., Georgia Porter, Adam and Lucy Smoot, Anna Scott, and Sallie Porter. The heirs sold the house and lot to J. M. and Annie E. Thomas and W. R. and Carrie Thomas for $1,660 on September 22, 1886. In the November 24, 2010 edition of the Bourbon County Citizen newspaper, the house of Jefferson Porter was described as a 3,000 square foot brick home with a grand staircase and six fireplaces. The house was on the St. Mary's School's Holiday Tour of Homes on December 5, 2010. The house is still standing today and is currently owned by Martin Marderosian.

SOURCES: Will of Lucy Porter, Bourbon County (KY), Will Book M: page 430, 1850, 1860, at the courthouse in Bourbon County, KY. The 1870 U.S. Federal Census of Bourbon County (KY); 1850 Slave Schedule of Bourbon County (KY). The Bourbon County (KY) Court Order Book W, page 139; Bourbon County, (KY) Deed Book 69, page 276; Bourbon County, (KY) Deed Book 53, page 223; all at the courthouse in Bourbon County, KY. The Bourbon County Citizen, Wednesday, November 24, 2010 edition. The 1877 Beers Atlas of Paris, Kentucky. Personal interview with Martin Marderosian, current owner of the home Jefferson Porter built at 317 West Seventh Street in Paris, Ky. Jefferson Porter is mentioned in Black Property Owners in the South, 1790-1915, by Loren Schweninger. This entry was submitted by Kellie Scott, Paris Bourbon County Public Library.

See 2nd and updated entry Jefferson Porter and Jefferson Porter (Chain of Title for 317 W. 7th Street), both are NKAA Database entries.

Subjects: Businesses, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Freedom
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Porter, Jefferson (2nd entry)
Birth Year : 1817
Death Year : 1885
This entry was researched, written and submitted by Nancy O’Malley, Assistant Director
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Ph. 859-257-1944
FAX: 859-323-1968

Jefferson Porter, (b.1817-20?-1885), was probably born in Paris or Bourbon County. He was a slave who was manumitted by Lucy Allentharpe Porter's will in 1846. [Researcher Rogers Barde found Lucy A. Porter's marriage record, she was married to James Porter in 1801. She was widowned by 1840 and there is a federal census record for her as head of household.] In addition to his freedom, Jefferson Porter received the bake house and shop that stood on the outskirts of Paris where the entrance to the present country club is located. Lucy Porter died between January 20 and April 7, 1846. Her bequest was unusually generous and even more so considering she was giving property to a man of color. From these beginnings, Jeff Porter became an entrepreneurial businessman who amassed a very respectable estate by the time he died in 1885 and his heirs sold off his assets. Jefferson Porter was a successful confectioner and grocer in Paris,KY, he was one of the founding members of Cedar Heights Cemetery in Paris. Land transfers in the Bourbon County Clerk’s office document the real estate that Jeff Porter bought and sold during his lifetime. He sold the lot Lucy Porter left him in 1847 to Margaret Barnett whose husband was a tailor. Although the 1850 census lists him as owning real estate valued at $600, his next land purchase was not filed until 1855 when he bought a house and lot on Main Street that had once been owned by another African American businessman, Carter Lightfoot. He continued to buy and sell property in Paris for the remainder of his life, ultimately owning at least ten lots, virtually all with existing buildings that could be rented out. He had bought another house and lot on the southeast side of the Maysville Turnpike and the east side of Stoner Creek in 1856 and sold it to another man of color, William Brand, in 1859, making a profit of $150 in the resale. In 1860, a few months after he was censused, he purchased a lot on the corner of Main and Walnut Streets from three Masonic Lodges that was probably adjacent to his lot since the deed also conveyed title to an additional three feet where a wall of Porter’s building encroached. All of these properties were in east Paris in an area known as “Cottontown” for the cotton mills located there. However, Porter pursued other commercial land opportunities on Main and High Streets and entered into agreements and leases with prominent white businessmen. In 1865, he made a significant purchase on Old Georgetown Road (now 7th Street) where he built a large, two story brick house that still stands. The next year, he invested in half of a lot in McGinty’s Addition that he subdivided, selling half of the lot to Gabriel Arnold, an African American blacksmith. All of these and other land transactions and business deals were profitable ventures for Jefferson Porter, allowing him to reinvest the proceeds into his house and other improvements. Census takers were required to identify skin color as part of their duties. According to the 1870 directions, census marshals and their assistants were to be “particularly careful reporting the class Mulatto,” as “the word is here generic, and includes quadroons, octaroons, and all persons having any perceptible trace of African blood.” Jeff Porter was consistently identified as mulatto in the census, indicating that his skin color was light. His manumission certificate provided additional information about Jefferson Porter’s appearance. He was a tall man, six feet in height, and had a large scar about the size of a dollar below his left knee. All of the family members except for Katy Harrison were also identified as mulatto; Katy’s skin color was listed as black. Jefferson Porter was working as a grocer in 1870 with $4000 in real estate and $5000 in personal estate. The Porter household also included a 25 year old black farm laborer, William Harlan, and a 30 year old (male) mulatto school teacher, Kelly Thompson. It’s not clear if Jeff Porter was still living in the house on W. 7th Street in 1880. He may have moved so that one of his children could live there. Or he may have allowed Sallie Jones to live there in return for taking care of the household. Jefferson Porter died in 1885 and his heirs sold all of his property and moved elsewhere. A list of his personal property taken after his death reflected his status as a grocer and confectioner, listing such items as show cases, a soda fount and stand, counter scales, candy jars and other household furnishings, valued at $353.62. He owned three lots, including his house, in Paris at the time of his death which his heirs sold. Jefferson Porter was not only a successful confectioner and grocer but he also purchased real estate for resale at a profit. Although he never learned to read or write, he was obviously astute enough to make a comfortable living and amass assets at a time when prosperity eluded many African Americans. The bequest he received from Lucy Porter was instrumental in providing him with resources that helped him to establish his business but his business acumen was key to his continued success and steadily increasing prosperity. References: Bourbon Manumission Book, Bourbon County Clerk’s Office. Bourbon County Deed Book 54, p. 21 (his house on West 7th Street) and other deeds including the property he owned in Claysville.

See earlier entry Jefferson Porter and Jefferson Porter (Chain of Title for 317 W. 7th Street), both are NKAA Database entries.

 
Subjects: Businesses, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Freedom
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Porter, Jefferson (Chain of Title for 317 West Seventh Street, Paris, KY)
Start Year : 1817
End Year : 1885
This entry was researched, written and submitted by

Nancy O’Malley, Assistant Director
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Ph. 859-257-1944
FAX: 859-323-1968 
 

  • Chain of Title for 317 West Seventh Street, Paris, Kentucky
  • 2008-present  Ron Wilfer, Deed Book 275, p. 429 (6/19/08) *(Martin Marderosian and Ron Wilfur are partners, but Wilfur is the one who actually purchased the house and it is in his name).

from

  • 1957-2008 William Leonard Long family (2 generations)

Robert Wood Watson family

Current property description: Begin at point on south side of 7th St. at corner to Mrs. Dorothy Talbott Foster and outer margin of pavement, along street N59W 94 ft. 11/12 inches to corner of property owned by Heirs of Lunceford Talbott; thence with Talbott line S17 ½ W 228 feet to corner formally owned by John Connell; thence with Connell line S77E 94 feet 11/12 inches to corner of Mrs. Dorothy Foster; thence with Foster N19 ½ E 208 feet to the beginning.

Robert Wood and Mable N. Watson and William Leonard and Louesa W. Long were conveyed the property in 1957 to be held jointly. Robert Watson died and Mable inherited his interest as surviving spouse. Mable died next and left her interest to Louesa Long (Will Book AA, p. 316). Louesa died in 1999 and property went to her husband, William, Sr. William, Sr. died intestate on May 1, 2002, and William, Jr. received the property by Affidavit of Descent (Deed Book 249, p. 447). The deed was transferred on December 2, 2002 by William Long, Jr. and his wife to Jim Lovell, trustee, and Lovell conveyed the property back to the Longs in order to allow the surviving spouse to inherit by survivorship (Deed Book 249, p. 448).

from

  • 1950-1957 S.H. and Amy Beatrice Mattox (Deed Book 135, p. 651)

from

  • 1948-1950 Nolen Allender and wife (Deed Book 129, p. 313) June 29, 1950

from

  • 1932-1948 O.P. Wills family (Deed Book 116, kp. 157) June 27, 1932

O. P. Wills bought the property for $2600 from Nannie S. Ardery’s heirs (Ben B. and Josephine Ardery, Fayette and Lois Ardery, S.S. and Mary Ardery, all of Paris, Ky; Margaret Ardery, George Ardery, unmarried of Colorado, and John Ardery of New York City). Wills died intestate on December 7, 1941, leaving his daughter, Cleo Wills Sumpter, as his sole heir. O.P. Wills lived and died in Winchester, Clark County, so probably never lived in the house.

from

  • 1911-1932 Nannie S. Ardery family (Deed Book 98, p. 88) June 30, 1911
Nannie S. Ardery bought the property from the Heirs of Sophia Overby (Guy Overby, Hazel Overby, Edward and Alma Overby). The property description included the house on a lot that began at Mrs. James Mernaugh’s corner on the southwest margin of 7th Street, running thence N59W 158 feet 11/12 inches to John Connell’s corner; S17 ½ W 228 feet to another corner of Connell; S77E 152 feet 2 inches to a Mernaugh corner; N19 ¼ E 175 feet to the beginning. This deed referenced a Lot no. 1 on a diagram. The Mernaugh house is still standing at 301 W. 7th Street and now houses the Paris Board of Education offices. James Mernaugh served as City Marshall in the 1880s and police chief in the 1890s.

from
  • 1887-1911 Sophia Overby family (Deed Book 70, p. 170) December 1887

Sophia Overby was married to W.T. Overby who received her estate for life via her will (Will Book U, p. 129). Sophia’s will was written on February 28, 1903 and proved in court on August 18, 1903. Following W.T.’s death, the Overby offspring received the remainder of the estate.

from 

  • 1886-1887 J.M. and Annie E. Thomas, W.R. and Carrie Thomas (Deed Book 69, p. 276) September 22, 1886; purchase price was $1660

Deeds include mention of a house and lot from this point forward to the present.

The property description included the house and lot and began at a point in the middle of Old Georgetown Road now Chestnut Street (later 7th Street) at corner to Hanson’s Spring lot at 1, thence N61 ½ W 8/76 poles to the middle of the street at 2; thence N82W 6.24 poles to the middle of the street at 3, corner to Miss McGee; then with the McGree line, leaving a 15 foot passageway between it and Ruth Breckinridge’s lot, S3W 19.92 poles to a stake near a small locust at 4, corner to Luke Connelly; thence with Connelly’s line N73E 4 poles to a stake corner to Ann Scott at 5; thence N7 ¾ E 4.40 poles to Sam Rice’s corner at 6; thence with Sam Rice’s line N79E 8.12 poles to Hanson’s spring lot at 7; thence N10 ½ E 12.64 poles to the beginning.

from 

  • 1865-1886 Jefferson Porter family (Heirs included Beverly and Susie Porter, Jacob M. and Josie Porter, William and Eva Porter, Jefferson, Jr. and Georgia Porter, Adam and Lucy Smoot, Anna Scott, and Sallie Porter)

Jefferson Porter was a free man of color who was manumitted by Lucy Porter’s will in 1846. She specified that he was to get a shop and bake house and the ground on which they stood that was located between her house and the house of Mrs. Sidney Shannon as well as stables and lots adjoining Abram Spears, two carriages, a wagon and all the horses and gear, harness and other equipage, and all provender and grain. In return, Jefferson was to pay all her funeral expenses and help support her daughter, Polly Cook and her children until the children were old enough to support themselves. Lucy Porter died between January 20 and April 7, 1846. From these beginnings, Jeff Porter became an entrepreneurial businessman who amassed a very respectable estate by the time he died in 1885 and his heirs sold off his assets. No house was mentioned in the deeds from the 1865 purchase by Porter back to earlier owners. It appears very likely that Jeff Porter built the house between 1865 and 1870. This date range is supported by several historic maps.

from

  • 1864-1865 James and Bridget Fee (Deed Book 54, p. 21) April 13, 1865; purchase price was $600

The Fees sold the northeast half of a 3-acre lot that fronted on Old Georgetown Road and was bound on the west by John L. Walker, on the east by Charles Talbott’s Heirs and ran to near the center of the Talbott lot between the Old Georgetown dirt road and the Paris-Georgetown Turnpike so as to include 1 ½ acres. Porter was given the use of water from a well on the Fees’ land.  

