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

Caroline (escaped slave) [Donnell v. State]

Caroline was a runaway slave from Trimble County, KY  who made a daring escape with her four children in 1847. Escorts in the Underground Railroad helped the family reach the Greenbriar Settlement in Indiana (near the Decatur County/Franklin County line), where they were captured and locked in a livestock feed house.

Owner George Ray had posted a reward for the family, and he sued Luther Donnell for rescuing the family from the feed house and helping them toward freedom in Canada.

For more see Hoosier farmer gave costly help to fleeing slave and her children from the Indianapolis Star, reproduced at the website; pictures of the historical marker at; Donnell v. State, 3 Ind. 480 (1852) at the Harvard Law School Caselaw Access Project; and Williams, Sandra Boyd, "The Indiana Supreme Court and the Struggle Against Slavery" a pdf of an article in the Indiana Law Review, vol 30, no. 1, (Jan. 1997), pp. 305-317 .

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Trimble County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Caroline (escaped slave) [Donnell v. State],” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-14 18:43:56