The Enslaved Community


Blythe was an enslaved man who served as the personal bodyman of George Croghan.

In November of 1813, three months after the battle of Ft. Stephenson, George sent a passport for Blythe to his cousin Isaac Clark, with the request to make arrangements for Blythe to travel to Chillicothe. Isaac Clark was stationed in Delaware at the time.

“It is uncertain whether or not I shall leave this place for some days I shall therefore be in want of my boy Blythe so soon as he can come on. Be so good as to send him on to me at this place immediately. If he be in want of money let him have some on my account. Try if possible & procure him some kind of a saddle.”
-George Croghan to Isaac Clark – 12 November, 1813

Travel between free and slave states was not entirely uncommon, and the idea that the simple act of traveling to a free state would not automatically emancipate an enslaved person would eventually be upheld by the Dred Scott Decision in 1857.