  • 1859-1864 George W. and Winnifred Williams (Deed Book 53, p. 223) September 8, 1864; purchase price was $695 for 3 acres.

The Fees bought three acres for $695 in 1864 and sold half that amount the following year to Porter for $600, a remarkable markup in price per acre. While one might argue that the increase in price per acre can be explained by a house having been built on the Porter lot by the Fees, another explanation is equally and perhaps more plausible. The increase in price might have been related to Porter’s racial classification. No house was mentioned in the Williams to Fee or the Fee to Porter transactions and the survey language suggests an unimproved lot was sold. It was not uncommon for whites to sell property to people of color at higher than market value. Since whites controlled most of the real estate market, they were in a position to demand higher prices, particularly given the post –Civil War attitudes that influenced where people of color were allowed to live. These attitudes resulted in a much greater degree of residential segregation than had been the case prior to the Civil War.

from

  • ????-1859 Jane C. Berry’s Heirs (Deed Book 50, p. 634) April 12, 1859

Jane C. Berry owned a considerable amount of property in the Paris and Bourbon County area. She sold off various lots in Paris, including one to John Lyle Walker and her heirs sold the rest after her death. Her heirs included Berryman and Elizabeth Hurt, Richard N. and Mary Jane Conner, William N. and Anne Amelia Sudduth, and George Hamilton, all of Bath County. They sold a larger parcel on Old Georgetown Road to the Williams who subdivided it and sold the 3 acres to the Fees. Additional deed research is necessary to determine how Jane C. Berry acquired the property. She may not have been a Bourbon County resident. 

See also the NKAA entries for Jefferson Porter and Jefferson Porter (2nd entry).
Subjects: Businesses, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Freedom
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Postell, Peter, Sr. [Peter Glass]
Birth Year : 1841
Death Year : 1901
Postell (spelled Postel in some sources) was a former slave who was born in South Carolina according to census records. He owned a merchant business in Hopkinsville, KY, and was considered quite wealthy. He was often referred to as "The Richest Negro in the South." His estate was valued at $500,000. During slavery, Postell, had the name Peter Glass. He was brought to Kentucky from North Carolina, and he later escaped and joined the Union Army during the Civil War, serving with the 16th U.S. Colored Infantry, according to his military service record, he was in the brass band. Postell had enlisted in Clarksville, TN, in January of 1864, and North Carolina was listed as his birth state. He returned to Kentucky after the war and opened a grocery store in Hopkinsville and is listed in the 1870 U.S Federal Census as Peter Postell. He was the husband of Pauline Buckner Postell, b.1851 in Christian County, KY, [her father was born in S.C.]. Peter Postell was the son of Mrs. C. Kirkpatrick, who was born around 1819 in South Carolina. According to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, the Postell household consisted of Peter, his wife and four children, his mother, her husband and their son, and a boarder. Peter and Pauline Postell had several more children before Peter died in 1901. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings at the the Documenting the American South website; "A Rich Negro," The Adair County News, 08/21/1901, p. 1; and "Death of a wealthy Negro," New York Times, 05/23/1901, p.1.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: South Carolina / North Carolina / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Prewitt, Clifton B.
Birth Year : 1826
Prewitt was born a slave in Scott County, KY. He did not attend school. When freed from slavery, he hired himself out, which enabled him to buy a farm. After 18 years of farming, he went into real estate. He bought and sold for speculators and earned a considerable amount of money, enough for him to own more than twenty houses, which he rented to both African Americans and whites. He was the husband of Harriett Prewitt (b.1830 in KY), and in 1880, the family lived in Boston (Scott County),KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Clifton Prewitt was the father of Martha Prewitt, who was the wife of W. D. Johnson. Only two of his 14 children were alive in 1897. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Boston, Scott County, Kentucky

Price, John
In the winter of 1856, John Price and another slave, Frank, fled from owner John P. G. Bacon in Mason County, KY. Price was injured during the escape, so he and Frank had to lay up in Oberlin, OH. Slave catchers learned of their whereabouts in 1858, and Price was captured in East Oberlin and taken to the town of Wellington, Ohio. A rescue party made up of abolitionist whites, free blacks, and fugitive slaves confronted the captors, and after a small riot Price was rescued. Price made his way to Canada and was never heard from again. The rescue party faced court hearings, fines, and imprisonment. The entire incident is referred to as the Wellington Rescue. For more see The 1858 Oberlin-Wellington Rescue: a reappraisal, by R. M. Baumann.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Mason County, Kentucky / Oberlin and Wellington, Ohio / Canada

Priest, James M.
Death Year : 1883
James M. Priest was the slave of Jane Anderson Meaux. Jane A. Meaux was born 1780 in St. Asaph [later Fort Logan], Lincoln County, District of KY, and died in Jessamine County, KY, in 1844. Prior to her death, she educated and freed one of her slaves, James Priest. She sent Priest to Liberia, Africa, to evaluate the situation of the former slaves. When he returned, Priest was sent to school, 1840-1843; he graduated to become an ordained Presbyterian minister. He returned to Liberia and was the first foreign missionary from McCormick Theological Seminary at New Albany [Indiana]. Priest would become the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, 1864-1868. He was serving as the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia when he died in July of 1883. Jane Anderson Meaux stipulated in her will that all of her slaves were to be freed under the condition that they go to live in Liberia. For more see p.205 of History of Kentucky, edited by C. Kerr et al.; p.9 of A History of the McCormick Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church, by L. J. Halsey; pp.562-63 of Maxwell History and Genealogy, by F. A. W. Houston et al. [all available full-text at Google Book Search]; see Settlers to Liberia "April 1843" at The Ships List website; and "The death of James M. Priest...," Arkansaw Dispatch, 07/28/1883, p.2. A daguerreotype portrait [online] of Priest is available at the Library of Congress.


Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Judges, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Saint Asaph [Stanford], Lincoln County, Kentucky / Jessamine County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa

Proposed American Negro Colony in New Granada
Start Year : 1861
End Year : 1864
àIn 1861, President Lincoln, an admirer of the late Kentuckian Henry Clay, asked that Congress approve a plan for the colonization of all Negroes. A warm climate or tropical location was preferred: Texas, Florida, Mexico, Haiti, Liberia, or the lands [coal fields] in New Granada claimed by the Chiriqui Improvement Company [in present day countries within Central and South America]. In preparation for the emigration, slaves were to be gradually emancipated, beginning with the Border States [including Kentucky]. But that idea was dropped because it did not appeal to the members of Congress from the Border States. Still, the Chiriqui lands in New Granada were seen as the ideal locations for a loyal and U. S.-controlled colony of Negroes. In 1862, a group of freemen, the first ever to be invited to the White House, arrived to hear Lincoln’s request for their help in promoting the colony among other freemen. There was great opposition to the colony from Central American governments, especially in Costa Rica. The Bogotá [Colombia] government, led by Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, was in favor of the colony. The official Bogotá representative, Pedro A. Herrán, son-in-law of Mosquera, was in Washington. In Colombia, the U.S. Minister was Garrard County, KY, native Allan A. Burton. Several of the prior ministers had also been from Kentucky, beginning with former Congressman Richard Clough Anderson, Jr. from Louisville, who served in Colombia from 1823 until his death in 1826. Though the idea of a Negro Colony was welcomed by the Bogotá government, it was not a viable plan and was therefore suspended in 1862. The colonization fund was abolished in 1864. Haiti was no longer an option after the failure of the Ile à Vache Colony experiment in 1863. Liberia was eliminated when Lincoln issued the final Proclamation of Emancipation on January 1, 1863. For more see P. J. Scheips, “Lincoln and the Chiriqui Colonization Project,” The Journal of Negro History, vol.37, issue 4 (Oct., 1952), pp. 418-453; M. Vorenberg, “Abraham Lincoln and the Black politics of colonization,” Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association [available online], vol. 14, issue 2 (Summer 1993); Biographical Annals of the Civil Government of the United States: during its first century, by C. Lanman, p. 593 [full view at Google Book Search]; and W. D. Boyd, “James Redpath and American Negro Colonization in Haiti, 1860-1862,” The Americas, vol.12, issue 2 (Oct., 1955), pp. 169-182. See Central and South American Immigration Association and Equal Rights League of the Western Continent. For information on earlier Haitian colony see Freeman Community on Samana Bay (Dominican Republic).

*New Granada included present day Colombia, Ecaudor, Panama, and Venezuela.

See map of Viceroyalty of New Granada at Wikipedia website.
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas / Florida / Mexico / Ile a Vache, Haiti / Liberia / Costa Rica, Central America / Bogota, Colombia, South America

Pryor, Margaret
Birth Year : 1835
Death Year : 1910
Margaret Pryor was the richest African American woman in Kentucky as a result of the fortune she inherited from her former owner, horse breeder Major Barak G. Thomas (1826-1906). Thomas, who also raced his horses, had left smaller inheritances to others, including $1,000 to his African American jockey and trainer, John T. Clay, and another $1,000 to Clay's sons, Johnnie and Barak. The will was protested by Thomas's family and friends but was allowed to stand as written. Maj. B. G. Thomas had been born in South Carolina; in 1912 his family moved to Lexington, KY. After making his wealth in the horse industry, and with the onset of failing health, Thomas had sold his stud farm and settled in his city home at 194 West Main Street, where he passed away in 1906. His home was next door to the Henry A. Tandy family home. After Maj. Thomas's death, Margaret Pryor remained in the home and welcomed visitors from throughout the U.S. When she died in 1910, she was buried in Greenwood Cemetery [now Cove Haven Cemetery] in Lexington, though Maj. Thomas had stipulated in his will that she be buried beside him in the then segregated Lexington Cemetery. Margaret Pryor's will was challenged in the Fayette Circuit Court by her heirs, Mary Walker and others. The will was allowed to stand as written. The wills of both Maj. Thomas and Margaret Pryor were reported in all of the major newspapers and many smaller papers in the United States. In 1911, the Atlanta Constitution newspaper reported that Pryor had no children and four women who lived in Macon and Eatonton, GA, were claiming to be Pryor's sisters and were seeking to claim $50,000 that the sisters said was left to them by Pryor. All of the sisters were supposedly once owned by Skelton Napier of Macon, GA. For more see "Major Barak G. Thomas is dead," The Thoroughbred Record, 05/19/1906; "Will of Major Thomas," The Thoroughbred Record, 05/26/1906; "Death of rich ex-slave," Washington Post, 05/13/1910, p. 11; "Margaret Pryor's will," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/14/1910, p. 6; and "Negroes claim estate of wealthy sister," Atlanta Constitution, 01/24/1911, p. 5.

*Maj. Barak G. Thomas's home at 194 West Main Street had been renumbered to 646 West Main Street by 1907. The property faces the corner of present day Main Street and Old Georgetown Street.
Subjects: Freedom, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Inheritance, Court Cases
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Macon and Eatonton, Georgia

"Public Meeting of the Colored Citizens of Detroit" [Crosswhite Affair]
Start Year : 1848
In response to the federal court decision in the fugitive slave case brought forward by a Kentucky slave owner in reference to the The Crosswhite Affair, in December of 1848 a mass meeting was called by African Americans in Detroit to discuss their relations to slavery in America. The meeting was held at City Hall. A report of the meeting was printed as an article titled "Public meeting of the Colored citizens of Detroit," in Frederick Douglass' Paper, 12/29/1848, p.2. George De Baptiste, (never a slave) from Virginia, was named chair of the gathering; Benjamin F. Dade, secretary; and the vice presidents were Rev. M. J. Lightfoot (former slave) from Virginia; James Maten; and Richard Gordon. Henry Bibb (former slave) from Kentucky; William Lambert (never a slave) from New Jersey; and Edward J. Cooper were assigned to the committee that would draft the resolutions. The full text of the resolutions is included in the newspaper article in Frederick Douglass' Paper. "...Resolved, That we hold liberty dearer than we do our lives, and we will organize and prepare ourselves with the determination, live or die, sink or swim, we will never be taken back into slavery. Resolved, That we will never voluntarily separate ourselves from the slave population in the country, for they are our fathers and mothers, our sisters and our brothers, their interest is our interest, their wrongs and their sufferings are ours, the injuries inflicted on them are alike inflicted on us; therefore it is our duty to aid and assist them in their attempts to regain their liberty... Resolved, That this meeting appoint a committee to draft a petition to Congress praying for the repeal of the *law of 1793, relative to the recapture of fugitive slaves." [*Fugitive Slave Act of 1793]  For more on Rev. M. J. Lightfoot see "A slave revisits the plantation," The Evening Telegram, 06/02/1874, p.1 [online].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Pyles, Charlotta G. M.
Birth Year : 1806
Death Year : 1880
Charlotta G. M. Pyles was born in Tennessee; her mother was a Seminole Indian and her father a slave, so Charlotta was also a slave. Pyles and her children lived on a plantation near Bardstown, KY. After one of Charlotta's sons, Benjamin, was sold, her owner, Frances Gordon, took Pyles and her remaining family from Kentucky to Iowa, where they were freed. Pyles raised $3,000 in six months and returned to Kentucky to buy her two sons-in-law. While in Iowa, she also assisted runaways on their way to Canada. For more see Charlotta Gordon MacHenry Pyles in Digital Schomburg: African American Women Writers of the 19th Century; and Pyles' picture in Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction, by H. Q. Brown, p. 22, full-text at the Documenting the American South website.


