<Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky>
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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
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
Ballew, Joseph S.
Birth Year : 1857
Joseph S. Ballew was one of the first African American police officers in Omaha, Nebraska. He was a South Omaha patrolman, having joined the Omaha Police Department on June 21, 1915 [source: Omaha Memories, by E. R. Morearty]. Joseph Ballew was born in Pulaski County, KY. The family name is spelled a number of ways in the U.S. Census, and Joseph's last name is spelled "Blew" in the U.S. Army Register of Enlistments and in the book, On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert. The Ballew family was living in Mt. Gilead, KY, in 1870, according to the U.S. Census, and three years later, Joseph Ballew enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served with the 9th Cavalry until his discharge at Camp Bettens, WY, in 1892. He settled in Omaha, NE, and worked as a laborer prior to becoming a patrolman. Ballew was the husband of Dora Ballew, whom he married in 1896. Joseph Ballew's race is listed inconsistently in the census: Black, White, and/or Mulatto. He is listed in the Omaha City Directory as Colored. On September 28, 1919, the Omaha Race Riot occurred. Will Brown, who was Black, was accused of attacking Agnes Loebeck, who was white. Brown was taken from jail by a mob and brutally killed: his body was burned. There were other deaths unrelated to Brown and Loebeck. When calm was restored to the city, the Omaha Police Department was criticized for what was perceived as a lack of effort to prevent the deaths and rioting. Two of the police officers on duty during the rioting were Black [source: see "Omaha" in Race Riots and Resistance, by J. Voogd]. More about the riot can be found online at NebraskaStudies.org.
Subjects: Lynchings, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Mt. Gilead, Pulaski County, Kentucky / Omaha, Nebraska
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
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1867
Twenty-four year old Sergeant Harrison Bradford was killed leading a protest at San Pedro Springs, located in San Antonio, Texas, on April 9, 1867. Bradford was shot while protesting the brutality of Lt. Edward Heyl. The shot that killed Bradford was fired by Lt. Frederick Smith during what is called the San Pedro Springs Mutiny. Lieutenant Seth E. Griffin also died from wounds he received during the fight. Harrison Bradford, from Scott County, KY, was a veteran of the Civil War and had served with the 104th Colored Infantry. He re-enlisted in October of 1866 in Louisiana along with fellow Kentuckian, former slave, and Civil War veteran, Jacob Wilks [info]. Bradford served with Company E of the 9th Cavalry [source: U.S. Army Register of Enlistments]. In 1867, the 9th Cavalry Colored soldiers were part of the movement of federal troops sent to Texas, a former Confederate state, to keep order after the Civil War. Troops from the 9th Cavalry Companies A, E, and K arrived in San Antonio at the end of slavery when there was a political debate over whether to extend voting rights to Colored men. The situation was compounded by the racial disagreements and morale issues within the troop companies. The companies were led by white officers. The 9th Cavalry arrived in San Antonio to jeers and curses from community members who felt the federal government was overstepping state's rights, and it was an added insult to have Colored troops reinforce the federal government's power. However, the first military action that resulted in injury and death did not involve the community but occurred during a fight between the 9th Cavalry troops and officers. Lt. Edward Heyl had ordered three Colored troops be hung from trees by their wrists because he felt that they had been slow in responding to his orders. The three troops were Private Fayette Hall, a Civil War veteran; Private Alphonse Goodman; and Private Albert Bailey. Lt. Heyl left camp and went to a saloon, and when he returned, he beat one of the three troops with his saber. Sergeant Harrison Bradford