In 1847, Caroline and her children escaped from owner George Ray of Trimble County, Kentucky, and made their way to Decatur County, Indiana where a series of events resulted in the arrest of Luther Donnell for aiding their escape. When the family reached Decatur County, Woodson Clark captured the family and confined them until he could arrange transportation south. The African American community enlisted the help of Luther Donnell, who worked to obtain a writ of habeas corpus to take possession of the family. Eventually the family was located and assisted via the Underground Railroad, by both the African American and White community, to Canada. Donnell was arrested under Indiana law and indicted for “aiding Negroes to escape.” The jury found him guilty. Then Ray brought suite in the US court for the recovery of the value of his slaves. He obtained a judgment of $3000 ($1500 for the value of the individuals plus court costs). In 1852, the Indiana Supreme Court overturned the criminal case verdict based on judicial error, that the Indiana law under which Donnell was prosecuted was unconstitutional.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 150 Court House Square, Suite 109, Greensburg, 47240
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: To Whom It May Concern
Location Type: Site
People/Organizations Associated with the site: George Ray (Owner),Woodson Clark (Slave Catcher)
Freedom Seekers: Caroline (IN, 1847)
UGRR Operatives: Luther Donnell