Subjects: Freedom, Migration West
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Iowa / Canada

Ratification of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments (Kentucky)
Start Year : 1865
End Year : 1976
Kentucky House Member Mae Street Kidd sponsored the resolution that moved the state of Kentucky to ratify the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments in 1976. The ratification of the 13th Amendment formally abolished slavery in the United States. "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." The U.S. Senate passed the amendment on April 8, 1864; the House of Representatives defeated the amendment on June 15, 1864, then passed the amendment on January 31, 1865; President Lincoln signed and presented the amendment to the states on February 1, 1865; and Secretary of State William Seward issued a statement on December 18, 1865 to verify the ratification of the 13th Amendment. There were three states that rejected the 13th Amendment and did not ratify it until the 20th Century: Delaware (February 12, 1901); Kentucky (March 18, 1976); and Mississippi (March 16, 1995).  The 14th Amendment was ratified July 9, 1868, and granted citizenship to all who were born or naturalized in the United States. States that ratified the 14th Amendment in the 20th Century were Delaware (1901), Maryland (1959), California (1959), Kentucky (1976), and Ohio (September 17, 2003) [Ohio had rescinded its ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868]. The 15th Amendment, ratified February 3, 1870, gave African American men the right to vote. States that did not ratify the 15th Amendment until the 20th Century were Delaware (1901), Oregon (1959), California (1962), Maryland (1973), Kentucky (1976), and Tennessee (1997).  For more see 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, all on the Library of Congress website; see also A. Greenblatt, "Failure to ratify: during amendment battles, some states opt to watch," an NPR website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Voting Rights
Geographic Region: Kentucky

The Richard Hazelwood Family (Henderson, KY)
The Hazelwood family members were only a few of the estimated 300,000 pioneers who made their way through the Cumberland Gap. In 1832, Daniel Hazelwood, the great-great-grandfather of Anthony Hazelwood, came through the Gap, bringing everything that he owned from Virginia to settle in Henderson County, KY. Included were his eight children and 30 slaves. One of the slaves was a young boy named Richard Hazelwood, who was born in Virginia between 1828-1830; Richard was the great-great-great-grandfather of Denyce Porter Peyton. Richard's name was among the list of slaves belonging to the estate of Daniel Hazelwood, who died in 1836. Prior to becoming a free man, Richard married Maria Floyd (or Friels), and their first child was a son named Joseph (1858-1920). When the slaves were freed, the family kept the name Hazelwood, though many of the various African American Hazelwood families in Henderson County were not blood kin. By 1900, Richard had moved his family to the city of Henderson, where he worked as a day laborer. His son Joseph would become a tenant farmer in Henderson and Daviess Counties. Joseph was married to Anna Watson in 1871; according to Denyce Porter Peyton, Anna had been an orphan and nothing is known about her family. Joseph and Anna had several children. Their daughter Edna Mae was married to James Lester Porter, the son of McDonald and Elvira Porter. The Richard Hazelwood family had been in Kentucky since 1832, but all but two of Joseph and Anna's children left Kentucky in search of better opportunities in Indiana and Ohio. In 2008, the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park completed a short film (available on DVD) of reenactments of pioneer families that came to Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap; the Hazelwood family and slaves are included in the film. For more information about the Richard Hazelwood family, contact Denyce Porter Peyton. For more information about Anthony Hazelwood, see A. Stinnett, "Businessman, community benefactor Hazelwood dies," The Gleaner, 12/08/2008. For more information about Cumberland Gap, contact the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. See also M. Simmons, "On the path of the pioneers," Knoxville News Sentinel, 10/20/2008, Local section, p. 10; and The Pioneers, DVD by the National Park Service.
Subjects: Freedom, Genealogy, History, Migration North, Migration West, Parks
Geographic Region: Virginia / Cumberland Gap, Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Richardson, Lewis
Birth Year : 1792
In 1846, an escaped slave named Lewis Richardson gave a speech about having been treated badly while a slave of Henry Clay at the Ashland Plantation in Lexington, KY. Richardson's speech was given at Union Chapel in Amherstburg, Canada West on May 13, 1846. Richardson said that Henry Clay had been portrayed as a kind master, but based on his experience, that was not true. It was well known that Henry Clay was opposed to the protection given to escaped slaves in Canada. Clay was a very public figure: he was a U.S. Senator, a former Secretary of State, and a U.S. presidential candidate. Clay was not in favor of freeing slaves in the United States but was for freeing them and colonizing them in Africa. A response in opposition to the colonization scheme appears in an editorial by Kentucky native Henry Bibb in his Canadian newspaper Voice of the Fugitive, "To the Honorable Henry Clay of Kentucky," 07/02/1851. Henry Bibb was speaking on behalf of the former slaves who had escaped to Canada, including Lewis Richardson, Clay's former slave. Lewis Richardson is referred to as possibly "a slave difficult to manage" in Black Refugees in Canada, by G. Hendrick and W. Hendrick. Richardson had five previous owners before he was purchased by Henry Clay in 1836. The publishing of Lewis' speech in several newspapers caused Henry Clay to speak out. He denied the accusations. According to authors Hendrick and Hendrick in an article in the Lexington Observer & Reporter newspaper, overseer Ambrose Barnett also denied Richardson's claim of being flogged with 100 lashes and said the whipping of 16 lashes was justified due to several infractions. The debate continues today as to who was telling the truth. It is not known what became of Lewis Richardson after the speech in Canada West. For more see "From the Signal of Liberty - The Slave of Henry Clay," Signal of Liberty, 03/30/1846 and in The National Anti-Slavery Standard, 04/16/1845; chapter 6 - "Lewis Richardson, formerly a slave on Henry Clay's plantation" on pp. 73-76 in Black Refugees in Canada, by G. Hendrick and W. Hendrick, (quotation from p. 75); Lewis' speech at the Blackpost.org website, Lewis Richardson, "I am free from American Slavery" 1846; and Narrative Compromise: African American Representation at Henry Clay's Ashland Estate by Sarah McCartt-Jackson [online .pdf at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Amherstburg, Canada

Ricketts, Matthew Oliver
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1917
Matthew O. Ricketts was born in Henry County, KY, to slave parents. The family moved to Missouri when Ricketts was a small child. He grew up to become the first African American Senator in the Nebraska Legislature in 1892 and was elected again in 1894. He was an advocate for the stronger civil rights laws in Nebraska. Ricketts was also a leader of the Prince Hall Masons. He was a graduate of Lincoln Institute in Missouri [now Lincoln University of Missouri] and Omaha Medical College, the first African American to graduate from a college or university in Nebraska. He was the husband of Alice Ricketts, and the family of four lived in St. Joseph Ward, Buchanan County, MO, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. For more see Matthew Oliver Ricketts at BlackPast.org; Biographical Sketches of the Nebraska Legislature, by W. A. Howard; and Impertinences: selected writings of Elia Peattie, a journalist in the Giided Age, by E. W. Peattie.



Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Freedom, Migration West, Fraternal Organizations, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Henry County, Kentucky / Missouri / Nebraska

Roberts Settlement (Indiana)
Start Year : 1800
Roberts Settlement is one of several African American farm neighborhoods formed in the early 1800s. The community of Roberts was named for the family members who were free-born early pioneers of the Roberts family from Northampton County, NC. They began settling in Indiana in the 1830s, and by the 1870s others had joined them, both free-born and ex-slaves from Kentucky and North Carolina. Those from Kentucky included Jacob Davis, who owned 130 acres in Roberts Settlement, and landowners John Roads and Edmund Hurley. For more see Southern Seed, Northern Soil, by S. A. Vincent; and H. Wiley, "Keeping history alive," The Indianapolis Star [online at Indystar.com], 01/31/1993.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Roberts Settlement, Indiana / Northampton County, North Carolina / Kentucky

Rounds, Ned and Ellen [Honey Island, Mississippi]
Ned (1825 - ?) and Ellen (1835 - died between 1880 and 1900) were slaves born in Kentucky and were either sold or taken down South. They were owned by Peter James, Sr. and lived on the Stonewall Plantation in the Mississippi Delta. After he was freed, Ned Rounds became one of the largest landowners in the community he helped found, Honey Island, MS. Ned could not read or write, but he could count: he served as a banker for residents of Honey Island. He was a wealthy man who had been a slave and was the son of slaves who were also born in Kentucky. By 1910, the succeeding generation of the Rounds family had heavily mortgaged the land. The family wealth was lost and family members began leaving Honey Island, moving to northern locations. For more on the history of the Rounds family see Honey Island, by J. Hunter.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Communities, Freedom, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Honey Island, Mississippi

Roye, John Edward and Nancy [Edward James Roye]
John Roye (d.1829) told others that he had been born a slave in Kentucky. He and his wife Nancy (d. 1840) moved to Newark, OH, where Roye became a prosperous land owner. He was also part owner in a river ferry, and left all that he owned to his son Edward J. Roye, b 1815 in Newark, OH. Edward Roye was a barber and he owned a bathhouse in Terre Haute, IN. He was educated and had been a student at the University of Athens (OH). He left the U.S. for Liberia in 1845 and was a merchant. Roye became one of the richest men in Liberia. He became the Chief Justice and Speaker of the House. He founded the newspaper Liberia Sentinel in 1845, a short-lived venture that lasted about a year. In January 1870 , Edward Roye became the fifth President of Liberia. During his presidency, he was accused of embezzlement and jailed in October 1871. He escaped, and it is believed he drowned sometime in 1872 while swimming to a ship in the Monrovia harbor. For more see "Edward Jenkins Roye," Newark Advocate, 04/22/1984; C. Garcia, "TH barber Edward James Roye became 5th president of Liberia," Tribune Star, 02/24/2007, pp.1&5; and Edward James Roye in The Political and Legislative History of Liberia by C. H. Huberich.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration North, Mothers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Newark, Ohio / Liberia, Africa

Russell, Alfred F.
Birth Year : 1821
Death Year : 1884
Born in Bourbon County, KY, or Lexington, KY, Alfred F. Russell was referred to as a white slave; it was believed that Alfred was the son of a fair-skinned slave named Milly and a white father, John Russell, who was the son of Mary Owen Todd Russell Wickliffe, the richest woman in Kentucky. With the help of Mary Wickliffe, Alfred and his mother left Kentucky for Liberia in 1833. Alfred later served as Vice President, then became the tenth President of Liberia (1883-1884) when he completed A. W. Gardiner's term. For more see Letters from Liberia to Kentucky; and The Political and Legislative History of Liberia, by C. H. Huberich.

