Escapes: Campbell and Kenton Counties


May 09

CAMPBELL: Reward ad for Will.

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

Mar 26

CAMPBELL: Reward Ad for Edmund

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

Feb 22

CAMPBELL: Escape of Charles

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.

Jan 25

CAMPBELL: Reward Ad for Townley

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

Jan 01

CAMPBELL: Fifteen slaves escape.

Fifteen enslaved people, led by Anthony Bingey, made arrangements to escape from Gen. Taylor’s house in Newport. Included in the group was Bingey, his father, his father’s wife, their three children, Horace Hawkins and his sister, and Wash Burgess. James Williams, FPOC in Cincinnati, was conductor. The freedom seekers had obtained a pass from Taylor to go to a “camp meeting up the Ohio”. Wilbur Siebert Collection. Ohio, Hamilton County. Interview with Rev. Anthony Bingey of Windsor, Ontario. 1895. Accessed January 11, 2017

Feb 17

CAMPBELL: Seven freedom seekers reach Canada.

Seven freedom seekers, five women and two men, escaped from the Taylor family of Newport. The three women were “genteel waiting maids” held in special regard by Mrs. Taylor. $700 reward offered. The group made it to Canada. National Anti-Slavery Standard, February 17, 1842

Jan 31

KENTON: Reward ad for 2 freedom seekers.

January, 1846- $400 Reward ad by slaveholder Geo. R. Kenner, Covington- two men, Jim- 24 yrs old, 6′ tall, light; William- house servant and coachman, very light mulatto, 5’6″, slender, 30 yrs, Licking Valley Register; Covington, KY; 31 Jan 1846; pp 2 col 7

Jul 07

CAMPBELL: Five slaves escape.

Newport, five enslaved escape from Campbell county, no names given; slaveholders chased and pressed charges on 15 UGRR agents; warrant issued in Warren County, OH; Anti-Slavery Bugle 7 July 1848

Aug 01

KENTON: Henry Young escapes.

Henry H. Young, b. 25 November, 1835, Mason County, Ky, slaveholder Mary Green. Moved to Covington, Ky, escaped in Aug 1849 to Cincinnati at age 14 yrs. Meandering path to freedom, he moved through the UGRR in Ohio and Indiana, living in several communities along the way; eventually went to Canada. Mentions mother was left behind, poss. with the Green family. Wilbur H Siebert Collection, Ohio, Hamilton County, Ohio History Connection

Nov 21

KENTON: Cornelius Thornton caught.

Freedom seeker named Cornelius Thornton b. ca 1825, was caught and detained in St. Louis, MO, on 8 July 1850. Advertisement names slave holder Richard Southgate, of Cincinnati. Southgate had several free people of color living with him in 1840, but came from a Kentucky slaveholding family, to whom he could have leased or given Cornelius before his escape. Western union., Hannibal, Mo; November 21, 1850. accessed 7 Feb 2017

Dec 30

CAMPBELL: Winter escape.

December, several escape across frozen river “above Newport”; The Daily American; Washington D. C.; 30 Dec, 1851, p 1 col 5

Oct 21

KENTON: Charles Warfield detained.

Charles Warfield, 30 yrs, detained in the Covington Jail on suspicion of being a runaway. Held no papers but claimed to be freeman from Pennsylvania, Fayette County. 1850 census shows John Warfield, b 1820, mulatto, free, Fayette, PA. Frankfort Commonwealth, Frankfort, Ky; 21 Oct 1852

Apr 14

CAMPBELL: Enslaved man escapes.

One enslaved man escaped from Alexandria, was seen crossing “near Jamestown” (Dayton, KY); swam across the river. Louisville Daily Courier, 14 April, 1853

Aug 19

CAMPBELL: Ten escape to Canada.

10th of June, ten slaves belonging to Robert C. Todd, Col. James Taylor, R. Slaughter, Mrs. Mary Winston and Dr. Parker, all of Newport, made their escape and arrived in Canada. The Liberator, Boston, Massachusetts; Aug 19, 1853

Dec 10

KENTON: Five slaves escape.

5 enslaved people escaped Covington. Slaveholder was B. W. Foley. Covington Journal, Covington, Ky; 10 Dec 1853 p 2 col 5

Jan 27

KENTON: 13 escape from Covington.

FREIGHT ON THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. – Since our last report we have received at this depot 21 persons, all within the last ten days. First can two men from Missouri then thirteen from Covington, Kentucky, five of whom escaped from the Mayor of that city; then came four from Kentucky; then two more up to this date. The Christmas holidays will bring us another fine lot. Frederick Douglass’ Paper, Jan 27, 1854

Aug 04

KENTON: Six slaves escape to Ohio.

6 enslaved people, slaveholder Beall, escaped Covington by crossing into Newport first, then to Ohio. Described “two negro women, one mulatto girl, one negro man, and two black boys” The Liberator. Boston, Ma; 4 Aug 1854; p 3 – Liberator cites Cincinnati Gazette

Nov 01

KENTON: Jane Wayne and children escape.

