Reward for “Black Will”- $5 offered for the return of Will, who is described as “Twenty years of age, five feet six inches high, heavy make” – advertisement placed by Robert Benham at the Mouth of Licking, New-Port, Campbell County, State of Kentucky; Kentucky Gazette, Lexington, Ky, May 9, 1795
A woman named Alice, with her son and daughter, escaped from Daniel Stringer of Pendleton County. Stringer believed that they had been “stolen” by another freedom seeker, Sam, who was enslaved by Elijah Tucker (also Pendlton Co.) Hudson, J. Blaine (2002) Fugitive Slaves and The Underground Railroad in the Kentucky Borderland. Jefferson, North Carolina. MacFarland and Company, Inc.
Frank, 26-year-old, ran from the farm of Benjamin Craig, on the Ohio River, taking with him a three year old girl named Ginne (presumably his daughter). Frank is described as “about 5’6″, very pleasant countenance, very talkative, pretends to be a Baptist preacher.” Three days later, Phillis, 23 or 24 yrs old, escaped from the farm of Elijah Hogan in Tanner’s Station (Petersburg). Phillis is Frank’s wife (Ginne’s mother?) and is described as 5’11” tall, with a yellow complexion. A reward of $25 is offered for their return. Western Spy and Hamilton Gazette, Cincinnati, OH, 19 Oct. 1799.
Reward for the return of Edmund, who is around 23 yrs old, wears his “temple locks platted” and always carries a knife in his belt. Slaveholder Benjamin Beall, near Flagg Springs, offers $6 for this freedom seeker. Western Spy and Hamilton Gazette, Cincinati, OH; 26 March, 1800
Nackey, 18 yrs old, escaped from Jacob Fowler, of Campbell and Boone Counties. If caught, she was to be returned to Isaac Anderson, of Cincinnati who has agreed with Fowler for the “remainder of her servitude”. Western Spy and Hamilton Gazette, Cincinnati, OH, 2 April, 1800
Bristow, a man of about 5’8″ height, stout, about 21 yrs old, escaped from Archelaus Alloway, who lived near Tanner’s Station (Petersburg). A reward of $10 was offered for his return, plus “reasonable expenses.” Western Spy and Hamilton Gazette, Cincinnati, OH, 16 Jan 1802
Slaveholder Francis Flournoy, near the forks of Licking, offered a $20 reward for the return of Billy, 37 or 38 years old. It is suspected that he may change his appearance and clothing, as he is described as “artful and cunning.” The ad mentions he may be in the company of a white man posing as his slaveholder. Western Spy and Hamilton Gazette, Cincinnati, OH; 24 Nov, 1802
Elimas, a member of Bullittsburg Baptist Church, enslaved by John Hall, is excluded from membership for “absconding from his Master & deviating from the truth when interrogated.” He is not at the meeting, but it appears he tried to self-emancipate, and was caught. Minutes of the Proceedings of the Bullittsburg Baptist Church. Microfilm. Boone County Public Library, Burlington, KY.
Juno, a girl of 15 years, ran from Richard Dicken of Boone County. She was described as having a “yellow complexion, and smiling countenance” and the report was that she had been seen in Cincinnati and Columbia. Eight dollars is offered for her return. Western Spy and Hamilton Gazette, Cincinati, OH, 11 Dec 1805
Bill, who is about 20 years old, takes his freedom from slaveholder John Mountjoy, on the 2nd of July, 1806. Mountjoy’s property is near the forks of the Licking River in Pendleton County. It’s notable that the ad for his return mentions that he lost his toes by fire when he was small, yet this is his second escape from enslavement. $5 reward is offered for his return. Liberty Hall, Cincinnati, OH; 4 Aug 1806.