See photo image of Alfred F. Russell and other Liberian presidents at the Liberia Past and Present website.
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Bourbon County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa

Russell, Samuel and Harriet
In 1841, the Russell family was purchased by philanthropist and abolitionist Gerrit Smith (1797-1874) and given their freedom. Samuel Russell died in 1857 and Harriett in 1886; both were born in Maryland. As a child, Harriet was nursemaid to Ann Carroll Fitzhugh, who lived in New York (Fitzhugh would later become the wife of Gerrit Smith). Prior to being reunited with Fitzhugh, Harriet was a slave in Kentucky, as was Samuel and the five children they had while in Kentucky. Their sixth child was born free in Peterboro, New York. For more see "Born a slave, died free; at least 30 African-Americans buried in Peterboro Cemetery," The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), 02/24/05, Madison Edition.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Maryland / New York / Kentucky

Russell, Willis
Birth Year : 1803
Death Year : 1852
According to William F. Russell's thesis, The History of Education of Boyle County, pp. 217-221, Willis Russell taught the first colored school in Danville, located in a frame house on Green Street. The following information provided by historian Carolyn Bost Crabtree supports this claim. Willis Russell, the slave of Revolutionary War veteran Robert Craddock, was educated at a school that was established on Craddock's land around 1800 by a friend, fellow veteran, who was a Frenchman named Peter Tardiveau. When Craddock died in 1837, his will ("recorded in Will Book D, pp.106-113, Bowling Green, KY, County Clerks Office") emancipated his slaves, one of whom was Willis Russell who received a house and a portion of Craddock's land in Danville, KY, and land along the Rolling Fork River. According to author C. Fackler in his book Early Days in Danville, p.232, Willis Russell came to Danville and started a school in his house for colored children. This would have been around 1837; Craddock's will stipulated that Willis Russell had only a year, from the time of Craddock's death, to claim his property. Willis Russell and one other adult (both free) are listed in the same household in the 1840 U.S. Federal Census of Danville in Mercer County, KY [Boyle County was not formed until 1842]. Willis Russell and his wife Pamelia are listed as mulattoes in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census; Willis is a school teacher and no occupation is listed for his wife Pamelia or their daughter Jane. There are also three boys living with the family and historian Carolyn B. Crabtree suggests that the boys are Willis Russell's students. Willis Russell died February 10, 1852 [source: Kentucky Death Records, Boyle County, 1852, pp.1-2]. The Willis Russell House is located at 204 East Walnut Street, and in February 2012, an open house event was held at the renovated home. On November 19, 2012, the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) dedicated a historical marker for the Willis Russell House (more information at Kentucky.gov). For more information about Willis Russell, contact Carolyn B. Crabtree at the Boyle County Genealogical Association. See also the NKAA entry for African American Schools in Boyle County, KY.

Additional information: In 1850, Willis F. Russell lived among several families of free African Americans who owned their homes [source: 1850 U.S. Federal Census]. The head of the families were men who were brick masons, stonemasons, and wagoners.

Subjects: Education and Educators, Freedom, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Salsbury Free Negro Settlement (Muhlenberg County, KY)
Start Year : 1860
The community was located south of Greenville, KY. Thomas (d. 1848) and Rebecca Salsbury (d. 1860) had willed the land to their former slaves, and soon to be freed slaves, who were age 25 or older. The Salsbury's had no children. All of the former slaves who received land had the last name Salsbury. In total, there was 560 acres. Most of the land was eventually sold to whites as the African American Salsbury family members left the settlement. Thomas and Rebecca Salsbury also sent some of their freed slaves to the Republic of Liberia. Dr. Guy Otha Saulsberry was a descendant of the Salsbury slaves. For more see Around Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, A Black History, by L. S. Smith (the book covers 1795 to 1979); and Searching for the Roots, Grafting the Branches: the Saulsbury [sic] Family of Kentucky, a Black History of Roots Lost in Slavery (thesis), by C. S. Johnson.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats
Geographic Region: Salsbury Free Negro Settlement, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky (no longer exists)

Sam (slave)
Sam, an escaped slave from Kentucky, is believed to be the last fugitive slave sought in Janesville, Wisconsin. Sam was employed in William Eager's blacksmith shop in 1861 when Steuben, Sam's owner, arrived to take Sam back to Kentucky. Later that evening, Eager, with Sam and men from the city fire department, confronted Steuben at the local hotel; they were prepared to hang Steuben if he tried to take Sam back to Kentucky. Those inside the hotel led Steuben out the back door, and he rode off fast, heading South toward Beloit and the Wisconsin/Illinois border. The person from Janesville who had contacted Steuben about Sam's whereabouts was run out of town. For more see "Janesville residents refused to turn over a fugitive slave in 1861" [newspaper article full text online], at the Wisconsin Historical Society website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Blacksmiths, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Janesville and Beloit, Wisconsin

Sanford, Perry
Birth Year : 1832
Death Year : 1905
Sanford, a former slave from Kentucky, was the last surviving witness to the invasion by armed men from Kentucky in search of runaway slaves at the Quaker Settlement in Cass County, MI. The Quakers resisted, the attack failed, and shortly thereafter the Fugitive Slave Law was passed by Congress. In 1905, Sanford was not expected to survive from the four inch gash he had made in his throat while a patient at Nichols Hospital in Battle Creek, MI. Sanford was in the hospital due to a stroke; he was partially paralyzed, and it had taken him more than an hour to open the knife with one hand and his teeth. Sanford had come to Michigan as a young man, he is first listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census as a 28 year old laborer living in Bedford. By 1880, he was married to Elvia Sanford who was born in 1845 in Indiana, and the couple lived in Calhoun County, MI. In 1897, Sanford remarried, his second wife was Mary Sanford, born 1843 in MI, and the couple lived in Battle Creek. For more see, "Aged Colored man tries suicide," Oakland Tribune, 05/08/1905.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Suicide
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan / Cass County, Michigan

Sansbury, Louis
Birth Year : 1806
Death Year : 1861
Sansbury was a 27 year old slave in Springfield, KY, when the cholera epidemic hit the city in 1833. George Sansbury, Louis' owner, fled the city along with many others. Prior to his leaving, George gave Louis the keys to his hotel and told him to take care of the business. Louis and Matilda Sims, a cook, took care of the hotel and several of the other businesses that owners left unattended when they tried to flee the cholera epidemic. Those who took flight were carrying the disease to their destinations. Though they were enslaved, Louis Sansbury and Matilda Simms did not try to escape, staying in town to treat the sick, bury the dead, and keep an eye on the town's abandoned businesses. Neither Louis nor Matilda became sick during the 1833 epidemic. In time the city rebounded, and when George Sansbury died in 1845, the city of Springfield purchased Louis's freedom in retribution for his dedication and care during the epidemic, and he was provided with a blacksmith shop. When another cholera epidemic hit in 1854, Louis Sansbury did as he had done before, taking care of the sick and burying the dead. Louis died in 1861 and is buried in an unmarked grave. In 2004, the city of Springfield recognized his heroic deeds by dedicating the first annual African American Heritage Week in his honor. For more see "Asiatic Cholera finds a hero" in It Happened in Kentucky, by M. O'Malley.
Subjects: Freedom, Medical Field, Health Care, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Scott, Tom
Birth Year : 1844
Death Year : 1925
Tom Scott, born in Bourbon County, KY, was a survivor of the Saltville Massacre [the murders of wounded African American Union soldiers who were buried in a single grave], which took place in Virginia during the Civil War. Scott was an escaped slave who became a member of the U.S. 5th Colored Cavalry, having joined up in Lebanon, KY. After the war, he relocated to Rocky Springs, MS, and, according to his great-granddaughter, was one of the first African Americans to own land in Claiborne County. In 2000, a permanent marker was placed on Scott's grave, located in the cemetery next to the Second Union Baptist Church, where Scott had been a deacon. Additional information from University of Kentucky Anthropology Researcher Nancy O'Malley: As a slave, Tom Scott was owned by James Scott of North Middletown, KY. Tom Scott was the husband of Phillis Ann Risk, who was owned by Thomas West Brooks. Tom and Phillis Scott had four children when Tom enlisted in the Army. This information comes from the military muster rolls, a copy of which is available at the Kentucky Military History Museum in Frankfort, KY. James Scott had 27 slaves, according to the 1860 U.S. Federal Census. Tom Scott would have been about 16 years old in 1860; there is a black male, aged 16, listed in James Scott's slave census. For more see "Memorial service in Mississippi to honor Kentucky slave-turned -soldier," The Associate Press State & Local Wire, 12/02/2000, State and Regional section; and The Saltville Massacre, by T. D. Mays.

Nancy O'Malley, Assistant Director
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Ph. 859-257-1944
FAX: 859-323-1968
 
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Migration South, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Rocky Springs, Mississippi

Settles, Joseph
Settles was a slave on the Wilson Farm in Mays Lick, KY. [Mays Lick is nine miles from Maysville, KY]. In 1863, he escaped with his wife, baby daughter, and his brother-in-law who was the overseer on the Wilson Farm. Settles located his friend John Greiner in Ripley, OH, and his family lived with Greiner for two years. Less than a week after their arrival in Ohio, Settles returned to Kentucky and led eight other slaves to freedom. For more see Beyond the River by A. Hagedorn 
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Mays Lick and Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Ripley, Ohio

Shake Rag (Bowling Green, KY)
The Shake Rag District of Bowling Green, KY, was an African American community with families, schools, businesses, and churches. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The community was settled by former slaves, families and soldiers who had fought for the Union Army during the Civil War. A large portion of Bowling Green's domestic employees lived in Shake Rag. The Southern Queen Hotel and Covington-Moses home, located in Shake Rag at 140 State Street, is still the only African-owned hotel in Bowling Green. It was built in 1906 by James Covington, and family members still live in the home. Prior to school integration, State Street High School was where African American students in Bowling Green attended school. In 2008, the 5th Annual Shake Rag Heritage Festival was held by the New Era Planning Association, an organization that is working to revitalize the Shake Rag District. For more see ShakeRag: a pictorial history from 1946 to 1967, by D. Thompson and K. R. Singleton; and the following articles from the Daily News (Bowling Green): J. Dooley, "Visitors' bureau highlights Shakerag area," 10/08/2002, News section; A. Carmichael, "Shake Rag looks toward resurgence," 08/17/2003, News section; A. Harvey, "Shake Rag's festival returns - fifth annual event pays tribute to BG's historic black area," 05/15/2008, Feature section; and B. Speakman, "Celebrating Shake Rag," 05/17/2008, (bgdailynews.com).
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Bed & Breakfast, Hotels, Inns, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Shake Rag (Bowling Green), Warren County, Kentucky

Shankle, James and Winnie [Shankleville, Texas]
James Shankle (1811 - 1887), born in Kentucky, was the husband of Winnie (1814 - 1883), born in Tennessee; they were both the slaves of Isaac Rollins in Wayne County, Mississippi. Winnie and her children by Isaac Rollins were sold, and James Shankle became a fugitive when he went looking for them. After many months of searching, he found them in Texas, and Winnie's new owner also purchased James. After they became free, James and Winnie bought land and founded the African American town of Shankleville. They would become the parents of six more children, one of whom married Stephen McBride, founder of McBride College, which was located in Shankleville. The school existed from 1883 to 1909. For more see Shankleville, Texas, at The Handbook of Texas Online website; and "James and Winnie Brush Shankle" in vol. 7 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Freedom, Migration West, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Tennessee / Wayne County, Mississippi / Shankleville, Texas

Shaw, Thomas
Birth Year : 1846
Death Year : 1895
Born a slave in Covington, KY, Thomas Shaw ran away to join the Union Army in 1864. His owner, Mary Shaw, wrote the federal government asking for compensation for her loss. After the Civil War, Thomas Shaw remained with the Army and was on the western frontier with Company K, 9th U.S. Cavalry. He earned the Medal of Honor for the defense of his comrades during a fight with Apache Indians in 1881. Shaw retired from the Army in 1894. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. For more see African American Recipients of the Medal of Honor, by C. W. Hanna.

