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

Webb, Christopher

(born: 1825) 

Christopher Webb was a waiter at the Gothic Hall Saloon in Buffalo, NY, when in September of 1847, two slave catchers from Covington, KY, claimed that Webb was an escaped slave and attempted to take him back to Kentucky. Webb declared that he was free. Members of the community came to Webb's rescue and the slave catchers fled.

African Americans in the community formed a vigilante committee to watch for other slave catchers, and legal action was taken against the town constables and a lawyer who had assisted the slave catchers. Webb was awarded $90 for damages and his court costs were paid.

Webb's rescue was the second of two successful attempts by the community to prevent slave catchers from capturing African Americans in Buffalo. According to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, the following persons were within 25-year old Christopher Webb's household: 28-year old Ann Webb from Kentucky; 4 1/2-month old Richard, born in New York; 25-year old Sarah Andrews from Connecticut; and a 26-year old man named Charles from Kentucky. In the 1860 Census, Christopher was a cook and Ann was a washerwoman; they had two sons, Richard and Henry, with whom they lived in Middletown, NY.

For more see J. Richardson, "Buffalo's Antebellum African American community and the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850," Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, vol. 27, no. 2 (July 2003), pp.  29ff.; and chapter 5 of The Teachers Voice, by R. J. Altenbaugh.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Kenton County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Covington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Afro-Americans in New York life and history (periodical)
NKAA Source: The Teacher's voice: a social history of teaching in twentieth-century America

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Webb, Christopher,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 28, 2021,

Last modified: 2021-01-07 17:45:42