A Wickedly Kidnapping

Even the mention of the Ullery boys would generate distaste to the citizens of Warren County in the early 1800’s. This wicked and notorious band of brothers had a string of illegal gaming, horse racing rings, and illegal taverns scattered throughout the area, capitalizing on the locals’ need for entertainment and socializing. Some may have even referred to them as local “gangsters”. Beginning in 1816, the law had put together enough evidence to formally charge them with causing an affray. The local law were going out on a limb that this brief stint with the law would rid the community of their dastardly business. They were very wrong.

The Ullery boys continued to plague Warren County. Petty charges were brought against them over the next two decades, resulting with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. It wasn’t until the spring of 1836, that the law finally got them on something they couldn’t get out of. The youngest Ullery boy, Stephen, was desperate to prove himself to his older brothers and to bring in revenue to their illegal endeavors. He had spotted a young mulatto boy passing through the area and he hashed a plan of capturing him and returning him to his home state of Kentucky with the claim that he was a runaway slave. Little did Stephen know, the local law enforcement had been tipped off to his plan. On May 30, 1836, Stephen and two of his friends took Commodore by force and were able to transport him through Cincinnati across the Ohio River to Kentucky.

This is when their foiled plan came to an end. Instead of being greeted by a local slave catcher, Stephen was greeted by law enforcement. The trial of Stephen Ullery vs. The State of Ohio was wrapped up within a year where he was found guilty of “unlawfully and wickedly kidnapping Commodore Perry, a free mulatto person in the state of Ohio and attempting to extradite said Commodore to the state of Kentucky.” This was the end of the Ullery boys ring of crimes that spanned over 20 years within the county.

Unlike many individuals, Commodore Perry managed to escape the fate that many people did not. He is found in later census records as a Tin Laborer in Troy, Miami County, Ohio, and he even served in the Civil War.

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The State of Ohio vs. Stephen Ullery, October 1836

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The State of Ohio vs. Stephen Ullery, October 1836

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The State of Ohio vs. Stephen Ullery, October 1836

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The State of Ohio vs. Stephen Ullery, October 1836

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The State of Ohio vs. Stephen Ullery, October 1836

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The State of Ohio vs. Stephen Ullery, October 1836

 

 

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About wcrcarchives

The Warren County Records Center and Archives was dedicated in honor of the former Warren County Recorder, Edna L. Bowyer on June 22, 2001. We offer on-site records storage, records delivery, records retention and disposition management, records management training, document imaging, and microfilming services. View all posts by wcrcarchives

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