See photo image of Thomas Shaw at the Wikipedia website.
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Simpson, Melissa
Birth Year : 1817
Death Year : 1901
Melissa Simpson was the founder of the Rock Valley A.M.E. Church in Clinton, KS. Born in Logan County, KY, she had been a slave. She was taken out west when she was 16 years old and sold to W. H. Bradley in Warrenburg, Johnson County, MO. Simpson was a free woman when she moved to Clinton, Kansas in 1866. She worked as a farm hand on the Petefish Farm in Clinton; Simpson did whatever was required, from making rails to keeping house. She was considered fairly well-off for a married woman and the mother of 10 children, six of whom were still living when Simpson died on July 3, 1901. She had kept her own money and at the time of her death had acquired between six and seven thousand dollars. Melissa Simpson was the wife of Patrick Simpson, who was also born around 1817 in Kentucky. The couple married in 1840 in Missouri. They owned their farm in Clinton, KS. The family is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. For more see "Mrs. Melissa Simpson..," Plaindealer, 07/12/1901, p. 4.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Logan County, Kentucky / Warrenburg, Johnson County, Missouri / Clinton, Kansas

Sleettown (Perryville, KY)
Start Year : 1865
End Year : 1931
Sleettown was an African American community developed after the Civil War on 96-acres near Perryville, KY. During the war, the land had been used as a staging ground for the Confederate Army during the Battle of Perryville, the largest Civil War battle in Kentucky. The history of Sleettown was collected and written by Perryville Mayor Anne Sleet and Mary Q. Kerbaugh. The Sleet Family's earliest known ancestors were Warner and Octavia Sleet. Their sons, Henry, Preston, and George, led in the development of Sleettown. The community had a general store, eating places, and a cemetery. As younger residents began leaving for employment in the city, the population steadily decreased until the last person left Sleettown in 1931; only one old house remains standing. Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Moneta Sleet was a member of the Sleettown family. In 2007, the Kentucky Parks Department purchased the land where Sleettown had existed. The site will be used to tell the history of both the Battle of Perryville and Sleettown. For more see A. Jester, "Sleettown tells a part of the tale," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/30/2001, KyLife section, p. J3; G. Kocher, "Perryville's next mayor - Anne Sleet adds new chapter to family's proud history in Boyle County," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/27/2006, Main News section, p. A1; and "Sleettown to become part of historic site," Lexington Herald-Leader, City&Region section, p. B3.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Parks
Geographic Region: Sleettown [no longer exists] and Perryville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Smith, Ella Cowan and Josephus [Joseph] William
Birth Year : 1873
Both Ella and Joseph Smith were born in 1873 in Lexington, KY, where their parents had been slaves. In 1878, when both were five years old and their families were free, the families moved to Atchison, Kansas; they were members of the Exodusters leaving Lexington for Kansas. Their families later moved on to Oklahoma during the Land Rush. For more about the Smith Family see Echoes of Yesterday, by Josephus (Joseph Smith) [available online .pdf an iwitnesstohistory.org website].
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Atchison, Kansas / Oklahoma

South Union, KY - Shakers, Slaves, and Freemen
Start Year : 1807
South Union, located in Auburn, KY, was the southernmost Shaker Community during the War of 1812. It was founded in 1807 and closed in 1922. The community was known as Gasper River until 1813 when it was renamed South Union. According to the thesis of Ryan L. Fletcher, in 1812, Willie Jones, from Halifax, NC, wanted to bring 107 of his slaves to South Union to receive the gospel. There were already slaves at South Union who belonged to Shaker Believers. It had not been easy to convert the slaves into Believers. They were referred to as the Black Family and were segregated from the remaining members. The thought of adding Willie Jones' slaves was not immediately embraced. It was decided that Jones' slaves would either willingly convert to Shakers and move to South Union, or they would remain slaves in North Carolina. Either way, they would still be slaves. Four of the slaves converted and the remainder were sold with none of the profits going to the South Union Shakers; they refused to have anything to do with the money. Willie Jones and his four slaves joined South Union, until Jones was accused of being a backslider and he left, taking his four slaves with him. Jones' downfall was attributed to slavery and the inequality that came with it. Shaker Believers supposedly followed a doctrine of egalitarianism, and slavery was causing disunion in South Union. In 1817, there was a protest referred to as a Shaker slave revolt. The revolt was nonviolent, it was led by African American Elder Neptune. The slaves wanted their freedom and equality, as was professed in the Shaker gospel. They began leaving South Union and re-establishing themselves in Bowling Green, KY. Elder Neptune soon joined them. Owners attempted to regain their slaves without legal or violent means, it was the Shaker way. Elder Neptune returned to South Union and in 1819, the ministry advised slave owners to emancipate their slaves. By the 1830s, all slaves at South Union had been emancipated. Many of the former slaves, including Elder Neptune, left the community and were captured and sold back into slavery; their emancipation in South Union was not recognized beyond the community. For more see "Does God See This?" Shakers, Slavery and the South by R. L. Fletcher (thesis); By Their Fruits by J. Neal; Shaker Papers, Shakers 1769-1893; and visit Shaker Museum at South Union.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Religion & Church Work, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: South Union, Auburn, Logan County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Spencer, Moses
Death Year : 1877
Spencer was listed as a free person in William's Lexington [Kentucky] Directory, City Guide, and Business Mirror, Volume I, 1859-60, compiled by C. S. Williams, Lexington, [Kentucky]: Hitchcock & Searles, 1859. At one time, he was Lexington's most successful African American businessman. Spencer was a secondhand furniture dealer whose business was located on Main Street. He owned a slave. After the Civil War, he sold the furniture business and opened a new store on Short and Market Streets. For more see Lexington, Heart of the Bluegrass, by J. D. Wright.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Spradling, Washington, Sr.
Birth Year : 1805
Death Year : 1868
Spradling was the son of an overseer, William Spradling, and Maria Dennis, a slave who belonged to Isaac Miller. Maria and her children were freed after the death of William Spradling in 1814. Washington Spradling moved to Louisville, KY, and opened a barbershop in 1825. He also purchased real estate and by 1860 was one of the richest African Americans in Louisville. He was the father of William Spradling, born 1827. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; "Death of a Colored millionaire in Louisville," Chicago Tribune, 05/22/1868; and History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Freedom
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Stevens, George
Birth Year : 1815
Stevens was born in Georgetown, KY, the son of Washington Stevens. A slave, he had many owners until he joined the Army during the Civil War. He was present at a number of battles and was on the tugboat "Thompson" when Vicksburg was taken in 1863. At the end of the war, Stevens settled in Springfield, IL, where he lived at the corner of Fifteenth and Jefferson Streets, and worked in a lumberyard. In 1868, the 14th Amendment was ratified, and George Stevens voted for Ulysses S. Grant during the presidential election. For more see History of Sangamon County, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities, by Inter-state Publishing Company (Chicago); and contact the Springfield, Illinois, African American History Foundation.
Subjects: Freedom, Voting Rights, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Logging, Lumbering, Lumber Business, Lumber Employees
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / Vicksburg, Mississippi / Springfield, Illinois

Stone, James "Colle"
Death Year : 1893
James Colman Stone, a jockey, was born a slave in Bloomfield, KY. Stone, his mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother had all belonged to the same family in Bloomfield. His uncle had been a slave of Judge Advocate Joseph Polt of Washington. In June 1888, Stone killed bartender Henry Miller at Steinzig's Saloon on Coney Island in New York. The story was carried in many of the major newspapers in the U.S. After three trials, Stone was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to hang in Brooklyn in June of 1889. A month before the hanging was to take place, Judge Henry Moore received a letter from Kentucky, the writer asking that Stone's sentence be commuted and his life be spared. The letter came from the sister of Stone's former owner. The letter was printed in the newspaper, but the name of the writer was withheld. It was reported on February 1, 1890 that Governor Hill of New York had commuted Stone's sentence to life in Sing Sing Prison. For more see "A Kentucky Negro," Newark Daily Advocate, 05/15/1889; "James Stone a jockey..." in The National Leader (D.C.), 05/18/1889, p.4; James Stone briefing in the News (Frederick, MD), 02/01/1890, p. 5; and the second paragraph of the article "Brooklyn Briefs," New York Age, 02/08/1890, p.3. See also "January 11 - James Stone, the jockey, imprisoned for life for murder, died at Auburn, N.Y." on p.34 under the heading "1893" in The New York Clipper Annual for 1894, by the Frank Queen Publishing Company.
Subjects: Freedom, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Bloomfield, Nelson County, Kentucky / Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York

Stone, James A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1829
Death Year : 1862
James Stone, Sr. was a fugitive slave from Kentucky who had settled in Lorain, Ohio. He is listed in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census with no indication of race, Stone lived with African Americans Sarah Baker from Vermont and Godfrey Gaskins who was also from Kentucky. In the 1860 Census, Stone is married and has several children. There is no indication of race for the entire family. James Stone would pass for white and join the Union Army. He fought as a soldier in Kentucky and was injured and soon after died. After his death, it was revealed that Stone was African American. He is recognized as the first African American Union Soldier; Stone enlisted two years before African Americans were allowed to join the Union Army. According to his U.S. Civil War Record, Stone enlisted on August 23, 1861 in the Ohio 1st LA Battery E Light Artillery Battery. He was mustered out on his death date October 30, 1862; Stone died at the General Hospital in Nashville, TN. He is buried in the Nashville National Cemetery in South Madison, TN, Section B Site 6657 [source: National Cemetery Administration, U.S. Veterans Gravesites]. James Stone's wife and children were listed as Mulattoes in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Sources: Black Studies Center - Timeline; The Civil War Month by Month: August 1861 by the Gaston-Lincoln Regional Library; and The Black Book by M. A. Harris, p.159.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Lorain, Ohio / Nashville, Tennessee

Stoney Point (Warren County, KY)
Start Year : 1848
According to author J. W. Cooke, the African American community of Stoney Point actually began in 1848 when John White died; six of his slaves were freed, and they were allotted land, livestock and other necessities needed to establish their independent livelihoods. In 1866, some of previously freed families were still living in the area that had become known as Stoney Point, though the boundaries of the community had continuously changed as lots and adjoining lands were bought and sold. Other former slaves from the local area who were Civil War veterans were among the new landowners. The Stoney Point Missionary Baptist Church was established in 1866 and also served as a school before the new schoolhouse was built in 1908. The schoolhouse was used for a couple of decades before it was closed and the children of Stoney Point began attending school in Smiths Grove. For more see J. W. Cooke, "Stoney Point, 1866-1969," The Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 50, issue 4 (1976), pp. 337-352.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Stoney Point and Smiths Grove, Warren County, Kentucky

Strader v. Graham
Start Year : 1850
Three African American slaves, George, Henry, and Reuben, were often allowed to travel with a man named Williams; the three men were musicians in Williams' band and they received musical training from Williams. The men belonged to Christopher Graham, from Harrodsburg, KY. In 1837, the band left Kentucky aboard the steamboat Pike (owned by Jacob Strader, James Gorman, and John Armstrong) and traveled into Ohio and Indiana. In 1841, George, Henry, and Reuben escaped to Canada. Graham sued Strader, Gorman, and Armstrong for the loss of his slaves. The prominent legal question became whether the three slaves had become free men by virtue of their travel into a free state. In 1851, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the status of slaves depended on the laws of the state; thus, the three men were still considered slaves according to Kentucky Law. The case would be used to argue the fate of other African Americans in prominent cases such as Dred Scott v. Sanford and Rachel v. Walker. For more see Jacob Strader, James Gorman, and John Armstrong, Plaintiffs in Error, v. Christopher Graham. Supreme Court of the United States, December Term 1850. 51 U.S. 82, 10 How. 82, 1850 WL 6936, 13 L.Ed. 337 [available full text at Justia.com].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / Ohio / Indiana / Canada

Stradford, Julius Caesar "J. C."
A slave from Versailles, KY, Stradford was taught to read by his owner's daughter. He forged a travel permission slip, signing his owner's name, and escaped to Stratford, Ontario. While there he changed the spelling of his last name and earned enough money to return to Kentucky and purchase his freedom. He is the father of John the Baptist Stradford, better known as J. B. Stradford, the wealthiest African American in Tulsa, OK; J.B. was accused of inciting the 1921 race riot in Tulsa. For more see Riot and Remembrance, The Tulsa Race War and Its Legacy, by J. S. Hirsch.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Ontario, Canada