took issue with the behavior and led the protest, confronting Lt. Heyl. Bradford was shot by either Lt. Heyl or Lt. Griffin. Sergeant Bradford and another soldier retaliated. Lt. Heyl, Lt. Seth Griffin, and Lt. Fred Smith were injured. Lt. Smith fired the shot that killed Sergeant Bradford, which led to an all out fight: shots were exchanged between the officers and the Colored troops. Peace was restored with the arrival of troops led by Colonel Wesley Merritt. Lt. Seth Griffin suffered a head wound when he was struck by a saber; he died April 14, 1867. Corporal Charles Wood and Private Irving Charles, Colored troops, were arrested and received death sentences for their part in the fight. Several of the Colored troops involved in the fight were sentenced to prison terms. By the summer of 1867, the 9th Cavalry had been redistributed to other posts in West Texas. Also during the summer of 1867, the Colored people of San Antonio held their first Juneteenth Celebration at San Pedro Springs Park. It was not much later that Corporal Charles Wood, Private Irving Charles, and the Colored troops of the 9th Cavalry who had been sentenced to prison terms were all pardoned and returned to duty; troops were desperately needed on the West Texas front to protect against highway bandits, cattle rustlers, and Native Americans. Lt. Heyl remained with the 9th Cavalry until 1881; he was a colonel in the Inspector General's Department when he died in 1895. Lt. Frederick Smith also stayed with the 9th Cavalry, excelling as an officer, until December of 1869, when his wife was about leave him: Lt. Smith shot himself in the head. The 9th Cavalry developed into a major fighting force in Texas but still received racial hostility from the public and was therefore removed to the New Mexico Territory. For more see On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; African Americans and Race Relations in San Antonio, Texas, 1867-1937, by K. Mason; chapter 6, "The 9th Cavalry in Texas: Mutiny at San Pedro Springs, Texas, April 1867" in Voices of the Buffalo Soldier, by F. N. Schubert; the entry "9th Cavalry" in African Americans at War: an encyclopedia, Vol. 1, by J. Sutherland; E. Ayala, "Time to recall chains broken," San Antonio Express-News, 06/19/2009, p. 3B; The Buffalo Soldiers: a narrative of the Black Cavalry in the West, by W. H. Leckie and S. A. Leckie; and Black Valor: Buffalo Soldiers and the Medal of Honor, 1870-1898, by F. N. Schubert. Read more about the career of Lt. Frederick Smith in "African American troops of Company K, 9th Cavalry fought in the Battle of Fort Lancaster," an article by W. R. Austerman in the Wild West journal, February 2005 issue [article available online at Historynet.com]. The location of Sergeant Harrison Bradford's grave is not known at this time.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Military & Veterans, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Scott County, Kentucky / San Pedro Springs, San Antonio, Texas
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
Brownsville Affair [Texas] - 25th U.S. Regiment
Start Year : 1906
In 1906, the 25th U.S. Regiment [Colored] was stationed at Fort Brown, TX; it included 20 servicemen from Kentucky among its ranks. Soon after the men arrived at the fort, tension ensued between whites in Brownsville and the soldiers. On August 13th, a bartender was killed and a police officer was wounded; the men of the 25th Regiment were blamed for both. President Theodore Roosevelt had 167 men dishonorably discharged from the service. In 1970, author John D. Weaver investigated the incident and found that the men of the 25th Regiment were all innocent; he published his investigation in The Brownsville Raid. As a result of Weaver's book, the U.S. Army conducted an investigation into the Brownsville incident and also found that the men were innocent. The Nixon Administration reversed President Roosevelt's 1906 order, and in 1972, the men of the 25th U.S. Regiment were given honorable discharges, but without backpay. In December 1972, an article was placed in the Lexington Leader seeking the descendants of the 20 men from Kentucky. Below are the names and birth locations of 19 of the men.
