Fugitive Slave Articles

Fugitive Slave Articles in the Ironton Register newspaper

December 27, 1855 – Ironton Register

On Sunday night, the 16th inst., as learn from the Maysville Eagle, seven slaves, three men, three women, and a child, left Millersburg, Bourbon Co., KY under the charge of a white man, in the family carriage of their masters.  They made their way towards Maysville, and in passing the toll-gates on the pike, the white man who drove, represented the inmates of the carriage as a runaway match bound for Aberdeen to get married.  They left the carriage at Washington, four miles back of Maysville.  About daylight two men on the Ohio shore getting out logs heard cries of distress from someone in the river, they took a skiff and went through the dense fog in the direction of the sound, and when near the KY shore found a bundle floating on the water and a skiff bottom upwards and on landing they found two of Negro men who had swam ashore.  It appeared that these two men, two of the women and the child, had drowned.  The two Negroes whom swam ashore were taken to jail in Maysville, together with the other woman afterwards found.  The white man and the other Negro man, a free Negro, made their escape.


January 29, 1855 – Cincinnati Commercial

Six slaves belonging to Mr. Levi DOUGHERTY, who lives on Fourth street, between Madison and Russell, Covington, KY, together with two belonging to Mr. GAGE, residing in the same neighborhood, made their escape from bondage on Sunday night. They crossed the river about 11:00 and are this are far on their way towards Canada. Their aggregate value to their owners was about eight thousand dollars.

February 2, 1856 – Cincinnati Commercial

February 7, 1856  – Ironton Register

Eight slaves made their escape from Kentucky night before last; among them was four more belonging to Mr. Archibald K. GAINES, of Boone Co., KY. a claimant in the fugitive slave case at present before US Commissioner Pendery. They are ere this beyond the reach of a capture.

February 28, 1856  – Ironton Register

On Friday evening, February 22, 1856, a large meeting of citizens of Union and Rome assembled at Proctorville, and organized by making Wes? Reckard, Chairman, and Isaac Miller, Sec’y.

A.S. Proctor stated the object of the meeting to consider the condition of the people of Kansas and our duties in relation thereto and to express our sympathies in their behalf.

On motion of J. Kimball, A.S. Proctor was appointed a committee to present Resolutions for the consideration of the meeting, who reported a series of Resolutions, which after being discussed pro and con by A.S. Proctor, J. Kimball. H.E. Adams, B. Smith, and C.M. Pease, and after being variously amended, were adopted without a dissenting voice, as follows:

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this meeting.

That the repeal of the Missouri Slavery restriction was a wanton breach of faith, and a great wrong done to the people of the Union, and especially those of the Free States.

That the troubles, outrages and murders in Kansas are the legitimate fruits of a lawless spirit.

That the only method by which those trouble I Kansas may be healed, and peace is restored to the country, is restoration of that restriction.

That our Representative in Congress should use his utmost endeavors, in connection with the Republicans of the House, to secure this great desideratum; also for the immediate admission of A.H. Reeder as a Delegate from Kansas, if he be entitled thereto according to constitutional law; and for the speedy admission of Kansas a Free State.

That we deeply sympathize with our Free State friend in Kansas in their troubles; that if the President falls to afford them protection from lawless invasion and outrage, it is the duty of the people of the Union to furnish that protection; and that we will, individually, and according to our several abilities, contribute to their aid.

On motion, Resolved, that the Resolutions and proceedings of this meeting be forwarded to the county papers for publication. Adjourned.

Wm. Reckard, Chairman

Isaac Miller, Sec’y.

March 13, 1856 – Ironton Register

The Fugitives of the late Cincinnati slave cases, on being delivered up to their KY Claimants, were immediately hurried off South, except the mother who cut the throat of her child to save it from slavery, was placed at the disposal of the Governor of KY, to be delivered to the Ohio authorities should Gov. Chase make a requisition.

February 28, 1856 –  Ironton Register

On the 20th, inst., in response to the copies issued for the arrest of Margaret Garner, Simon Garner, Sen. Simon Garner, Jr., and Mary Garner, charged with murder of the child of Margaret Garner, one of the defendants, the Sheriff returned that he found the defendants in jail where they were put by a US Deputy Marshal, who holds them by virtue of a writ issued by a US Commissioner, J.L. Pendery, (awaiting Pendery’s degree) and that he did not “feel authorized under this writ to take hem into custody.” The State’s Attorney asked that the Sheriff be ordered to amend his return SAYING THAT HE HOLDS THE DEFENDANTS IN CUSTODY UNDER THE COPIAS.  The Court Judge Carter said that they did not recognize the paper put in by the Sheriff as any return at all; that the responsibility was on the Sheriff to perform his duties according to law.  The Sheriff subsequently made a return on the back of the writ that he had the defendants in his custody.

