Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Last Slave Sold in Kentucky?

The last slave sale advertisement in Kentucky that I have thus far been able to locate was published in the December 1, 1865, edition of the Paris Western Citizen.  It is brief and reads:

WILL be sold on next County Court day, (December 4th) to the lowest bidder, an Idiot boy, John, on the public square in Paris.

Levi Sudduth
Executor of Rachel Grimes

Was the seller simply attempting to get just something for this enslaved man or boy? It seems that way since he states that the individual would be sold to the "lowest bidder." Surely, with all the news about the 13th Amendment nearing ratification - and the stir it caused in Kentucky - Sudduth knew there was not a future for the institution. Or, was Sudduth making a subtle gesture of protest? I suppose we will never know, but regardless the motivation for its publication, it shows the hard death slavery died in the Bluegrass state.

Was this the last slave sale in Kentucky? Did the sale actually happen? Did anyone buy John? If someone did buy this individual their ownership proved to be legally brief. On December 6, 1865, two days after this sale was scheduled to be held, Georgia ratified the 13th Amendment, and officially ended slavery in the recently reunited United States of America.

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