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

Parker, John P.

(born: 1827  -  died: 1900) 

Parker, born into slavery in Virginia, was the son of a white father and an enslaved 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 enslaved people  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; Blacks in Science and Medicine, by V. O. Sammons; "John P. Parker House" at the National Park Service website; James Ison, "John P. Parker" at the Ohio History Connection website; "John P. Parker (1827-1900), 2/7/2018," at; and The John P. Parker House and Museum Reconaissance Survey, April 2018, at (.pdf file).

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Parker, John P.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 18, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-02-25 21:47:11