- Pvt Henry W. Arrin, Pembroke
- Corp. Ray Burdett, Yosemite
- Pvt. Strowder Darnell, Middletown
- Musician Hoytt Robinson, Mt. Sterling
- Pvt Samuel Wheeler, Clark County
- Pvt Richard Crooks, Bourbon County
- Pvt Edward Robinson, Mulborough
- Pvt Benjamin F. Johnson, Fayette County
- Pvt Charles Jones, Nicholasville
- Musician Joseph Jones, Midway
- Pvt Thomas Taylor, Clark County
- Sgt Luther T. Thornton, Aberdeen OH
- Corp Preston Washington, Lexington
- Pvt Charles E. Rudy, Dixon
- Pvt William VanHook, Odville
- Pvt August Williams, Hartford
- Pvt Stansberry Roberts, Woodford County
- Pvt William Smith, Lexington
- Pvt John Green, Mulborough
For more see Brownsville Affair on the Wikipedia website; Brownsville Raid of 1906, at The Handbook of Texas Online; and "Descendants of cleared Black soldiers sought," Lexington Leader, 12/05/1972, p. 2B.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Brownsville, Texas / Kentucky
Birth Year : 1831
Death Year : 1875
Caldwell, a blacksmith, was born in Kentucky and later became an elected state senator in Mississippi. He was the husband of Margaret Ann Caldwell. In 1868, Charles Caldwell and the son of a judge were involved in a shootout that left the judge's son dead. Caldwell was tried by an all-white jury and found not guilty; he was the first African American in Mississippi to kill a white man and be found not guilty by the courts. Caldwell continued as a state senator and helped write the state constitution. He would later command an African American militia troop in Clinton, MS, and try unsuccessfully to prevent a race riot. The riot lasted for four days, and on Christmas Day, 1875, Caldwell was gunned down by a gang of whites. For more see A People's History of the United States: 1942-present (2003), by H. Zinn; and "Charles Caldwell, State Senator," in Great Black Men of Masonry, 1723-1982 (2002), by J. M. A. Cox.
Subjects: Blacksmiths, Migration South, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Clinton, Mississippi
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
Colonization Conspiracy (East St. Louis, IL)
Start Year : 1916
Prior to the East St. Louis race riots of 1917, a conspiracy took place when Democrats charged that Republicans were colonizing Negroes from the South to increase the power of the G.O.P. The state of Illinois was a doubtful win for the Woodrow Wilson presidential campaign, so, the idea was cooked up to accuse the Republicans of vote fraud among Negroes and also of importing southern Negroes to be used as strikebreakers and union busters. It was a tactic that had been used without much success in previous elections. For the 1916 election, there was a colonization investigation with the supposed findings, by Assistant Attorney General Frank Dailey, that over the previous year, 300,000 Negroes of voting age had been colonized in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Ten to twelve thousand had settled in East St. Louis. The Department of Justice agents interviewed many of the so-called colonists and found that they had come North seeking higher wages more so than politics. But, the newspapers were told that the colonists had been brought North as illegal voters; the jobs never existed, and there was a guilty party in Kentucky: "unscrupulous Republican politicians in Northern Kentucky had given labor contractors the names of Negroes who were to be duped." For more see E. M. Rudwick, "East St. Louis and the "Colonization Conspiracy" of 1916," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 33, issue 1 (Winter, 1964), pp. 35-42 [quotation from page 40]; and "The Colonization Conspiracy," chapter 2 of Race Riot at East St. Louis, July 2, 1917, by E. M. Rudwick.
Subjects: Hoaxes, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: East Saint Louis, Illinois / 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
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
Faulkner, Broadus [Bonus Army Riot]
Start Year : 1899
End Year : 1961
Broadus Faulkner was a member of the Bonus Army which was made up of more than 43,000 protesters, mostly WWI veterans and family members. The protesters, both Blacks and whites, were seeking cash payments for veterans' Service Certificates. The U.S. Government had issued more than three million certificates that were to mature in 1945; they were 20 year certificates that represented the pay promised to veterans plus compounded interest. With the Great Depression, unemployed veterans marched on Washington during the spring and summer of 1932, led by former Army Sargent Walter W. Waters, the veterans had gathered at the Capital to convince Congress to make immediate payments. The protesters camped-out near the White House and the encampment was named Hooverville. The campers lived in tents and makeshift huts. June 1932, the House passed a bill for payment, but the bill was blocked in the Senate. July 1932, the Attorney General ordered the police to evacuate the Bonus Army. A riot broke out. President Hoover called out troops to force the protesters out of Washington. Several veterans and their family members were injured and two were killed. Hooverville was burned to the ground. August 1932, the Washington D.C. grand jury indicted three men for their role in the riot. Broadus Faulkner, a 32 year old African American from Kentucky, was charged with felonious assault and assault to kill Patrolman John E. Winters. Faulkner and Bernard McCoy, a Chicago bricklayer who was also indicted, had thrown bricks at the police. John O. Olson, the third man to be indited, was a carpenter whose last address was in Nebraska. Olson had used a table leg as a weapon against the police. For more see "Three Indicted in bonus army fight," Kingsport Times, 08/16/1932, p.1 & 6; and The Bonus Army by P. Dickson and T. B. Allen.
