The 1863 Hannibal Stampede

PRINTABLE NARRATIVE

DATELINE: NEAR FALL CREEK, ILLINOIS, MARCH 23, 1863

Enslaved people escaping

Freedom seekers set out for Union lines. (House Divided Project)

On Monday, March 23, 1863, Wash Minter and around 20 to 25 other freedom seekers who fled slavery in a “stampede” from Hannibal, Missouri, were plodding their way towards Quincy, Illinois. Having successfully crossed the Mississippi River and already traversed several miles through southern Illinois, on the rain-soaked, “almost impassable” road to Quincy, the large group of runaways ran head first into a delegation of fiercely anti-black Democrats from the neighboring town of Fall Creek, Illinois. As it happened, this contingent of white “farmers and workingmen” were bound for a countywide Democratic meeting in Quincy, where later that evening they would pronounce themselves in favor of preserving the Union, but emphatically “opposed to a war for the freedom of the negro.” [1]

Crossing paths with a group of enslaved people capitalizing on the chaos of war to seize their own freedom, these northern Democrats reacted violently. One of the runaways, Wash Minter, later recounted how the “gang of ruffians,” as he called the Democrats, disarmed and robbed the exhausted freedom seekers, many of whom were women and children. [2] Coming just months after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect, this tense encounter between freedom seekers and anti-black Democrats along the muddy road to Quincy laid bare how enslaved people’s own determined footsteps towards freedom were upending slavery, much to the discomfort of some white northerners.

STAMPEDE CONTEXT

Multiple newspapers throughout the country used the term “slave stampede” to describe the mass escape of enslaved people from Hannibal in late March 1863. Quoting from a report in the Hannibal North Missouri Courier, the Chicago Tribune ran the headline “Slave Stampede,” while the Vincennes (IN) Gazette used the title “Slave Stampede from Hannibal.” The same report was reprinted by newspapers in places such as Saint Joseph, Missouri, Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Atchison, Kansas in April 1863. [3]

MAIN NARRATIVE

Wash Minter and the 20 to 25 other enslaved people who took flight from Hannibal in March 1863 were claimed by four prominent slaveholders from the riverside town in northeastern Missouri. Minter, and possibly his enslaved family members, were held by a 40-year-old well-to-do widow named Sarah Carter. Although his age is unclear, Minter was familiar to many readers in Quincy, having worked for years as a porter at the popular Planter’s House in Hannibal. He was likely hired out (or rented) to work at the hotel, and apparently used the opportunity to earn some of his own wages. Quincy’s Democratic organ, the Herald, later sniped that Minter “can hardly be considered a contraband” (the term commonly applied to enslaved people who crossed into Union lines) “as he has had the use and profit of his own labor for some time past.” [4]

Hannibal riverside view

Hannibal, Missouri, c. 1857. (House Divided Project)

The names of Minter’s fellow escapees are unknown, though five fled from another prominent Hannibal slaveholder, 46-year-old Gilchrist Porter. A native Virginian and former congressman from Missouri, Porter was then serving as a judge for the state circuit court. [5] Two more bond people escaped from miller Brison Stillwell, also aged 46, who was then serving as mayor of Hannibal. [6] Rounding out the group of freedom seekers were some 15 enslaved people who left the home of Robert F. Lakenan, a 43-year-old attorney. [7]

With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, white Missourians found themselves deeply divided about the future of their state. While many, such as Robert Lakenan, declared their support for the Confederacy, other slaveholding residents emerged as staunch Unionists. [8] Hannibal’s Judge Gilchrist Porter was among the latter, though along with many other Missouri Unionists, he looked to the U.S. government as the surest source of protection for his enslaved property. In February 1863, on the heels of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Porter fired off a letter to his congressman, but intended for Lincoln’s eyes, in which he complained loudly about “the injury to loyal [slave] owners” brought about by the Union army’s presence and U.S. policies. [9]

Disconcerting as the chaos of war proved for anxious slaveholders like Judge Porter, that very uncertainty offered enslaved Missourians like Wash Minter and his family a glimmer of hope, albeit a very murky one. Enslaved men and women attentively monitored the rapidly changing circumstances war had wrought, eavesdropping on the conversations of their nervous enslavers, and gleaning information via the proverbial grapevine, as free African Americans and other bond people swapped news and stories. In war-torn Missouri, border state slavery, which had long seemed precarious, increasingly unravelled before disgruntled slaveholders’ eyes, as enslaved men and women looked to the Union army as a source of potential liberation. [10]timeline

The path to freedom became somewhat clearer in July 1862, when Congress passed the Second Confiscation Act. The new law freed any enslaved people held by disloyal slaveholders (even if that disloyal enslaver resided in a Union state, such as Missouri). In practice, it meant that if enslaved people could reach Union lines and persuade northern soldiers that their slaveholders were traitorous Confederates, they could gain their freedom. As historian Diane Mutti Burke observes, most northern soldiers within the Department of the Missouri took enslaved people’s word at face value, and were loath to return escapees, even to slaveholders who professed themselves loyal Unionists. Northern soldiers’ willingness to turn a blind eye to legal niceties reflected both the rank and file’s growing disdain for the institution of slavery, as well as pressing practical needs. Two years into a grueling civil war, freed people––both men and women––were proving themselves vital to the functioning of U.S. armies, finding work as laborers, teamsters, cooks, laundresses and nurses. [11]

Porter headshot

Hannibal slaveholder and Unionist Gilchrist Porter complained to Lincoln about the effects the Emancipation Proclamation was having on the ground in Missouri. (Find A Grave)

Writing in February 1863, slaveholder Gilchrist Porter seethed that “U.S. commanders… seem to have deemed it their duty to get possession of as many slaves as possible––& to take special pains to inform them that their being employed in Government service, even so short a time, entitles them to their freedom.” Yet even when northern soldiers scrupulously followed the letter of the law, only freeing people held by disloyal slaveholders, the presence of Union forces still had a destabilizing effect on slavery throughout Missouri. Many enslaved men and women held by loyal slaveholders “are strongly tempted to escape… beyond the limits of the State,” Porter warily observed, “as many of them hereabouts have done.” As he scribbled off his note to Lincoln, Porter reflected anxiously on his own holdings in mobile human property. “Before the rebellion broke out I owned & still own 11 slaves,” he added. Scarcely a month later, five of those enslaved people would strike out for their freedom, realizing Porter’s worst fears. [12]

pull quoteGiven the circumstances, the “slave stampede” that followed in late March 1863 came as little surprise to Porter and the rest of Hannibal’s slaveholding elite. The 20 to 25 enslaved men, women and children who crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois perhaps sought freedom and employment behind Union lines, or as Porter outlined, simply decided to capitalize on the upheaval brought about by the war to effect their escape. Minter, for one, undoubtedly had the promises of the Second Confiscation Act in mind. He made a point of telling the editor of the Quincy Whig that he and his fellow escapees fled from disloyal slaveholders who “had deserted them for situations in [Sterling] Price’s [Confederate] army.” [13]

Once on the Illinois side of the river and en route to Quincy, on Monday, March 23, the group encountered the violent gang of Democrats. Although the freedom seekers were “armed to the teeth with revolvers, &c.,” the group numbered many women and children, and even some of the men, like Wash Minter, were balancing their weapons in one arm and their infant children in the other. The mud-spattered, weary group made an easy target for racially-motivated violence, and as Minter later narrated to the Quincy Whig, the band of 15 armed Democrats seized their weapons and snatched around $40 from the freedom seekers, except for Minter. When one of the Illinoisans pointed a pistol at his head and demanded he turn over his weapons, Minter “told them they were welcome to his weapons,” which he “only carried… to defend his property.” Yet when the white men came for his cash, Minter defiantly replied “that they couldn’t have that without killing him first.” Though the Fall Creek delegates reportedly pried upwards of $40 from the other escapees, Minter retained his money, holding steadfast to his newly-realized freedom. [14]stampede map

Quincy’s Democratic paper, the Herald, ran the initial story of the scuffle, putting a positive spin on the Fall Creek Democrats’ disarming of the “n––r revolution.” The editors eagerly portrayed the group of heavily armed African Americans traversing the southern Illinois countryside as symptomatic of the perils that “abolition-‘republican’ party” policies posed to white racial hierarchy. When the Quincy Whig responded with an interview of Wash Minter and the freedom seekers’ side of the story, the Herald thundered back, dismissing Minter’s claims that the escapees fled from disloyal slaveholders. With the exception of Lakenan, the Democratic press noted, Carter, Porter and Stillwell were all loyal Unionists, undercutting the escapees’ claims to obtain their freedom behind Union lines. [15]

AFTERMATH AND LEGACY

The ultimate fate of Wash Minter and his 20 to 25 compatriots is unknown, though it appears their determined “stampede” from Hannibal successfully secured their freedom. No reports of their recapture circulated, and it is unlikely that Union soldiers would have returned the group of runaways, even in light of the Herald‘s assertions that many had fled from loyal Unionist slaveholders. Yet the newly freed people still faced the daunting tasks of finding food, shelter, and employment. Likely in search of employment, the group lingered around Quincy throughout late March, long enough for the Herald to denigrate their “conduct” and claim that the freed men and women “are now the cause of much excitement and ill-feeling.” With no sympathy for their plight, the paper pointedly asserted that the black Missourians had “forsaken good homes and kind treatment, only to receive the ‘cold shoulder’ from their abolition seducers, and become a burden to themselves and the community in which they intended to locate.” [16]

FURTHER READING

The March 26, 1863 edition of the Hannibal North Missouri Courier reported a stampede of “some thirty or forty American citizens of African descent, owned in and around this city.” However, reports from the two rival Quincy presses provided more detailed descriptions of the escapees, including the Quincy Whig‘s interview with Wash Minter. Those reports suggest that the group numbered around 20 to 25. The most precise account of the freedom seekers actually comes from the Democratic Herald, which identified the affected slaveholders, in the process arriving at a total of 23 enslaved people. [17]

To date, the Hannibal “stampede” for freedom has not been featured in any scholarship.

ADDITIONAL IMAGES

 

[1] “Arming the Negroes—‘whither are we Tending?'” and “Democratic Mass Meeting,” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, March 24, 1863; “Arming the Negroes–‘Whither Are We Tending?'” Quincy, IL Whig, March 28, 1863; “Slave Stampede,” Chicago Tribune, March 31, 1863.

[2] “Arming the Negroes—‘whither are we Tending?'” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, March 24, 1863; “Arming the Negroes–‘Whither Are We Tending?'” Quincy, IL Whig, March 28, 1863; “The Whig’s N–rs,” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, quoted in St. Louis, MO Republican, March 31, 1863.

[3] “Slave Stampede,” Chicago Tribune, March 31, 1863; “Slave Stampede from Hannibal,” Saint Joseph, MO Weekly Herald, April 2, 1863; “Slave Stampede from Hannibal,” Vincennes (IN) Gazette, April 4, 1863, p. 4; “Slave Stampede from Hannibal,” Lancaster, PA Inquirer, April 6, 1863; “Slave Stampede from Hannibal,” Atchison, KS Freedom’s Champion, April 11, 1863.

[4] “The Whig’s N–rs,” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, quoted in St. Louis, MO Republican, March 31, 1863; Sarah Carter, “a highly respectable lady,” was the widow of Jesse Carter, who “has been in his grave for years,” noted the Quincy Herald, at least prior to 1860. By the eve of the war, the widowed Carter was living near Hannibal with her son Timoleon. She was identified as the slaveholder of Wash Minter by a column in the Quincy Herald, though the slave schedule in the 1860 U.S. Census lists only three enslaved women held by her, 64, 50 and 40 years in age respectively. See 1850 U.S. Census, Miller Township, Marion County, MO, Family 588, Ancestry; 1860 U.S. Census, Miller Township, Marion County, MO, Family 419, Ancestry; 1870 U.S. Census, Miller Township, Marion County, MO, Family 57, Ancestry; 1860 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, Ward 4, Hannibal, Marion County, MO, Ancestry.

[5] “The Whig’s N–rs,” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, quoted in St. Louis, MO Republican, March 31, 1863; History of Marion County, Missouri (St. Louis, E.F. Perkins, 1884), 2:613-614, [WEB]; 1860 U.S. Census, 3rd Ward, Hannibal, Marion County, MO, Family 1258, Ancestry; 1860 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, Ward 3, Hannibal, Marion County, MO, Ancestry; Find A Grave, [WEB].

[6] “The Whig’s N–rs,” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, quoted in St. Louis, MO Republican, March 31, 1863; 1860 U.S. Census, 3rd Ward, Hannibal, Marion County, MO, Family 1158, Ancestry; 1860 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, Ward 3, Hannibal, Marion County, MO, Ancestry; Find A Grave, [WEB].

[7] “The Whig’s N–rs,” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, quoted in St. Louis, MO Republican, March 31, 1863; 1860 U.S. Census, 3rd Ward, Hannibal, Marion County, MO, Family 1149, Ancestry; 1860 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, Ward 3, Hannibal, Marion County, MO, Ancestry; Find A Grave, [WEB]; The most detailed description of the group of freedom seekers, which was provided by the Quincy Herald, identified two escapees from Lakenan and 15 from Mayor Stillwell. However, given that Lakenan held exactly 15 bond people, and Stillwell claimed five, according to the 1860 U.S. Census, it is likely the paper confused the number of escapees from each slaveholder.

[8] “The Whig’s N–rs,” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, quoted in St. Louis, MO Republican, March 31, 1863; also see Diane Mutti Burke, On Slavery’s Border: Missouri’s Small Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865 (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2010), 268-281.

[9] Gilchrist Porter to John B. Henderson, February 11, 1863, Series 1, General Correspondence, Abraham Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, [WEB].

[10] Mutti Burke, On Slavery’s Border, 279-285.

[11] Mutti Burke, On Slavery’s Border, 285-287.

[12] Porter to Henderson, February 11, 1863, Lincoln Papers, Library of Congress, [WEB].

[13] “Arming the Negroes–‘Whither Are We Tending?'” Quincy, IL Whig, March 28, 1863.

[14] “Arming the Negroes—‘whither are we Tending?'” and “Democratic Mass Meeting,” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, March 24, 1863; “Arming the Negroes–‘Whither Are We Tending?'” Quincy, IL Whig, March 28, 1863; “The Whig’s N–rs,” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, quoted in St. Louis, MO Republican, March 31, 1863.

[15] “Arming the Negroes—‘whither are we Tending?'” and “Democratic Mass Meeting,” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, March 24, 1863; “Arming the Negroes–‘Whither Are We Tending?'” Quincy, IL Whig, March 28, 1863; “The Whig’s N–rs,” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, quoted in St. Louis, MO Republican, March 31, 1863.

[16] “The Whig’s N–rs,” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, quoted in St. Louis, MO Republican, March 31, 1863.

[17] “Slave Stampede,” Chicago Tribune, March 31, 1863; “Arming the Negroes—‘whither are we Tending?'” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, March 24, 1863; “Arming the Negroes–‘Whither Are We Tending?'” Quincy, IL Whig, March 28, 1863; “The Whig’s N–rs,” Quincy, IL Daily Herald, quoted in St. Louis, MO Republican, March 31, 1863.

