Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Edward Stone's Demise

On Sunday I posted about an 1824 eyewitness account that viewed one Edward Stone's slave coffles as it made its way from Bourbon County to the Ohio River. Presumably that coffle was loaded on a steamboat or flatboat and sent to one of the many slave markets in the the Deep South along the Mississippi River. 

Stone, whose Bourbon County home (pictured above) still survives, personified the old saying, "live by the sword, die by the sword." He made his living through the institution of slavery, and died at his slaves' hands. 

In September 1826, just four years after the eyewitness account previously described, Stone, along with this brother and few other white partners drove a coffle to Maysville and loaded over 70 enslaved passengers onto a flatboat for the trip down the Ohio River. The craft was then intended to make its way down the Mississippi to the notorious Forks of the Road slave market near Natchez, Mississippi. 

However, just a few days into the water-bound trip - near the Breckinridge County town of Stephensport - the slaves on the boat mutinied, killed all of the whites, including Stone, and threw them into the Ohio River. Apparently Stone's personal body servant attempted to save his master but failed. 

The slaves landed the boat on the Indiana shore and fled. Most, however, were quickly captured and turned over the jailer of Breckinridge County. There they received a trial. One account said that five of the mutineers were hanged, 47 others were sold, and the rest brought back to Bourbon County. Stone's body servant, who tried to save his master's life, was manumitted by Stone's widow in January 1827.

The bodies of Stone and his associates were located in the river and were interred in the Stephensport Baptist Church Cemetery.  

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