Ten-dollar reward for brothers Frederick and Pippen who escaped from the Kirtley family near Tanner’s Station (now Petersburg). Frederick is described: “25 yrs of age, 5’8″ high, rather of a yellow complexion, stutters in speech, well made.” Pippen is described as ” about 5’7″ high, heavy shouldered, rather darker than the other.” The ad was placed by the representatives of the estate of Jeremiah Kirtley, Jer. Kirtley (Jr.) and Robert Kirtley. Liberty Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 4 Nov 1806
“Limus,” an enslaved man held by John Hall of Northbend, took an axe, a dog and his freedom, and left for free soil. He was described as 22 years old, 5’8″ tall, with scars on face, nose and hand. A $25 reward was offered for his return. See 1807 for more information. Liberty Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 9 Dec 1806
Elimas, after an attempted escape in 1803 and being caught, was accepted back into Bullittsburg Baptist Church in August, 1806. Within just a few months, he had “absconded” again from John Hall, his slaveholder. This time, it appears he did not get caught. Hall’s tax list shows the loss of one enslaved adult. No further mention is made of Elimas in church records. Minutes of the Proceedings of the Bullittsburg Baptist Church. Microfilm. Boone County Public Library, Burlington, KY.
Elimas or Limas, who had twice escaped John Hall, may have been sold to Archelaus Alloway, who advertised for his return in May. His description is largely the same as the advertisement in 1806, but the reward is doubled this time to $50. There is no indication that he was ever caught. Liberty Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 19 May 1807
$50 reward is offered for the return of freedom seeker named Dick, who is 35-40 years old, and ownership is claimed by David L. Ward of Mays Lick. A man matching Dick’s description was spotted near Chillicothe, OH, and claimed to be a free man, recently manumitted by a preacher named James Suggett. Ad place by agent William Buckner, Jr. Liberty Hall, Cincinnati, OH; Sep 29, 1807
Through Boone County? Benjamin Craig, of Boone County, is acting as agent for slaveholder Francis Sibert, of Shenandoah County, VA, who was seeking the return of enslaved man named Willis, who had escaped on 6 June, 1808, with the help of a Methodist preacher. Craig suspects he was in the area, and offered a $30 reward to anyone who will detain him and “lodge him” in the Cincinnati jail. Liberty Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 8 Oct 1808
August 26th, 1809, a man referred to as “Sam Killis” was captured in Cincinnati, where he was living among free African Americans, and held as a runaway. He is accused in the newspaper of stealing the pass of “Samuel Sanders,” a free man also living in Cincinnati. Sanders may have been enslaved in Campbell, Boone or Gallatin Counties before freedom. Was Sam Sanders helping him or duped by him? Cincinnati marshal Robert Blair placed the ad but gave no indication where he thought Killis had escaped from. Liberty Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 13 September, 1809
13 May 1811- Boone County Connection? Sarah, 21 or 22 yrs old, enslaved woman of the estate of Jeremiah Early of Lynchburg, VA, has escaped in the company of Isom Arthur, described as a man of dark skin, but it is unclear if he is also enslaved. Both were on horseback. Jeremiah Early’s son, Abner Early, a cousin of Boone County slaveholder Whitfield, Early, placed an advertisement offering a $50 reward for their return. Liberty Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 22 May 1811
A combined reward of $20 is offered by slaveholders Thomas Ayers and James Blanton of Gallatin County, for the return of Harry and Mingo. Harry, 18 yrs old, was wearing a blue or black coat, and Mingo, 24 yrs old, was described as blind in one eye. Liberty Hall, Cincinnati, OH; 14 Aug 1811
July 19, 1813 – $20 reward offered for the capture and return of freedom seeker, Jim, described as about 30 years old, 5’9″ tall, with a dark complexion. His middle finger on his left hand is missing and he is described as both smart and active. Slaveholder Abraham Depew offered a $20 reward for his return. Liberty Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 3 August, 1813
15 Sept. 1813 – “Mood”, about 25-30 years old, takes his freedom from slaveholder Elijah Kirtley of Boone County. In Kirtley’s advertisement for his return, a $20 reward is offered, along with a lengthy description. According to Kirtley, Mood is a gambler who is clever and boastful, especially concerning his strength, and “bent on mischief”. Mood’s scars are numerous, including a brand on his hand, made by a metal ring, applied after a previous escape attempt. Liberty Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 5 October, 1813
Charles, described as wearing “a long blue coat with metal buttons, duck trousers and Jefferson shoes, with well-nailed soles,” took his freedom from slaveholder John Thomason of Newport, KY on Feb. 6th, 1814. A reward of $10 is offered for his return. Liberty Hall, Cincinnati, OH, 22 Feb, 1814.