The 1856 St. Louis Stampede

PRINTABLE NARRATIVE

DATELINE: ST. LOUIS, JULY 14, 1856

On Monday night, July 14, 1856, a group of eight to nine enslaved Missourians set out on their quest for freedom. Leaving the farm of slaveholder Robert Wash, a 65-year-old retired judge who resided on the outskirts of St. Louis, this contingent of freedom seekers charted an unknown course to liberty. Yet while the freedom seekers’ exact path is difficult to ascertain, the motivations underlying their “stampede” for freedom are somewhat easier to deduce. The group of escapees comprised a family unit––”a man and wife, three sons, two daughters, and the wife’s sister,” as reported in the St. Louis Republican. The freedom seekers may have been spurred to action by Wash’s declining health in the summer of 1856––he would die just months later, in November. Likely fearing separation at an estate sale, they chose to strike out to gain their freedom and preserve their family. [1]

These freedom seekers, whose names are unknown, may have joined with three other enslaved Missourians, held by prominent St. Louis citizen John O’Fallon. The trio had escaped from O’Fallon “a few nights previous” to July 14, and the city’s leading papers instantly suspected that the two group escapes were connected. “Several other slaves are supposed to be in their company on the underground track,” noted the editors of the Republican. Baffling St. Louis’ coterie of elite slaveholders, the freedom seekers also undoubtedly conjured memories of a pair of similar “stampedes” that had occurred less than two years before, in October and November 1854. Those large group escapes had involved enslaved men and women claimed by Robert Wash’s neighbor, Richard Berry, and his brother, Martin Wash. [2] Coming in their wake, the July 1856 stampede further unsettled slaveholders, while demonstrating the precarious nature of slavery along the Missouri-Illinois border.

stampede map

 

 

STAMPEDE CONTEXT

At least two initial reports from St. Louis newspapers classified the July 1856 escapes as a “stampede.” Just days after the escapes, the St. Louis Republican and Leader both ran brief reports entitled “Slave Stampede,” while the St. Louis Democrat employed a variant of the term, headlining their column “Exodus of Slaves.” Over the following weeks, at least four other newspapers throughout the country picked up the story, each utilizing the term “stampede.” The New Orleans Times-Picayune and New York-based National Anti-Slavery Standard ran the headline “Slave Stampede at St. Louis,” while the Burlington, Iowa Hawk-Eye and New Lisbon, Ohio Anti-Slavery Bugle reprinted reports from the St. Louis Leader under the title “Slave Stampede.” [3]

MAIN NARRATIVE

O'Fallon photo

Colonel John O’Fallon, a prominent St. Louis resident and slaveholder. (Find A Grave)

The 11-12 freedom seekers who escaped from St. Louis in July 1856 were claimed by two influential and well-to-do residents of the city. Colonel John O’Fallon, a 64-year-old veteran of the War of 1812, was also the nephew of acclaimed explorer William Clark. O’Fallon had first settled in St. Louis in 1818, where he started a trading business. However, the bulk of his wealth came as a result of his first marriage to Harriett Stokes, whose family owned a large amount of valuable real estate near St. Louis. Over the ensuing decades, O’Fallon established himself as one of the leading citizens of St. Louis, exerting a prominent presence in banking and railroading endeavors, as well as philanthropic pursuits (he was noted for his support of the nascent Washington University). O’Fallon had a residence and office in downtown St. Louis, as well as a property outside town. Yet his immense fortune and reputation was maintained and bolstered through the labor of enslaved men and women. In 1830, O’Fallon laid claim to 33 enslaved people, and by the time of the 1850 Census, he held some 42 enslaved people. [4]

Born in Virginia in 1790, Robert Wash had settled in St. Louis in the wake of the War of 1812––around the same time as O’Fallon. After serving as U.S. District Attorney in the Monroe administration, Wash was appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court in 1825, serving until 1837. Like O’Fallon, he too was a savvy investor, and his real estate speculations won him a “large fortune,” estimated at $100,000 in the 1850 Census. As a result, Wash was able to enjoy a comfortable retirement in his “commodious home” and farm just outside of St. Louis, where in 1850 he held 32 enslaved people, ranging in age from (reportedly) 103 to a one-year-old infant. [5] 

Moreover, both O’Fallon and Wash were unabashedly pro-slavery. O’Fallon headed the city’s Anti-Abolitionist Society, while Judge Wash had earned a reputation during his time on the bench for dissenting in freedom suits. O’Fallon’s identity as a slaveholder had already been brought to the attention of Northern readers some nine years prior to the 1856 stampede, when Missouri freedom seeker William Wells Brown mentioned an enslaved person sold by “Colonel John O’Fallon, who resided in the suburbs” in his widely circulated 1847 Narrative. Brown also noted that O’Fallon’s brother, Benjamin O’Fallon, kept “five or six” dogs “to hunt runaway slaves with.” [6]

Wash image

Retired judge and slaveholder Robert Wash lived on the outskirts of St. Louis. (State Historical Society of Missouri)

While both men had likely read reports in St. Louis papers about the pair of stampedes that had rocked the city less than two years earlier, Robert Wash had numerous personal connections to the November 1854 stampede. His friend and neighbor, Richard Berry, had fumed as five enslaved people claimed by him fled in the stampede, while his older brother, Martin Wash, reported the escape of two enslaved people from his farm. [7] Given that the trio of slaveholders lived in close proximity to one another on the outskirts of St. Louis, it is possible that the family of enslaved Missourians who left Wash’s farm in 1856 were related to part of the group of 17 freedom seekers who escaped in November 1854.

What remains clear is that “a few nights” after the escape of three enslaved people from John O’Fallon’s residence, on Monday night, July 14, the family held by Wash left the retired judge’s farm and set off for “parts unknown.” Considering that Wash had already drafted his will several years prior, and appears to have been in declining health by the summer of 1856, the fear of separation at an estate sale may have prompted the family’s escape. The following day, a reward of $1,500 was posted for the “apprehension of eight negroes,” while multiple St. Louis papers acknowledged rumors that “several other slaves” had joined the “stampede.” Meanwhile, unwilling to recognize the agency of the enslaved to forge their own paths to freedom, the St. Louis Democrat pointed figures at “Underground railroad agents” who “are said to have assisted” the freedom seekers. [8]

AFTERMATH AND LEGACY

After the initial flurry of reports, St. Louis papers made no further mention of the July 1856 stampede. While the ultimate fate of the 11-12 freedom seekers is unclear, no news of their recapture appeared in the columns of Missouri papers. If the family of eight held by Robert Wash had indeed feared an estate sale was imminent, their suspicions were well-founded. Just four months after the stampede, Wash died on the day after his 66th birthday. [9]

In the meantime, John O’Fallon remained one of St. Louis’s most recognized citizens, and still held 38 enslaved people as of the 1860 Census. As the Civil War engulfed Missouri and the entire nation, O’Fallon emerged as an avowed Unionist. He even grew close to Union Brig. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, during the general’s brief stint in St. Louis in 1861. In his memoirs, Sherman recalled O’Fallon as a “wealthy gentlemen who resided above St. Louis.” The pair, remembered Sherman, took daily walks “up and down the pavement” outside the general’s office as they “deplored the sad condition of our country, and the seeming drift toward dissolution and anarchy.” O’Fallon lived to see the end of the war––and the end of slavery in Missouri––before his death in December 1865, at the age of 74. [10]

FURTHER READING

Initial reports published in the St. Louis Democrat and Republican offer the most detailed information about the July 1856 stampede. However, various papers offered conflicting identities of the affected slaveholders, with the Democrat apparently mistaking Robert Wash for a “Major West,” while the Republican and St. Louis Leader both named “John O’Fallon jr” as the other slaveholder. Given that O’Fallon’s son, John Julius O’Fallon (sometimes referred to as “John O’Fallen, Jr.” during the 1860s) was 16 at the time of the escapes, it is strains credulity to believe he was the slaveholder involved. [11]

The July 1856 stampede has received little attention from scholars, until Richard Blackett’s The Captive’s Quest for Freedom (2018). Blackett briefly discusses the escape in the context of a rising trend of group escapes in the region during the mid-1850s. [12]

ADDITIONAL IMAGES

 

[1] “Exodus of Slaves,” St. Louis Democrat, July 16, 1856; “Slave Stampede,” St. Louis Republican, July 16, 1856; Robert Wash, Will and Probate Records, June 21, 1852, Case 3752, Missouri Wills and Probate Records, 1766-1988, Ancestry.

[2] “Exodus of Slaves,” St. Louis Democrat, July 16, 1856; “Slave Stampede,” St. Louis Republican, July 16, 1856; Wash, Will and Probate Records, June 21, 1852, Missouri Wills and Probate Records, Ancestry.

[3] “Exodus of Slaves,” St. Louis Democrat, July 16, 1856; “Slave Stampede,” St. Louis Republican, July 16, 1856“Slave Stampede at St. Louis,” New Orleans (LA) Times-Picayune, July 23, 1856“Slave Stampede,” New Lisbon (OH) Anti-Slavery Bugle, August 2, 1856“Slave Stampede,” Burlington, IA Hawk-Eye, August 6, 1856; “Slave Stampede at St. Louis,” New York National Anti-Slavery Standard, August 9, 1856.

[4] Morrison’s St. Louis Directory (St. Louis: Missouri Republican Office, 1852), 191, [WEB]; Kennedy’s Saint Louis City Directory (St. Louis: R.V. Kennedy, 1857), 167, [WEB]; Richard Edwards and M. Hopewell (eds.), Edwards’s Great West and her Commercial Metropolis (St. Louis: Edward’s Monthly, 1860), 79-82 [WEB]; Walter B. Stevens, St. Louis: The Fourth City, 1764-1909 (St. Louis: S.J. Clarke, 1909), 1076, [WEB]; Eric Sandweiss (ed.), St. Louis in the Century of Henry Shaw: A View beyond the Garden Wall (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2003), 119 [WEB]; 1830 U.S. Census, St. Louis Township, St. Louis, MO, Ancestry; 1850 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, District 82, St. Louis Wards 2 and 4, St. Louis County, MO, Ancestry;  Find A Grave, [WEB].

[5] 1850 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, District 82, St. Louis County, MO, Ancestry; J. Thomas Scharf, History of Saint Louis City and County (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1883), 2:1471, [WEB]; Find A Grave, [WEB]; Horace W. Fuller (ed.), The Green Bag: A Useless but Entertaining Magazine for Lawyers (Boston: Boston Book Company, 1891) 3:168, [WEB].

[6] William Wells Brown, Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave (Boston: Anti-Slavery Office, 1847), 22, 42, [WEB]; Louis S. Gerteis, Civil War St. Louis (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2001), 22; Kenneth Clarence Kaufman, Dred Scott’s Advocate: A biography of Roswell M. Field (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1996),144; Harriet C. Frazier, Slavery and Crime in Missouri, 1773-1865 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2001), 55, [WEB]; Harriet C. Frazier, Runaway and Freed Missouri Slaves and Those Who Helped Them, 1763-1865 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2004), 55; Edlie L. Wong, Neither Fugitive Nor Free: Atlantic Slavery, Freedom Suits, and the Legal Culture of Travel (New York: New York University Press, 2009), 138-140; Kelly Marie Kennington, In the Shadow of Dred Scott: St. Louis Freedom Suits and the Legal Culture in Antebellum America (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2017), 1-4.

[7] Wash, Will and Probate Records, June 21, 1852, Missouri Wills and Probate Records, Ancestry; “Another Slave Stampede,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, November 30, 1854; “What is to Be Done Now!,” St. Louis Missouri Republican, December 10, 1854; 1850 U.S. Census, District 82, St. Louis County, MO, Family 1121, Ancestry; 1850 U.S. Census, District 82 St. Louis County, MO, Family 1246, Ancestry; Richard Berry was named the administrator of Robert Wash’s estate in a will made out in 1853, and Martin Wash was a witness.

[8] “Exodus of Slaves,” St. Louis Democrat, July 16, 1856; “Slave Stampede,” St. Louis Republican, July 16, 1856.

[9] Find A Grave, [WEB].

[10] 1860 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, St. Louis Township, St. Louis County, MO, Ancestry; Find A Grave, [WEB]; William Tecumseh Sherman, Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman (New York: Library of America, 1990), 1:187, [WEB]; One of O’Fallon’s sons, John O’Fallon, Jr., delivered a “powerful and eloquent speech” at a neighboring Jefferson County, MO Union Meeting held in January 1861. See “Jefferson County Union Meeting,” St. Louis Democrat, January 29, 1861.

[11] “Exodus of Slaves,” St. Louis Democrat, July 16, 1856; “Slave Stampede,” St. Louis Republican, July 16, 1856; “Slave Stampede,” St. Louis Leader, quoted in New Lisbon, OH Anti-Slavery Bugle, August 2, 1856.

[12] Richard Blackett, The Captive’s Quest for Freedom: Fugitive Slaves, the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, and the Politics of Slavery (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 139.

The Pearl Stampede 1848

DATELINE:  WASHINGTON D.C., APRIL 18, 1848

Emily and Mary Edmonson

Mary and Emily Edmonson (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Daniel Drayton—captain of The Pearl—his accomplice Edward Sayres, and 77 freedom seekers fled Washington D.C on Saturday, April 15, 1848, in what Mary Kay Ricks describes as “one of history’s most audacious escapes.” [1] The goal of this escape was to sail from Washington D.C., down the Potomac River to freedom. [2] However, strong winds would disrupt their pursuit of freedom. [3] On April 18, 1848, The Pearl and its participants were captured.[4] After three days of being on the sea, Mary and Emily Edmonson—among 77 freedom seekers— returned home. Their new fate was what many freedom seekers feared most: being separated from their family and sold in the deep South.

Once back in Washington D.C., The Edmonson sisters and the other 75 freedom seekers—4 of whom were their brothers—walked through the mob of proslavery protesters, who anticipated their arrival.

Slave Pen

Slave Pen (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

While in jail, the sisters were separated from their brothers. [5] Knowing the tragic fate of the Edmonson children, a brother in law saw them, “fainted away, fell down, and was carried home insensible.” [6] Mary and Emily Edmonson’s free sister also tried to visit them, but could not enter the jail.  Looking through the iron gates, Mary and Emily “saw their sister standing below in the yard weeping.”[7]

 

 

 

STAMPEDE CONTEXT 

Historian Stanley Harrold calls the 1848 Pearl stampede the “most influential mass escape” in antebellum American history.[8]  At first the escape was not explicitly referenced as a stampede. However, senators debating the event on nearby Capitol Hill made allusions to the Pearl escape using language that described the event as a mass escape. Shortly after the capture of the freedom seekers and during the riots incited by a proslavery mob, senators were forced to dispute the future of slavery in the District of Columbia. Referencing The Pearl, one pro-slavery senator from South Carolina, John C. Calhoun, denounced “these piratical attempts, these wholesale captures, these robberies of seventy-odd of our slaves at a single grasp.” [9] He even declared that “the crisis has come, and we must meet it, and meet it directly,” foreshadowing the debates over the Compromise of 1850. [10] Four years later, in the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, the term stampede appeared in the same column as the report of the pardoning of The Pearl participants Daniel Drayton and Edward Sayres.  The report read, “that in the border States, there is very frequently a stampede among the negroes – large number going off together.” One year later, when President Millard Fillmore –who had originally signed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 into law– issued a pardon for the two abolitionists involved in the escape in 1853, a Georgia editor explained that they had been involved in “the great slave stampede.”[11]

MAIN NARRATIVE 

On the evening of April 15, 1848, Daniel Drayton and Edward Sayres successfully left Washington D.C., setting sail down the Potomac River. Onboard The Pearl, Mary and Emily Edmonson were accompanied by their four brothers. After The Pearl’s departure, Captain Sayres decided to anchor in Cornfield Harbor, near Point Lookout, after strong winds did not allow them to “ascend the bay.” [12]

stampede map

Back in Washington D.C, slaveholders noticed their enslaved people missing and frantically searched for them. The next day a steamboat—the Salem— departed from Washington D.C.  in pursuit of The Pearl and the freedom seekers. Captained by Samuel Baker, the men on board the Salem were “armed with muskets and other weapons.” [13] Meanwhile, The Pearl was still anchored on the river.

