Near Laura in Miami County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Hanktown, settled in 1846, was home to eighty-nine of the three hundred and eighty-three slaves, owned by John Randolph (1773-1833), a wealthy Virginian landowner and cousin to President Thomas Jefferson. Randolph had decided to free the slaves and indicated the decision in his will. His family, however, found three different wills and protested. Thirteen years passed before the slaves left the plantation. In 1846, Judge William Leigh arranged for the slaves to travel to Mercer County and purchased two thousand acres.
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Reaching their destination in Mercer County, the freed slaves were attacked, forced to turn back, and lost their land. They traveled south towards Miami County, some stopping in Sidney, Piqua, and Troy. The remaining former slaves purchased two hundred acres in Union Township. On this spot was the Hanktown Baptist Church and nearby stood the Hanktown School. Hanktown produced seven Grand Army of the Republic Civil War soldiers: Hillary White, Julius Young, Silas White, Harrison Gillard, James Gillard, Israel White,
Erected 2007 by Miami County Milestones Committee, Miami County Foundation, Troy Foundation, and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 20-55.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #03 Thomas Jefferson, and the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1846.
Location. 39° 59.269′ N, 84° 22.904′ W. Marker is near Laura, Ohio, in Miami County. Marker is on Ohio Route 571 ¼ mile east of Shiloh Road, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Laura OH 45337, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Charles Furnas 1880- 1941 (approx. 3.2 miles away); West Milton Friends Meeting (approx. 3.3 miles away); West Milton Korean War Memorial (approx. 3.3 miles away); The Underground Railroad in West Milton (approx. 3.3 miles away); 1804 Iddings Log House (approx. 3.9 miles away); The Brick Wall (approx. 4½ miles away); 1804 Quaker Meeting House (approx. 4½ miles away); John Hoover (approx. 4½ miles away).
Also see . . . Hanktown Negro Cemetery. This cemetery is the final resting place for some of the ex-slaves of John Randolph. (Submitted on June 8, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 7, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 971 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 7, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.