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Vignette Details

Purchase of Juliet Miles

Augusta, Kentucky

In 1851, Reverend John Gregg Fee, Kentucky's most ardent abolitionist, purchased the enslaved Juliet Miles from his father to keep her from being sold. However, he could not have predicted the horrible outcome of this act. Fee demanded the immediate, uncompensated freeing of the slaves, since he considered slavery a moral evil, and no compromise could be made with human lives. After purchasing Juliet from his father, Fee informed Juliet and her husband, Add that he was giving her a "perpetual pass", a free woman in bondage to no man. Nevertheless, the elder Fee ordered Juliet off his farm, and Juliet tearfully lamented that she would rather go back into slavery as leave her children. An agreement was reached and a home provided for them on the Fee farm. Fee later emancipated Juliet and her son Henry; whereupon they moved with her husband to Felicity, Ohio. A major conflict with Kentucky laws began when Juliet returned to Fee's farm to direct her remaining children and grandchildren to freedom. In 1858, Juliet gathered her two sons, three daughters, and four grandchildren. When sun arose, the "friends" from the other side of the Ohio River were gone, and the fugitives were captured at Rock Springs and confined in the Bracken County Jail.