The Barkshire Family
Location: 201 N. Poplar St., Rising Sun (Ohio Co., Indiana) 47040
Installed 2018 Indiana Historical Bureau and Ohio County Historical Society
Visit the Indiana History Blog to learn more about how the Barkshires assisted on the Underground Railroad.
African American Samuel Barkshire was freed from slavery in Boone County, Kentucky in 1833. He and his family moved here in 1836. The Barkshires defied fugitive slave laws to provide aid and comfort to those escaping bondage in the South. Their Rising Sun home, just north of the Ohio River, became an important hub for connecting freedom seekers to routes of escape.
The Barkshires faced threats of violence and re-enslavement by slave hunters, yet they persisted. Some prominent abolitionists and local residents assisted the family’s Underground Railroad activity. One ally was Nancy Hawkins who formerly held the Barkshires in slavery in Kentucky, relocated along with them in 1836, and then aided African American freedom seekers.