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Rising Sun in Ohio County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Barkshire Family

 
 
Barkshire Family Marker, side one image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 22, 2021
1. Barkshire Family Marker, side one
Inscription.  African American Samuel Barkshire was freed from slavery in Boone County, Kentucky in 1833. He and his family moved here in 1836. The Barkshires defied fugitive slave laws to provide aid and comfort to those escaping bondage in the South. Their Rising Sun home, just north of the Ohio River, became an important hub for connecting freedom seekers to routes of escape.

The Barkshires faced threats of violence and re-enslavement by slave hunters, yet they persisted. Some prominent abolitionists and local residents assisted the family’s Underground Railroad activity. One ally was Nancy Hawkins who formerly held the Barkshires in slavery in Kentucky, relocated along with them in 1836, and then aided African American freedom seekers.
 
Erected 2018 by Indiana Historical Bureau and the Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 58.2018.1.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRAfrican Americans. In addition, it is included in the Indiana Historical Bureau Markers series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1833.
 
Location.
Barkshire Family Marker, side two image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 22, 2021
2. Barkshire Family Marker, side two
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38° 56.974′ N, 84° 51.098′ W. Marker is in Rising Sun, Indiana, in Ohio County. Marker is at the intersection of Fourth Street and North Poplar Street, on the left when traveling east on Fourth Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 201 N Poplar St, Rising Sun IN 47040, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ohio County Veteran's Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Ohio County Veterans Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Ohio County Court House (approx. ¼ mile away); Vietnam Veterans Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Passage To Freedom From Slavery (approx. 0.6 miles away in Kentucky); Rabbit Hash (approx. 0.6 miles away in Kentucky); Fulton Burying Ground (approx. 1.7 miles away); Piatt’s Landing / General E.R.S. Canby (approx. 2.1 miles away in Kentucky). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rising Sun.
 
Also see . . .  The Underground Railroad at Slavery’s Banks: An Unlikely Alliance. 2018 article by Hillary Delaney on Indiana Historical Bureau’s Indiana History Blog. Excerpt:
Two days after the probate of Joseph Hawkins’ estate, Nancy purchased a home in Rising Sun. The Barkshire family, Violet and several other bondsmen moved across the river at the same time. Nancy, now living in a free state, began to manumit the enslaved people she had brought
Barkshire Family Marker at the Hawkins House image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 22, 2021
3. Barkshire Family Marker at the Hawkins House
This was Nancy Hawkins’ house, then owned by Barkshire sons after her death. It is a private residence.
from Kentucky. Nancy seemed cognizant of the dangers faced by African Americans, even those legally manumitted and living on free soil. They could be kidnapped and sold back into slavery, or bound as an indentured servant, if debt or need came into play. If the former slave was not yet of age, and had no guardian, one would be assigned by the courts, without consent of the minor. In order to avoid these pitfalls, Nancy Hawkins filed manumissions only after there was some sort of protection in place, should something happen either to her or to Samuel and his wife.
(Submitted on August 31, 2021.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 31, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 31, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 31, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Dec. 7, 2021