On the morning of Monday, April 17, 1848, at around 2 am, the Salem finally caught The Pearl. [14] As the heavily armed men entered onboard, one of the Edmonson siblings reportedly said, “Do yourselves no harm, gentlemen, for we are all here!” [15] Overpowered, the freedom seekers surrendered without a fight and awaited their new fate.

newspaper clipping of Pearl capture

Boston, MA Daily Atlas, April 22, 1848 (Genealogy Bank)

The next day, a large mob formed at the wharf in Washington D.C., awaiting the arrival of Edward Sayres, Daniel Drayton, and the captured freedom seekers. [16] As they walked off the boat, a report described “several small collections of blacks [with] tears rolling down many cheeks.” In particular, “one gray headed old woman” yelled, “O, my son, … must I see thee no more forever!” [17]

News of the capture caused pandemonium from the streets of Washington D.C. to the senate chambers on Capitol Hill.  On the night of Wednesday, April 19, 1848, a mob of pro-slavery protesters “gathered at the National Era newspaper [an antislavery newspaper] office and threatened to destroy it.” [18] Simultaneously, a “heated debate” in Congress—sparked by the capture of The Pearl— occurred between pro-slavery and antislavery advocates about the future of slavery in Washington D.C. [19]

Shortly after Mary and Emily Edmonson’s escape attempt, their father Paul Edmonson solicited the help of abolitionist William Chaplin.  Eventually, both men helped raise enough money to purchase the Edmonson sisters’ freedom. On Tuesday, November 7, Mary and Emily Edmonson were freed. [20] Their release gained national attention, as the Boston Daily Bee reported that the Edmonson sisters “were restored to liberty and their family. [21]

1848 Timeline

One year later, in March of 1849, Daniel Drayton and Edward Sayres were tried by the court for their participation in The Pearl escape. Both were found guilty and “convicted of transporting slaves on seventy-four separate indictments.” [22] However, after three years in prison for “not being able to pay the fines” for their conviction, President Fillmore pardoned them, granting their release. [23]

AFTERMATH

Newly freed Emily and Mary Edmonson joined the abolitionist movement. In 1850, they were most famously known for attending a public protest against the Fugitive Slave Act in Cazenovia, New York. [24] Eventually, both sisters seized the opportunity to become educated. They first moved to New York to enroll in Central College during the fall of 1851, and then went on to study at Oberlin College, with the help of abolitionist and writer Harriet Beecher Stowe. [25]

However, while studying at Oberlin College, Mary Edmonson—only twenty years old—died of tuberculosis. [26] After the death of her sister, Emily Edmonson left Oberlin to be with her family. Once settled at home in Washington D.C., Emily wrote to a family friend assuring them she was safe. Still mourning her sister’s death, Emily wrote, “Some days it seems as though I could not live without her… but when I think of how happy she is in heaven, I feel like wiping away all my tears.” [27]

Emily edmonson newspaper feature

Rochester, NY Frederick Douglass’ Paper, January 4, 1855 (Genealogy Bank)

Despite her sister’s passing, Emily Edmonson sustained her involvement in the antislavery movement, working closely with abolitionist Frederick Douglas. In his 1855 newspaper, it reported that Emily Edmonson gave a talk at Corinthian Hall about her experiences as an escapee on The Pearl. This abolitionist paper described her account as “new and thrilling” as people heard it “from the lips of one of the suffers.” [28]

Now older, Emily Edmonson married her husband Larkin Johnson and had four children— Emma, Ida, Fannie, and Robert. [29] Emily and her small knit family finally moved near the Anacostia River where she lived until her death on September 15th, 1895. [30] Today, a memorial statue of Mary and Emily Edmonson stands in Alexandria, Virginia as a constant reminder of their legacy.

Edmonson Statue

Statue of Edmonson Sister in Alexandria, Virginia (Courtesy of Smithsonian)

[1] Mary Kay Ricks, Escape on the Pearl: Passage to Freedom from Washington (New York: Harper Collins, 2009) 1

[2] Mary Kay Ricks, Escape on the Pearl: Passage to Freedom from Washington (New York: Harper Collins, 2009) 30

[3] Mary Kay Ricks, Escape on the Pearl: Passage to Freedom from Washington (New York: Harper Collins, 2009) 62

[4] Mary Kay Ricks, Escape on the Pearl: Passage to Freedom from Washington (New York: Harper Collins, 2009) 82

[5] Harriet Beecher Stowe, A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin (B. Tauchnitz, 1853) 113: 2) [Google Books]

[6]Harriet Beecher Stowe, A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin (B. Tauchnitz, 1853) 112: 2) [Google Books]

[7] Harriet Beecher Stowe, A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin (B. Tauchnitz, 1853) 113: 2) [Google Books]

[8] Stanley Harrold, Border War: Fighting Over Slavery Before the Civil War (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2010) 131

[9] Cong. Globe, 30th Cong., 1st sess., 501 (1848), accessible at American Memory Project, Library of Congress.

[10] Cong. Globe, 30th Cong., 1st sess., 502. (1848).

[11] “Insubordination of Negroes” Boston, MA The Liberator, October 1, 1852; “Reminiscences,” Macon (GA) Weekly Telegraph, August 2, 1853.

[12] Daniel Drayton, Personal Memoir of Daniel Drayton (New York: B. Marsh, 1855) 32

[13] “Capture of Runaway Slaves” Washington D.C. Daily Atlas, April 22, 1848

[14] Mary Kay Ricks, Escape on the Pearl: Passage to Freedom from Washington (New York: Harper Collins, 2009) 78

[15] Harriet Beecher Stowe, A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin (B. Tauchnitz, 1853) 110: 2) [Google Books]

[16] 1848-04-22 Boston, MA Daily Atlas– Captured of Runaway Slaves [GB]

[17] New Lisbon, Ohio Anti-slavery bugle, May 5, 1848

[18] Daniel Drayton, Personal Memoir of Daniel Drayton (New York: B. Marsh, 1855) 42

[19] Mary Kay Ricks, Escape on the Pearl: Passage to Freedom from Washington (New York: Harper Collins, 2009) 5

[20] Mary Kay Ricks, Escape on the Pearl: Passage to Freedom from Washington (New York: Harper Collins, 2009) 195

[21] Boston, Massachusetts Boston Daily Bee, November 11, 1848

[22] House Executive Document, 34th Congress 1st Session (1855-1856) [WEB]

[23] House Executive Document, 34th Congress 1st Session (1855-1856) [WEB]

[24] “Edmonson Sisters”, women and the American Story, New York Historical Society [WEB]

[25] Mary Kay Ricks, Escape on the Pearl: Passage to Freedom from Washington (New York: Harper Collins, 2009) 230, 236

[26] Samuel Momodu, “The Edmonson Sisters (1832-1895),” blackpast.org, September 28, 2016, [WEB]

[27] Emily Edmondson to Mr. and Mrs. Cowles, June 3, 1853, Henry Cowles Papers, Box #3, Record Group 30/27, Oberlin College Archives. [WEB]

[28] Rochester, New York Frederick Douglass’ Paper, April 01, 1855

[29] Mary Kay Ricks, Escape on the Pearl: Passage to Freedom from Washington (New York: Harper Collins, 2009) 209

[30] Mary Kay Ricks, Escape on the Pearl: Passage to Freedom from Washington (New York: Harper Collins, 2009) 349

 

How to Colorize Images in Photoshop

Images are a powerful way to connect to the past. Illustrations and photographs can put
faces and places to names, or give the minute but extremely significant human detail to
historical narratives that may otherwise be bland or irrelevant to people today.

Cons of Colorizing
Some argue that colorization of photos is historical blasphemy. Without knowing exactly what color a city bus was in 1950 or the precise shade of a person’s skin color, adding color to black and white photographs is “misleading” and ruins the integrity of the image. Proponents of photo colorization argue that colorized photographs are not supposed to replace the original or tell a new historical narrative, but that they are meant to provide an interpretation of the image that can make historical photographs—and their stories—more fresh and accessible for people who would otherwise be uninterested in a distant, black and white past.
Not to mention, colorizing historical photos doesn’t have to be completely without historical integrity. Large colorizing projects like the Smithsonian’s America in Color series involved hours of research to identify the accurate colors for buildings, people, clothing, and other objects that appeared in their historical photographs and film.

How to Colorize Using Adobe Photoshop
Doing anything in Photoshop can seem a daunting task to any beginner to the program, but colorizing can be a simple, albeit long process given a working understanding of a few of the program’s tools and functions.

Before you begin, you must select and prepare your image. It is important to select good quality image with high resolution (referring to the number of pixels in the image) and as little grain (spots in the image) or color/fading as possible. The better the quality of the image, the better the finished product will be.

  • Some steps can be taken to improve the image’s quality using Photoshop: From the menu bar at the top, select Image, then Adjustments. If there is any color in the image, like in the example below, select Black and White to remove any extra color that would interfere with the colorization. Altering the brightness, contrast, and exposure can also fix blurriness or too much brightness in an image.

screenshot of Photoshop for colorizing tutorial

 

 

Colorize using layers:

Colorizing an image with layers is best for large areas with little variation in color, or as a first step to adding color to your image.

1. First, select the area of the image that you want to color. There are three tools that you can use to make a selection: the regular marquee tool, the lasso tool, and the quick selection tool. The quick selection tool is the optimal choice for creating a layer to colorize; all you need to do is click and drag the mouse in the area you want to color. The quick selection tool will follow the mouse and select all the similar-colored parts of the image. If the area you are colorizing has significant variation in color/shade, the quick selection tool might not select areas that you want, or include areas that you don’t. To erase parts of your selection, press the ALT key on your keyboard, and click and drag the mouse over the area.

screenshot of Photoshop for colorizing tutorial

 

screenshot of Photoshop for colorizing tutorial2. Create a new layer. Once your selection has been made, click the tool at the bottom right corner to “create a new fill or adjustment layer.” From the list, select Solid Color, and choose the color that you want to add to your image.

screenshot of Photoshop for colorizing tutorial

screenshot of Photoshop for colorizing tutorial

3. Edit the layer. Right now, the color you just added is completely covering the image. From the drop down menu indicated below, you can change this to make the color blend in more realistically. There are many options to choose from, but Overlay is usually the best. Other options that can work, depending on the brightness/quality of the image, are Lighten, Darken, and Color. You will need to take some time here to see which looks best, and to perfect your color by double clicking on the square of color next to your new layer, and altering it to your liking.

screenshot of Photoshop for colorizing tutorial

 

screenshot of Photoshop for colorizing tutorial

screenshot of Photoshop for colorizing tutorial

Colorize using paintbrush: Colorizing with paintbrush is better for small details, or adding detail to an already colored layer.

1. Select the Brush tool. Just like with layers, you can choose how the brush adds color to the image by changing the settings in the menu bar along the top. By clicking on the size icon, you can adjust the size and blurriness of the brush tool. From the Mode menu, you can alter the blending of the color into the image; you will want to select from the same options as before: Overlay, Lighten, Darken, and Color. The last important tool in this menu is the opacity tool: this can increase or decrease the transparency of your color, which is helpful if the color is showing up too strongly in the image.

screenshot of Photoshop for colorizing tutorial

 

screenshot of Photoshop for colorizing tutorial2. Choose your color by selecting “set foreground color” at the bottom-right hand corner of your screen.

screenshot of Photoshop for colorizing tutorial

4. When you are ready, click and drag to brush color onto your image. This allows you more precision and detail than the layers method, but will take more time if you are coloring a large area.

5. If you make a mistake, use the history tool to remove any alterations you made. This tool works the same as the brush tool; just click and drag over the area you want to correct, and it will be reverted to its original state.

screenshot of Photoshop for colorizing tutorial

 

How to Layer Images in Photoshop or Microsoft Word

Example collage of photographs of Dickinson College staff

Images add detail and visual interest to any multimedia project, but layering multiple images in a collage can create a story all on its own. Even better, it’s very easy to do on any photo editing software, or even Microsoft Word.

How to Layer in Photoshop

1. Once you open Photoshop, select Create New… to start a new project. A window will appear in which you can name your new project and set the size and resolution of your collage. Set the size to your desire, likely based on the size and number of images you wish to include in the collage, and set the resolution to 720 ppi. When you are ready, click
Create.

screenshot of Photoshop for collage tutorial2. Next, you need to add the images you selected for your collage. To do so, it is easiest to
directly drag and drop the images into the new Photoshop project. Once your images are
downloaded to your computer, open your computer’s File Explorer, minimize the screen,
and click and drag each image into the Photoshop window. Adding the images this way
sets them as Smart Objects, which allows them to be resized and edited later on. You will
also notice that each new photo added creates a new layer in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Make sure that the Background layer is selected before you click
and drag a new image, otherwise Photoshop will not accept it.

screenshot of Photoshop for collage tutorial

 

screenshot of Photoshop for collage tutorial3. Once all your images are added, you will want to edit and move them to create your
collage. To change which images are “on top” (covering others it overlaps with) and
which are “on the bottom” (covered up by other overlapping images) click and drag the
layers on the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

4. To move an image, make sure that the Move tool is selected from the left side of the
screen, and then either click on the image directly or its corresponding layer to select a
single image. Once the image is selected, you can click and drag to move it around on
your screen.

screenshot of Photoshop for collage tutorial

5. To change the size or rotation of the images you have added, select the image and then
click Edit-Free Transform (keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + T) in the menu on the top of your screen. Free transform allows you to resize, move, and rotate your image by clicking and dragging the boxes in each four corners. Use the Move tool and Free Transform to set up the collage the way you
want it.

screenshot of Photoshop for collage tutorial

6. If you change your mind about the images you added, you can add more in the same way
you added them originally, or you can delete them by selecting their corresponding layer
and clicking delete on your keyboard.

7. There are some additional tools in Photoshop that allow you to further improve your
college:

a. Use the Text tool to add a title, a quote, or text information to your collage.

screenshot of Photoshop for collage tutorial

b. To add preset shapes, right click on the Rectangle Tool on the left side of your
screen, and choose Custom Shape Tool. Use the menu that appears along the top
of the screen to set the color, size, and outline thickness of your shape, and then
choose from the shape menu that appears by clicking the drop-down arrow on the
right-hand side of the menu. Click and drag to add the desired shape to your
collage.

screenshot of Photoshop for collage tutorial

screenshot of Photoshop for collage tutorial screenshot of Photoshop for collage tutorial

c. Use the Eraser tool if you want overlapping images to blend/fade into one
another. Before you are able to use the eraser tool, Photoshop will prompt you
that the image will need to be rasterized if you wish to use it. This means that the
image will no longer be a smart object, so make sure you have set the size of the
image to your liking before this step, as it will not easily resize after it is
rasterized. If you are ready, click OK, and then click and drag the eraser tool over
an image (make sure its corresponding layer is selected, otherwise nothing will
erase) to erase part of it.

screenshot of Photoshop for collage tutorial screenshot of Photoshop for collage tutorial

8. Once your collage is finished, select File–Save to save it to your computer.

How to Layer Images in Microsoft Word

Not everyone has Photoshop, but it is possible to create collages of images on more common
software, such as Microsoft Word.

1. Once you open Microsoft Word, click Insert–Pictures from the menu at the top of your
screen. From the window that opens, select the images you want in your collage and click
OK.

screenshot of Word for collage tutorial

2. Once your images are inserted, you will notice that instead of layering on top of one
another, they are next to each other, or perhaps each is on their own line. To fix this,
select an image, and then from the Picture Tools menu at the top of the screen, click
Wrap Text–In Front of Text. This will allow the images to layer and overlap. Follow
the same steps with each image.

screenshot of Word for collage tutorial

3. Now, you can click and drag your images wherever you want on the page to create your
collage. To resize or rotate an image, select it and then click and drag on the circles at
each corner.

