Underground Railroad

ROCKCASTLE CO. (Robert Mullins)

The years 1843 to 1845 worked the development of the systematic enticing away, or stealing of slaves from Kentucky slave owners, and the passing them to Canada by a cordon of posts, or relays, which came to be known as the “Underground Railroad”. A number were stolen and carried away on horses. The abductors traveled with the slaves at night and concealed them during the day. The old McFerron house in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky was used as a relay post to hide slaves enroute to Ohio, Michigan and Canada. The slaves in these parts were locked in the old McFerron cellar which was situated under the ground, and they were concealed under the cover until night, when they would travel again.

There were never at any time any slaves sold from auction blocks in this county. It is reported that the life of the slave in Rockcastle County was a happy lot. Their masters built them cabins to live in, furnished with bunks, tables, stoves, and other necessities. Their masters gave them chickens, cows and other stock and gave them plenty to eat.

There are no slaves living in Rockcastle at this time.

McFerron, Mullins,

Federal Writers' Project. WPA Slave Narratives. Web. 2007-2024. The WPA Slave Narratives must be used with care. There is, of course, the problem of confusion in memory resulting from (73+ years) of the participants. In addition, inexperienced interviewers sometimes pursued question lines related to their own interests and perspectives and attempted to capture the colloquialism of the informant's speech. The interviews provide fascinating insight and surprisingly candid information, however.

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