Broadus Faulkner, born in Paint Lick, KY, November 28, 1899, was the son of Isiah and Jane Smith Faulkner. In 1910, the family of seven lived in Buckeye, KY [source: U.S. Federal Census - last name spelled "Faulconer"]. In 1920, Faulkner lived in Cincinnati, OH, where he worked as a laborer; he was a private in the U.S. Army during WWI; and in 1926 he was sentenced to prison in Chelsea, MI for breaking and entering [sources: 1920 and 1930 U.S. Federal Census; "2 would-be robbers of fur store caught," The Owosso Argus-Press, 03/01/1926, p.6; and "Three Bonus men indicted," The Milwaukee Journal, 08/16/1932, p.12]. Faulkner also served 90 days in Philadelphia, PA for stealing. Following the Bonus Army riot in 1932, Faulkner, Bernard McCoy, and John O. Olson were jailed. They were represented by lawyers Dan McCullough and Frank S. Easby-Smith, and after their trial, all three of the jailed men were freed with a suspended sentence [source: "Men jailed in Bonus Eviction Riot Freed," The Toledo News-Bee, 11/25/1932, p.1]. By 1940, Broadus Faulkner had moved to Los Angeles, CA [source: U.S. Federal Census], where he died May 3, 1961 [source: California Death Index].
See photo image of Broadus Faulkner, John O. Olson, and Bernard McCoy under the caption "Accused in Captol Bonus Riot" on p.4 of the Florence Times, 08/20/1932.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paint Lick and Buckeye, Garrard County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / Los Angeles California
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
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
McKay, Barney M. [McDougal]
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1925
Barney McKay was born in Nelson County, KY, and according to F. N. Schubert, he was the son of Barney McKay and Mary McDougal. He was a journalist, civil rights activist, veteran, author, and supporter of African American migration. Barney McKay left Kentucky and became a Pullman Porter. He lived in Jeffersonville, IN, where he was employed at the car works of Shickle and Harrison as a iron puddler. In 1881, he joined the U.S. Army in Indianapolis, IN, under the name of Barney McDougal, and served with the 24th Infantry, Company C. He was honorably discharged in 1892. He re-enlisted as Barney McKay and served with the 9th Cavalry, Company C and Company G. In 1893, Sergeant Barney McKay was charged with distributing an incendiary circular among the troops at Fort Robinson, NE. The circular, published by the Progress Publishing Company of Omaha, promised retaliation against the civilians of Crawford, NE, should there continue to be racial violence toward Negro soldiers. There was no proof that Sergeant McKay had distributed the circular, yet Lieutenant Colonel Reuben F. Barnard was convinced of his guilt; Sergeant McKay had received a package of newspapers from the Progress Publishing Company of Omaha, and he had a copy of the circular in his possession. Also, Sergeant McKay and four other soldiers had prevented a Crawford mob from lynching Charles Diggs, a veteran, who had served with the 9th Cavalry. Sergeant McKay's actions and the circular were enough for the Army to charge him with violating Article of War 62 for attempting to cause the Negro soldiers to riot against the citizens of Crawford. Sergeant McKay was confined, subjected to court-martial and found guilty, and on June 21, 1893, he was reduced to the rank of private, given a dishonorable discharge, and was sentenced to two years in prison. When released from prison, Barney McKay was not allowed to re-enlist in the U.S. Army. He settled in Washington, D.C., where he met and married Julia Moore in 1900. The couple lived on 17th Street [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Barney McKay was working as an assistant for the law firm Lambert and Baker. The