Ran away from Corn Creek area, Dec 6 1818- $40 Reward for Peter Hood, described as about 6 ft. tall, bright mulatto; very artful. Slaveholder Shadrach Barns. Area was Gallatin Co in 1819, now Trimble County. Indiana Republican, 23 Jan 1819
Jesse, an enslaved member of Bullittsburg Baptist Church, had “absconded” from slaveholder Ben Johnson, some time prior to the meeting, and the church had not been made aware he was gone. He also was accused of “purloining” and excluded from membership. Minutes of the Proceedings of the Bullittsburg Baptist Church. Microfilm. Boone County Public Library, Burlington, KY.
Mr. Graves’ Julia “absconded from her master,” was absent for a considerable time & there was “no certainty when she would be with us again.” Found guilty of sin & excluded. Minutes of the Proceedings of the Sand Run Church. Microfilm. Boone County Public Library, Burlington, Ky
Harry, a man of about 28 yrs old, left enslavement in Flemingsburg on the 20th of May, 1820, wearing his new “roram hat” (similar to a beaver hat). Slaveholder Joshua Stockton offered a reward of $50 for his return. Cincinnati Advertiser, Cincinnati, OH, 27 June, 1820
Sept 1820: Will French offered $100 for the return of: Spencer, China (15 yrs) and Bob (50 yrs). The trio escaped from Kentucky near the Gallatin Steam Mill. Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, p 899
Slaveholder Benjamin Waller offered $200 reward for return of enslaved man Peter Shelley, ace 44 yrs. Shelley escaped by using a pass that was 10 years out of date. Runaway notice from Gallatin County in the Lawrenceburg, Ind. Oracle as cited in Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky
24 July, 1823- Jim, a freedom seeker from Muhlenburg County, KY, is captured and held by Boone County Jailer Benjamin Willis. The slaveholder named in the advertisement is James Milligan. Milligan’s 1820 census record shows seven enslaved people, one of whom is an adult male. Frankfort Argus, Frankfort, KY, 10 Dec, 1823
18 Dec 1823-A man named Jim J., a freedom seeker from South Carolina, is caught in Boone County and held by Jailer Benjamin Willis . Justice of the Peace Absalom Graves, of Burlington, KY, was to be contacted by the owner to retrieve him. He had been in jail for several months when the ad was placed in April of 1824. Frankfort Argus, Frankfort, KY, 7 April, 1824
Sarah, belonging to Mrs. Nobles, is accused by John Ryle of taking a horse from Willis and riding it in the night to Robert Kirtley’s, it is unclear if she was caught. This sounds like an escape attempt. Perhaps Sarah has a family member on the Kirtley farm? Belleview Baptist Church: Church Records, 1803-1914. Book One: March 1803 – June 1827. Boone County Library, Burlington, KY.
Through Boone County? $50 reward offered by Samuel Redd, of Lexington, for Nicholas, last seen on the “Dry Ridge near Gaines Tavern” in the company of two men who asked directions to Lawrenceburg. Indiana Spectator; Lawrenceburg, Ind.; 22 Jan 1825; p 4 col 2
Slaveholder Thomas Bean offered a $100 reward for the return of Townley, who took his freedom while in Campbell County, one mile below Cincinnati (West Covington or Ludlow area). Townley, 21 yrs old, was recently purchased from John I. Estep of Maryland, and it is suspected he may return there (for family?), or he may go to Ohio or Pennsylvania. The slaveholder resides in Prince George’s County, MD, though it’s not clear why Townley was in Kentucky when he escaped. Daily Cincinnati Republican, Cincinnati, OH; 25 Jan 1825
Through Boone County? Advertisement for runaway seen near Lawrenceburg from Elizabethtown. Did he move on the route through Kentucky or on the river? Indiana Palladium 6 May 1825