4. If you want the images to overlap one another in your collage, you will need to set which
one is layered “on top” of the surrounding overlapping images. To do this, right-click on
an image; in the menu that appears, you will see “Bring to Front” and “Send to Back.”
Click Bring to Front if you want the image to be overtop of the others, or select Send to
Back if you want it to be behind overlapping images.

screenshot of Word for collage tutorial

5. In Word, you can also add shapes, text, or WordArt to your collage within the Insert
menu on the top of your screen.

screenshot of Word for collage tutorial

6. You can also edit each image by playing around with the tools in the Picture Tools menu
that appears when you select an image. Most of these tools deal with filters or color
corrections, and can be altered to change the style/tone of your collage. You can also add
borders to your images to differentiate them within the collage.

screenshot of Word for collage tutorial

7. Once you have completed your collage, select File–Save to save the finished product to
your computer.

How to Animate in Adobe Premiere

How to Animate Images in Adobe Premiere

Images are an essential part of multimedia history projects—but what if you could make those images move? In Adobe Premiere, images can be animated in a variety of different ways to add interest to your blog post, web page, or video. Below are instructions on how to pan & zoom an image and to create moving arrows on a map. However, given a basic understanding of the functions of Adobe Premiere, the options to animate are limitless.

How to Pan & Zoom

1. To start, first open Adobe Premiere and select New Project. Then, upload the image you want to animate by double-clicking the box in the bottom right-hand corner to “Import media to start.”

screenshot of Adobe Premiere animation tutorial

2. Once your image has been uploaded, click and drag it to the Sequence Timeline.

screenshot of Adobe Premiere animation tutorial

3. Now, click on the clip that has been added to your timeline, and you will see a new panel appear in the top left corner under Effect Controls.

screenshot of Adobe Premiere animation tutorial

4. Effect Controls is where you create animation sequences. Motion controls the movement, size, and location of the image—this is the tool you will use to pan & zoom. Click the drop arrow next to Motion, and a list containing Position, Scale, Rotation, Anchor Point, and Anti-Flicker will appear. Click on the “toggle animation” circles next to Position and Scale to turn on animation for those tools. To move the image, click and drag the blue numbers to the right of Position. The first number controls horizontal motion, and the second number controls vertical motion. To zoom in or out of the image, click and drag the blue number next to Scale.

screenshot of Adobe Premiere animation tutorial

5. Next, you will need to set the keyframes for your animation. When you selected toggle animation, a keyframe automatically appeared wherever you had stopped on your timeline. To add more keyframes, drag your timeline forward a few seconds, and then click and drag on the blue numbers next to Position and Scale to move/zoom your image to the desired point. A new keyframe at the new time will automatically be added.

screenshot of Adobe Premiere animation tutorial

6. Keep moving the timeline forward and adding new keyframes to your liking. The keyframes can be moved along the timeline by clicking and dragging. You can also delete a keyframe by clicking on it and selecting Delete on your keyboard. To view your progress, look to the window on the right-hand side of your screen entitled Program, and select the triangle play button. Lastly, to shorten or lengthen the entire duration of the clip (how long you want the animation to last in total), click and drag the edge of your clip in the window at the bottom of your screen.

screenshot of Adobe Premiere animation tutorial

NOTE: This process of toggling animation and adding keyframes is the basic function for all types of animation in Premiere, so once you understand how it works for pan & zoom, you can apply it to the other types of animation in Effect Controls. 

 

How to Animate Arrows on a Map

Maps make historical narratives much more accessible, and including moving arrows can add clarity and interest.

1. Before you begin in Premiere, you first will need two images: one of the map you want to use, and one with arrows added in. To add arrows onto the map, you can use Photoshop, Paint, Word, or any basic image editing software. To learn how to add and layer shapes to your image, view this tutorial.

2. Once you have your images of the map with and without arrows, upload both of them to Premiere by double-clicking “Import media to start” in the bottom left-hand corner. Next, drag the images over to your Sequence Timeline to the right. You will need the map WITHOUT arrows to be on top of the map with arrows, as seen below. 

screenshot of Adobe Premiere animation tutorial

3. Next, click on the clip of your map without arrows, and you will see a list of animation tools appear in the top-left window titled Effect Controls. Select the drop down arrow next to Opacity, and a new list will appear.

4. To animate the arrows in your map to appear, you will need to add a Mask to your image. To add a mask, select either the oval, square, or pen tools shown under Opacity. All three of these tools create masks: the circle tool creates a oval-shaped mask, the rectangle tool creates a rectangular mask, and the pen tool allows you to create a custom-shape mask. For the purposes of this project, you can choose either the oval or rectangular mask, as those two are the more simple options. Once you select a mask, a new menu will appear underneath titled Mask (1). The Mask will render your entire image transparent, except for the area included within the shape of the mask. So, to make your map have an arrow appear, you will have to first cover the arrow with the mask, and then animate it to move away and slowly uncover the image (of the same map WITH the arrow) beneath.

screenshot of Adobe Premiere animation tutorial

 

 

 

screenshot of Adobe Premiere animation tutorial5. To start the animation, set your initial keyframe by making sure the animation for Mask Path is toggled, and drag the mask to completely hide the arrow. Once the animation is toggled on, the keyframe will automatically appear.

screenshot of Adobe Premiere animation tutorial

6. Next, just as with pan & zoom, move your timeline forward a few seconds, and then drag the mask to reveal the beginning of your arrow. A new keyframe will automatically appear at the new time. Continue with this process until the arrow is completely uncovered by the mask and visible.

screenshot of Adobe Premiere animation tutorial

 

7. As with all forms of animation in Premiere, you can move, delete, and edit the keyframes by clicking on them. To view your progress, watch the video in the window on the right entitled Program. Once you are finished, save your animation as a Premiere project, and then export it into whatever format (video, gif, etc.) you prefer.

screenshot of Adobe Premiere animation tutorial

The 1854 St. Louis Stampedes

PRINTABLE NARRATIVE

DATELINE: ST. LOUIS, OCTOBER 22, 1854

Around midnight on Sunday, October 22, 1854, a group of “fifteen or twenty” enslaved Missourians launched their bid for freedom. Having received permission from their slaveholders––four of St. Louis’ most prominent citizens and merchants––to attend church services, they seized the opportunity to escape. Yet this was no ordinary group of freedom seekers. The escapees included “a number of women and children,” as well as “some aged and crippled.” Given the group’s assortment of young and elderly members, it seemed “extremely probable,” in the view of one St. Louis newspaper, “that all, or a majority of them, will be retaken.” [1]

Scarcely a month later, around Sunday, November 26, another series of escapes once again sent shockwaves through St. Louis’ slaveholding class. Ten more freedom seekers set out from St. Louis, crossing paths with four enslaved people from nearby St. Charles, and three other runaways from Ste. Genevieve, farther to the south. “No traces have as yet been discovered of the fugitives,” reported a baffled St. Louis editor, who could only conclude that the freedom seekers were “under the hands of the most skillful guides.” [2] The St. Louis “stampedes” for freedom both confounded and unsettled slaveholders, while also revealing the tenuous nature of slavery in the border South.

stampede map

To view an interactive map of this stampede, check out our StorymapJS version at Knight Lab

STAMPEDE CONTEXT

Contemporary newspapers used the term “stampede” in describing both the October and November escapes. Most quoted initial reports from the St. Louis Democrat, which ran an article headlined “Stampede Among the Africans” in late October 1854, and a column entitled “Another Slave Stampede,” following the second group escape. The Democrat‘s reports––with “stampede” in the title––were reprinted by Northern serials such as the Akron, Ohio Summit County Beacon and the New York-based National Anti-Slavery Standard. [3]

 

MAIN NARRATIVE

Chouteau engraving

Missouri merchant, fur trader and slaveholder Pierre Chouteau, Jr. (South Dakota Historical Society)

The names, ages and genders of the “fifteen or twenty” freedom seekers who departed St. Louis on October 22 are unknown. However, the escapees were claimed by a cadre of prominent St. Louis merchants and slaveholders, who offered “heavy rewards” for their return. Three were held by 65-year-old Pierre Chouteau, Jr., the wealthiest man in St. Louis and head of a prominent Francophone family. Chouteau was a fur trader and merchant, claiming a total of 15 enslaved people in 1850. Yet his extended family counted over 100 enslaved people among their holdings, along with a reputation for mercilessly pursuing runaway slaves. Chouteau was also the father-in-law of John Sanford, who later became known for contesting Dred Scott‘s freedom suit. Among the three escapees claimed by Chouteau was a “young woman, nearly white,” whom the Chicago Democrat later alleged was his “natural daughter.” According to the paper, she was “about to be sold for the purposes of prostitution to a southern man” which prompted her escape. [4]

Three of the freedom seekers were claimed by 63-year-old Emmanuel Block, a well-to-do Austrian emigrant and neighbor of Chouteau. Block held some 24 enslaved people in 1850, ranging in age from a 50 year-old man to a 4 month-old infant. Yet October 1854 was not the first time Block was forced to grapple with his slaves’ innate desire for freedom. Back in 1850, Block had informed census takers that two of his enslaved people were “fugitives from the state.” Extremely wealthy nonetheless, by the time of the 1860 Census, Block was worth $50,000 (still well shy of Chouteau, who was worth $400,000). [5] Six more escapees were claimed by Edward James Gay, a 38-year-old merchant and grocer, while another “three or four” were held by cabinetmaker William H. Merritt, part of the St. Louis furniture firm Wayne & Merritt. [6]

Edward J Gay

St. Louis merchant Edward James Gay (Find A Grave)

Setting out around midnight on Sunday, October 22, the freedom seekers crossed the Mississippi River and reached Illinoistown (modern day East St. Louis, IL). When Chouteau, Block and the other slaveholders learned of the escape, they quickly dispatched St. Louis officers to recapture the freedom seekers, offering sizable rewards for their return. Yet while the officers scoured the vicinity, reasonably confident that they could overtake a group partly comprised of women, young children and “aged and crippled,” the escapees had other plans in mind. [7]

Rather than travel by land, the large group clambered on board a boat at Illinoistown, reportedly concealing themselves in “boxes marked as goods.” They traveled north up the river to Keokuk, Iowa, where they disembarked and reportedly continued by land to Wisconsin and from there to Canada. The runaways’ decision to travel first to Keokuk was no accident. By the 1850s, the bustling riverside city was fast becoming a regular stop for enslaved people striking out for their freedom. Around one year earlier, Charlotta Pyles and her extended family, numbering around 20, had fled slavery in Kentucky, traveling overland by way of St. Louis, crossing the Missouri River and eventually arriving in Keokuk. Pyles and her relatives had received assistance from a white guide named Nat Stone, who was no abolitionist, but agreed to lead the party in exchange for a hefty fee. Whether abolitionists or opportunists, white men like Stone were exactly the sort of outside actors whom St. Louis slaveholders feared the most. [8]

Although it remains unclear whether the latest group of runaways also obtained assistance, most slaveholders assumed they had. The St. Louis Democrat spoke for much of St. Louis’ slaveholding elite when it contended that the escapees must have acted “by the advice and control of the numerous underground railroad agents that infest our city.” The editors of the Republican agreed but pointed the finger at another white man named Davis. Just a few days earlier, authorities had arrested Davis after he “walked boldly” into a public establishment with a Black friend and “declared his Abolition sentiments.” The Republican claimed that the same man had later been caught forging passes for enslaved people, and the paper’s proslavery editor urged that “the authorities of our city cannot be too particular in watching and punishing the emissaries of Abolitionism, both black and white, that are known to be in our midst.” [9]

headshot of Hiram Revels, suit, beard

Itinerant preacher and future U.S. senator Hiram Revels (House Divided Project)

City authorities were in fact clamping down on free African Americans in October 1854, after what appears to have been an internal debate over strategy within the Black community spilled out into the open. Much of the controversy centered around Hiram Revels, the newly installed preacher at the AME church on the corner of Eleventh and Green streets who later would become the nation’s first-ever Black U.S. senator. Ever since he had arrived in St. Louis by way of Ohio in 1853, Revels’s blunt sermons had split his congregation. Contemporary reports do not identify what about Revels’s preaching was so polarizing, but Revels himself later recalled that he “sedulously refrained from doing anything that would incite slaves to run away from their masters… it being understood that my object was to preach the gospel to them, and improve their moral and spiritual condition even slave holders were tolerant of me.” Revels defended his approach as a matter self-preservation. Missouri’s strict Black codes required free African Americans to have a license to reside in the state, and Revels (who did not have a license) feared that any bold antislavery pronouncements on his part would attract the attention of city police. [10]

Revels’s conservatism may have clashed with members of his congregation who wanted to adopt a more confrontational tone, and perhaps with enslaved congregants busy plotting their own escapes. Tensions reached a fever pitch on Wednesday night, October 18 (just days before the October 22 stampede), when churchgoers interrupted Revels’s sermon, knocked him out of the pulpit, and engaged in a “skirmish of about fifteen minutes duration.” Some angry church members went straight to city authorities and informed on fellow free Blacks who were in the state without license, landing Revels and at least 14 others in prison. [11] Whether the dispute between Revels and his congregants had anything to do with the upcoming escape remains unclear, but what is clear is that the October 22 stampede took place amid heightened tensions within the Black community and as city police ramped up surveillance over the city’s free Black population.

St. Louis slaveholders were still reeling from the October 22 escape when another “stampede” of “some seventeen slaves” occurred over the weekend of Friday November 24 – Sunday, November 26. Coming as it did on the heels of the successful October stampede, the two large escape efforts may have been connected. Regardless, nervous St. Louis slaveholders viewed it as the continuation of what was in their eyes a disturbing trend of group escapes. [12]

runaway reward ad

Slaveholders Richard Berry and Martin Wash posted a $1,000 reward for the recapture of the St. Louis freedom seekers. (St. Louis MO Republican, December 6, 1854, GenealogyBank)

The 17 freedom seekers who set out in late November included 10 enslaved people held in St. Louis, four from nearby St. Charles and three others from Ste. Genevieve. Of the group that escaped from St. Louis on Friday night, November 24, the names of seven individuals survive––26-year-old Lunsford Johnson, 20-year-old Emily (also called Adaline), and her three young children, four-year-old Ellen, two-year-old Belle, and one-year-old Edmund. Two other escapees can also be identified, a 26-year-old man named Spencer and a 27-year-old male named David. Lunsford, Emily and her three children were apparently held by a 34-year-old farmer named Richard Berry. Originally from Virginia, in 1850 Berry had laid claim to three enslaved people––a 22-year-old black male (possibly Lunsford), a 15-year-old mulatto female (possibly Emily) and a one-year-old male child. Later that year, in September 1850, he purchased two more enslaved people at his late father’s estate sale, paying $400 for 9-year-old Gilbert, and $420 for 7-year-old Jesse. Berry reportedly held a total of six enslaved people come November 1854. [10]  Three other escapees were claimed by a “Mrs. Smith” of St. Louis, and two (likely Spencer and David) by Martin Wash, a 67-year-old farmer who, like Berry, was born in Virginia. Wash held 10 enslaved people in 1850, ranging in age from a 60-year-old black female to a two-year-old infant. [13]

Unlike the freedom seekers who had escaped in October, the escapees in late November opted to travel by land, heading towards Chicago. To effect their escape from St. Louis, Lunsford Johnson, David, Spencer, and Emily, along with her three young children made use of a blue-painted “one horse wagon.” We do not know the precise details of how or when the other ten freedom seekers fled bondage. According to one newspaper account, the 17 escapees from St. Louis, St. Charles and Ste. Genevieve set off in five separate groups, and “accidentally met on the road” to Chicago. Disgruntled slaveholders Richard Berry and Martin Wash posted a joint $1,000 reward for their recapture. Over the following weeks, the editors at the St. Louis Democrat and slaveholder Richard Berry were busily scanning Chicago papers for any reference to the escapees––which they found in the December 5 edition of the Chicago Tribune. The paper announced that “seventeen passengers arrived in our city by the underground railroad” on the night of Monday, December 4. While declaring that the freedom seekers were “immediately forwarded to ‘the land of the free'” (a reference to Canada), Berry was not convinced. He set out for Chicago immediately. [14]