Straws, David
Birth Year : 1799
Death Year : 1872
Straws, born in Kentucky, purchased his freedom from slavery and was listed as a freeman in the 1840 U.S. Federal Census. (He was also listed in the 1830 U.S. Census). Straws moved to Louisville, KY, where he opened a barbershop. He also had real estate holdings and provided funds for the establishment of the Fourth St. Colored Methodist Church. He was the husband of May Straws. Author W. H. Gibson, Sr. gives Straws' death date as 1868. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tandy, Charlton H.
Birth Year : 1836
Death Year : 1919
Charlton Hunt Tandy, born in a house on Main Street in Lexington, KY, was the son of John L. (b.1805) and Susan Tandy (b.1815), both Kentucky natives. The family was listed as free in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. John is listed as a whitewasher, he had purchased his freedom in 1833. His son, Charlton, born three years later, was named after Lexington's first Mayor, Charlton Hunt (the son of John W. Hunt, the first millionaire west of the Allegheny Mountains). Charlton Hunt Tandy was listed as one of the family's nine children in 1850, he was raised in Lexington, and as a young man, he and family members assisted escaped slaves across the Ohio River into Ohio. Charlton moved to Missouri in 1859, where he would become captain of the 13th Missouri Colored Volunteer Militia, Company B, known as Tandy's St. Louis Guard. After the war, he fought for equal access on public transportation in St. Louis, which allowed African Americans to ride inside the horse-drawn streetcars rather than riding on the outside by hanging onto the rails. In 1879, Tandy helped raise thousands of dollars to help former slave families who were moving to the West [Exodusters]; Tandy was president of the St. Louis Colored Relief Board. In 1880 Tandy testified before the Congressional Voorhees Committee about the exodus of African Americans from the South. He became a lawyer in 1886 by passing the Missouri Bar Exam and was permitted to practice law in both the district court and the U. S. Supreme Court. President Grant appointed Tandy to the St. Louis Custom House, making him the first African American to be employed there. Tandy was also a U.S. Marshall under President Harrison's administration, serving as special agent of the General Land Office and as a timber inspector. He served as vice president of the Missouri State Republican League and in 1894 was elected to a House seat by the Republicans of the Thirty-second Senatorial District, but he was not allowed to serve. Charlton Tandy was the husband of Anna E. Tandy, who was also born in Kentucky. A community center, a park, and a St. Louis Zoo train engine [of the Zooline Railroad] have been named in Tandy's honor. For more see The New Town Square, by R. Archibald; The St. Louis African American Community and the Exodusters, by B. M. Jack; Missouri Guardroots [.pdf]; news clippings about Tandy in the University of Missouri-St. Louis Western Historical Manuscript Collection; "A great exodus of Negroes," New York Times, 08/12/1880, p. 5; and "Lexington Negro," Lexington Leader, 08/01/1906, p. 5.

 See photo image and additional information at blackpast.org.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Lawyers, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era], Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

Taylor, Bartlett
Birth Year : 1815
Taylor, a slave born in Henderson County, KY, was the son of a slave woman and her owner, Jonathan Taylor. Both of Bartlett Taylor's parents had come to Kentucky from Virginia. When he was a small child, the sheriff withdrew a portion of the slaves as payment toward Jonathan Taylor's financial debts. Included in the roundup were Bartlett Taylor's mother, her baby, and her four oldest sons. Jonathan Taylor left Henderson County and settled in LaGrange, KY. He had brought with him his remaining slaves, which included Bartlett and his sisters, all of whom were eventually sold as payment for more of Jonathan Taylor's debts. Bartlett hired himself out in Louisville, KY, with the intention of purchasing his freedom. He was sold, but he managed to get his emancipation papers with the promise of payment; Bartlett finalized the payment in 1840. He learned to read and write and also became a butcher. Bartlett owned a retail and wholesale business that packaged and shipped meat and traded and shipped livestock. He became a fairly wealthy man who owned several homes and lots on East Market Street in Louisville. He was also an African Methodist Episcopal [AME] Church minister who contributed financially toward the founding and building of churches. Bartlett Taylor was considered the church builder of the Kentucky AME Conference. In 1872, he built the largest AME Church in the state in Bowling Green, KY. In 1881, while a pastor in Shelbyville, KY, he negotiated with the city for a permit, then paid for a school building for African American children and the employment of teachers. Bartlett Taylor also served as treasurer of Wilberforce University beginning in 1864 and was a trustee for sixteen years. Bartlett Taylor and his wife, Marian [Mary] Taylor (b. 1826 in Indiana) are listed as living in Louisville in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see the Bartlett Taylor entry in the following sources: Afro-American Encyclopedia; History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson; and Men of Mark, by W. J. Simmons.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Henderson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky

Taylor, Sallie Ann
Birth Year : 1822
Death Year : 1909
Sallie Ann Taylor has been considered the first African American teacher in Harrodsburg, KY. She was the slave of Major James Taylor. The following information comes from an email received from the Harrodsburg Historical Society (Marilyn B. Allen) dated August 3, 2012: "We know that [James] Taylor owned Sallie Ann prior to Emancipation and that she was the personal maid to his two older daughters. Sarah Taylor, the oldest daughter, was born in 1830 and our records state that Sallie Ann was older than her; however, we do not have her exact birth date." An approximate birth date of 1822 is given in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Sallie Ann Taylor. "We also know that Sallie Ann was educated along with the daughters and by them when they went outside of the home to school." Sallie Ann Taylor would become a teacher and taught other slaves prior to their freedom. "She started a school for free blacks in the cottage that James Taylor provided for her and her mother to live in on the Taylor property." Her mother's name was Lettitia Easton [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census], and according to the information received from the Harrodsburg Historical Society, Lettitia Easton was born March 25, 1800, and died April 13, 1884. "James [Taylor] later built and furnished her [Sally Ann Taylor] a school on said property." The schoolhouse was near Pioneer Memorial State Park. Sallie Ann Taylor is listed in the 1880 and the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as a school teacher in Mercer County. "Sallie Ann remained with the Taylor Family after Emancipation and assisted Sarah [Taylor] in rearing 7 children in this home [Old Fort Harrod State Park's Mansion Museum]. She [Sallie Ann Taylor] died in 1909." Another source, also recommended by the Harrodsburg Historical Society, is the title The History of Harrodsburg and "the Great Settlement Area" of KY, 1774-1900 by G. M. Chinn, which gives the following additional information on p.142: "Later, when a negro school district was organized in Harrodsburg, two small cottages were rented from Sally Taylor for school buildings." Another early African American teacher in Harrodsburg was Susan Mary Craig. For more see "The First Negro School Teacher" within the article "Mercer County slaves who have contributed to community life," Olde Towne Ledger, no. 73 (August 2001); and visit the Old Fort Harrod State Park and the Harrodsburg Historical Society. See also the NKAA entry African American Schools in Mercer County, KY.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Freedom, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Taylor, William A.
Taylor was born in Lexington, KY. Starting with $75, he built his grocery store into one of the most successful in Lexington. He purchased the building that had been his homestead as a boy during slavery and also owned other real estate. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Tevis, Elizabeth C. H.
Birth Year : 1802
Death Year : 1880
Tevis was born a slave in Jefferson County, KY. She was freed from slavery in 1833 and inherited land. She married but had a prenuptial agreement to protect the ownership of her property. Tevis was one of the few African Americans to own slaves in Jefferson County; she hired out children acquired from the slave market. Tevis was the first resident in the community known as Petersburg in Jefferson County. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Inheritance, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thompson v. Wilmot
Start Year : 1805
End Year : 1809
In Maryland in 1790, Ruth Wilmot exchanged her slave, Will, for a slave named Harry who belonged to Thomas A. Thompson. Part of the written agreement was that in addition to the swap, Will would be freed within seven years. Thompson took Will to Kentucky, and after more than seven years, Will was still a slave. Thompson had reneged on the agreement, so Wilmot sued on Will's behalf for his freedom. The Kentucky lower court ruled in Wilmot's favor and awarded her $691.25 in damages; the money was to go to Will. [Slaves could not file a law suit in Kentucky.] Thompson appealed the case to the higher court [Thompson v Wilmot] and lost his case when the lower court's decision was affirmed in 1809. The case set a standard for contractual agreements for the future emancipation of a slave, and allowed the original slave owner to file suit for the emancipation of the slave when the terms of the contractual agreement were not honored. For more see Fathers of Conscience by B. D. Jones; "In Kentucky" in The Encyclopedic Digest of Virginia and West Virgina, volume XII [full view in Google Book Search]; and "Thompson versus Wilmot" in the Afro-American Encyclopedia.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration South, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Maryland / Kentucky

Thornton, James and Adeline Joyner
Mimi Lozano is the author of Black Latino Connection which includes the history of the family of Kentucky native James (1835-1911) and Adeline (1852-1940) Thornton. James was born a slave in Versailles, KY, and gained freedom when he joined the Union Army in 1864. He and other African American soldiers were sentenced for an attempted mutiny, and James received hard labor off the coast of Florida and was dishonorably discharged in 1866. He and his sons moved to Kerr County, Texas, where James married Adeline in 1871, she had been a slave in Florida. They would become the first African American landowners in Kerr County. Together they had thirteen children, some of whom migrated to Canada, and their son David migrated to Guadalajara, Mexico in 1901. For more see the Black Latino website at somosprimos.com and contact Mimi Lozano.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Dry Tortugas, Florida / Kerr County, Texas / Guadalajara, Mexico

Tobacco in Upper Canada
Start Year : 1819
Escaped slaves from Kentucky and Virginia had raised tobacco in their respective state and took those skills with them to Upper Canada in 1819. During the 1820s, the city of Amherstburg became the major location for tobacco farming, and the city attracted even more escaped slaves with experience raising the crop. "Six hundred hogs head [sic] of tobacco was exported to Montreal annually." The Canadian tobacco market was glutted by 1827, resulting in the dramatic deterioration of both the price and quality of the tobacco, so the economic tobacco boom came to an end. For more see p. 23 in Unwelcome Guests: Canada West's response to American fugitive slaves, 1800-1865, by J. H. Silverman.
Subjects: Agriculturalists, Produce, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Virginia / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada

Tubman, Sylvia A. E.
Sylvia Tubman was one of the 69 slaves freed by Emily Tubman and sent to live in Liberia, Africa. Sylvia was the wife of William Shadrach Tubman, the mother of Alexander Tubman, and the paternal grandmother of William V. S. Tubman, the 18th president of Liberia. Emily Tubman was a slave owner who grew up in Frankfort, KY, and after her marriage spent part of the year in Frankfort and part in Georgia. For more see A study of the life and contributions of Emily H. Tubman, by J. R. Bennett.
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Mothers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Grandparents, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Georgia / Liberia, Africa

Tubman, William Shadrach
One of the 69 slaves freed by Emily Tubman, William was sent to live in Liberia, Africa after he was freed. Emily Tubman grew up in Frankfort, KY, and after her marriage she spent part of the year in Frankfort and part in Georgia. William S. Tubman was the husband of Sylvia A. E. Tubman, the father of Alexander Tubman, and the grandfather of William V. S. Tubman, the 18th president of Liberia. For more see A study of the life and contributions of Emily H. Tubman, by J. R. Bennett.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Grandparents, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Georgia / Liberia, Africa

Tubman, William V. S.
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1971
William V. S. Tubman's grandfather, (Brother) William Shadrach Tubman, and grandmother, Sylvia A. E. Tubman, were two of the 69 slaves freed and voluntarily transported to Liberia in 1844 by slave owner Emily Tubman (1794-1885), who grew up in Frankfort, KY. Once in Liberia, the slaves took the name Tubman and named their community Tubman Hill. William V. S. Tubman was born in Liberia, Africa, and became the country's 18th president (1944-1971), holding the office longer than any other president before or after him, winning six elections. On a visit to the U.S., he came to Frankfort, KY, in search of information about his family history. For more on Emily H. T. Tubman, see Index to Women of the World from Ancient to Modern Times. Biographies and portraits, by N. O. Ireland; and A Study of the Life and Contributions of Emily H. Tubman, by J. R. Bennett. For more on W. V. S. Tubman see Chambers Biographical Dictionary, 6th ed., edited by M. Parry; and A biography of President William V. S. Tubman, by A. D. B. Henries.

See video of William V. S. Tubman and family meeting the Pope in 1956, a British Pathè website.
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Tubman Hill, Liberia, Africa

Tucker, Hagar
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1892
Hagar Tucker, from Kentucky, was the first African American police officer in Fort Worth, TX. The police department had been formed in 1873. More than a century later, the Fort Worth Police Historical Association led the effort to replace Tucker's headstone in Trinity Cemetery. Tucker had been a slave owned by William B. Tucker, Sr. from Casey County, KY; he had moved his family and slaves to Fort Worth [then an army garrison] in 1852. They were among the earliest settlers of Tarrant County. William B. Tucker was elected sheriff in 1856, Office of District Clerk in 1858, and Justice of the Peace in 1862. Hagar Tucker was a free man in 1865, and he married Amy, also a former slave of William B. Tucker, Sr. Hagar Tucker became a landowner, registered to vote, and in 1873 was appointed a special policeman. When Hagar found other employment, there would not be another African American police officer in Fort Worth until the 1950s. In 2007, a Texas Historical Marker #12192 was placed at Hagar Tucker's grave site. For more on Hagar Tucker see B. R. Sanders, "Former slave has place in police history," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 03/25/2007, Metro section, p. B1. For more on William B. Tucker, Sr. see Tarrant County, Tx Sheriff: over 150 years service, by Turner Publishing Company, Tarrant County (Tex.) Sheriff's Office.


Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, Corrections and Police, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Casey County, Kentucky / Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas

The Turnbo Family
During the Civil War, Robert Turnbo fought for the Union Army, he was born in Alabama. While her husband was away, Isabella Cook Turnbo, a Kentucky native, fled the state with their two children, Jerry (b.1856) and Nancy Jane (b.1859). The family reunited in Metropolis, Illinois, where Jerry and Nancy were employed by the Cook Family who had lived in Kentucky, according to the 1880 U. S. Federal Census. Robert and Isabella eventually had nine more children, one of whom was Annie Turnbo Malone (1869-1957), who made hair and scalp preparations for rejuvenating African American women's hair. In St. Louis, Turnbo sold her products door-to-door, and with the success of her business she was able to hire sales agents, one of whom was Sarah Breedlove, also known as Madam C. J. Walker. For more see the Annie Turnbo Malone entry in Black Women in America, 2nd ed., vol. 2; and L. L. Wright, "Celebrating her legacy: Museum honors beauty pioneer for contributions to cosmetology, The Paducah Sun, 01/24/2008, State and Regional section.
Subjects: Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Metropolis, Illinois / St. Louis, Missouri

Turner, Eat Campbell
Turner was a freed African American nurse from Kentucky. She was the wife of Thomas Turner, who had not been enslaved; he was born in Alberta, Canada. They were the parents of Charles Henry Turner (1867-1923), an entomologist, naturalist, scientist, and zoologist. The family lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. For more see Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century, by J. H. Kessler.
Subjects: Freedom, Mothers, Nurses
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Turner, Hannah
Birth Year : 1800
Hannah Turner was the slave of Aaron and Theodosia Young, who moved from Kentucky to Missouri. Hannah, a washer woman, was the wife of John Turner (b.1796), a free man who was a horse farrier, and she was the mother of James Milton Turner (1840-1915), who was born while his mother was still a slave. John Turner purchased the freedom of Hannah and James in 1843, and the couple was officially married in St. Louis, March 4, 1857 by Rev. Emmanual Cartwright, pastor of the African Baptist Church [Missouri Marriage Records 1805-2002]. Rev. Cartwright had become pastor of the church after the death of Kentucky native Rev. John Berry Meachum in 1854. John Turner was last listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census, and Hannah Turner was last listed in the 1870 Census. Their son, James M. Turner, had been a student in Meachum's school, he would go on to attended Oberlin College. In 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him the first African American Minister Resident and Consul General for the United States in the Republic of Liberia. He returned to the U.S. in 1878 and formed the Colored Emigration Aid Association with hopes of settling Exodusters in Kansas and the Indian Territory. He succeeded in getting Congress to pass the Cherokee Freedmen's Act in 1888, which authorized $75,000 to 3,881 Cherokee freedmen (former slaves of the Cherokee Indians). For more see the James Milton Turner entry in the American National Biography Online (subscription database).
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration West, Mothers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri / Oberlin, Ohio / Liberia, Africa / Kansas

Underground Railroad Research Institute (UGRRI) at Georgetown College (KY)
Start Year : 2001
Established in 2001 at Georgetown College in Georgetown, KY. "The UGRRI makes national and international efforts to preserve, interpret and commemorate Underground Railroad sites in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The resulting research highlighted the centrality and far-reaching effect of Kentucky's involvement in the American slave trade as well as creation of national and international Underground Railroad story. The Institute will join forces with individuals, public agencies and organizations conducting research locally, nationally and internationally, to broaden understanding of American diversity through creation of a more inclusive American history with a focus on the Colonial through the Progressive Era."
Subjects: Freedom, Genealogy, History, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky

Van Horn, James
Birth Year : 1804
Death Year : 1880
James Van Horn, a farmer, was among the wealthiest African Americans in Connersville, IN, prior to the year 1900. He was born in Pendleton County, KY, the slave of Josiah Thrasher. The Thrasher family is listed in the "Second Census" of Kentucky for the year 1800. In the 1820 Census Thrasher has one slave and in the 1830 Census no slaves. According to the History of Fayette County Indiana, James Van Horn escaped from Josiah Thrasher around 1825. Van Horn's mother was a slave, and his father was German. After his escape to Indiana, Van Horn stayed with John Thrasher, the son of his former owner, for about a year. Working various jobs, Van Horn was able to save enough money to buy his freedom and eventually purchased 121 acres of land. In 1842 he married Nancy Foster (b. 1822 in Ohio), and the couple had nine children. James Van Horn and his family are listed as free in the U.S. Federal Census as early as 1850 [name spelled Vanhorn]. Just prior to his death, Van Horn was a widower when he and his son Charles were listed as living in the same household in the 1880 Census. For more see James Van Horn on p. 326 of History of Fayette County, Indiana [available online at Google Books]. See also James Van Horn [and the misspelling James Van Home] in A History of the Thrasher Family by M. Thrasher.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Pendleton County, Kentucky / Connersville, Indiana

Veney, Anderson
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1894
Veney was born in Kentucky. When he was a child, the Veney family members were slaves who eventually escaped from Kentucky to Canada, led by Anderson's stepfather, Levi Veney. The family settled in Amherstburg, Upper Canada; the city of Amherstburg had been a major tobacco growing territory that attracted escaped slaves from Kentucky who had knowledge of raising tobacco. As an adult, Anderson Veney remained in Amherstburg, where he had been a barber, but not making much money in that trade, he became a ship steward. When his first wife died, he moved in with a woman named Mattie or Martha, and she took his last name. In 1892, while in Cleveland, OH, Anderson Veney began having severe headaches, was forgetful and had a difficult time sleeping. He became convinced that his wife was cheating on him, and a few months after he returned to Amherstburg, he killed her. In court, Anderson was defended by African Canadian lawyer Delos Rogest Davis of Amherstburg and Mahlon K. Cowan of Windsor. Veney's sanity was argued back and forth, and the final verdict was that he was sane when he killed Mattie and should therefore be hanged. In one version of the story, the federal cabinet reviewed the case, and rather than hang an insane man, it commuted Veney's sentence to life in prison; in less than a year he died of phthisis in the Kingston Penitentiary hospital. In another version, Veney was hanged in 1893. For more see Anderson Veney in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online [free, full-text on the Internet]; Smith: New Canaan Black Settlement, Ontario, Essex County at ancestrylibrary.com; and Disorder in the court: trials and sexual conflict at the turn of the century, by G. Robb and N. Erber.
Subjects: Barbers, Executions, Freedom, Migration North, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada

Vital Statistics: Emancipation, Medical Field, & Race Extinction
Following the Civil War, it was again predicted that the effects of emancipating slaves in the United States would result in the extinction of the race. A report was given at the State Medical Society of Kentucky in 1869 on the reproductive capacity of women and how physical labor increased reproduction. Statistics from the southern states compared the number of African American children born during slavery to the decreased rate after slavery. It was also suggested that there was an infant mortality rate of 50% within the first year of all live births among African Americans. Immorality was thought to be the cause of the decreased birth rate and sterility. The matter was such a serious concern that it was one of the reasons the State Medical Society of Kentucky presented a petition to the Kentucky Legislature to re-enact the law requiring the registration of births, marriages, and deaths. For more see "The probable effect of emancipation in producing the ultimate extinction of the black race in America is foreshadowed ...," Weekly Georgia Telegraph, 10/22/1869, issue 15, col E; "Vital Statistics," Medical and Surgical Reporter, 1869, vol. 20, p. 194 [available full-text at Google Book Search]; R. R. Hogan's Kentucky Ancestry; and An American Health Dilemma, by W. M. Byrd and L. A. Clayton.
Subjects: Freedom, Genealogy, History, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Walker, Edward
Birth Year : 1801
Edward Walker was one of the wealthiest African Americans in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He had been a slave, born on the Hayden Nelson Plantation in Kenton County, KY, and was owned by Nelson's son Thomas. When Walker's uncle and family ran away to Canada, Walker feared that he would be sold; Thomas Nelson's son had taught Walker to read and write, and Walker was a whiz at math. His quick intelligence had caused his master to keep a watchful eye on Walker. When Walker's family members escaped to Canada, it was perceived as a mistrust of Walker and he was offered to a slave trader. The sale was voided, but fearing that he could be sold at any time, in 1858, Walker escaped along with his brother, sister-in-law, and their baby. They had been assisted by Underground Railroad conductors from Covington to Cincinnati to Canada. In Windsor, Walker earned his wealth as the owner of a grocery store, a hotel, and a farm. By 1891, Edward Walker had turned his grocery over to his son William Edward Walker, who had completed a business course in Detroit, MI. The Freeman, an African American newspaper from Indianapolis, IN, was sold at the store. For more see "Smart Edward Walker" entry in Slave Testimony by J. W. Blassingame; and "Sentenced to prison. Happenings of Canadian Afro-Americans," Freeman, 04/18/1891, p.5.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kenton County, Kentucky / Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Wallace, Count X.
Birth Year : 1815
Death Year : 1880
Wallace, a barber and musician, played the violin at parties and other gatherings. He was born in Kentucky and was a freeman living in Fayette, Mississippi, according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. Judge Frank A. Montgomery recorded his meeting with Wallace in his book Reminiscences of a Mississippian in Peace and War, published in 1901 [available full-text at Google Book Search]. Wallace had been in Port Hudson, LA, when the Union Army seized the area in 1863 and gained control of the Mississippi River. The forces included two regiments of Colored soldiers, the 1st and 3rd Louisiana Native Guard. Wallace was a servant to the Union officers, and when the soldiers were to leave, they had planned to take Wallace with them, but Wallace requested and received a parole from his servant duties. He had shown the parole certificate to Judge Montgomery. In his civilian life, Wallace had been fairly well off, with $2,000 in personal property; he was also a slave-owner. He is listed in the 1860 Slave Schedule as owning a 35 year old female; Wallace was one of 28 slave owners in Fayette, MS. When he died in 1880, his property went to his 30 year old wife, Nelly [or Nellie], and their five children: Edgar, Gaitwood, Floyde, Mary, and Stanton.
Subjects: Barbers, Freedom, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Fayette, Mississippi

Warner, Andrew Jackson
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1920
Born in Washington, KY, Andrew Warner was the son of Rueben Warner, a freeman, and Emily Warner, a slave. Andrew was also a slave, he escaped to Ripley, OH, at the age of 13 and enlisted in the Union Army as a drummer boy. He received an honorable discharge and later became a student at Wilberforce College [now Wilberforce University]. Warner had also studied law and was the leading attorney in the Bishop Hillery case [within the Kentucky Conference] in Hendersonville, KY. Warner became Bishop of the A. M. E. Zion Church in Philadelphia, PA, in 1908. He was a candidate for the U.S. Congress from the 1st District of Alabama in 1890, a delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention in St. Louis, MO, in 1896, and a nominee for Governor of Alabama in 1898. The Warner Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Wilmington, NC, was named in his honor. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915Rev. Andrew J. Warner, D.D. in One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church... by J. W. Hood [full text available at UNC Documenting the American South website]; and Andrew Jackson Warner in History of the American Negro, North Carolina Edition (v.4) by A. B. Caldwell [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Lawyers, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Washington, Mason County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Alabama / St. Louis, Missouri

Watson, William
Birth Year : 1827
William Watson, a Kentucky native and an escape slave, was an education activist for the coloured in England. In January of 1857, Watson was in London at Trinity Chapel on Peckitt-street, where he delivered a speech on the importance of educating the coloured subjects of the British Empire. A collection was taken at the end of the program. Watson was attempting to raise money for the establishment of societies in various areas of England, and the societies were to oversee the education of coloured persons in a given area. Watson continued with his lectures and in November of 1859, the audience had so few boys that the presentation at the Mechanics' Institution was canceled. Watson was still at his mission in December of 1859 when he delivered a lecture at the Assembly Rooms at the Isle of Wright. The title of the lecture had been used in prior presentations, "Education and Trades of the Coloured Subjects of the Queen in the British Colonies." A collection was taken at the end of Watson's presentation. W. Watson was born in Kentucky where he was a slave. When he was 19 years old, he escaped to Canada, then moved on to England. Watson attended The King's College, located in London, England. For more see "The Coloured population of the British Empire," The York Herald, 01/24/1857, p.7; "Local and District News - Education," Berrow's Worcester Journal, 11/13/1858, p.5; "A Gentleman of Colour," Hampshire Advertiser & Salisbury Guardian, 11/05/1859, p.3; the December 17th, 1859, entry "Lecture by Gentleman of Color" from the Isle of Wight Observer at the Ryde Social Heritage Group website; and "Lecture," Isle of Wight Observer, 12/31/1859, issue 383.

