Bloody Affair

Bloody Affray in Lawrence Co., Ohio 1850
Submitted by: Sharon Kouns

“This story was found in the Oregon Spectator Newspaper, December 12, 1850. The paper quotes the Ohio Journal. The actual incident happened July 15, 1850. As the Ironton Register didn’t begin until August 1, 1850, this is a part of history that would have been lost forever had these newspapermen not recorded it in the far west.”

Lawrence County, Ohio, July 15.
Bloody Affray. – Six Negro slaves who had escaped from their masters on the opposite side of the Ohio river, some eight or ten days previous, called on Josiah Crawford, who lives in Lawrence Co., requesting him to show the road north. Crawford gave directions accordingly. They started on the road as directed, and on reaching Morrison’s bridge, were met by several white men, who, supposing them to be fugitives, attempted to capture them. The Negroes, well armed, fired upon the whites, wounding several badly; they fell upon the remainder with cudgels and beat several until they supposed them dead, after which they made their way towards Crawford’s, who, on hearing the report of guns, started with two of his sons to ascertain the cause.

The Negroes fell upon them with cudgels and wounded each of them severely. It is thought that the old gentleman’s wounds are mortal. Several others were taken up for dead, one of whom received a bullet in the head. The Negroes made their escape into the woods. Some seventy men have started in pursuit.

One of the fugitives belongs to Mr. Stewart, near Guyandotte. In the absence of Mr. S. in pursuit of the Negro, two of his small sons were coaxed into the river by a Negro servant. On the approach of a violent storm, boys fled for shore, but were swamped in deep water instantly, and were drowned. – Ohio Journal.