Jane Wayne, b. at Flemingsburg, ca 1815-1822, first slaveholder was John Hester. Sold at 12 yrs old to Tom Porter (also Flemingsburg). Porter moved to Covington, KY, and took “all nine of us” with him. Worried about being separated from her 3 children, Jane and kids, assisted by Bob Russell (UGRR) and 2 others, left on a Sunday in November. Settled in Amherstburg, Essex, Ontario, eldest daughter married Henry H Young. Wilbur H Siebert Collection, Ohio, Hamilton County file, Ohio History Connection.

Dec 16

KENTON: Sixteen freedom seekers reach Canada.

“UNDERGROUND – MORE ARRIVALS – Monday morning, shortly after daylight, sixteen “chattels” – three men and five women, and eight children – passed down the avenue and over the ferry, becoming subjects of the British Crown, and renouncing their claim to protection under the “glorious stars and stripes.” Republicanism, as far as they are concerned, they pronounce a decided failure – the greatest humbug of the times. These all came from Covington, Kentucky.”  Detroit Tribune, reprinted in the Provincial Freeman, December 16, 1854

Jan 01

KENTON: Sidney family escape.

Above escapes may be related to escape of family of Allen Sidney, enslaved man from MS, then TN, worked on riverboat owned by his slaveholder. Assisted by abolitionist Tom Dorm, Sidney helped to free his wife, Sarah (whom he met and married in KY), and their three children. One of the children (“Riller”) was to be sold for debts. Wilber Siebert Collection. Ohio, Hamilton County. Interview with Deacon Sidney Allen, Windsor, Ont. 1894

Jan 01

KENTON: Jane Wayne escape.

Circa 1894 narrative of Jane Wayne of Amherstburg, Ontario: born in Flemingsburg was sold and taken to Covington. Fearing the breakup of her family, she and her three children, with the help of Cincinnati conductor Bob Russell and two unnamed men, escaped enslavement “the year Fremont ran” (referring to 1856 Presidential candidate John C. Fremont) Wilbur Siebert Collection

Jan 31

KENTON: Nine slaves escape.

Six enslaved people belonging to Levi Dougherty, (4th street, Cov, btwn Madison and Russell) and three enslaved people belonging to Mr. Gage (probably William H. Gedge), same neighborhood. Left on Sunday, 27 Jan, 1856. Value of enslaved, $8,000. Chicago Tribune, Chicago Ill; 31 Jan 1856

Feb 23

KENTON: 10 freedom seekers reach Canada.

Ten freedom seekers who were with Margaret Garner’s family initially, made it to Amherstburg, Ontario after a harrowing journey, crossing the frozen lake at Sandusky by sleigh. Provincial Freeman, Feb. 23, 1856

Dec 16

KENTON: Nine slaves escape.

Nine enslaved people from “near Covington” escaped. No slaveholder name, but he was to move away to Chicago, and needed to sell them to pay for debts. Louisville Daily Courier, Louisville, Ky; 16 Dec 1856

Feb 13

KENTON: Six slaves escape across frozen river.

Six enslaved escape Mr. Ransom of Covington, who was considered a “good” slaveholder. They crossed the river when it was frozen. Barre Gazette, 13 Feb 1857

Jun 17

KENTON: Two freedom seekers captured.

Angela and Irwin Broadus, to be sold by slaveholder Col. Withers, escaped June 10, 1857 to Cincinati. Hidden in a room No.18, Taft’s Building on Vine above 4th. Room was occupied by W. A. Conolly, editor of the Cincinnati Daily Commercial. Marshalls arrived, one marshal stabbed, Irwin shot, both captured 17th June, 1857. Connoly slipped away.

Jan 01

KENTON: Walker family escape.

Edward Walker, his brother, sister-in-law and their baby escaped to Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Owned by Neson family (Hayden, then Thomas, Haden’s son). Other of his family members had earlier escaped. Source: and The Courier Journal, Louisville, Ky; 12 Aug 1894; p 8

Aug 27

KENTON: Two freedom seekers return, are caught.

Two enslaved from Dover, escaped 5th March, 1858 to Canada. Slaveholder Robert M. Ingram. They returned to Cincinnati to help more (family/friends?) to freedom and were caught. Cincinnati Commercial, Cincinnati, Ohio; August 27, 1858

Oct 28

KENTON: Escape from sinking steamer.

Six enslaved to C. Blackburn of Covington, were sold to B. P. Buckner (Boone) and were on a boat to be shipped south on steamer “Cambridge.” The steamer sunk and the enslaved people escaped, presumably. Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, Cincinnati, Oh; 28 Oct 1859; p 3

Jan 09

KENTON: UGRR agent accused.

Enslaved UGRR agent “Dennis” and white man John Weaver accused of helping 7 enslaved people escape from Enoch Weaver farm in Independence, all were caught. Dennis was released, Weaver held. Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, Cincinnati, Oh; 9 Jan 1863; p 3

Aug 12

KENTON: Family escape.

In Edward Walker’s interview (see 1858 escape): escape from plantation near the Hayden farm in Kenton County- Edward’s uncle, his wife and their children (names unknown.) Louisville Courier Journal, Louisville, Ky. 12 Aug 1894, Accessed 9 Dec 2016. www.

Aug 04

CAMPBELL: Charles escapes; reward offered.

Charles, about 27 years old, escaped from Newport, March 4th, 1810, John Cleves Symmes, Jr, offers $20 reward for him. The Whig, March 7, 1810