Timeline

Berry and three other unidentified Missourians travelled north to Chicago, arriving on Friday, December 8. They headed straight for the office of U.S. Commissioner John A. Bross––a federal official tasked with enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850––who issued warrants of arrest for the seventeen freedom seekers. U.S. District Attorney Thomas Hoyne dispatched his deputy marshal to aid Berry in recovering the escapees. Yet attempts to enforce the 1850 law in Chicago had a fraught history––the city’s African American community had routinely thwarted efforts to recapture escaped slaves since the law’s passage in September 1850.  The anti-slavery community relied on both a covert vigilance network and open legal pressure to deter slave catchers. [15]

Although the warrants had been made out, Berry soon discovered that recapturing freedom seekers in Chicago was no simple task. Early on the morning of December 8, Berry spotted one of the male freedom seekers at the McCardel House Hotel on Dearborn Street. Berry “pointed out” the escapee to the deputy marshal, but the federal officer refused to seize him, “fearful of his life if he attempted the task alone.” Instead, the deputy marshal attempted to invoke Section 5 of the 1850 law, by calling out a posse comitatus, gathering citizens to enforce the law. When that failed, he called upon three of the city’s militia companies––two of whom refused to respond. None of the runaways were recaptured, and as a biracial crowd of protesters flooded the street, the slaveholders hurriedly departed the city. [16]

 

AFTERMATH AND LEGACY 

Pull QuoteBack in Missouri, the St. Louis Republican fumed over the proceedings which had unfolded in Chicago. The “total failure of a recent attempt to execute the Fugitive Slave Law in Chicago,” was unacceptable in the eyes of the Missouri serial. “In Chicago the law is powerless,” the paper seethed, “and a Southern man, who goes there in pursuit of his property, does so at the peril of his life.” The “nullification” of the law had helped “seventeen slaves, belonging to citizens of this county” escape the clutches of their slaveholders. Moreover, slave stampedes were becoming uncomfortably common in the St. Louis area. “Not a week passes, without ten, fifteen or twenty slaves being run off by the Abolitionists,” the paper declared. Unwilling to acknowledge that enslaved people could harbor their own aspirations for freedom and plot their own escapes, the paper maintained that “these negroes have not left good homes without the aid and persuasion of white men” and “free negroes.” In order to curb these influences, the Republican demanded “a better police force,” which could be put to work expelling from St. Louis “every free negro who cannot establish his right to be here.” [17]

While Missourians denounced Chicago’s open defiance of the law, the 17 freedom seekers moved on to safer territory. Less than a week later, one paper reported that “the slaves had all reached Canada safely.” Moreover, the Chicago Democrat claimed that one of the escapees, the alleged daughter of Pierre Chouteau, was married to a white St. Louis man by a Catholic priest in Chicago. [18] In total, the October and November 1854 stampedes had resulted in the freedom of over 30 enslaved Missourians.

The stampedes had a clear and noticeable effect on the St. Louis slaveholders impacted by them. By 1860, Pierre Chouteau’s slaveholdings had dwindled down to just five people (from 15 a decade earlier). Yet Chouteau only conceded to census takers that one of his bond persons was a “fugitive from the state.” [19] Likewise, his neighbor Emanuel Block held three enslaved people as of 1860, considerably less than the 24 he had claimed in 1850. [20] Richard Berry, who had “lost five out of six” slaves in the November 1854 stampede, held two in 1860, while Martin Wash, the slaveholder of 10 slaves in 1850, held just one enslaved man in 1860. [21]

 

FURTHER READING

The initial reports on the stampedes were published in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat (Newspapers.com) on October 24, November 1 and November 30, 1854. Later, the St. Louis Republican (State Historical Society of Missouri) printed a detailed editorial column on December 10, 1854 denouncing the failure to capture the 17 freedom seekers in Chicago.

The October and November 1854 stampedes from St. Louis have received little attention in scholarship, until Richard Blackett’s The Captive’s Quest for Freedom (2018). In his chapter on Missouri and Illinois, Blackett mentions both escapes in the context of an “upsurge of stampedes” from St. Louis, which “troubled” slaveholders and exposed the precariousness of slavery in a border state. [22]

 

ADDITIONAL IMAGES

 

[1] “Stampede Among the Africans,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, October 24, 1854.

[2] “Another Slave Stampede,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, November 30, 1854.

[3] “Another Slave Stampede,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, November 30, 1854; “Stampede Among the Africans,” Akron, OH Summit County Beacon, November 8, 1854; “Stampede Among the Africans,” National Anti-Slavery Standard, November 18, 1854; “Another Slave Stampede,” National Anti-Slavery Standard, December 30, 1854.

[4] Lea VanderVelde, Mrs. Dred Scott: Life on Slavery’s Frontier, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 189-191; “Stampede Among the Africans,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, October 24, 1854; 1850 US Census, Ward 3, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, Family 121, Ancestry; 1860 US Census, Ward 4, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, Family 1020, Ancestry; 1850 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, Ward 3, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, Ancestry; 1860 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, Ward 4, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, Ancestry; Morrison’s St. Louis Directory, for 1852, (St. Louis: Missouri Republican Office, 1852), 47, [WEB]; Find A Grave, [WEB]; “Over Jordan,” Chicago Weekly Democrat, December 16, 1854.

[5] “Stampede Among the Africans,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, October 24, 1854; 1850 US Census, Ward 3, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, Family 119, Ancestry; 1860 US Census, Ward 4, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, Family 1019, Ancestry; 1850 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, Ward 3, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, Ancestry; Kennedy’s Saint Louis City Directory for the year 1857, (Saint Louis: R.V. Kennedy, 1857), 24 [WEB] //  Emancipations, St. Louis Circuit Court, NPS, [WEB] // Find A Grave, [WEB]

[6] “Stampede Among the Africans,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, October 24, 1854; 1850 US Census, Ward 2, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, Family 1276, Ancestry; Morrison’s St. Louis Directory, for 1852, 94, 172 [WEB]; Find A Grave, [WEB]; Green’s Saint Louis Directory for 1845, (Saint Louis, A. Fisher, 1844), 123, [WEB].

[7] “Stampede Among the Africans,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, October 24, 1854; “The Fugitive Slaves,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, November 1, 1854.

[8] For the story of Charlotta Pyles, see Laurence C. Jones, “The Desire for Freedom,” The Palimpsest 8:5 (May 1927): 153-163, [WEB]; Hallie Q. Brown, Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988, reprint, 1926), 38, [WEB]; Berry DeRamus, Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories from the Underground Railroad (New York: Atria Books, 2005), 110-114.

[9] “African Exodus,” St. Louis Missouri Republican, October, 24, 1854; “The Fugitive Slaves,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, November 1, 1854.

[10] “Negro Riot,” St. Louis Republican, October 20, 1854; VanderVelde, Mrs. Dred Scott, 301-302. Revels autobiography, quoted in U.S. Congressional Bioguide.

[11] “Negro Riot,” St. Louis Republican, October 20, 1854; “The Negro Riot,” St. Louis Republican, October 26, 1854; “Church Rioters,” St. Louis Republican, November 1, 1854; “Recorder’s Court,” and “County Jail,” St. Louis Republican, November 2, 1854; “White vs. Black,” St. Louis Republican, November 9, 1854. Authorities released Revels on November 11 on the grounds that the preacher had already been fined twice for being in the state without a license. “Discharged,” St. Louis Republican, November 14, 1854. Historian Lea VanderVelde noted that multiple African Americans applied for licenses soon after the October 1854 incident. See VanderVelde, Mrs. Dred Scott, 434, n116.

[12]  “Another Slave Stampede,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, November 30, 1854.

[13] “Another Slave Stampede,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, November 30, 1854; “$1,000 Reward,” St. Louis Missouri Republican, December 6, 1854. The reward posted in the Missouri Republican pertained to the seven escapees named, and was co-signed by Richard Berry, Martin Wash and Martin W. Wash. It appears that Lunsford Johnson, Emily and the three children were claimed by Berry, while Spencer and David were held by the Wash family. For more on Berry’s slaveholding past, see “What is to Be Done Now!,” St. Louis Missouri Republican, December 10, 1854; Thomas Berry Estate Sale, September 13, 1850, Slave Sales Court Ordered, NPS, [WEB]; 1850 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, South Half of Central St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, Ancestry; Laws of the State of Missouri, passed by the Nineteenth General Assembly, (Jefferson, MO: James Lusk, 1857), 796-797, [WEB]; 1850 U.S. Census, District 82, St. Louis County, MO, Families 1121 and 1246, Ancestry; 1860 U.S. Census, Central Township, St. Louis County, MO, Families 473 and 495, Ancestry; 1850 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, District 82, St. Louis County, MO, Ancestry; 1860 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, Central Township, St. Louis County, MO, Ancestry; Find A Grave, [WEB].

[14] “Another Slave Stampede,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, November 30, 1854; “$1,000 Reward,” St. Louis Missouri Republican, December 6, 1854; “Passengers by the U.G.R.R.,” Chicago Weekly Democrat, December 9, 1854; “News from the Fugitive Slaves,” St. Louis Missouri Democrat, December 8, 1854.

[15] “What is to Be Done Now!,” St. Louis Missouri Republican, December 10, 1854; “Slave Hunt in Chicago,” Chicago Free West, December 14, 1854; “Great Excitement, Slave Catchers Again Defeated,” Chicago Weekly Democrat, December 16, 1854; Richard Cahan, A Court that Shaped America: Chicago’s Federal District Court from Abe Lincoln to Abbie Hoffman, (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2002), 20, [WEB].

[16] “The Constitution and Law Nullified in Chicago,” St. Louis Missouri Republican, December 9, 1854; “What is to Be Done Now!,” St. Louis Missouri Republican, December 10, 1854; “Slave Excitement at Chicago,” New York Herald, December 9, 1854; “Slave Excitement at Chicago,” Baltimore Sun, December 9, 1854;  “Fugitive Slave Excitement in Chicago,” Washington, D.C. Sentinel, December 12, 1854; “Fugitive Slave Case,” Chicago Weekly Democrat, December 16, 1854.

[17] “What is to Be Done Now!,” St. Louis Missouri Republican, December 10, 1854.

[18] “Brisk Business on the Underground Railroad,” Worcester, MA Spy, December 13, 1854; “Over Jordan,” Chicago Weekly Democrat, December 16, 1854.

[19] 1860 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, Ward 4, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, Ancestry.

[20] 1860 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, Ward 5, St. Louis, St. Louis County, MO, Ancestry.

[21] “What is to Be Done Now!,” St. Louis Missouri Republican, December 10, 1854; 1850 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, District 82, St. Louis County, MO, Ancestry; 1860 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, Central Township, St. Louis County, MO, Ancestry.

[22] Richard J.M. Blackett, The Captive’s Quest for Freedom: Fugitive Slaves, the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, and the Politics of Slavery, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 145.

Database Report –Civil War Era Newspapers

August 28, 1860

St. Louis News, quoted in Louisville, KY Daily Journal, August 28, 1860 (Civil War Era Newspapers)

Search Summary

  • Search conducted by Alex Ghaemmaghami and Cooper Wingert between July 8-31, 2019
  • Keywords: “slave stampede,” “stampede of slaves,” “negro stampede,” “stampede of negroes,” “stampeding slaves”
  • Totals: 46 hits

Top Results

  • In late August 1860, the St. Louis News reported that “five negroes belonging o Mr. Edward Bredell, disappeared very suddenly from their master’s farm, some six miles form the city, on the Clayton road. The runaway party consists of a woman, aged about sixty, her two sons and daughter, aged respectfully seven, twelve, and twenty-one years, and a young girl, closely related to the family.” The paper suspected that “the captivating stories of freedom and life in Canada” had been “breathed into their willing ears by some Abolitionist.” (“Another Slave Stampede,” St. Louis News, quoted in Louisville, KY Daily Journal, August 28, 1860)
  • In August 1850, a correspondent from Baltimore noted that the “excitement in this vicinity relative to the recent movements of abolitionists, in stampeding slaves, is very great, as large numbers have recently been spirited away.” (“Our Baltimore Correspondence,” New York, NY Herald, August 11, 1850)
  • In Kentucky, evidence was uncovered of “another stampede of slaves,” when a “valuable horse attached to a sleigh” was discovered at one man’s doorstep, with “the horse in a profuse sweat and dreadfully blown, showing clearly that he had been driven at terrible speed.” The stampede “consisted of two men, two women, and three children, belonging to Mr. Gaines who claims the slave Garner, now on trial before Commissioner [John L.] Pendery. We learn that the latter gentleman has suffered another loss, four more of his slaves having absconded.” The paper then added “since writing the above we learn that still another stampede has occurred,” involving “two men, three women, and two children…. It is probable that they are all in charge of some expert conductor on the Underground Railroad and are by this time far on their way toward Canada.” (Cincinnati Enquirer, quoted in “Another Stampede,” Louisville, KY Daily Journal, February 4, 1856)
  • The Richmond Daily Dispatch reported in September 1857 that “a stampede of slaves was prevented a few nights ago, by the police. A Philadelphia vessel was suspected of having bargained for the wrong sort of cargo, and sundry slaves were known to have been making preparations for embarking. Both parties finding the policemen alert, gave up the enterprise.” (“Funeral–Death of Jordan Branch–Stampede of Slaves, &c.,” Richmond, VA Daily Dispatch, September 11, 1857)
  • Writing to a Richmond paper in February 1862, a Confederate soldier noted that “a stampede of negroes from the vicinity of Chuckatuck,” in Suffolk County, Virginia, “has made the necessity of… drafts even more apparent than before.” (“Camp News,” Richmond, VA Daily Dispatch, February 5, 1862)
  • In early 1864, a Memphis, Tennessee paper reported a “stampede” of “One hundred and fifty negroes from about Huntsville and beyond passed through here yesterday for Nashville. Large numbers pass through almost daily. The contrabands about here are also being sent to Nashville.” (“Stampede of Negroes,” Memphis, TN Daily Appeal, March 10, 1864)

Select Images

 

General Notes

  • ProQuest Civil War Era Newspapers is a subscription database, available to Dickinson College students through the WaidnerSpahr Library. It is a separate database from ProQuest Historical Newspapers.

Most Relevant Coverage from ProQuest Civil War Era Newspapers

  • MISSOURI: St. Louis News (quoted in Louisville, KY Daily Journal)
  • MASSACHUSETTS: Boston, MA Herald, 1846-1865
  • NEW YORK: New York Herald, 1840-1865
  • SOUTH CAROLINA: Charleston Mercury, 1840-1865
  • VIRGINIA: Richmond Daily Dispatch, 1852-1865

The 1848 Daggs Farm Escape

PRINTABLE NARRATIVE

DATELINE:  LURAY, MISSOURI, JUNE 2, 1848

 

Iowa map

Missouri and Iowa border between Daggs Farm and Salem (Mitchell’s Atlas, 1866)

On the evening of June 2, 1848, a group of nine enslaved people fled from a farm owned by Ruel J. Daggs of Luray, Clark County, Missouri. The group included John and Mary Walker, their four children, along with Sam and Dorcas Fulcher, and their 18-year-old pregnant daughter, Julia. The two families were able to cross the border to the free territory of Salem, Iowa, where an antislavery community stood vigilant in order to protect the freedom seekers from what they considered to be an unlawful rendition. But it was there in Salem where 48 hours later a posse of slave catchers hired by Daggs discovered them, as one eyewitness described, “in a thicket of hazel brush.” At gunpoint, the slave catchers demanded that the freedom seekers give themselves up.[1] Before the standoff became fatal, however, 19 people of Salem were able to bring calm to the “chaotic [and] highly emotional,” scene, according to historian Lowell J. Soike. The Salem residents offered a compromise by suggesting that the alleged freedom seekers slaves be brought before an impartial justice of the peace. The slave catchers yielded. A few hours later, the judicial officer ruled that the Daggs’ posse had presented no evidence proving that the Walker and Fulcher families were legally enslaved. Moments later, in the midst of the abolitionist celebration, and in defiance of the court’s ruling, Daggs’ slave catchers seized four of the runaways–two Walker children along with Dorcas and Julia Fulcher–and rode out of town.

