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

Corbin v Marsh (Nicholas County, KY)

The Militia Act of 1862 [from Selected Statutes] initially authorized men of African descent as laborers for the Federal Army and Navy, but the men would become soldiers. The act granted freedom to the men and their mothers, wives, and children. In October 1865, the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Kentucky decided the act of Congress was unconstitutional. The case was to be taken to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and if necessary, to the U.S. Supreme Court for final adjudication. But it was in Nicholas County, KY, where the case of Corbin v. Marsh was taken to the Kentucky Appeals Court. The judgment affirmed that the act was unconstitutional and not law on December 11, 1865. Judge Williams dissented from the majority of the court. No opinion was sought from the U.S. Supreme Court. For more see Select statutes and other documents illustrative of the history of the United States, 1861-1898, by W. MacDonald [full-text at Google Book Search]; "The Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Kentucky, has decided the act of Congress freeing the wives and children of colored soldiers, unconstitutional," Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, 10/10/1865, issue 238, Col. C; and Corbin vs Marsh 63 Ky. 193; 1865 Ky. 2 Duv. 193.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Montgomery County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Milwaukee daily sentinel (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Corbin vs. Marsh

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Corbin v Marsh (Nicholas County, KY),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 27, 2020,

Last modified: 2018-08-22 20:48:56