Escapes

Timeline

1826
Jul 01

Andrew Shields

Andrew Shields, a man of color, is bound and confined in Lawrenceburg by George and Benjamin Brasher. Brasher claims he is a Kentucky runaway, Shields claims he a a free man being kidnapped. Brasher claimed the slaveholder hired him and lived in “Miami Bottom” in Kentucky. Indiana Palladium, Volume 2, Number 25,Lawrenceburg, Dearborn County, 1 July 1826

Aug 01

Escape of Bill and Woman

Bill and an unnamed woman, both enslaved by “Bro. Terrill” (probably John Terrill) both successfully self-emancipate. Bill is a member of Bullittsburg Baptist Church and is excluded for “absconding” and for having left his wife for another woman (with whom he escaped). Minutes of the Proceedings of the Bullittsburg Baptist Church. Microfilm. Boone County Public Library, Burlington, KY.

1828
Mar 22

Escape of Tombolen

Member of Sand Run Baptist church; Tombolen, bondsman of Cave Johnson, “absconded and remained absent” Minutes of the Proceedings of the Sand Run Church. Microfilm. Boone County Public Library, Burlington, Ky

1829
Jan 01

Escape of Kezia

Kezia, an enslaved member of Bullittsburg Baptist Church, is excluded from membership for “absconding from” her slaveholder, George Gaines, sometime prior to the 1829 meeting. Bullittsburg Baptist Church minutes, 1829

Jan 01

Anthony Excluded

Anthony, an enslaved member of Bullittsburg Baptist Church, is excluded from membership for “absconding from” the church, sometime prior to the 1829 meeting. Slaveholder W. Moore’s will in 1825 stated Anthony would be freed in two years’ time, dependent on debts being settled. Unclear if he was free when he “absconded.” Campbell County Will Book B, p. 138; Bullittsburg Baptist Church minutes, 1829.

Mar 01

Escape of Silvey

Silvey, an enslaved member of Bullittsburg Baptist Church, is excluded from membership for “absconding from” her slaveholder, Benjamin Watts. Bullittsburg Baptist Church Book, March, 1829.

1830
Jan 01

Increased River Patrols

Boone County increases patroller appointments for Freedom Seeking African Americans.

May 07

MASON: Still Free!

Thornton, a freedom seeker enslaved by Francis Taylor in Maysville, KY, escaped around Christmas, 1829. His absence is referred to in an ad placed in April, 1830, offering a reward for the return of James, another freedom seeker who is suspected to be joining Thornton in freedom. Daily Cincinnati Republican, Cincinnati, OH, 7 May, 1830

May 07

MASON: Escape of James Moss (Lightfoot)

James Moss, AKA James Lightfoot, self-emancipated from slaveholder Francis Taylor of Maysville on April 11, 1830. James is described as “remarkably likely and intelligent” and also reads/writes very well. A $300 reward is offered for his return. The ad indicates that James may try to unite with Thornton, a freedom seeker who left the same slaveholder in 1829. Daily Cincinnati Republican, Cincinnati, OH, 7 May, 1830

1831
Jan 01

MASON: Squire Nelson escapes to Canada.

Squire Nelson, b. 1815, escaped from Mason Co, KY, ca 1831. Made it to Canada and served in Canadian militia. The Ottowa Journal, Ottoway, Ontario, Canada; June 23 1887, p 4

Sep 15

James Harvey Patterson Escape

Enslaved man, James Harvey Patterson, was born in Boone County, Kentucky, on Sept. 15, 1831. Two years before the end of the Civil War, Patterson self-emancipated, and settled ultimately in Kansas, where he died at the age of 94 years.

Sep 29

GALLATIN: John Lewis’ arrest and escape.

Man named John Lewis was logged in Gallatin Co Jail 18 Aug 1831, under suspicion of being a runaway. Produced free papers, but was not believed. The man managed to break free from jail, left behind his horse and tack. Signed, Andrew Chapman Port William, Ky, 29 September, 1831; nkyviews.com Louisville Daily Journal, Louisville, Ky, October 1831

1833
Jan 01

Emancipation of Samuel Barkshire

Emancipation of Samuel Barkshire and purchase of property in the Union, Boone County area. Eventually moved to Rising Sun, Indiana.

Apr 30

Freedom Seeker from Elizabethtown

Through Boone County? Advertisement for runaway from Elizabethtown area. Possible indication of route through or to Lawrenceburg. Indiana Palladium 30 April, 1833

May 01

Escape of Merrit

In a meeting at Bullittsburg Baptist Church, a complaint was made against Merrit, a “Black member of this church belonging to Bro. George Ganes for having absconded & left this chis church this Master without leave, the matter is taken up & considered & he found guilty of Sin & Excluded” –Minutes of the Proceedings of the Bullittsburg Baptist Church. Microfilm. Boone County Public Library, Burlington, KY.

Sep 10

CARROLL: Two freedom seekers reach Indiana.

Two men enslaved by Mr. Holland and Mr. Booker of Prestonville made their way north by way of Madison, IN. from nkyviews.com- Kentucky Family Mirror, Carrollton, Ky; 10 Sep 1833

1834
Jun 23

Escape of Manuel

Ad placed 26 June, 1834,  by Warren Co. MS Jailer, Martin Anding.  Freedom seeker named “Manuel,” 20 yrs old, caught aboard a steamboat by Justice of Peace for Waren Co., Samuel W. Cowan.  Names his slaveholder as John Shavor (sic) of Boone County, KY.