following year, he was employed by John W. Patterson, Attorney and Counselor at Law [source: ad in Washington Bee, 04/06/1901, p. 8]. He had also been a newspaper man and wrote newspaper articles. He was editor of the Washington Bureau of the Jersey Tribune, 80 Barnes Street, Trenton, NJ. He was also editor of the New England Torch-Light, located in Providence, RI. In 1901, Barney McKay was with the Afro-American Literary Bureau when he pledged that 5,000 of the most industrious Negroes from the South would be willing to leave the prejudice of the United States for freedom in Canada. The pledge was made during the continued migration of southern Negroes to Canada. Author Sara-Jane Mathieu contributes two things to the story of the exodus: One, in 1896 the Supreme Court upheld the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, and two, Canada's homesteading campaign of 1896 provided free farmland in Western Canada. Barney McKay promoted the migration in the newspapers. In July of 1901, Barney McKay was Sergeant-at-Arms of the newly formed Northern, Eastern, and Western Association, also known as the N. E. & W. Club [source: "N. E. and W. Club," The Colored American, 07/13/1901, p. 4]. The organization was established to coordinate the Negro vote for the 1902 Congressional elections. Barney McKay published The Republican Party and the Negro in 1904 and in 1900 he co-authored, with T. H. R. Clarke, Republican Text-Book for Colored Voters. In 1916 he co-authored Hughes' Attitude Towards the Negro, a 7 page book containing the civil rights views of Charles Evans Hughes', taken from his judicial decisions while a member of the U.S. Supreme Court [alternate title: Henry Lincoln Johnson, editor. B. M. McKay, associate editor]. Barney McKay also wrote letters advocating the safety and well being of Negroes in the South and the education of future soldiers. He called for the best representation of the people in government and fought for the welfare of Negro war veterans. He wrote a letter protesting the commander of the Spanish American War Veterans' support of the dismissal of the 25th Infantry in response to the Brownsville Affair [source: p. 191, Barney McKay in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II by I.Schubert and F. N. Schubert]. In 1917, McKay wrote New Mexico Senator A. B. Fall (born in Frankfort, KY), asking that Negroes from the South be allowed to migrate to New Mexico [source: Promised Lands by D. M. Wrobel]. New Mexico had become a state in 1912 and Albert B. Fall [info] was one of the state's first two senators. In 1918, McKay wrote a letter to fellow Kentuckian, Charles Young, asking his support in establishing a military training program for Negro men at Wilberforce College [letter available online at The African-American Experience in Ohio website]. Barney M. McKay died April 30, 1925 and was buried in Harmony Cemetery in Washington, D. C. The cemetery was moved to Landover, Maryland in 1959 and renamed the National Harmony Memorial Park Cemetery [info]. McKay's birth date and birth location information were taken from the U.S. Army Register of Enlistments. For more see the Barney McKay entry in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; Sergeant Barney McDougal within the article "Chaplain Henry V Plummer, His Ministry and His Court-Martial," by E. F. Stover in Nebraska History, vol. 56 (1975), pp. 20-50 [article available online .pdf]; Voices of the Buffalo Soldier, by F. N. Schubert; North of the Color Line, by Sarah-Jane Mathieu; and Barney McKay in Henry Ossian Flipper, by J. Eppinga.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Pullman Porters, Fraternal Organizations, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Nelson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Crawford, Nebraska /Trenton, New Jersey / Washington, D. C.
