24 MILES:   

Slavery,  Civil War,  the Woodsmalls and After

by  David Bryan Dlouhy

3201 Flushing Meadow Terrace

Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815-4753

e-mail: scificity@starpower.net


In 1860 it took  about three hours by horseback to cover the 24 miles between the Woodsmall-Mount-Dowden farm at Floyd’s Fork near  LaGrange,  Oldham County, Kentucky  and cousin Stephen May Woodsmall’s plantation in Middletown, Jefferson County, Kentucky.  The Floyd’s Fork farm was purchased by James William Woodsmall in 1814.  His younger brother,  “Captain” John Woodsmall, was one of the founders of Middletown about the same time after he came back from the War of 1812.  The physical distance was short, but the trip crossed an historical family divide between north and south, between anti-slavery and pro-slavery and between the Union and the Confederacy.

 The issue of slavery affected the lives of James and Nancy Woodsmall and their  nine children:  George Lasley Woodsmall, Sr., Margaret, Henrietta, James William, Lettice, Elizabeth, Jefferson Hezekiah, John and Nancy.

   Tithables and Tax List data from 1782 to 1796 appear to indicate that the Woodsmall patriarch, James, was not a slave owner. Whether he was not by conviction or economic circumstances is not clear.  While many of his immediate neighbors on Simpson’s Creek, Nelson County, Kentucky (Virginia until 1792) owned slaves, the census data corroborates that the Woodsmalls did not own slaves. 

Shelby County:   George Lasley Woodsmall, Sr. and Jr.
Oldham County:   James William Woodsmall

Jefferson County:  John Woodsmall, and sons, Stephen May and Henry May Woodsmall

A Family Divided:   Anti-Slavery to Indiana, Pro-slavery to Missouri

Oldham County, KY to Scotland County, MO:   Mixed Views and No Civil War Participation

Henry & Jefferson Counties, Kentucky to Boone & Platte Counties, Missouri

On the Eve of Destruction

Woodsmalls in the Civil War

The Aftermath:  Alton

The Aftermath:  The Tale of Two Sallies

"The Man Who Saw the Other Side of the Bridge - Rev. Harrison Hobart Woodsmall"

"Beyond the River": 124 Miles from LaGrange, Kentucky to Ripley, Ohio - Freedom

The Aftermath:  Depression

Removed Names:  Pending Review

The impressions and data in this paper are current as of  February 2005 and are subject to further revision/correction by it's author.


Copyright © 2005 Donald Murphy for David Bryan Dlouhy.  All Rights Reserved.  scificity@starpower.net