Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tom Jackson for Sale

The subject of my post yesterday, Tom Jackson, was incarcerated in the Franklin County, Kentucky, jail as a runaway slave in September 1862. Several weeks later he was advertised as jailed with eight other runaways in the Frankfort Tri-Weekly Commonwealth.

As the weeks passed, all of the other co-advertised runaways were claimed, but Jackson solely remained. In that advertisement, Jackson was described as claiming to be a free man, and even offered a third party name to corroborate his story.  Apparently though, the Franklin County jailer did not attempt to locate that source and Jackson continued to remain in jail, and since he was free, no one obviously could claim him.

I found out the next step in Jackson's tragic story today while continuing my survey of slavery advertisements in Kentucky's Civil War newspapers. Six months from his arrest Jackson was offered for sale by the sheriff of Franklin County, R. E. Collins. Jackson's sale advertisement (above), like his runaway ad, provides a physical description, but unlike his runaway notice, his sale ad does not mention that he claimed to be a free man.

Jackson's sale ad states that he would be offered to a "the highest bidder at public auction" and "at the Franklin County Court House door, in the city of Frankfort, about 12 o'clock" on Monday, April 20, 1863. The ad also states that if Jackson's true owner appeared within one year he could be redeemed. Obviously though that would not happen as Jackson did not have an owner.

I was unable to get to April 20, 1863, in the microfilm roll today to see if Jackson continues to be advertised, or sold to that highest bidder mentioned in the advertisement. Hopefully, I will at least be able to find that much out.

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