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

"The Great Slave Escape of 1848 Ended in Bracken County"

This article, by John E. Leming, Jr., describes this escape attempt as "the largest single slave uprising in Kentucky history." Patrick Doyle, a white, was the suspected leader of the slave revolt; he was to take the 75 slaves to Ohio, where they would be free. The armed contingent of slaves made its way from Fayette County, KY, to Bracken County, KY, where it was confronted by a group of about 100 white men led by General Lucius Desha of Harrison County, KY. During an exchange of gunfire some of the more than 40 slaves escaped into the woods, but most were captured and jailed, along with Patrick Doyle. Doyle was sentenced to 20 years of hard labor in the state penitentiary, and the slaves were returned to their owners. For more see Leming's article in The Kentucky Explorer, June 2000, pp. 25-29; and American Negro Slave Revolts, by H. Aptheker.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky explorer (periodical)
NKAA Source: American Negro slave revolts

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“"The Great Slave Escape of 1848 Ended in Bracken County",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed February 18, 2020,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:33