Kidnapping Great Outrage

On Thursday night last, about 10 o’clock, a party of eight men entered by force the home of a free black man named Isaac Hensley, living near Sardinia, Brown county, Ohio.  The family of Hensley consisted of his wife, and four children, two of them girls nearly grown, and two boys somewhat younger.  The kidnapping party knocked Hensley’s wife in the head, rendering her insensible, picker he up and laid her on the bed; then bound Hensley and his four children and put them in an old wagon covered with quilts.  

The wagon was driven through Logan’s Gap, and just above the gap, Hensley and his children were taken out of the wagon, put into a skiff and rowed across the Ohio to the Kentucky shore.  The children were concealed during Friday in some bushes, but Hensley was taken up the river to a cabin about one and one half miles before Maysville. 

Later Hensley and the children were conveyed to Maysville and put in the private jail of James McMillan about midnight.  Chambers Baird, Esq., of Ripley telegraphed W. H. Wadsworth of Maysville, enquiring if they were in jail.  Early on Saturday morning, Mr. McMillan called on Mr. Wadsworth and apprised him that Hensley and his children were in his possession. Mr. Baird brought to Maysville Hensley’s Certificate of Freedom under the seal of Montgomery County Court, in Kentucky. 

The description of Hensley was so individual and precise that McMillan at once delivered Hensley and his children to be returned to Ohio.  There is no apology for this outrage – it is on a par with the lawless acts of the abolition banditti, and equally with such acts deserves the pen.   


From the Maysville Eagle, September 24, 1853  Information provided by the August tourism Office, at 606-756-2183, or on the web at