Sold for a Dollar
Henry Dodson, A White Man, Sold in Bracken County for Vagrancy
Brooksville, Ky. March 7. A large crowd was in town today to witness the sale of one Henry Dobson for vagrancy, and to see how much a white man was worth. Promptly at 12 o'clock, noon, the jailor brought out the prisoner and Sheriff W. J. Irwin mounted the courthouse steps to make the sale. After reading the law regarding treatment required for a prisoner, viz., To be well-fed, have medical attention, and a suit of clothes at the end of his term (seventy-fie days) the Sheriff cried, "How much am I bid?" "One dollar," was heard in reply. This being the highest and only bid, he was knocked off to our Republican Jailer H. C. Metcalfe, who immediately gave him some clothing and turned him free. Thus ends the chapter. Mr. Metcalfe can say he bought and turned free the last slave in Kentucky
At the time Dodson was arrested and lodged in jail, his wife and four children were removed from the miserable hut in which they lived in the county infirmary near Augusta, where the youngest child died. Dodson was first arrested three weeks ago, and tried for vagrancy before A. J. Markley, Police Judge of Foster, who sent him to jail in default of $100 bail. Rather than stand his trial at Criminal Court, Dodson asked for immediate trial under the vagrant law, which was granted. He was tried before County Judge Bradford, by a jury that adjudged him guilty. Today was set as the day of his sale, and bills were posted up all over the county stating that he would be sold by the sheriff for a period for seventy-five days. Great curiosity was awakened as to the legality and justice of such a sale. Dodson is forty-seven years old, and it is said he was very cruel to a half-witted son he has, and that for years he had let his family live in a hut as dirty as a hog pen.