Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rial, a Slave Belonging to W.B. Galaway

Sunday night while watching the Super Bowl I got bored when the Superdome lights went out, so I started searching through some Kentucky Civil War era newspapers.

In the February 9, 1864 issue of the Frankfort Daily Commonwealth I ran across a classified advertisement that caught my attention. It stated:

"Proclamation by the Governor, $100 Reward
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Executive Department

Whereas it has been made known to me that RIAL, a slave belonging to W. B. Galaway, of Scott County, did in the - day of 186-, murder Jeremiah Martin, of said county, and is now going at large.

Now, therefore I, Thos. E. Bramlette, Governor of the Commonwealth aforesaid, do hereby offer a reward of ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS, for the apprehension of said Rial, property of said W. B. Galaway, and his delivery to the jailer of Scott County, within one year from the date hereof:

In testimony Whereof, I have hereon to set my hand, and caused the seal to be affixed. Done at Frankfort, this 27th day of Jan. A.D. 1864 and in the 72 year of the Commonwealth.
By the Governor Tho. E. Bramlette
E.L. VanWinkle, Secretary of State
Jas. R. Page, Assistant Secretary

Description - The Rial is about 45 years old. 5 feet 8 inches high, rather small, black, with the front lower fore tooth out, speaks slow and low, and has humble appearance."

Naturally, curiosity got the best of me, so I located some information on W.B. Galloway (not Galaway). In the 1850 census he is listed as the owner of 12 slaves (8 males and 4 females, all between the ages of 50 and 1 year old). In the 1860 census Galloway owned 9 slaves (5 females and 4 males, between the ages of 50 and 11). Also in 1860 he had $26,000 in real estate and $11,600 in personal property, most of which would have been the 9 slaves.  He was a 37 year old bachelor farmer and 6 people lived in his household.  Apparently he boarded his two aunts Miriam and Thircissmus McCalla, 50 and 45 respectively.  In the household too was Margaret Davis, white and 22 years old (who in the 1870 census was still in the household and listed as servant).  Included too were S. Q. Adams, a 29 year old physician, and J. W. Bower, a 22 year old merchant.

I also found a Civil War Draft Registrations record for 1863-1865 where Galloway was listed as a 40 year old single farmer and had a note, "Hand Crippled."

I was unable to find any 1860 census record information for the murdered Jeremiah Martin in Scott County, which made me wonder if Jeremiah Martin was a slave too, thus he would not have appeared in the census. But, if he was a slave wouldn't the notice had indicated such? I'm not sure.

Anyway, my curiosity has not been sated. In fact I am even more curious to find out what happened to Rial (was he caught? was there a trial? was he punished or executed? or did he continue to "go at large"?). And who this Jeremiah Martin? I suppose a trip over to neighboring Scott County is in order in the near future.

Governor Thomas E. Bramlette image courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society

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