Boone County ties to Hamilton Avenue


Seven abolitionist history buffs set out for Boone County on HAmilton Avenue Historians visit Boone CountyFriday, May 30th, to tour Abolitionist sites.    We had visited and worked with  Bridget Striker, the Boone County local history librarian as we researched for our September 21st event.   The documents that we sent Bridget convinced her that many more freedom seekers escaped utilizing  Boone County’s 39 miles of Ohio River frontage.   She now has five stories of escapes which she recounted on this tour.  We learned about Elijah Anderson and Matt  Bates, two African-American  conductors who were active in Boone County.  We visited Petersburg, Kentucky, the  site of the Escape of the 28 which came through College Hill and the home of slave merchant and hunter, George W. Brasher.  Brasher was once arrested in Cass County Michigan for his activity and he had threatened Laura Haviland’s life for her work in Boone County.

The view from Rabbit Hash to Rising Sun Indiana

The view from Rabbit Hash to Rising Sun Indiana

We visited Rabbit Hash, Kentucky,  a charming old settlement with a General Store, a  Museum, and a great BBQ stand.   Rabbit Hash is directly across from  Rising Sun, Indiana, a hotbed of abolitionist activity.  Laura Haviland,  who also worked in College Hill, attempted to extract a Rabbit Hash enslaved family in 1847, but was not successful.



We visited Big Bone where we heard the story of Thomas J. Trundle who was charged with enticement.  Big Bone is right across the Ohio River from Patriot, Indiana.


Our last stop was Richwood Presbyterian Church where Richwood Presbyterian ChurchMargaret Garner was a member.  It is near  Archibald Gaine’s large farm where she was enslaved.  In January, 1856, Margaret escaped to Cincinnati where she was apprehended and chose to murder her baby rather than send her back into slavery.  Her case became a prolonged legal battle, but she was “sold down the river” to Archibald’s relative in Louisana, where she died.  A son lived to tell the story of their life in Louisana.


We had two busloads, for a total of 90 people who spent the day exploring this history.  The trip sparked many ideas for how we could do a similar tour on Hamilton Avenue Road to Freedom!

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