There was lodged in the jail of Gallatin County, on the 18th day of August, 1831, a Yellow Negro Man, calling himself John Lewis, supposed to be about forty years of age, five feet seven or eight inches high, rather an intelligent Boy than otherwise, had on a blue cloth coat about half worn, pantaloons, do., black silk vest and fur hat, and boots. He had with him other divers other good clothes principally cloth, and linen shirts. He was riding a dark bay horse, nicked tail, white legs, blaze face, and shod all around. The horse supposed to be 9 or 10 years old last spring. The saddle not quite half worn, brass stirrups and an indifferent plated bridle bit.
The above Boy applied to me to put him across the Ohio river, and produced to be, as he called them, his Free Papers. The Paper he produced, purported to be the certificate of John Murser, stating that John Lewis was a Free Man, born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and acknowledged before John L. Stamps and Wm. Reed, who signed themselves as Justices of the Peace, with the certificates of Benj. Akles, Clerk of Wilkerson county, Mississippi, certifying that these men were Justices of the Peace of the County aforesaid, with an impression made on the paper in imitation of the County seal. The paper was sufficient to detect him being as every one said who examined it, a forgery. The above boy broke Jail, handmade his escape leaving the horse, saddle, and bridle in my possession.
Port William, Ky.,
September 29, 1831
from the Louisville Daily Journal, October, 1831