Tag Archives: Ohio River

They’d get up and swing around on the trapeze

“Well, I’ll tell you, I came from up in Washington County. Washington County, Ohio. Lived up in the country there with my grandmother. My mother died when I was a little fellow and I lived with my grandmother. Lived up there in the country and all you could see was the steamboats. There was nothing […]

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Consigned to live like a brute among savages

On October 1, 1755, while returning home from Fort Cumberland [MD] Trading Post several miles away, white settler Jane Frazier was captured by Miami Indian warriors and taken to the Miami River in Ohio. “By a person who arrived in town last Monday from Col. Cresap’s (Oldtown about ten miles from Ivitts Creek),” reported The […]

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I had almost fell out with God for making me a slave

In celebration of the heroes of the Underground Railroad, Ohio Memory and the Ohio Historical Society are providing free digital access to the internationally-acclaimed Wilbur H. Siebert Collection during this year’s Black History Month. The following narrative [MSS116AV BOX 57 08OH 031] by escaped slave Asbury Parker is from the collection. Spelling and punctuation are Parker’s own. [Ohio […]

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‘My name is Mike Fink!’ was the curt reply

He was the most famous of the keelboatmen, who plied the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers for two decades until they and their watercraft were displaced by steamboats. Born near Pittsburgh, PA (at the headwaters of the Ohio River), around 1770, Mike Fink —‘Miche Phinck,’ as he learned to spell it from his French Canadian parents—gained […]

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When there was no work many men worked at the drifting

A great many people in Ekeyville owned their own small boat, a skiff or johnboat. The johnboat is a flat bottomed affair with one set of oar locks and square in the stern. The skiff comes to a sharp bow and a gradual tapering to the stern and generally has two sets of oar locks. […]

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