Abolitionist Trial

On September 28, 1844, two abolitionist agents of the “Underground Railroad” help three slaves flee from Lexington, to Maysville, then to freedom in Canada.  The two were Rev. Calvin Fairbanks, a Methodist minister and Delia Webster, a teacher at the Lexington Female Academy.  They were indicted “for aiding and enticing slaves to escape from their master.”  In December 1844, both were tried separately in the Fayette Circuit Court and found guilty of slave stealing.  Fairbanks and Webster received a 15 and 2 year sentences, respectively.  She was later pardoned by Governor Crittenden and “ran out of the state by irate slaveholders.”[i]

[i] Coleman (Court Houses), pages 20-22 and Coleman (Squire’s), page 41.

William M. Ambrose, Bluegrass Court Houses, Limestone Press, Lexington, 2013.

Enter your e-mail address.

Enter the password that accompanies your e-mail.