STAMPEDE CONTEXT

June 21, 1848

St. Louis Reveille, quoted in New York Evening Post, June 21, 1848 (GenealogyBank)

Newspapers were quick to cover the dramatic confrontation in Iowa across the Missouri border, but none seem to have employed the term “stampede” to describe an organized escape of nine people.  However, the absence of the term in this instance should come as no surprise.  It was only about a year before, in 1847, that newspapers anywhere in the country had begun to apply the term stampede to larger group slave escapes.[2]  Though none of the local or regional newspapers articles covering the escape from the Daggs farm in June 1848 used the term “stampede,” this episode was without doubt one of the most important cases of mass escape in the history of the Underground Railroad.   It involved a series of dramatic confrontations, both violent and legal, ultimately contributing to the collapse the federal fugitive slave code from 1793.

MAIN NARRATIVE

The slave state of Missouri possessed a unique slaveholding population. Census records indicate that 88 percent of Missouri slaveholders held fewer than 20 men and women in bondage (the standard threshold for plantations).[3] Born in Delaware in 1775 but raised in Rockingham County Virginia, Ruel Daggs, the son of wealthy landowners Angus and Lydia Daggs, was one of those slaveholders who was a slaveholder without being a stereotypical southern planter. Having first arrived in Luray in 1835 with six enslaved persons, by the late 1840s, Daggs became the slaveholder of 16 people on his 160-acre farm near the Wyaconda River in Clark County, near Missouri’s northern border with Iowa.[4] According to local historian O. A. Garretson, Daggs grew concerned about the “spirit of liberty” that had prevailed in the West. So by 1848, Daggs had “realized the difficulty of holding slaves so near the free State of Iowa,” believed Garretson, and therefore inquired about “selling his slaves south.”[5]

Hearing he and his family would be sold south and in all likelihood that his wife and children would be separated, John Walker, age 22 or 23, escaped from Daggs’s farm alone in May 1848 to ascertain the means to free his entire family. During his initial escape, Walker traveled north into the woods near the Des Moines River, where he arranged a family escape strategy with white resident Dick Leggens (or Liggon) and, according to Garretson, a free African American named Sam Webster.[6] Then, after crossing the river into Iowa, Walker established relations with a group of known abolitionists in the small Henry County township of Salem, located about 15 miles from the Missouri border.

With a population of about 500 residents, Salem was among the first Quaker communities established in the Hawkeye State. The small towns of Salem, Denmark and Washington Village,  were, according to Soike, “the core antislavery communities in southeast Iowa.”[7] To Missourians and other pro-slavery communities, Salem certainly appeared to be a hotbed for antislavery activists willing to venture into slave states to “steal” those kept in bondage. But to Aaron Street Jr., a Quaker, Salem abolitionists weren’t raiders; rather, Street Jr. testified, the objective of the antislavery community in Salem was to help freedom seekers who were already “on their way to a land of freedom.” He explained, “we believed it right to take them in and feed them, and give them such directions and assistance, as we ourselves would wish bestowed on us, were we in their situation.”[8] Writing in The Quakers of Iowa, Louis T. Jones described Salem as a place where the children deliberately ignored “this solemn business” while the adults spoke “vague but [in] well understood terms” about the Underground Railroad.[9] John Walker, the freedom seeker from Daggs’s farm, quickly established an alliance with Salem’s leading abolitionists: Street Jr., Thomas Clarkson Frazier, Elihu Frazier, Paul Way, John H. Pickering, William Johnson, John Comer, and Henderson Lewelling.

Once finalizing an escape plan that included a safe house on the Missouri side of the Des Moines River and with a network of abolitionists from Salem who would help with transportation, Walker returned to the Daggs farm on June 2, 1848 to take his family to freedom. During the escape, three members of the Fulcher family joined the Walkers. The group, now numbering nine, was made up of Walker, his wife, Mary; their four children, Martha, age 10, William, age 6; George, about age 4, Armistead Poston, about age 1; Sam Fulcher, age 40 or 45, who labored as a tanner, shoemaker, and cooper that had the ability to write and keep accounts; his wife, Dorcas, age 38, who was known as a cook and a weaver, and pregnant daughter, Julia, age 18 or 19, who was also a cook. John Walker and Sam Fulcher were estimated to be worth $900 to $1200, respectively. Mary Walker, Dorcas, and Julia were each worth $600 to $700. Martha was valued up to $300; while William, George and Armistead were $200.[10]

That first night, the Walker and Fulcher families made it as far as Leggens’s remote farmstead before stopping for the night. At dawn a heavy downpour began, which delayed the escape party a day from continuing on their journey. During the wait, everyone remained festive as Sam Webster entertained the freedom seekers with his violin.[11]

Fugitives in rain

Enslaved family fleeing in rain (from William Still’s The Underground Railroad, 1872)

After the rain subsided, Leggens and Webster escorted the two families to a point along the Des Moines River that looked at the shoreline of Farmington, Iowa. Since the current had become “so swollen,” according to Garretson, due to the heavy rains, the two families with the help of their co-conspirators built a raft strong enough to cross the river into Iowa. Jonathan Frazier, a son of Quaker preacher and abolitionist Thomas Frazier, then met the freedom seekers in Farmington. Frazier hid the Walkers and Fulchers in a covered wagon and escorted the runaways during the remaining 20 miles north to Salem.[12] One witness said Salem abolitionist John H. Pickering owned the horses that were hitched to Frazier’s wagon.[13] In a U.S. District Court hearing on the case two years later, Pickering denied that it was his horses used to transport the freedom seekers. His brother, Jonathan Pickering, a proslavery conservative, told a different story, however. He accused his brother, John H. of transporting and harboring the freedom seekers, stating to authorities when he had confronted his brother about the runaways: “[John H.] sniggered in his sleeve and seemed to know where they were.”[14]

Daggs Farm timeline

It was Monday, June 5, when Frazier picked up the freedom seekers. During the time leading up to that day, Ruel Daggs had tasked his sons, William Rodney, age 36, and George, age 31, with organizing a posse from their neighborhood to pursue the nine freedom seekers across state lines.[15] The Daggs’ eventually enlisted the help of four people: their neighbor James McClure, a man from Farmington named Samuel Slaughter, and upon entering Iowa, McClure and Slaughter also employed the help of two men from Salem, Henry Brown, who knew Ruel Daggs, and Jesse Cook. On the morning of June 5, the four men discovered wagon tracks in the mud. They followed the tracks in the direction of Salem, where they spotted the wagon about a mile in the distance. They gave chase; eventually arriving upon the wagon, now empty and idle, outside the home of Thomas Frazier. After 24 hours spent combing Salem for the runaways, McClure and Slaughter returned to the original spot where they first noticed the wagon tracks while Brown and Cook lagged behind. They soon spotted all nine runaways in the underbrush near the wagon. Brown and Cook then arrived on the scene to help secure the Walkers and Fulchers.[16]

Concerned about her four children, Mary Walker was the first to turn herself over to the slave catchers. Likewise, both Sam and Dorcas Fulcher soon relinquished their freedom. And the pregnant 18-year-old Julia Fulcher also submitted to the captors. Only John Walker refused to be taken. His attempt to preserve his freedom failed, however, as he was subdued by the slave catchers and tied to a post. Slaughter was left in charge of supervising the nine captives while McClure traveled back into Salem to find willing men who could assist in the safe return of the runaways to Daggs.

Lewelling house image

The Henderson Lewelling House, Salem, IA. (National Park Service)

The delay enabled Salem abolitionists to organize an effort to rescue the nine freedom seekers. There is ongoing debate over the crowd size that surrounded Daggs’s posse. While most historical accounts estimate between 50 and 100 Salem residents gathered to free the Walkers and Fulchers, historian Robert Dykstra claims it was only “a dozen local men,” which included Thomas Clarkson Frazier, his brother Elihu Frazier, Moses Pervis, and William Johnson, “who appeared intent on keeping the captives from being carried off.”[17] Meanwhile, the press coverage of the incident reported that Slaughter, Brown, and Cook were “mobbed” by a large group of abolitionists.[18] The Frazier brothers stepped forward to negotiation with the slave catchers. Elihu threatened Daggs’s men that he would “wade in Missouri blood before the negroes should be taken.”[19] Thomas Clarkson offered a solemn alternative by suggesting Salem’s Justice of the Peace Nelson Gibbs adjudicate the case. To circumvent a physical disturbance, the slave catchers acquiesced to the suggestion of a legal hearing.

Word spread throughout Salem at a rapid speed, which resulted in the gathering of a large crowd around Gibbs’ office in what is now known as the Henderson Lewelling House. The crowd was so large, in fact, that John and Mary Walker were able to sneak away from Slaughter with their oldest child, Martha. That left three Walker children and the Fulcher family to undergo a deposition by Judge Gibbs, an antislavery sympathizer whose office in the Henderson Lewelling House would eventually be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Amid the commotion, Salem’s schoolmaster, Rueben Dorland, stood on a pile of lumber to “harangued the crowd,” wrote historian Louis T. Jones, in an apparent gesture to bring calm to the scene and advocate that the freedom seekers must be taken before the judge.[20] The justice’s office was too small for the large crowd that had amassed so the dueling sides agreed to hold the hearing inside the Friends’ Meeting House, which was commonly used as the venue for abolition meetings, located across the street.

Two Salem Quakers (Aaron Street, Jr. and Albert Button) served as counsel for the alleged runaways. A trained attorney, Button quoted from the Revised Statutes of the Territory of Iowa (1843) explaining that kidnapping of African Americans was unlawful because of personal liberty statutes in Iowa: “If any person or persons shall forcibly steal, take, or arrest any man, woman or child in this Territory. . . ,” he recited, “with a design to take him or her out of this Territory without having legally established his, her or their claim according to the laws of this Territory, or of the United States, shall upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars and by imprisonment in the penitentiary at hard labor not exceeding ten years.”[21] The slavecatchers, McClure and Slaughter, did not try to argue that point, by invoking the 1842 precedent from the United States Supreme Court (Prigg v. Pennsylvania) which might have easily challenged Button’s interpretation of Iowa’s “state rights.”   They either did not know about the law or perhaps chose to ignore the point.stampede map

Regardless, Judge Gibbs ruled that McClure and his men did not offer enough evidence proving they were agents working for claimant Ruel Daggs. Gibbs, whose home contained three secret rooms for freedom seekers, also stated that since the alleged runaways had not been brought properly before him, he had no right to adjudicate the matter. He therefore concluded that the Walkers and Fulchers were “free as himself for all he knew.”[22]

Despite Gibbs’s ruling, there was a fight for the remaining alleged freedom seekers outside the Friends’ Meeting House. One of the slave catchers, Henry Brown, shouted at Sam Fulcher, “I’ll shoot that damned son-of-a-bitch.” The crowd prevented Brown from doing harm to anyone. In that instant, however, John H. Pickering led Fulcher, who was taking care of 6-year-old William Walker to Paul Way, an antislavery man described later by a witness at the trial as “an old man clothed in the working garb of the pioneer, with long chin whiskers and wore a pointed topped, lopped down felt hat.” Way delivered a horse to Fulcher and the Walker boy to use for a swift getaway. The others, however, were not so lucky. McClure and Slaughter seized Dorcas and Julia Fulcher and the two remaining Walker children, George and Armistead Poston.[23] The four were returned to Daggs’s farm by force.

Two days later, on June 7, a proslavery mob of angry Missourians estimated by multiple sources to range in size from 100 to 300 and “armed to the teeth,” according to Louis T. Jones, paid a return visit to the Quakers in Salem. Apparently, Daggs had issued a $500 reward for the return of his five at-large runaways. According to witness Rachel Kellum, the group from Missouri now brought with them rifles, pistols, knives, and a canon in order to occupy (and intimidate) the town. Though some conservative Salem citizens testified later that most of the Missourians behaved with “civility,” the slave catchers certainly laid siege to the community. Roadblocks were placed at every exit and quotationvigilantes were stationed as guards throughout the town. One eyewitness said members of the mob “snapped a pistol at an old crippled man.”[24] Houses were illegally searched, including the residence of Paul Way, who was able to prevent members of the Missouri mob from finding a freedom seeker in his home by threatening to shoot anyone who tried to climb into his attic.[25] The mob also paid a visit to the home of Thomas Clarkson Frazier, whom Jones later described as “the most vigorous abolitionist in the settlement.” Frazier was in fact hiding some of the runaways. Upon hearing the gang was headed to his property, Frazier helped the freedom seekers relocate to a nearby forest. By the following morning Frazier and several of his co-conspirators, Elihu Frazier, John Pickering, John Comer, and at least five more of Salem’s leading residents were being held under duress at a hotel.[26]

During the assault, two Salem residents were able to “slip out of town,” writes Soike, to obtain help from a sheriff in nearby Mount Pleasant and to recruit abolitionists from the town of Denmark. Though originally from Virginia, the Mount Pleasant sheriff arrived in Salem on the morning of June 8, intending to help his fellow Iowans. He gave the Missouri mob 15 minutes to leave town.  Then a gang estimated at about 40 persons from Denmark “determined to raise the siege” and, according to a reminiscence by Lindsey Coppock, a relative to one of the eyewitnesses, “with their bayonets in trim,” arrived and then some scattered violence ensued. The Missouri vigilantes quickly capitulated, but only after the Fraziers, Pickering, Comber, Way, and 14 others signed a pledge to appear in the federal district court for their actions in allegedly helping Ruel Daggs’s runaway slaves escape. By Friday, June 9, an interstate battle over slavery had been momentarily abated.[27]

Title page

Case report by George Frazee, 1850

Events in Salem were settled for just three months before Salem’s abolitionists entered in Ruel Daggs’s legal crosshairs. In September 1848, Daggs officially filed a $10,000 lawsuit against 19 men for the loss of five runaways and to offset cost for the services of his four slave catchers. The case Ruel Daggs v. Elihu Frazier et al. was finally heard in June 1850 with newly confirmed U.S. District Judge John James Dyer, a graduate of the University of Virginia, presiding. After engaging in private practice in Pendleton County, Virginia and Dubuque, Iowa from 1833 to 1847, Dyer had stepped into the federal judgeship on March 3, 1847, just a year after Iowa’s admission to the Union.[28]

Dyer acknowledged during the trial that the events in Salem were part of growing national divisions over slavery wherein proslavery and antislavery persons maintained a “warlike attitude,” especially over what to do with new territory recently obtained from Mexico.  He also noted the addition tensions over the recent increases in large scale escapes from Maryland into Pennsylvania, Kentucky into Ohio, and Missouri into either Iowa or Kansas. Dyer, who had arrived in Iowa by way of the slave state of Virginia, reminded the jury before it deliberated that the Court’s “business now is with the laws and Constitution as they are, not as we may think they ought out be.” He advised the panel to adjudicate based on the 1793 Fugitive Slave Law, which imposed a hefty financial penalty on any person “knowingly and willingly” obstructing hindering, harboring, or concealing freedom seekers.[29]

Portrait

Augustus Caesar Dodge (House Divided Project)

However, the verdict did not end matters. The defendants’ attorneys soon asked permission to file a bill of exceptions with the intention of appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the strategy seemed to be one merely of delay. None of the defendants except for Paul Way was worth the amount levied by the court. All (or most) of them, however, apparently sold their property to their kin ahead of the trial with the aim of avoiding paying any penalty to Daggs. Accordingly, Daggs was never actually paid the fine that the verdict promised.[32] As noted by historian Robert R. Dykstra, the defendants’ decision to liquidate their estates before the trial might be considered “intent to defraud a creditor,” and yet they never faced either a reckoning on the funds nor a challenge to their financial maneuvering.  As Lowell Soike put it, Daggs “never collected a dime” and gave up his pursuit in disgust.[33]

AFTERMATH

Historian Lowell J. Soike has called this case “the last federal case decided under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793.”[34] The controversies surrounding the case certainly contributed to the debates about strengthening the federal fugitive slave law in 1850.  Both of the Hawkeye US senators, Augustus Caesar Dodge and George Wallace Jones, voted for the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, as part of the Compromise of 1850, just months after the Ruel Daggs v. Elihu Frazier et al. decision.

