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

Clarke, John Milton and Lewis Garrard (brothers)

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 Narrative of the sufferings of Lewis and Milton Clarke, by L. G. Clark and M. Clark [full-text at the website by S. Railton & the University of Virginia]; and Literature in The Economist, 02/13/1847, p. 183.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Madison County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Uncle Tom's Cabin
NKAA Source: The Economist (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Narratives of Fugitive Slaves (literature influence)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Clarke, John Milton and Lewis Garrard (brothers),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-07-25 20:45:44