The Enslaved Community


Kitt was an enslaved man who served as the personal bodyman of George Rogers Clark.

The earliest mention we have of Kitt is in the document where George Rogers Clark transfers ownership of his slaves to his younger brother, William. This was most likely done to prevent them from being seized by creditors. While William nominally owned them, the enslaved people mentioned in the document stayed with and served George Rogers Clark. There is documentation to show that Kitt was entrusted to run errands, including carrying money, for the General, and we know that William Croghan’s personal tailor was commissioned to make him a coat. Kitt was largely responsible for the around-the-clock care of Gen. Clark after the amputation of his leg and multiple strokes.

At the behest of his brother, William Clark freed Kitt a month and a half after Gen. Clark’s death.

“Be it known that Kitt, having served faithfully, and as the body servant of Genl. George R. Clark, deceased, conducted himself for many years with entire approbation, he is hereby liberated from any involuntary servitude to me or my heirs forever.”

Kitt’s situation at the end of his life is unclear, as there are multiple and conflicting accounts of what happened to Kitt.