In response to our inquiry about W. Watson, the following information on William Watson was transcribed and provided by King's College London. Please note there is a possibility that W. Watson and William Watson may not be the same person. We welcome any additional information.

Source: King's College London Entrance Papers for the Theological Department. Entrance Papers were forms completed on entry listing the name, address and fees paid.

"Name of Student at full length: William Watson
Age last Birthday, with date: 26 - Dec 10th 1849
Under which class of Candidates the Student is admitted:
Candidates Date of Admittance: 12 April 1850
Student's Residence in London: 150 Southwark B[ridge]
Fees for Two Term: £8 8s 0d
Matriculation: £1 1s 0d
Library Fee: £2 2s 0d
Cap and Gown: £1 10s 0d
The Calendar: 2s £13 3s 0d
Paid: 12 April 1850"
 
In the College Calendars for 1850-1851 and 1851-1852, William Watson is listed in the Theological Department under the 'Class of Candidates. Names of those attending this Class during the past year, who have not yet passed the necessary Examination preparatory to entering upon the full Divinity course.' However, he does not reappear in any of the following Calendars which would indicate that he was no longer attending the College.

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Subjects: Education and Educators, Freedom, Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Canada / London, England, Europe

Webb, Christopher
Birth Year : 1825
Webb was a waiter at the Gothic Hall Saloon in Buffalo, NY, when in September 1847, two slave catchers from Covington, KY, claimed that Webb was an escaped slave and attempted to take him back to Kentucky. Webb declared that he was free. Members of the community came to Webb's rescue and the slave catchers fled. African Americans in the community formed a vigilante committee to watch for other slave catchers, and legal action was taken against the town constables and a lawyer who had assisted the slave catchers. Webb was awarded $90 for damages and his court costs were paid. Webb's rescue was the second of two successful attempts by the community to prevent slave catchers from capturing African Americans in Buffalo. According to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, the following persons were within 25 year old Christopher Webb's household: 28 year old Ann Webb from Kentucky; 41/2 month old Richard, born in New York; 25 year old Sarah Andrews from Connecticut; and a 26 year old man named Charles from Kentucky. For more see J. Richardson, "Buffalo's Antebellum African American community and the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850," Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, vol. 27, no. 2 (July 2003), pp. 29ff.; and chapter 5 of The Teachers Voice, by R. J. Altenbaugh.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Buffalo, New York

White, Addison
Birth Year : 1821
Addison White was a slave from Fleming County, KY. He was owned by Daniel White. Around 1853 Addison escaped from Kentucky to the farm of Udney Hyde in Mechanicsburg, OH. Hyde had been a conductor in the Underground Railroad but had since given it up and become a farmer. Hyde allowed Addison to stay at his place, but Daniel White soon found where Addison was hiding and Hyde's house was surrounded by federal marshals. A group of 100 citizens from Mechanicsburg came to Addison's rescue and eventually bought his freedom for $950. For more see The Ad White Slave-Rescue Case, and Addison White's picture at The African American Experience in Ohio 1850-1920.


Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Fleming County, Kentucky / Mechanicsburg, Ohio

White, Perry
Death Year : 1877
White was shot and killed by Cassius M. Clay on Sunday, September 30, 1877. White and his mother were former slaves, and with the end of slavery, White's mother, a cook, had been employed by Clay until, according to Clay, he found that she was "robbing him of silver plate and other articles." Clay was on his way to a Negro church near Richmond, KY, to hire another cook, when his path crossed with that of Perry White. According to Clay, White was shot because he threatened Clay's life. Clay turned himself over to the authorities; he was tried, and the jury gave the verdict of justifiable homicide. According to author K. McQueen (Cassius M. Clay: Freedom's Champion, p. 31), "The shooting of White seems to have been a turning point in Clay's mental health." For more see "Cassius M. Clay's ready pistol," New York Times, 10/02/1877, p. 1; Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography (1888), vol. 1, by J. G. Wilson and J. Fiske [available full view via Google Book Search]; and Cassius M. Clay: "Freedom's Champion" by K. McQueen.
Subjects: Freedom
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

Willis, "Aunt" Lucy
Birth Year : 1830
Death Year : 1914
In 1987, Aunt Lucy Willis's cabin was restored to 1/3 its original size and exhibited at the Kansas City Museum. The cabin had been built in Trenton, Missouri, where Aunt Lucy Willis had resided. Aunt Lucy had first been a slave in Kentucky, owned by a couple named Willis who gave Aunt Lucy to their daughter, Amelia. According to the research of family member Scott Helmandollar, Aunt Lucy had a daughter named Rosa (1842?-1894) who was listed as white; John Willis may have been the girl's father. Aunt Lucy was brought west when Amelia Willis's second husband, William Neil Peery, moved his family from Kentucky to Missouri. According to Scott Helmandollar, Aunt Lucy was purchased by his family and given her freedom; she chose to remain with the Perry family. At her request, Aunt Lucy was buried in the family cemetery. The cemetery contains the graves of the Perry and Helmandollar families. Family memorabilia were used by the Black Archives of Mid-America to reconstruct Aunt Lucy Willis's life. For more see "Slave's rude cabin brings life to Missouri's history," The Wichita Eagle (Missouri), 06/21/1987, Lively Arts section, p. 8F. For more about the Helmandollar family, Aunt Lucy, her daughter Rosa, and their descendants, contact Scott Helmandollar.

*Aunt Lucy Willis's descendants: Rosa Willis Clayton (Lewis), William Harley Clayton and James Arthur Clayton [twins], Ernest Clayton, Nellie Goldia Clayton Woodson (Carter) [1881-198?], Erma Woodson Smith, Bernice Woodson, Dale Byron Woodson, Theodore Woodson.*
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Mothers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Trenton and Kansas City, Missouri

Wilson, Daniel
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1917
Rev. Daniel Wilson was born in Barren County, KY and died in Kingfisher, OK. He was a Baptist minister and organized the first Colored Baptist church in Horse Cave, KY in 1866. Wilson had been a slave until 1864 when he joined the Union Army, and that same year he married Lydia Watkins. After receiving an Honorable Discharge, Wilson returned home and joined the white Baptist church in Horse Cave, KY, and later organized the Colored Baptist church where he was a deacon for seven years. Wilson was ordained in 1874 and was a pastor at churches in Horse Cave, Hicksville, and Seenoria. He was also a missionary of the Liberty Baptist Association of Kentucky. In 1888, Wilson moved to Kansas where he was pastor at several churches. He then moved to Lincoln, NE to become pastor of the J Street Baptist Church, and soon resigned and moved to Kingfisher, OK, where he organized and was pastor of the First Baptist Church until his death. Kingfisher was a two year old town in the Oklahoma Territory when Wilson arrived there in 1891. After two years, he estimated that his church had 300 members, and that there were 400 Colored home owners who were served by seven stores, three Colored attorneys, two Colored physicians, and The Oklahoma Constitution newspaper. In addition to being pastor of his church, Wilson also served as president of the Oklahoma Territorial Baptist Convention, and moderator of the Western District Association. He was a member of the school board and a trustee of the National Baptist Training School for Women in Washington, D.C. that was directed by Nannie Burroughs. Rev. Daniel Wilson is buried in the Kingfisher Cemetery. For more see "Rev. Daniel Wilson," Plaindealer, 06/01/1917, p.4; and "Oklahoma Territory" on p.236 in The Baptist Home Mission Monthly, v.15-16, 1893 [available at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Horse Cave, Hart County, Kentucky / Kansas / Nebraska / Kingfisher, Oklahoma

Winny (slave) v Whitesides
Winny was the slave of Phebe Whitesides. The family had moved from Carolina to Kentucky. In 1795, Winny's owners took here from Kentucky to the Indiana Territory, then on to the Missouri Territory, where Winny filed a civil suit for her freedom in April 1821 [case no. 190]. Slavery was prohibited in the Indiana Territory, in accordance with the 1787 Northwest Ordinance; therefore, Winny felt that she had become a free person. In 1824 the Supreme Court agreed, and Winny's case set the standard for determining slave freedom cases up to the 1850s. For more see Winny's story in the Missouri State Archives: Guide to African American History, a Missouri Digital Heritage website; and "Winny v Whitesides alias Prewitt," Supreme Court of Missouri, St. Louis District, 1 Mo. 472, November 1824 Decided.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Carolina / Kentucky / Indiana / Missouri

Woodson (former slave)
The first slave case to be tried in Pittsburgh, PA, under the Fugitive Slave Law was that of an escaped slave named Woodson. The trial took place on March 13, 1851. Woodson, previously owned by a Mrs. Byers in Kentucky, had been living as a free man for two years in Beaver, PA, where he was a mechanic and a preacher. In the escaped slave case, the courts decided in favor of Mrs. Byers, and Woodson was returned to Kentucky. Citizens of Pittsburgh and Beaver raised subscriptions (money) and purchased Woodson, who returned to Pennsylvania. On August 1, 1851, Woodson was guest speaker at the West Indies Emancipation Day Celebration in Oakland, PA; it was the 17th anniversary in recognition of the end of slavery in the British Empire, including the British West Indies. For more see I. E. Williams, "The Operation of the Fugitive Slave Law in Western Pennsylvania, from 1850-1860," The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, vol. 4, issue 3 (July 1921), pp. 150-160 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Beaver, Pittsburgh, and Oakland, Pennsylvania

Young, Betty
Death Year : 1833
The free black population in Kentucky was, prior to the Civil War, a small percentage of the total number of African Americans living in the state. Their legal status was often challenged, their personal freedoms and civil rights tenuous. Their accomplishments are all the more notable because so many factors worked against them. Betty Young was a free black woman who lived in Lexington in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. She and her husband, Thomas Young, had been slaves belonging to Nathaniel Wilson, but Thomas purchased his own and his wife's freedom sometime prior to 1806. Dr. Basil Duke, then a practicing physician in Lexington, administered the estate of Nathaniel Wilson and filed the manumissions. In 1826, Nathaniel Wilson's widow, Margaret, took oath that the Youngs had been free for many years and had paid her husband for their freedom in full. The proof of their freedom was formally recorded with the Fayette County Court in 1828 and was prompted by Betty Young's purchase of her son Jim's freedom from the estate of John Springle; Betty formally emancipated her son later that year. Betty Young was listed as the head of her household in Lexington in the 1810 and the 1820 censuses; her husband had probably died by 1810 since he was not listed as head of household. She was one of only 208 free African American citizens in Fayette County in 1810 (compared to 7,664 slaves in the county in the same year). The free African American population in Fayette County increased to only 248 persons by 1820; Betty Young was one of them. Betty managed to buy a house on High Street in 1829, a time when it was rare for free people of color to own property. Beside her son Jim, Betty Young had a daughter, Margaret Bogus, who may have lived with her. Margaret's freedom was not formally recorded until 1833, but the manumission record indicated that her mother had purchased her daughter's freedom at an earlier date. Betty Young succumbed to cholera in the summer of 1833; she was described as “Betty Young, free” in the list of cholera deaths published in the Kentucky Gazette on June 23. Betty Young's efforts to free her children meant freedom from servitude for them and, freedom for any children that her daughter bore after she was emancipated, extending her gift of freedom into future generations. For more information, see Fayette County Deed Books, 5:421, 3:387, 3:388, and 4:258 [available at the Fayette County Clerk's Office]; Lexington city tax records; Kentucky Gazette, June 23, 1833; and U.S. Census returns (1810, 1820, and 1830) [available on microfilm at UK Special Collections].
 

 

This entry was researched, written and submitted by

Nancy O’Malley, Assistant Director
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archaeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Ph. 859-257-1944
FAX: 859-323-1968
 
Subjects: Freedom
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

 

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