There is a great deal of information about the participants in the 1848 Daggs escape. According to the 1850 Slave Schedule of Clark County, Ruel Daggs sold all but six of his enslaved persons not long after the episode. While his case was undergoing review in the U.S. District Court, he still possessed three males ages 55, 30, and 1; and three females, ages 40, 20, and 20.[35]

 

Daggs headstone

Ruel Daggs died in December 1862. (Find A Grave)

Daggs, who had 10 children (six sons, four daughters) to his wife of 61 years, Nancy Johnston (1777-1861), died on December 16, 1862 at age 87. He had married Nancy (originally Nancy Frazier, she had previously married then became a widow) in Kanawha County, Virginia (now West Virginia) on April 26, 1800. All 10 of his children were born in Kanawha. He is buried in Daggs Homestead Cemetery, located 3.5 miles South East of Luray, Missouri. His son George, who assisted in assembling a slave catching posse in June 1848, ended up in California, separated from his wife. Ruel’s other son who assisted in the rendition of his lost slave property, William Rodney, was actually the elected justice of the peace of Washington Township and storeowner in Luray, Clark County. He ended up buying out the rights of his siblings and after Ruel’s death and built a new home on the family’s farm property. He had a cemetery constructed on the property, too, which is now the burial location of his children and the children of the enslaved on the Daggs farm. William Rodney was married twice and had 15 children (three to his first wife, Sarah Martin, 12 to his second wife Sarah Josephine Martin).

Judge Nelson Gibbs (1823-1903), the abolitionist-friendly justice of the peace in Salem that acquitted the runaways remained in that position until 1855. He eventually joined the Republican Party and worked as the sheriff of Hardin County, Iowa between 1867 and 1871. The importance of his office in the Henderson Lewelling House located today at 401 South Main Street in Salem has already been noted as both a national landmark and a recognized Underground Railroad site. The other judge in this episode, John J. Dyer, remained in his federal seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Iowa until his death on September 14, 1855. He died on a visit to his home in Virginia.

The most remarkable post-escape story concerns the fate of Julia Fulcher.  As noted earlier, Samuel Slaughter and James McClure had recaptured Julia, the pregnant 18-year old during the 1848 incident. Julia was thus re-enslaved but eventually obtained her freedom after the Civil War. At some point, Julia married Hezekiah Hall. For a decade after the war, Julia and Hezekiah lived and worked as sharecroppers on a local Missouri farm owned by Scott Miller. Together, they obtained a reputation for their industry, having worked the Miller farm, according to their son, with “honest, sweat and toil, minding their own business and managing their meager funds to the best of ability.” In 1875, they rented a 100-acre farm from Judge Givens near Waterloo, Missouri. They “did so well that they were able to purchase the farm from Judge Givens in a few years.”[36] To date, no evidence has surfaced about whether Julia gave birth to a healthy baby after the 1848 incident. On August 4, 1866, she delivered a boy named Samuel. Julia and Hezekiah also had a daughter named Vicey. Samuel married Lulu Mae Cole on October 29, 1902. Samuel and Lulu were still living on the family farm in Waterloo as late as 1956.

FURTHER READING

A search through digital archives will yield some important newspaper articles about the Daggs Escape. The June 1848 incident, which includes the hearing in front of Justice of the Peace Nelson Gibbs and the invasion by the Missouri mob, was covered in national newspapers like the New York Evening Post and New York Herald. There are also local papers that utilized correspondents to inform local communities about the event in Salem, Iowa. These papers include the Talladega Reporter (Talladega, AL), Louisville Daily Courier (Louisville, KY), Palmyra Whig (Palmyra, MO), Burlington Hawk-Eye (Burlington, IA), Evening Times-Republican (Marshalltown, IA), and The Daily Gate City (Keokuk, IA). George Frazee, member of the Iowa State Bar Association, recorded the full account of Ruel Daggs v. Elihu Frazier et al. case heard by Judge John J. Dyer in the U.S. District Court in June 1850. Frazee’s dictation includes sworn depositions and cross examinations by members of each side of the case, with testimony from some members of Ruel Daggs’s party, including George Daggs, who was responsible to round up a slave catching posse; Samuel Slaughter, the slave hunter from Farmington, Iowa that assisted James McClure and the Daggs family in pursuit of the nine freedom seekers; and Jonathan Pickering, who testified against his brother John H. Pickering. Testimony is also offered of those in the defense; in particular, Albert Button, the counsel to Daggs’s escaped slaves; and Jonathan Frazier, the son of Thomas Clarkson Frazier, the driver of the wagon carrying Daggs’ freedom seekers. Frazee also includes the voices of the seemingly neutral parties, such as school teacher Reuben Dorland who stood on top of a pile of boards to announce the nine runaways should be taken for Judge Gibbs; and Lewis Taylor, an eyewitness that attended the hearing before Judge Gibbs.

A great deal of information about Ruel Daggs and his children can be found in Harold Alan Daggs’s March 23, 1988 recollection titled “Daggs Family History.” It is a 28-page family history and reminiscence that presents short biographical portraits of Ruel Daggs, all of his children, as well as his wife, Nancy. The author is also transparent in sharing details about the family’s relocation from Virginia with its slave estate, including members of the family who were slaveholders and how much enslaved persons were worth. A small portion of the reminiscence recalls the 1848 Daggs Escape.

There are three important secondary sources concerning the Daggs Escape. The oldest source is by O. A. Garretson titled “Traveling on the Underground Railroad in Iowa” and published in the Iowa Journal of History and Politics and The Palimpsest, a publication of Iowa history by the University of Iowa. Written about 1900, Garretson’s account covers abolition activity in Salem, Denmark, and along the border with Kansas. A significant portion of the essay focuses on the Daggs Escape. Readers should be attentive, however, to the numerous minor inaccuracies in the  Garretson account that have since been corrected by historians Robert R. Dykstra’s Bright Radical Star: Black Freedom and White Supremacy on the Hawkeye Frontier (1993) and Lowell J. Soike in Necessary Courage: Iowa’s Underground Railroad in the Struggle against Slavery (2013). Perhaps the most noteworthy contradiction among the three voices is how the fate of Daggs’s nine runaways is portrayed. While Dykstra and Soike are clear that five of the nine eluded recapture–a point confirmed by all of the primary source documentation, including the June 1850 Ruel Daggs v. Elihu Frazier et al. U.S. District case–Garretson incorrectly claims that every freedom seekers made it to Canada. Why the discrepancy? Garretson’s version of the Daggs Escape appears to be his retelling of an as-told-to account from a relative. In his article, Garretson is proud to reveal that at least two ancestors (Joel Garretson and John Garretson) were involved in preventing Daggs’s slave catchers from succeeding. He explained that both family members were fervent abolitionists: Joel was among “the instigators of the plot to free their [Missouri’s] slaves” while John used his personal carriage to feed and shelter freedom seekers from kidnappers. On the contrary, Soike’s 2013 account of the events described in Necessary Courage relies on testimony from the 1848 Salem hearing in front of Judge Gibbs and 1850 U.S. District Court trial, along with a variety of national and local newspaper coverage. Soike, a former director of the Iowa Freedom Trail Project, was able to reconstruct the proceedings through depositions given by the slave hunters and Salem townspeople. It is still perhaps best to read Robert R. Dykstra’s 1993 interpretation of events surrounding the escape of Ruel Daggs’s nine runaways, which includes eyewitness testimony of events and a wide range of media coverage during the eight days of June 2 to June 9, 1848 and the subsequent federal district court hearing of June 1850. It is important to note that both Soike and Dykstra include chapters about the Daggs Escape in books that otherwise focus on Iowa’s more general Underground Railroad history. Yet both account do a fine job of placing the events of 1848 in context with the sectional crisis that led to the Civil War.


END NOTES

[1] Soike, 34.

[2] Cincinnati Allas [sic] in “Grand Stampede,” Danville (VT) North Star, May 17, 1847;  Covington (KY) Register in “Negro Stampede,” Worcester (MA) Bay State Farmer and Mechanic’s Ledger, May 29, 1847; “Negro Stampede,” The Liberator, July 16, 1847.

[3] Soike, 30-31; Francis A.E. Waters, “Anti-Slavery Sentiment in Iowa,” Washington D.C., National Era, November 21, 1850.

[4] Morgans, 94; Harold Alan Daggs. “Daggs Family.” (genealogy file). March 23, 1988. 11; Lewis D. Savage. “Former Slaves, the Success Story of a Clark County Missouri Farm Family.” Keokuk Daily Gate City, Sam Hall Interview, August 4, 1956. Retrieved at https://connect.xfinity.com/appsuite/#!!&app=io.ox/mail&folder=default0/INBOX

[5] Soike, 33; O.A. Garretson, “Traveling on the Underground Railway.” [Date unknown]. Retrieved at https://web.archive.org/web/20160826081248/http://www.garretson.us/Garretson.us/History_Articles_by_O.A._Garretson.html

[6] Garretson; Daggs, 12.

[7] George Frazee. “An Iowa Fugitive Slave Case – 1850.” 9; Soike, 28, 44; James Patrick Morgans. The Underground Railroad on the Western Frontier. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. 2010, 94-95; Dykstra, 92.

[8] Walter Edgerton, A History of the Separation in Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends (Cincinnati, 1856), quoted in Robert R. Dykstra. Bright Radical Star: Black Freedom and White Supremacy on the Hawkeye Frontier. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993. 90-91.

[9] Louis Thomas Jones. The Quakers of Iowa. Clio Press, 1914. 189.

[10] Frazee, 10; Daggs, 12-13; “Fugitive Slave Case Was Tried.” The Daily Gate City (Keokuk, IA). April 13, 1915. 5.

[11] Ann-Lisa Cox. A Stronger Kinship: One Town’s Extraordinary Story of Hope and Faith. Little, Brown, Inc. 2009. 34.

[12] Garretson.

[13] The Burlington Hawk-Eye (Burlington, IA). July 11, 1850. 1; Affidavit of James McClure, taken at Farmington, Iowa, Daggs Case File, October 9, 1848 and “Deposition of Henry Brown,” taken at Fairfield, Iowa, Daggs Case File, March 22, 1850 quoted in Soike, 33; District Court of the United States. Southern Division of Iowa. Burlington, Iowa, June Term, 1850. Hon. J. J. DYER. presiding. Ruel Daggs, plaintiff, vs. Elihu Frazier, et al., defendants. Trespass on the Case. 6.

[14] Dykstra, 93.

[15] “Ruel J. Daggs.” Find A Grave. Retrieved at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/29216157/ruel-j_-daggs

[16] Soike, 34-35; Garretson; Jones, 189.

[17] Dykstra, 93.

[18] Alabama Reporter (Talladega, AL). July 20, 1848, 4; New York Herald. June 22, 1848. 2.

[19] Soike, 34-35; Jones, 190; Dykstra, 93.

[20] Jones, 190; Dykstra, 93.

[21] Dykstra, 94-95.

[22] George Frazee, Fugitive Slave Case, District Court of the Southern Division of Iowa, Burlington, June Term, 1850, Ruel Daggs v. Elihu Frazier, et al. (Burlington, IA: Morgan and M’Kenny, 1850), 6; Soike, 37; District Court of the United States. Southern Division of Iowa. Burlington, Iowa, June Term, 1850. Hon. J. J. DYER. presiding. Ruel Daggs, plaintiff, vs. Elihu Frazier, et al., defendants. Trespass on the Case. 24-26, 38.

[23] Soike, 38; Garretson; “Fugitive Slave Case Was Tried.” The Daily Gate City (Keokuk, IA). April 13, 1915. 5.

[24] Dykstra, 96.

[25] Soike, 39; Garretson; Jones, 191; “Slave-Catchers in Iowa.” Evening Times-Republican (Marshalltown, IA). March 4, 1914, 4.

[26] Dykstra, 96-97.

[27] “Fugitive Slave Case Was Tried.” The Daily Gate City (Keokuk, IA). April 13, 1915. 5.

[28] James Whitcomb Ellis. History of Jackson County, Iowa, Volume 1. “John James Dyer.” Jackson County, IA: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1910. 564; Ballotpedia. Retrieved at https://ballotpedia.org/John_James_Dyer; Dykstra, 97.

[29] Ellis, 564; U.S. Congress Act of February 12, 1793; Soike, 43-45; District Court of the United States. Southern Division of Iowa. Burlington, Iowa, June Term, 1850. Hon. J. J. DYER. presiding. Ruel Daggs, plaintiff, vs. Elihu Frazier, et al., defendants. Trespass on the Case. 38.

[30] “Missouri Slave Case.” Palmyra Whig. June 20, 1850. 2.

[31] Louisville Daily Courier (Louisville, KY). June 19, 1850. 3.

[32] Dykstra, 103.

[33] Soike, 46.

[34] Soike, 45; Dykstra, 105.  Actually, the “last” case under the 1793 federal fugitive slave law as probably Oliver et.al. v. Kauffman, which originated in Carlisle, PA in 1847 but was retried in federal court in 1852.

[35] 1850 US Census Slave Schedule, Ruel Daggs. Retrieved at file:///Users/todd.mealy/Desktop/1850%20Census%20Slave%20Schedules%20Ruel%20Daggs%20.pdf

[36] Lewis D. Savage. “Former Slaves, the Success Story of a Clark County Missouri Farm Family.” Keokuk Daily Gate City, Sam Hall Interview, August 4, 1956. Retrieved at https://connect.xfinity.com/appsuite/#!!&app=io.ox/mail&folder=default0/INBOX

The 1849 Canton Stampede

PRINTABLE NARRATIVE

DATELINE: CANTON, MISSOURI, NOVEMBER 2, 1849

 

November 8, 1849

Glasgow, MO Weekly Times, November 8, 1849 (Chronicling America)

“We came nigh having a general stampede among the negroes in our county last night,” reported a correspondent from Lewis County, Missouri in November 1849. “About thirty-five of them banded together and provided themselves with arms, determined to fight their way out of the county.”[1]  In a story that was full of dramatic intrigue, unexpected violence, wholesale capture and then the tragic break up of several African American families, it is remarkable that this attempted Missouri slave stampede on the eve of the Compromise of 1850 is not better known, nor more frequently taught in American classrooms.