Mitchell, Jim "The Black Panther"
Birth Year : 1911
Jim "The Black Panther" Mitchell was a popular wrestler said to be from Louisville, KY, as well as several other locations. He began wrestling in the late 1930s. He was a regular in Southern California. Mitchell was the first African American in modern professional wrestling. During the initial years of his career, he wore a mask and kid gloves, and he was only allowed to wrestle Japanese and Hindu wrestlers. He did away with the mask in the 1940s. In 1949, he fought against Gorgeous George and was declared the loser. There were audience members who felt that Gorgeous George had delivered cheap shots and bad sportsmanship, and a riot erupted at the Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. A rematch was attempted in the early 1950s. Jim Mitchell continue to wrestle until about 1955, he is listed among the greatest top ten Black Wrestlers. For more see "Coda: Gorgeous George Versus the Black Panther" in The Great Black Way by R. J. Smith; Black Stars of Professional Wrestling by J. L. D. Shabazz; and "Jim Mitchell" in Jet, 12/25/1952, p.64. See photo image of Jim "The Black Panther" Mitchell at the Online World of Wrestling website.
Subjects: Wrestling, Wrestlers, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County / California
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
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
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
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
Robinson, John Wallace
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1941
Robinson, born in Shelbyville, KY, was pastor and founder of Christ Community Church of Harlem and pastor of St. Mark's Methodist Episcopal Church, both in New York City. He led the building of a new facility for St. Mark's congregation, "Cathedral of Negro Methodism," which cost $500,000. Robinson was a graduate of Indiana University and Gammon Theological Seminary. He started preaching in 1894 and was a minister in Chicago before moving on to New York City in 1923. Robinson was also a civil rights activist; he fought for a federal anti-lynching bill. In 1935 he represented Negro ministers as a member of Mayor LaGardia's investigation committee, which was formed in response to the riot in Harlem on March 19, 1935, which included the police shooting death of 16 year old Lloyd Hobbs, an African American. Countee Cullen and A. Philip Randolph were also on the committee. For more see "Dr. J. W. Robinson, retired pastor, 70," New York Times, 11/28/1941, p. 23. For more about the riot, see Race, Space, and Riots in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, by J. L. Abu-Lughod.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Harlem, New York City, New York
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
Spring Valley, Illinois
Start Year : 1884
Located in northern Illinois, the town was built by the Spring Valley Coal Company and the Spring Valley Townsite Company in 1884. Men from Europe, northern Africa, and the United States were employed to work the mines, including a small group of African Americans from Kentucky. Homes for all African Americans were located two miles outside of town due to a local ordinance forbidding them within the city limits. The Spring Valley Coal Company was the state's largest coal producer. Lockouts and strikes were common occurrences at the mines, and in 1895 racial tension escalated when Italian miners attacked African American miners and their families, forcing them to abandon their homes. As news of the rioting spread to Chicago, African Americans put out a call to arms. Illinois Governor Altgeld and Spring Valley Mayor Delmargo intervened and restored calm. The African American miners from the south and their women were blamed for the trouble. By 1910, there were 32 nationalities in Spring Valley; the population included 230 African Americans, two-thirds of whom were Kentucky natives, according to author Paul Debono. When the mines closed, many took work at the resorts where hotel employees played baseball as entertainment for the resort guests; Spring Valley has been noted as playing a contributing role in the development of Negro League baseball. For more see The Indianapolis ABCs: history of a premier team in the Negro Leagues, by P. Debono; Black Coal Miners in America: race, class, and community conflict, 1780-1980, by R. L. Lewis; and the following articles in the New York Times: "A Race riot in Illinois: Italians attack the Negroes at Spring Valley," 04/05/1895, p. 8; "Rioters hold full sway," 08/06/1895, p. 3; "All Negroes driven out," 08/07/1895; "Chicago Negroes call to arms," 08/07/1895; "Spring Valley Negro war ended," 08/08/1895; "Negroes may return to Spring Valley," 08/09/1895; "Arrested for shooting Negro laborers," 08/17/1895; "Negroes arming for Spring Valley," 08/19/1895; and "Cause of the Spring Valley riots: Negroes said to have been responsible for the trouble," 08/26/1895. See also chapter 5, "Making the Italian other," in Are Italians White?, by J. Guglielmo and S. Salerno.
