Tag Archives: freedom

#ThankfulThursday at the Archives

Today is #thankfulthursday at the Warren County Records Center and Archives.
 
We are thankful today for having our Common Pleas Record of Black and Mulatto Persons (1804-1840) index and images available to researchers online and House Bill 139 passed the house!
 
Recently the Warren County Historical Society was kind enough to loan us the original Common Pleas Record of Black & Mulatto Persons book to scan. Because Ohio was never a slave holding state, freed people of color were required to register, which is the origin of this book. Their registration would have been of extreme importance due to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 and 1850. We want to make researching these historic, and often difficult to find, records as easy as possible. Please go over and check out the index and images, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us directly.
 
 
House Bill 139 will help our Archives and other county Archives to make historic records available to the public, whereas now they are closed. For more reading be sure to go over and check out The Ohio Legislature website for the most recent version as passed by the house.
 
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Harveysburg Free Black School

In honor of Black History Month we are sharing a fascinating story of slavery, education, abolition, freedom, and overcoming adversity. In 1831, Dr. Jesse Harvey (1801-1848) and his wife Elizabeth Burgess Harvey (1801-1888), members of The Society of Friends, started one of the first free black schools in the Northwest Territory. Dr. Harvey built the one room school building on his own land in Harveysburg, Ohio. The Harvey’s were known as active abolitionists within the area and were confirmed conductors of the Underground Railroad. The school was commonly referred to as the East End School and remained open from 1831-1906, when it merged with the Harveysburg School District.

Map 1856

Warren County Map, 1856. Map details the property owned by Dr. Jesse Harvey and Stephen Wall.

Map 1867

Warren County Map, 1867. Map details property where the Free Black School was located (African School)

Colonel Stephen Wall (1791-1845), a southern plantation owner from Richmond County, North Carolina, reached out to Dr. Harvey regarding a group of mulatto children that he would like to provide an education for. Shortly after the school was established Mr. Wall sent eight of his mulatto children, along with one of their slave mothers, to live in Harveysburg. In Col. Wall’s last will and testament he emancipated all eight of his children and provided them with financial security, which included all the land Col. Wall had purchased in the Harveysburg area.

Captain Orindatus Simon Bolivar Wall, Col. Wall’s most renowned child, went on to become many great things such as a shoe and boot manufacturing shop owner,  recruiter and Captain in the Union Army, lawyer, politician, and much more. The Wall children used their land to further propel their success. Deed records show that part of the Wall property eventually became the site of Zion Baptist Church. The remainder of the property was sold off to fund their future success. The freedom that Col. Wall had given his children along with their secure financial future allotted them the opportunity to overcome adversity. All of his children went on to become independent and productive members of society.

Deed 32 - 491

Deed Record, Volume 32 Page 6

Further reading regarding the Wall family and the Free Black School can be found at the following links:

Karen S. Campbell Blog “Captain Orindatus Simon Bolívar Wall ~ From North Carolina to Harveysburg to Oberlin to Washington D. C.”

Dallas Bogan Article, 2004