 

STAMPEDE CONTEXT

At the time, however, the failed escape of nearly three dozen enslaved people outside of Canton, Missouri was a national news story of considerable significance.  The initial garbled reports, passed from Quincy, Illinois via the Missouri Daily Republican, and which appeared all over the country, claimed as many as fifty armed runaways from “both sexes.”  “THE GREAT SLAVE STAMPEDE IN MISSOURI,” was how the North American and United States Gazette in Philadelphia labeled the tragic event.  William Lloyd Garrison’s abolitionist journal, The Liberator, naturally attempted to evoke even more outrage with its coverage:  “Another Chapter of Southern Atrocities and Horrors,” was its headline for the affair, which the newspaper also explicitly described as an attempted stampede.[2]

stampede mapTo view an interactive map of this stampede, check out our StorymapJS version at Knight Lab

MAIN NARRATIVE

Canton, Missouri in Lewis County was a small village situated along the northeast corner of the state and bounded by the free state of Iowa to the north and by the Mississippi river and the free shore of Illinois to the east.  White settlers from Virginia and Kentucky had first begun arriving in this region of Missouri during the 1820s and 1830s, bringing with them dozens of enslaved Africans to help develop the land for agricultural use.[3]

Lewis County was not plantation country. On the eve of the Civil War, only 19 slaveholders held more than ten slaves, and most of those had fewer than 14. In 1850, the county population included 1,206 enslaved people, 15 free blacks, and 5,357 whites.[4] The county’s largest slaveholder in 1850, Daniel Ligon, a Kentucky emigrant, owned 26 people. Other large slave holders of that era included E. W. Mitchell (17), James Miller (16), Eliza Morris (14), and J. W. Price (10).[5]  Manumissions were rare in Lewis County, and those few African Americans who were freed were supposed to receive a court-appointed “trustee” to oversee their affairs. The first regular slave patrols in the county had begun in 1836, but only for about 24 hours per month.[6]

In June 1849, then-US congressman James Green summarized a view of the enslaved black families no doubt shared by most of his Lewis County constituents. “Subordination in a greater or lesser degree becomes inevitable in the very nature of things . . .. [and] has resulted to the black in immense good, and incalculable benefit, both moral and physical.”[7]

Yet events in Canton on Friday, November 2, 1849, barely five months later, called into question this politician’s assumption that slavery was either inevitable or somehow good for the enslaved. The stampede began with a theft.  “A little before day on Friday morning last,” a newspaper recounted, “a negro man, belonging to James Miller, came into the house, ostensibly to make a fire. Before going out, Mr. Miller heard him step towards the gun rack, take something, and leave with caution.”[8]

John Ramsey, a guest at a nearby farm, also claimed to have heard at least two wagons coming and going about this time, which was “unusual” before daybreak.  Ramsey was a cousin of John Newton McCutchan, a local slaveholder, and was soon planning to head out for California as part of that year’s “gold rush.”

The black man who had stolen the guns, called “Miller’s John,” was “very powerful [and] fierce as a grisly bear.”[9] An account written almost one hundred years later by W. K. Moore, the grandson of John McCutchan, identified John as one of two principal leaders of the stampede. The other, according to Moore, was Lin, an elderly woman owned by the McCutchans who worked in their kitchen. According to Moore’s recollection, John and Lin had been encouraging her ten-year-old grandson Henry to believe that he was capable of having prophetic visions.  One of these visions, according to Moore, was that all of the whites would be killed and sent to heaven, “except my mother,” then a small child (the youngest McCutchan daughter), who was to be spared in order to become Henry’s wife.[10]

conjurer image

An enslaved conjurer (National Park Service)

After the theft of the firearms, Dave, an enslaved child owned by the McCutchan’s, was soon “pressed . . . into telling” the now-panicked slaveholder that African Americans belonging to several neighboring families were first planning to kill the whites in their homes, and then gathering all of the willing blacks in the county, before making an escape to Illinois and then on to Canada. According to Moore’s account, “Lin had already served coffee in the kitchen, after mixing it with gunpowder to make them brave and with some of her magic potions that were to render them invulnerable.”[11]

Other farmers had learned of the plot and by daybreak more than 30 armed white men had tracked the freedom seekers to the McCutchan farm. “The negroes, amounting to between twenty and thirty, . . . had three guns, together with large clubs and butcher knives,” reported a local newspaper.[12] Beside those who had fled from Miller’s farm on the Sugar Creek, the group now included slaves owned by Judge William Ellis of Monticello, as well as Samuel McKim and James McCutchan, also of Sugar Creek north of Monticello.

As the pursuers approached, the escapees presented “an obstinate defense . . . [demonstrating] the most dogged and settled hostility, [and] peremptorily refusing to yield.” The flashpoint came when the slaveholders, “after waiting and reasoning . . . until all patience was exhausted,” began to move toward the slaves.[13] Following a yell, Moore recalled being told that, “Lin and John rushed forward.Miller's John dies John was armed with a sharp scythe blade bound to a short wooden handle, and Lin carried a bucket of boiling water, both dangerous weapons at close quarters. Two men raised their rifles and fired simultaneously, and John fell dead. Lin dropped her bucket and ran back to the others.”[14]

Following the death of their male leader, the freedom seekers initially refused to surrender. The Missouri Republican claimed that the standoff lasted four hours.[15]  But then, according to the most detailed newspaper account from Canton, the women “first gave up, and implored the men to do so likewise. Before the end of the time the men yielded, gave up their weapons, were bound and brought to Canton.”[16]

 

AFTERMATH

According to Washington K. Moore, the Lewis County slaveholders quickly buried the body of “Miller’s John” in a woods near Sugar Creek, a small tributary west of Canton and several miles from the banks of the Mississippi River.  Moore claimed that as a young boy, he and his friends used to view that burial place “with eerie feelings.” Moore also recalled being fascinated as a child by a place called “Lin’s cave,” which was “a little mound back of a truck patch,” near the old McCutchan farm, where the cook Lin had reportedly kept her “roots and arbs” along “various trinkets” and “mysterious powders” that she had used for her conjuring.[17]

Benton headshot

Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton

The failed Canton slave stampede contributed in its own small way to the nation’s growing sectional tensions over slavery. It certainly occurred in the midst of that antebellum crisis. Just two months before the Canton stampede, the North-East Reporter had warned local slaveholders to be on the alert for traveling northern Methodist preachers who might be “abolitionist emissaries . . . prowling wolves” to be driven out. Around the same time, the newspaper also attributed the escape of three slaves in Shelby County to the activities of US Senator Thomas Hart Benton, a free soil Democrat. Benton, according to the newspaper, might “at this very moment be concocting his hellish schemes, and persuading your negroes to leave you.”[18]

In the stampede’s aftermath, the Canton North-East Reporter quickly blamed the powerful Missouri senator, a recent convert to the anti-slavery movement. “When Benton came to the State last spring [on a speaking tour], all was peace—the negro was happy and contented with his master,” wrote the editors. “The Negro began to hope—became dissatisfied with his condition—began to plot to change it—and recent events are only some of the bitter fruits.”[19]

By contrast, the St. Louis Republican chose to focus most of its post-stampede ire on neighboring Illinois:  “Almost every day our slaves are induced, by the persuasions of Abolitionists, to abandon comfortable homes, and to entrust themselves to the tender mercies of pretended friends, who are sure to fleece them of all their money before they quit them. We published yesterday a telegraph dispatch from Quincy, Ill., announcing the stampede of fifty slaves, in one company, from the county of Lewis, and no one will doubt that they were aided in their escape by citizens of Illinois.”[20]

The Palmyra Weekly Whig was even more specific in its accusations, reporting just days after the incident that local residents had first noticed “a very suspicious looking craft” on the river just below Canton on Thursday, November 1st.  The newspaper claimed that the ferry boart, marked “U.S. Pounder,” had then quietly moved north of Canton on Friday evening but had since disappeared.[21]  The implication was that it had been part of the underground network to help spirit away the enslaved. Moore’s recollected account suggests another darker possibility.  His memory placed the small boat on the Mississippi River at Gregory’s Landing, about 14 miles north of Canton for several days before the attempted escape. “It was generally believed,” he wrote, “that men from the boat . . . prompted the plot in a cunning scheme to lure the Negroes on board the craft and, instead of freeing them, to ship them south to a slave market.”[22]

The only way to know for sure what was behind the Canton uprising would be to obtain testimony from the enslaved people themselves, but nothing has yet been recovered.  Nor do we even know the fate of figures such as Lin, or her grandson Henry.  The newspapers reported that the leaders of the revolt were all sold away to the Deep South, but otherwise there was no specific information about the African American families involved.

Timeline

There were notable changes to Missouri law and politics, however. In January 1850, Thomas Hart Benton was openly taunted about the episode on the Senate floor during run-up to the Compromise of 1850 debates.  Mississippian Henry S. Foote, an ardent pro-slavery southerner, called Benton “an indiscreet rhetorician” in the floor debates of January 16, 1850, blasting him for encouraging “the slave population” of Missouri “in twenties and forties” to “put themselves in full flight for the Father of Waters.”   When Benton then stormed out of the chamber, Senator Foote responded gleefully, “See, Mr. President, he flies as did those deluded sons of Africa among whom his eloquence is reported to have awakened a regular stampede.”[23] Historian Diane Mutti-Burke also notes that the events in Canton had an impact on state law.  “Acknowledging the potential for collective violence,” she writes, “Missourians enacted laws that made it illegal for slaves to congregate without a white person present, organized neighborhood slave patrols, and vigilantly watched for signs of trouble.”[24]  By 1853, Missourians had also created an active Anti-Abolition Society. About this same time, Lewis County instituted more aggressive slave patrols.

These and other efforts to deter slave stampedes had mixed results, however. In 1859, there was another Lewis County stampede that received widespread attention, this time a group of eleven freedom seekers from LaGrange.[25]  Yet the 1860 census listed only six freedom seekers absent from Lewis County.  In the presidential election of that year, Lewis County voters also sought to sustain their peculiar institution: the Constitutional Union party of John Bell and the Southern Democrats led by John Breckinridge together attracted almost 75% of the vote. The eventual national winner, Abraham Lincoln of the anti-slavery Republican party, received only 48 votes—2% of Lewis County’s total.[26]  President Lincoln was still alive in January 1865 when Missouri abolished slavery.

 

FURTHER READING

The best primary sources for the Canton stampede come from contemporaneous newspaper accounts. The most complete report appeared in the Canton  North-East Reporter (microfilm only) on November 8, 1849 that was reprinted in the William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator under the headline “Another Chapter of Southern Atrocities and Horrors” and also in the Anti-Slavery Bugle on February 2, 1850. Other newspaper accounts from that fall and winter provide snippets of useful information, such as the names of the slaveholders and the number of freedom seekers. Numerous accounts use the term “stampede” to describe the affair.  There was also an important recollected account published in 1958 in the Missouri Historical Review. W. K. Moore’s “An Abortive Slave Uprising,” written 14 years earlier in 1944, offers a particularly vivid account from the slaveholder’s perspective. Moore was the grandson of James Miller, on whose farm the stampede began.  It is worth noting, however, that his narrative sometimes draws quite heavily upon the original newspaper account produced by the Canton North-East Reporter.

Secondary sources include a brief mention and useful context from Diane Mutti-Burke’s On Slavery’s Border: Missouri’s Small-Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865 (2010) and also an important article by George R. Lee, “Slavery and Emancipation in Lewis County, Missouri,” Missouri Historical Review (April 1971), which provides a rich trove of background material on Lewis County.  Eugene Genovese also quoted from one of the stampede participants (by way of Moore’s posthumous recollection) in his book, From Rebellion to Revolution: Afro-American Slave Revolts in the Making of the Modern World (1979).  This passage is revealing for students of slave resistance and worth repeating in full here:  “Slave revolt leaders in the South had much less to fall back upon during the nineteenth century than their forerunners during the eighteenth or their counterparts in the Americas.  They were influenced by conjuring but were normally skeptical of its extreme and politically dangerous forms.  And they lived too close to their owners to deceive themselves.  As one rebel slave recruit in Missouri explained, ‘I’ve seen Marse Newton and Marse John Ramsey shoot too often to believe they can’t kill a nigger.’” (p. 48).

 

ADDITIONAL IMAGES

 


[1] “The Lewis County Stampede of Negroes,” (St. Louis) Missouri Daily Republican, November 5, 1849.  Also reprinted in “Negro Stampede in Lewis County,” Glasgow Weekly Times, November 15, 1849.  The correspondent to the Republican wrote from Tully (adjacent to Canton) in Lewis County [WEB].

[2 St. Louis Missouri Daily Republican, November 5, 1849. “The Great Slave Stampede in Missouri” [WEB], Cleveland, OH Plain Dealer, November 6, 1849 [WEB]. Chicago Western Citizen, November 13, 1849.  “Slave Stampede and Resistance –Their Leader Killed,” Baltimore Sun, November 7, 1849, [WEB]. “Stampede Near St. Louis,” Plaquemine (LA) Southern Sentinel, November 14, 1849 [WEB]. “Slave Stampede,” Fayetteville, NC North Carolinian, November 17, 1849 [WEB].“The Great Slave Stampede in Missouri,” (Philadelphia) North American and US Gazette, November 22, 1849 [WEB]. “Another Chapter of Southern Atrocities and Horrors,” The Liberator, January 18, 1850 [WEB].

[3] George R. Lee, “Slavery and Emancipation in Lewis County, Missouri,” Missouri Historical Review 65, no. 3 (April 1971), p. 295.

[4] Ibid., p. 305.

[5] Ibid., p. 303.

[6] Ibid., pp. 300-301.

[7] Canton North-East Reporter, June 21, 1849. Quoted in Lee, p. 302.

[8] Canton North-East Reporter, November 8, 1849, quoted in “The Great Slave Stampede in Missouri,” Anti-Slavery Bugle, 2 February 1850[WEB].

[9] Ibid., and W. K. Moore, “An Abortive Slave Uprising,” in Missouri Historical Review, Vol. 52, Issue 2, January 1958, pp. 123-26. Although not published until 1958, Moore’s account was written in 1944, a year before he died. Aside from his description of Lin and her activities, Moore’s account repeats almost word for word much of the account originally printed in the Canton North-East Reporter, November 8, 1849 and which was then reprinted in both The Liberator, January 18, 1850 and the Anti-Slavery Bugle, February 2, 1850.

[10 Moore.  Some of the early newspaper reports also identified “Miss Miller” (Moore’s grandmother) as the legal slaveholder of John.  See Concord (NH) Independent Democrat, November 29, 1849 [WEB].

[11] Ibid.

[12] Anti-Slavery Bugle.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Moore.  The contemporary newspaper account identify John’s shooters as Captain J.H. Blair and John Fretwell.  See The Liberator, January 18, 1850 [WEB].

[15] St. Louis Missouri Daily Republican quoted in “Apprehension of Runaway Negroes,” National Anti-Slavery Standard, January 17, 1850.

[16] Anti-Slavery Bugle.

[17] Moore

[18] Lee, p. 310.

[19] Canton North-East Reporter, November 8, 1849 quoted in Lee.

[20] Quoted in “The Peculiar Institution: Apprehension of Runaway Negroes-Conduct of Abolitionists in Illinois,” National Anti-Slavery Standard, January 17, 1850.

[21] “Negro Stampede,” Palmyra Weekly Whig, November 8, 1849 [WEB].

[22] Moore.

[23] Henry Foote quoted in Washington DC National Intelligencer, January 19, 1850 [WEB].

[24] Diane Mutti-Burke, On Slavery’s Border: Missouri’s Small-Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2010), 186.

[25] “Negro Stampede,” Glasgow Weekly Times, November 17, 1859 [WEB]; “Negro Stampede,” Press and Tribune (Chicago, IL), November 17, 1859 [WEB].  ‘”Stampede of Negroes from Lewis,” Louisiana Journal, 7 June 1860; Harriet C. Frazier, Runaway and Freed Missouri Slaves and Those Who Helped Them, 1763-1865 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company Inc., 2004),102 [WEB].

 

[26] Lee, p. 311.