Legal Cases

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...

In July 1807, Harman Blennerhassett was arrested in Lexington after several complaints by merchants, who contended he was responsible for Aaron Burr’s debts.  He was a financial backer of Burr’s conspiracy to separate western portions of the United States from the union.  While incarcerated, he was charged with treason for his involvement.  He was defended at his examining trial in Lexington by Henry Clay.  Clay...

In August 1843, a political rally was held at Russell Cave, six miles north of Lexington, during which Samuel M. Brown attacked Cassius M. Clay.  Clay was a well-known abolitionist.  As Robert Wickliffe was speaking, Clay voiced his objection and Brown stuck Clay with several blows.  “In the affray, Mr. Clay was shot by Mr. Brown, the ball striking him just under the last rib on the left side, but coming in...

Spring being the season for the U.S. Supreme Court to hand down its decisions, it may be interesting to look back at an early decision that involved the estate of one of Lexington’s famous founders and the town’s trustees.

Of course, it involved water.

The facts of McConnell v. Trustees of Town of Lexington (1827) demonstrate the confused state of affairs in early land claims by settlers in what...

In January 1846, in front of the Phoenix Hotel Lafayette Shelby shot and killed Henry M. Horine.  Both had been drinking at the hotel.  Shelby, the grandson of Issac Shelby, first governor of Kentucky, was charged with murder.  The trail began on July 1, 1846, with Shelby represented by Henry Clay.  The jury was unable to reach a verdict and Shelby was let out on bail.  He then fled to Texas...

In May 1853, Abraham Lincoln was sued by the partners of Oldham, Todd & Company for $472.54 “money collected for said firm and unaccounted for.”  Lincoln was settling the estate of his father-in-law, Robert Todd, a partner in the firm.  The firm operated a woolen mill at Sandersville.  Lincoln obtained proof, by collecting depositions regarding the accounts, which disproved the claims in the lawsuit.  He then...

Geneva Hardman Murder:
Around 7:45 am on Wednesday, February 4, 1920, Speed Collins, a farmer near South Elkhorn, on the Versailles Pike in southern Fayette County, found a school satchel and hood “near a fence by a large cornfield.”  Thinking the one of the students had forgotten these items, he took to the nearby school house.  The teacher, Mrs. Anna Young, realized these items belonged to Geneva Hardman...

In 1829, Robert Wickliffe was running for the legislature from Fayette County.  Wickliffe was a large slave holder.  During the campaign, the Kentucky Gazette ran an unsigned letter “defaming” him.  The Gazette was published by Thomas R. Benning.  Charles Wickliffe, Robert’s son, published on March 4, 1829 an article in the rival Kentucky Reporter calling Benning “a vile wretch, fiend, poltroon and slander.”  On...

X

Enter your e-mail address.

Enter the password that accompanies your e-mail.

Loading