Runaways - Public Meetings - Great Excitement - Threats of Vengeance.
News having been received in this city yesterday morning, that the runaway negroes had been overtaken near the line of Harrison and Bracken, and a white man killed in an attempt to arrest them, handbills were posted through the city, calling a meeting in the courthouse yard at 8 o'clock, for the purpose of adopting efficient means to overtake and secure the runaways and their aiders and abettors.
At the appointed hour, a large crowd assembled in front of the courthouse, and an informal meeting was organized by calling H.T. Duncan, Esq., to the chair, who read the following letter, received on Tuesday night at 2 o'clock, by express from Cynthiana:
CYNTHIANA, Aug. 8th, 6 P.M.
Dear Sir: - This will inform you that your negroes are now supposed to be surrounded about the county line, between Harrison and Bracken, some fifteen or eighteen miles short of the Ohio river. They have taken some nine or ten of them - have had several battles, and Charles H. Fowler was mortally wounded. About one hundred of our citizens have been after them since Monday morning. They are worn down, and it is requested that you send a fresh set of men immediately, say fifty or one hundred, well-armed, for it seems that they are determined to fight every inch of ground, as they are armed generally with revolvers, commanded by a white man or more. They were encamped last night, and our Cynthiana boys came upon about forty or more, and a battle ensued, and Fowler was wounded, and the company carried him back, and the pursued. Those with Fowler heard firing for some distance. We hear that one dread negro was found today.
Elliot Roberts is between them and the river with a large company, and will not let them pass if it is possible to prevent. Fowler is still alive. Send all you can, and speedily, or all will be lost. Harrison will assist you to the uttermost. Come, if you want any of your negroes. We have not time to say any more.
Fifty or sixty armed men were promptly raised and left for the scene of action, breathing vengeance on the abolitionists, and a fixed resolution to bring back the negroes, if they even have to follow them to the confines of Canada. Intense excitement prevailed in the city, equal to that during the True American of August, 1845, and we doubt not that if the negroes and white men said to be with them are overtaken and arrested, fearful scenes will be witnessed, and popular vengeance wreaked upon them.
We are not the advocates of mob-law, but we do think that it is high time the impertinent and thievish interference of abolitionists was ended in a summary manner. Nothing will deter them from their infamous conduct, but the prompt and immediate execution of the first one we can lay our hands one.
And whilst we would not advocate or recommend such a course of procedure, yet we stand ready to justify our fellow-citizens, should they hang every one they can catch to the tallest tree in the forest. An example must be made of them, which will deter these base and infamous rascals from future operations.
In charging the escape of these people to the Abolitionists, those Kentucky wretches breathe an infamous lie! The slaves are not headed by white men, but by themselves - black men. This is but the beginning of those scenes to prepare for which we have for years been forwarning the slaveholders.
Opposed as we may be to the shedding of human blood, yet we have no sympathy for the fate of those who, in the infernal act of attempting to re-enslave them, fall victims to their vengeance. Man is free by nature, essentially his own being, and any attempt at the enslavement of his person, should be met in a manner adequate to the outrage dared against his rights. If it were right - if the most exalted traits in the character of Washington and his compatriots were their bravery in beating back the enemy, successfully defending their liberty to the death, then do we say these slaves are also right, and may God speed their onward march to victory.
The South talk about seceding from the Union! We dare them to the event; and our word for it, if there were no other proof than the present daring adventure, the blacks will "take care of themselves!" Those brave Kentuckians will find in the black slaves a different material to the enemy encountered on the plains of Mexico. There they stood one to five; here it will puzzle them five to one! Brave fellows!
By Telegraph to the Lexington Observer.
The Runaway Slaves.
At 7 o'clock last night, a dispatch by Telegraph was received from Paris, Bourbon Co., Ky., to the following effect:
“Mr. Downer is just here from Cynthiana; left this morning. The runaways were in town. When he left, 6 or 7 more of the negroes had been captured.”
A subsequent dispatch, received at eight o'clock, from Mr. Isaac W. Scott, at Maysville, says:
“The runaways, about seven miles from the river, were met by twenty whites - had a fight - one white man killed. No negroes were taken at the time of the fight, but five were taken afterward.”
A subsequent dispatch, from Maysville, says.
“Many persons have gone from here to assist in taking the negroes.”
THE RUNAWAY NEGROES. - There is a great excitement in Kentucky, in relation to the escape of the negroes before mentioned. Several thousand men are scouring the country between the Ohio and Licking rivers in pursuit of them.
The North Star, August 25, 1848, citing an item from the Lexington Atlas of the 10th.