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

White, Perry

(died: 1877) 

Perry White was shot and killed by Cassius M. Clay on Sunday, September 30, 1877. White and his mother were former slaves, and with the end of slavery, White's mother, a cook, had been employed by Cassius Clay until, according to Clay, he found that she was "robbing him of silver plate and other articles." Clay was on his way to a Negro church near Richmond, KY, to hire another cook, when his path crossed with that of Perry White. According to Clay, White was shot because he threatened Clay's life. Clay turned himself over to the authorities; he was tried, and the jury gave the verdict of justifiable homicide. According to author K. McQueen (Cassius M. Clay: Freedom's Champion, p. 31), "The shooting of White seems to have been a turning point in Clay's mental health." Nothing more is known about Perry White at this time. For more see "Cassius M. Clay's ready pistol," New York Times, 10/02/1877, p. 1; Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography (1888), vol. 1, by J. G. Wilson and J. Fiske [available full view via Google Book Search]; and Cassius M. Clay: "Freedom's Champion" by K. McQueen.

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The New York times (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Cassius M. Clay, "Freedom's Champion": the life-story of the famed Kentucky emancipationist

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“White, Perry,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 17, 2021,

Last modified: 2019-04-17 17:19:20