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

Crosswhite, Adam and Sarah

In 1844 the Crosswhites and their four children escaped from Carroll County, KY, 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].

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Read about Carroll County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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NKAA Source: Michigan history (periodical)

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“Crosswhite, Adam and Sarah,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2019-04-11 19:58:00