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

Davids, Tice

Davids, enslaved in Kentucky, successfully escaped to Ohio in 1830. The term "Underground Railroad" is thought to have been coined based on his escape.

His owner had been pursuing Davids but lost track of him in Ohio. It is said he claimed that Davids disappeared as if swept away on an underground railroad.

For more see "The Railroad and its passengers," chapter 1 in Stories of the Underground Railroad, by Anna L. Curtis [provided online by the The New York Public Library Digital Collections]; and Mildred Europa Taylor, "Tice Davids, the runaway believed to have inspired the term 'Underground Railroad'," 5/19/2020 at the website.

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Davids, Tice,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-02-14 21:26:46