March 6, 1856 –  Ironton Register

This remarkable case came to a conclusion on Thursday afternoon of last week, Judge Lesvitt, of the US District Court, in the application for habeas corpus by the US Marshall to gain custody of the slaves from the Sheriff, deciding in favor of the application Commissioner Pendery had previously given his decree remanding them back into Slavery. About 4:00, P.M., the slaves were taken from the county jail, and conveyed to Kentucky, escorted by a strong posse of officers.

The slaves were lodged in the Covington jail, and the owners, counsel, and others, proceeded to the principal hotel in Covington to hold a —–. Speeches were made, and — Webb, of the Cincinnati Gazette, was present as a reporter, and while taking his — heard himself called “abolitionist reporter,” but apprehending no trouble, when returning to Cincinnati, he was brutally assaulted by a crown in the streets of Covington, knocked down, kicked and seriously hurt. The US Marshals with their arms, rescued him from the mod-with considerable difficulty, and thus probably ended? His life. It was a cowardly and brutal affair.

Cincinnati Commercial
January 1, 1857 –  Ironton Register

The Kentucky Whig of December 23, 1857 printed at Mt. Sterling, Montgomery Co., KY, says:

We understand from the Sheriff of Bath co., that the Negroes from the Iron works have made extensive preparations for an insurrection, and they intend to steal some seventy horses and start for the Ohio River.  They say that they do not intend to hurt any one, but if they are prevented, will fight to the point of the bayonet. They are all armed with guns and pistols.  The Judge of Bath county has appointed two hundred and eighty patrols to protect the people.

This is an extraordinary story, and full of improbabilities, but is a fair specimen of the exaggerated rumors that are shocking the nerves of persons South of the Ohio River.

November 14, 1859 – Cincinnati Commercial
November 17, 1859 –  Ironton Register

Deputy US Marshal, W.L. Manson, arrived from Cleveland yesterday morning with Henry Seaton, a fugitive slave whom he arrested in Cleveland on Tuesday.  US Commissioner Brown examined his master, John Seaton, L.D. Ross, and J.M. Robb, all of Greensupburg, Greenup co., KY. who testified positively that the prisoner escaped from John Seaton, at Greenupsburg, on the 4th of July last, and the fugitive confessing the fact, he was remanded to the custody of his master and lodged in the Covington jail.   Henry is twenty three years old, six feet high and very muscular – worth according to the nigger trading price current, over $1,500. It begins to appear that Ohio is an unsafe asylum for fugitives.

November 24, 1859 –  Ironton Register

The slave Henry Seaton of our neighboring county of Greenup, who was recovered from his “fugitive” freedom at Cleveland, week before last, by a US Marshal from Cincinnati, it appears was decoyed on board the café at Cleveland, by one Hartman, of that city. Hartman went with him as far as Columbus, and perhaps Cincinnati.  On his return to Cleveland, he was arrested for kidnapping, and lodged in jail, but the Grand Jury refused to indict him. Let the Cleveland Review tell the rest:

“Mr. John Bennett, a special deputy, went in the jail to notify him of the action of the Grand Jury, and to have him released from custody.  On making his appearance into fresh air, Hartman found himself surrounded by a large crown of angry colored men, who made such demonstration of violence that he sought the protection of Officer Bennett, and both in great haste made their way to the Court House, where Hartman so frightened for his life that he trembled like a leaf, threw himself for protection upon Sheriff Wrightman.  The latter asked the Court-Judge Bishop- what he should do, and was answered that he was bound to render the protection asked.

Either device or force, or both seemed certainly necessary to be used to get Hartman to the jail safely, and the following was the plan devised and carried out:

Deputies Bennett and Hight were stationed at the door to keep the Negroes from going out, while Sheriff Wightman and marshal Craw hurried Hartman down to jail.  Hartman is now in jail and will remain there till he thinks it safe to come out. We hear it said that a near and dear friend of his is to take him from the jail this afternoon, in a carriage, and put him on board a railroad train.”

December 16, 1860 –  Ironton Register

On Tuesday of last week, Deputy US Marshal Readarnour, of Ironton, arrested a young man and woman, brother and sister fugitive slaves from Floyd Co, KY.  The fugitives were under the guidance of Jim Ditcher, a free mulatto, who has lived about Ironton for several years, and as they were about to get aboard of the cars a Washington Switch, on the Scioto and Hocking Valley Railroad.  Readarnour, who was on board with the owner of the fugitives, laid hands on them, and took them back to Kentucky. Jim Ditcher made good his escape at “2:40?? Time” and has not since been heard of hereabouts.

The mother of these fugitives left with them and remains in this county, the owner not choosing to take her back, on account of her advanced years.  The reclaimed fugitives are cousins of the famous Polly Negroes, who right to freedom has been in litigation now for some ten years, between Ohio and Virginia.