top of page
  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Great Turnout for Program

Todd Carr spoke about the legend and lore of the Crenshaw Slave House Monday Night August 28, 2023 to a full house. The audience kept him answering questions, during and after the program. The program was not only informative but thought provoking.

A slave trade trick was found similar to what was discussed by Todd in the book, The History of Gibson County Indiana: Her People, Industries and institutions, with Biographical Sketches of representative Citizens and genealogical Records of Many Old Families, published 1914 page 298.

While slaves could not be legally kept in slavery in the Northwest territory, they could be retained in a form of servitude that was in reality slavery. Here is one of the forms of deception and evasion Blacks were led or forced to sign so they could be sold in slavery in Indiana.

“Knox County: I do voluntarily agree and consent to my sale and transfer from George Wallace Jr to Toussaint Dubois for the balance of my term of servitude. Witness my hand and seal the 30th day of June 1813. The mark of "X" of Samuel

This was sworn to before a notary and then appeared the following further statement “I, Sam, being of full age, do hereby voluntarily agree to and consent to the sale and transfer from Toussaint DuBois to Jacob Kuykendall, it having been made at my particular request, for the balance of my term of servitude. Witness my hand and seal the 18th day of November 1814. The mark "X" of Sam.

Some of you may recall that the land that Lawrenceville is located on was once owned by Toussaint Dubois, and he built his large stone house on Dubois Hill, on the western banks of the Wabash River. (now known as Roberson Hills.)

From Selected papers from the Trans-Appalachian Frontier History Conferences 1987 and 1988 written by Leo W Graff Jr:

“It is not entirely clear how many slaves Toussaint Dubois owned. In 1802, he clearly had as many as four (two adults and two children) and possibly more. Parish records for that year record the baptisms of Pierre (age three) and Michel (age one), the sons of Jean and Marie, slaves of Toussaint Dubois. His will (written June 15, 1815) mentions two other slaves by name — a man servant, Gabriel, and his wife Ann — and also makes a general reference to other "negroes." Toussaint Dubois did not set them free in his will, perhaps because his young wife still had three sons under ten years of age. Instead, it provided that Gabriel and Ann would serve his wife until his youngest child, Jesse Kilgore Dubois, reached the age of 21. The will then provided "that if in the opinion of my wife (and the country permits) that the said people of color are able to make a comfortable living, they are to be free, if not, they are to be assisted out of my property during their lifetime . . . It is my desire that none of the negroes now in my family be sold so as to be obliged to serve out of the family unless for criminal conduct."

(Footnote for this section of the paper: The baptisms are recorded in St. Francis Xavier Parish Records, 1796-1808, p. 17. The will is in the Toussaint Dubois MSS, Byron Lewis Historical Library, Vincennes University, and is reprinted in Wilson, History of Dubois County, pp. 410-411. The will was signed on June 15, 1815. Dubois' children from his first marriage ranged in age from 18 to 27 at the time of his death in March 1816.)

Recent Posts

See All

What's for Dinner?

Archaeologists researching the Riverton Culture (2000-1000 BC) in Lawrence County have discovered that often the answer was Mussels. They have learned this from the shell middens, or heaps of shells,

Crossing the Wabash

Did you ever think about the obstacle the Wabash River posed to the early settlers going west? When Esau Johnson’s family purchased land on Allison Prairie in 1811, they were living in Lawrenceburg,

Samuel Kinkaid

Taken from 'The History of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash Counties, Illinois' first published in 1883, page 301: "Samuel Kincaid was a native of New Jersey, to which his father and mother came at an ear


bottom of page