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

Panic in Owen County, KY

A messenger from Owen County arrived in Frankfort, KY on May 10, 1861 to notify the governor that 300-400 African Americans had armed themselves and formed a company. The telegraph lines had been cut. The messenger said that when whites attempted to disarm the African Americans, several men were killed.

A messenger had also arrived in Indiana with the story that an African American insurrection had occurred in Owen and Gallatin Counties in Kentucky. It was said that two or three white men were leading the African Americans. Troops in both Kentucky and Indiana were put on standby.

The following day it was reported that a woman had seen two African American men with guns and had notified her minister, who in turn had sounded the alarm. The story had also created a panic in Boone County, KY.

For more see "Important from Kentucky: reported Negro Insurrection in Owen County," New York Daily Times, 5/11/1861, p. 1; "The reported Negro insurrection in Owen County, Kentucky, etc.," New York Daily Times 5/12/1861, p. 8; and "Insurrection in Owen County, 1861," The Wyandot Pioneer, 5/16/1861, p. 2.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Owen County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Gallatin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Boone County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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NKAA Source: New York daily times (newspaper)

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“Panic in Owen County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 27, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-21 16:09:56