Subjects: Baseball, Communities, Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Spring Valley, Illinois / Chicago, Illinois
Spurgeon, James Robert
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1942
Spurgeon, a Kentuckian who is said to be a Yale graduate, was appointed by President McKinley as Secretary Minister of the American Legation in Monrovia, Liberia. Spurgeon wrote The Lost Word; or The Search for Truth, a speech delivered before the Free Masons in Monrovia in 1899. Two years later, President McKinley was shot and killed, and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United States. By the end of December 1902, Spurgeon had lost his post when President Roosevelt appointed his replacement, 25 year old George Washington Ellis. There had been trouble in Monrovia, and it escalated when Spurgeon forwarded a report to the State Department stating that Liberian Minister J. R. A. Crossland, an African American from Missouri, was mentally unbalanced. Crossland had just shot another Negro, Thomas J. R. Faulkner, an electrical engineer from Brooklyn, who allegedly had tried to cut Crossland with a razor. After the incident, Spurgeon's and Crossland's working relationship continued to deteriorate and both men kept loaded weapons in their desk drawers. The United States was embarrassed by the entire matter and Spurgeon was dismissed. Spurgeon remained in Liberia, and in November 1904, he was speaking to a crowd in Monrovia on behalf of Franklin Leonard, Jr., Democratic candidate for Congress, when a riot broke out. The crowd was made up of about 1,000 Negroes from the United States who were supporters of Roosevelt. Spurgeon was booed and hissed at, and someone set fire to the banners decorating the wagon on which he was standing. The police arrived, the fire was put out, and there were scuffles between the crowd and the police. A white janitor at a nearby building began pushing members of the crowd off the building steps, and a woman who was shoved away returned with her husband, who was carrying a loaded gun. There was a fight over the gun, and while no one was shot, the woman and her husband were arrested. Order was finally restored. Spurgeon returned to the United States, and in 1907 he was named Prince Hall Past Master by Affiliation of Carthaginian no. 47 (Brooklyn, NY). For more see "Razors fly through air of Liberia," The Atlanta Constitution, 12/26/1902, p. 5; "Row at Negro meeting,"The New York Times, 11/08/1904, p. 2; and photo of Spurgeon as Past Master at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Authors, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Monrovia, Liberia, Africa / Brooklyn, New York
Stradford, John the Baptist "J. B."
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1935
Stradford was born a slave in Versailles, KY, the son of Julius Caesar Stradford. The J. B. Stradford family moved to Tulsa, OK, in 1899. J. B. was a graduate of Oberlin College and Indiana Law School. He and his wife, Augusta, had lived in several cities, including Lawrenceburg, KY, before settling in Tulsa. J. B. became the richest African American in Tulsa via his rooming house, rental properties, and the largest African American-owned hotel in the United States. He initiated the development of Greenwood, a prosperous neighborhood referred to as "the Black Wall Street." By 1920 the political, racial, and economic times were on a downward turn in Tulsa. On May 30, 1921, a story circulated that an African American man had assaulted a white woman, and there were rumors of a lynching. The next day Whites and African Americans armed themselves and met outside the Tulsa County Courthouse. A scuffle led to an exchange of gunfire and the beginning of the infamous Tulsa Race Riot. All 35 blocks of Greenwood were burnt to the ground. It was one of the worst riots in the nation's history. Twenty African American men, including J. B. Stradford, were indicted for starting the riot. Stradford jumped bail and left Tulsa. He later became a successful lawyer in Chicago. In 1996, the charges were officially dropped against Stradford. For more see "Oklahoma Clears Black in Deadly 1921 Race Riot," New York Times, 10/26/1996, p. 8; and Death in a Promised Land: the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, by S. Ellsworth.
See Tulsa Race Riot Photographs at the University of Tulsa Department of Special Collections and University Archives.
Subjects: Businesses, Communities, Lawyers, Migration West, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Tulsa, Oklahoma / Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois
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
Birth Year : 1821
Death Year : 1885
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 Addison White at the Ohio History Central website; see Addison White at the Remarkable Ohio website; and see History of Mechanicsburg, Ohio by J. Ware.
See additional information and photo image of Addison White at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Fleming County, Kentucky / Mechanicsburg, Ohio