Barkshire, Samuel


Barkshire, Samuel
Samuel Barkshire was born enslaved in Harrison County, Kentucky in 1798. While he was held Boone County, Kentucky, he was enslaved by Dickey Barkshire, then transferred to his son, Felix Barkshire, then to Joseph Hawkins. Joseph Hawkins manumitted Samuel in 1833.
After moving his family to Rising Sun, Indiana he operated as an UGRR agent in Rising Sun and Boone County, along with his family and Joseph Hawkins' widow, Nancy. Barkshire was baptized at Middle Creek Baptist church in 1818 ( as "Barkshire's Sam").
Samuel was a cooper by trade, and ran a safe house for fugitive slaves, many from Boone County. In 1840, he appears on the Dearborn County, IN census; his household has 10 free “people of color”. In 1850, Samuel’s household consists of Samuel, his wife, Frances, and 7 young adults and children who are listed as “Barkshire”, but may be other freed slaves, not his birth family.
Several of the children are listed as “black”, while Samuel, Frances, and others of child-bearing age are “mulatto”. There is also an elderly man, Thomas James, 93 years of age, black, born in Maryland who is in the Barkshire home at this time. He is listed as a pauper, and may have been freed when he became too old to work, as he cannot be found on any other census records in the area.
The Barkshire family helped abolitionist Laura Smith Haviland in her attempt to free the wife and children of escaped Boone County slave, John "Felix" White. Samuel was most likely the same Sam Barkshire who purchased land as a free man of color in the Hathaway Road area of Boone County in 1833. Because of the placement of this property, he was possibly helping slaves to freedom even while living in a slaveholding state.
It was a great risk for anyone to assist in slave escapes, particularly free people of color, who often risked being kidnapped and sold into slavery if caught.
Birth date
Place of birth
Harrison County (Ky.)
Life event(s)
Marriage: date unknown
Boone County (Ky.)
Death date
11 Apr 1875
Place of death
Rising Sun (Ind.)
Death and burial information
Union Cemetery (Rising Sun, Ind.)
Slaveholder(s): Barkshire, Dickey; Hawkins, Joseph; Ryle, Larkin
Barkshire, Dickey
Hawkins, Joseph
Ryle, Larkin [2]
Bibliographic citation(s)
Boone County Deed Book I, page 28

Linked resources

Items with "Participant: Barkshire, Samuel"
Title Class
1833--Samuel Buys His Freedom Event
1848--Freedom for Arthur Barkshire Event
1848--Freedom for Emily Barkshire Event
1848--Freedom for Garrett Barkshire Event
1848--Freedom for Matilda Barkshire Event
1848--Freedom for Minerva Barkshire Event
1848--Freedom for Woodford Barkshire Event
between 1850-1860--Two Young Women Escape Event
Items with "Relationship: Barkshire, Samuel"
Title Class
Barkshire, Dickey Person
Hawkins, Joseph Person
Ryle, Larkin [2] Person
Items with "Father: Barkshire, Samuel"
Title Class
Barkshire, Arthur Person
Barkshire, Emily Person
Barkshire, Garrett [1] Person
Barkshire, Harriet Person
Barkshire, Matilda Person
Barkshire, Minerva Ann Person
Barkshire, Woodford Person
Items with "Spouse(s): Barkshire, Samuel"
Title Class
Newman, Frances Harriet Person