How the Blacks Lived

David Owen: A guy I work with at Allison Transmission in Speedway, Indiana, and who I went to Junior High School and High School with, Fred Russell, has a father who grew up on a farm near Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The father moved to Indianapolis a long time ago where jobs were plentiful. The father’s grandfather’s grandfather was a slave on a 200 acre plantation in Elkton, Kentucky and so was his children. He was sold to the white Russell when he was 23 years old. There were several slaves sold at one time. The white Russell bought them from Jefferson Davis, the future President of the Confederacy. Fred has a copy of the Bill of Sale. There were quite a few slaves on the 200 acre plantation. The farm is still there and is owned by the descendants of the white Russell. The white overseer’s shack is still there. The row of slave’s shacks are gone but some limestone foundation stones are still there. Wagon ruts are still there. There is a cemetery there where some white Russells are buried. Some slaves are buried next to the white cemetery; actually in the same cemetery. There are no headstones with the slaves’ graves but you can tell where they are buried from the ground being sunk in. From the white Russells’ research, the slaves were treated well. Nevertheless, after the Civil War, almost all of them split for Indiana in case the powers to be changed their mind.

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A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
David Brinkley
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