Jul 26

Escapes and Tragedy

The Liberator (Boston, Mass.) reported dozens of enslaved sought freedom from Boone County, Kentucky. Also mentioned: one enslaved mother killed two children- one drowning, one suffocation; another enslaved woman from same neighborhood also killed her only child.

1835
Jan 01

Elijah Anderson

Elijah Anderson, originally a Virginia-born free African American and blacksmith, moved to Madison, Indiana and almost immediately started to help enslaved African American escape to the Hoosier state by using the Underground Railroad.

Oct 31

Reward for Tom and Hiram

A reward is offered for Tom and Hiram, two men who escaped from slave-trader, O. W. Gaines. The freedom Seekers were named in handbills distributed in Rising Sun, IN post offices. Gaines, related to the Gaines family in Boone County, had also borrowed $50,000 from the Indiana state bank for purchase of Kentucky slaves to sell in the Louisiana market. Many of the enslaved in Boone County were sold south, possibly with this group? Rising Sun Times, Rising Sun, Ind., 31 Oct 1835

1836
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

Jan 07

Freedom Seeker Henry

Ad for Henry, who ran from Mississippi. Was raised in Kentucky by Henry Johnson or a Mr. Chambers, then brought south by E. Coleman for sale. Thought to be running back to Kentucky. Vicksburg Register, Vicksburg, Miss; 7 Jan 1836

1837
Jan 01

Joseph G. Terrill

In 1837, Joseph G. Terrill learned he was to be sold, and decided to take his freedom, along with his five sisters and an enslaved man from another property. The group found their way to Ohio, where they were placed on the Underground Railroad to Windsor Canada. Joseph joined the British forces as a drummer during a small rebelliion. The Terrill sisters eventually settled in Ohio and Michigan. Joseph and his family settled in Syracuse, NY around 1861. He lived past 100 years old. Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY; Dec. 13, 1908

May 01

The Escape of Ed Moxley

Ed Moxley family and others (probably 13 others) escaped slavery using the Underground Railroad in Northern Kentucky.

Jun 23

Geofery and Esther

Reward offered for Geofery and Esther, who had been enslaved in Boone County by Corneilus Hughes, and presumably sold south. They escaped in January, and were still being sought in June. Would they have tried to contact family in Boone County on their way north? Mississippi Free Trader (Natchez, Mississippi) · Fri, Jun 23, 1837 · Page 3

1838
Jan 01

Plans Foiled!

Plan of large escape from Boone and Kenton Counties was uncovered and foiled.

Jan 01

PENDLETON: Reverend tried in court.

Rev. John B. Mahan tried in Mason County court for assisting two enslaved people belonging to Mr. Greathouse of Pendleton County, KY.

Mar 01

GALLATIN: David Lilliard charged for “enticing.”

March 1838, David Lilliard brought charges in the Gallatin Circuit Court against FPOC Lewis Hamilton for enticing enslaved man “Billy.” Hamilton is still on census in 1850 in Sparta. Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky

Nov 01

Escape of Frederick

A complaint is made against against Fredrick a “black member belonging to Br. R. Kirtley for absconding from his master and leaving the church in a disorderly manner.” Frederick does not return, and is excluded. Minutes of the Proceedings of the Bullittsburg Baptist Church. Microfilm. Boone County Public Library, Burlington, KY.

Nov 16

Florence Area Escape

Six enslaved people who were part of a larger planned “rebellion” in Florence area thought to have made it to Canada. The other enslaved people were stopped before the escape.Western Citizen; Paris, KY, 16 Nov 1838

1839
Sep 03

CARROLL: Capture of Bartlett

Bartlett, 21 yrs. old, fled the area of Ghent, in Carroll County, and remained on the run for over a week before being caught in Owen County, KY. He was accused of killing his slaveholder, Tabitha O’Neal, during an altercation in the field. After his capture, he was tried for murder and hanged. Louisville Courier Journal, Louisville, KY; 3 Sept 1839

1840
Jan 01

FLEMING: John Hardin escapes, reunites.

John Hardin, enslaved in Flemingsburg, escaped in 1840 to Canada. Returned to reunite with family in 1889. Freedland Tribune, Freedland, Pa; 28 Nov 1889

Jan 01

Confrontation & Capture in Indiana

Several unnamed freedom seekers, assisted by anti-slavery agents. Confrontation near Aurora. Col, Neal Riddle and others hunting the enslaved. Captured after altercation. Boone County Recorder, Burlington, Ky, 28 Mar 1900

1841
Apr 15

Anderson Ferry

Free man of color in Cincinnnati named George R. Smith implicated in escape of several enslaved from the Clarkson farm. Evan P. Anderson and Montegue McClure (Anderson Ferry) cleared him and themselves of any involvement. There are indications that they were actually involved (moved out of area, sale of ferry) as Smith may have been. Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati, Oh; 15 April 1841 History of the Anderson Ferry

Apr 23

The Jones Family Escape

The escape of Hannah, Andrew, Letta, Jerry, Mary, Jackson, George, Henry and James from Wharton Jones, assisted by John Van Zandt took place on April 23, 1841. They were pursued by slave catchers and caught. Two escaped, but only one, Andrew, remained free (the other returned on his own) VanZant was arrested, then released. Legal proceedings for Jones to recoup the loss of Andrew and the cost of the slavehunters ruined VanZandt financially. Daily Ohio Statesman, Columbus, Ohio; 14 July 1843; Lorain Republican (Elyria, Ohio) · Wed, Aug 2, 1843 · Page 2; Ohio History Central