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

Winny (slave) v Whitesides

Winny was the slave of Phebe Whitesides from Oldham County, KY. The family had moved from Carolina to Kentucky.

In 1795, Winny's owners took here from Kentucky to the Indiana Territory then on to the Missouri Territory, where Winny filed a civil suit for her freedom in April 1821 [case no. 190]. Slavery was prohibited in the Indiana Territory, in accordance with the 1787 Northwest Ordinance; therefore, Winny felt she had become a free person.

In 1824 the Supreme Court agreed, and Winny's case set the standard for determining slave freedom cases up to the 1850s.

For more see Winny's story in the Missouri State Archives: Guide to African American History, a Missouri Digital Heritage website; and "Winny v Whitesides alias Prewitt," Supreme Court of Missouri, St. Louis District, 1 Mo. 472, November 1824 Decided.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Oldham County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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NKAA Source: Winny v Whitesides alias Prewitt

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“Winny (slave) v Whitesides,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-14 19:50:44