“Affray and Murder”: The Greenup Slave Revolt as Reported by Julius Bingham in the Portsmouth Western Times (22 August 1829), reprinted in the Scioto Gazette (26 August 1829).


This file appears in: The Greenup Slave Revolt and David Walker’s Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the United States of America
“Affray and Murder”:  The Greenup Slave Revolt as Reported by Julius Bingham in the Portsmouth Western Times (22 August 1829), reprinted in the Scioto Gazette (26 August 1829).

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“Affray and Murder”: The Greenup Slave Revolt as Reported by Julius Bingham in the Portsmouth Western Times (22 August 1829), reprinted in the Scioto Gazette (26 August 1829), and transcribed by Andrew Feight, Ph.D..

“Affray and Murder — A most shocking outrage was committed in Kentucky, about eight miles from this place [Portsmouth, Ohio], on 14th instant. A negro [slave] driver, by the name of Gordon who, had purchased in Maryland, about sixty negroes, including all sexes and ages, was taking them, assisted by an associate named Allen, and the wagoner who conveyed the baggage, to the Mississippi. The men were handcuffed and chained together in the usual manner for driving those poor wretches, while the women and children were suffered to proceed without incumbrance. It appears that by means of a file, the negroes unobserved had succeeded in separating the irons which bound their hands, in such a way as to be able to throw them off at any moment. About 8 o'clock in the morning, while proceeding on the state road leading from Greenup to Vanceburg, two of them dropped their shackles and commenced a fight, when the wagoner, Petit, rushed in with his whip to compel them to desist. At this moment every negro was found perfectly at liberty; and one of them seizing a club, gave Petit a violent blow on the head, and laid him dead at his feet; and Allen, who came to his assistance, met a similar fate, from the contents of a pistol fired by another of the gang. Gordon was then attacked, seized and held by one of the negroes, whilst another fired twice at him with a pistol, the ball of which each time grazed his head, but not proving effectual, he was beaten with clubs, and left for dead. They then commenced pillaging the wagon, and with an axe split open the trunk of Gordon, rifled it of the money about $2,400, sixteen of the negroes then took to the woods. Gordon, in the mean time, not being materially injured, was enabled by the assistance of one of the women to mount his horse and flee; pursued however by one of the gang on another horse, with a drawn pistol. Fortunately he escaped with his life, barely arriving at a plantation as the negro came in sight; who then turned about and retreated.

“The neighbourhood was immediately rallied, and a hot pursuit given; which, we understand, has resulted in the capture of the whole gang, and the recovery of the greatest part of the money.

“Seven of the negro men and one woman, it is said were engaged in the murders, and will be brought to trial at the next court in Greenupsburg.”


This file appears in: The Greenup Slave Revolt and David Walker’s Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the United States of America