Ripley in Brown County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
First Home of Rev. John Rankin
The Rankins resided here until 1829 when the brick home on Liberty Hill was completed.
While living in this house on Front Street Rev. Rankin wrote his famous letters on American slavery, a response to his Virginia brother’s purchase of a slave.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Abolition & Underground RR. A significant historical year for this entry is 1822.
Location. 38° 44.917′ N, 83° 50.919′ W. Marker is in Ripley, Ohio, in Brown County. Marker is on North Front Street south of Locust Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 224 N Front St, Ripley OH 45167, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rear Admiral Joseph Fyffe (within shouting distance of this marker); The Residence of General Granville Moody (within shouting distance Mr. Thomas Kirker (within shouting distance of this marker); Eliza’s Tale (within shouting distance of this marker); John P. Parker Memorial Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles Young in Ripley / Colonel Young's Achievements (within shouting distance of this marker); John P. Parker (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Parker’s Path (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ripley.
Also see . . . Letters on American slavery addressed to Mr. Thomas Rankin, merchant. From the 2011 review by T.L. Crawford:
In each of the thirteen letters Rankin attacks a different rational that slave owners use to rationalize their immorality. In each he starts with a simple assertion and builds his evidence to a rationally undeniable conclusion. Even if you are not that interested in the history of the anti-slavery movement this short book is worth reading to see the masterful way each argument is built. Slave owners frequently used scripture to support slavery, Rankin, a Presbyterian minister, made better use of it to undermine their arguments.(Submitted on June 20, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.)
Rankin was the prototype for Hollywood’s western preacher, the one with a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other. He took up arms to protect “fugitives” he sheltered in his home on their journey to a new, free, life. He organized an aborted daylight raid into Kentucky to rescue a band of refugees from slavery who were in danger of capture before darkness made crossing the Ohio river safer. When he quoted Deuteronomy 23:15/16, “Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee. He shall dwell with thee even among you in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.” (Rankin, 109), you can be sure he lived it.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 20, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 20, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 141 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 20, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.