Painting by Thomas Satterwhite Noble

The Margaret Garner story was perhaps the most famous runaway slave case in pre-civil war history. She worked for Mr. James Marshall on a slave plantation, Maplewood, in a town now called   Richwood in Boone County, of northern Kentucky near the Ohio River. As a slave at Maplewood, Margaret lived a horrible life and even having to partake in a sexual relationship with another white slave owner in the vicinity of Maplewood, Archibald Gaines, according to  University of Kentucky Professor Steven Weisenburger, who wrote the book Modern Medea  Garners life. Due to her horrifying times on the plantation, Margaret along with other slaves sought freedom by escaping from slavery on the evening of January 27, 1856. An old slave Simon and his wife Mary, along with their son Robert and his wife Margaret Garner and their four children( one who was thought to be fathered by Gaines), and seven or eight others attempted their escape.

History 312
Georgetown College

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Web page updated on February 5, 2000