Our database contains over 1,000 newspaper articles that specifically label a group escape as a "slave stampede" or some related variant, such as "negro stampede." Our document records also include hundreds of other types of primary sources and newspaper articles related to these stampedes but that do not contain the word itself. The map below provides a sample visualization of the newspaper coverage between 1856 and 1860 with clickable access to the various records inside our database. The detailed listing underneath includes records for all of the documents from the period 1847 to 1865, containing both transcripts and original images.

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      Great Stampede of Negroes from Richmond.


           [From the Richmond Sentinel, Dec. 23.]

   A regular panic and stampede has taken place among the negroes of this city. Between forty and fifty have run off to the Yankees since last Saturday, in most cases carrying their trunks and household goods. On Wednesday night seven negroes belonging to Mr. Valentine Ricklar, living just beyond Union Hill, went off, carrying all their furniture. The cause of the stampede is the report that has gotten abroad that all the male negroes are to be put into the army. 


 General Lee and the Negro Soldiers Question––The Richmond Negroes Running to Avoid the Draft. 




   How Jeff. Davis' Salary was Increased.

The Exchange of Prisoners is to be Resumed at Richmond.


  Richmond Papers Doubt the Capture of Savannah.

   NEW YORK, Dec. 27th.    The Richmond examiner of Saturday acknowledge that the affairs of the Confederacy are under a real cloud. 

   Jeff. Davis having asked for an increase for salary, a bill was passed by the rebel Senate to provide for lighting and warming to the executive mansion and for the supply of forage and commissary stores for the commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the so-called Confederate States.

   The Richmond Examiner ridicules the act with citing sarcasm. 


        Local Intelligence.



        MONTGOMERY, ALA., Jan. 5, 1865.


                 Arming the Slaves. 

   The Rebel leaders are conscious that in adopting the policy of arming the Slaves, they are embarking in a perilous enterprise. They approach the subject with fear and trembling. They know they are taking a step which m ay result not only in the ruin of their cause but in the destruction of society itself. They are well aware that the arms they propose to put into the hands of the servile masses may be turned against their own breasts, and the power they delegate may be a power that will be used to crush them. They are not without misgivings that the education in arms they intend to confer upon the Blacks will be "improved" not only to achieve their own Freedom, but to expel the white race as well. 


           How Emancipation Works.



   The town of Lynchburg, Virginia, which from the commencement of the war the rebels had been able to maintain possession of, and which only a week ago was considered of sufficient strength to withstand for some time, if Lee could get his army within its works, a siege of the entire Army of the Potomac, surrendered on Tuesday to a lieutenant colonel in command of a Union scouting party, and is now garrisoned by a brigade of national troops. 


               STAMPEDE OF NEGROES.

                        DANVILLE, KY., April 22, 1865.

To the Editors of the Louisville Journal:

   The stampede of negroes from this region to Camp Nelson, has received a new impulse within a few days by a rumor generally spread among them in the form of a message, said to be received from Captain Hall, quartermaster at Camp Nelson, that, unless they came into camp this week and next, they would be sent after, and given over to the rebels. This absurd story is generally believed by them, and is said to have been brought here by some agent from the camp. 


How Dinah Got a Companion for Life.

"Mack," writing from Lexington (Ky.) to the Cincinnati Commercial, says:

Mr. Harlan, the conservative candidate for the Legislature in the Frankfort District, made a speech a few days ago, in which he took ground that there was no hope for the passage of the Constitutional amendment, but that Kentucky would abolish slavery by State action, though it would require at least seven years to do it. There happened to be quite a number of darkies listening to him, and the idea of seven years more of slavery was so distasteful to them that they concluded immediately to take the short cut to freedom via the army. Accordingly, they not only want themselves, but got all their neighbors to join them in a stampede for the nearest recruiting station, and the result was an accession of more than a hundred sable recruits to the Army of Uncle Sam.



Refugees Home in Kentucky.

For the Worcester Daily Spy.


   Kentucky and other papers have lately published what purported to be an order from Gen Palmer, or by his authority, granting passes to all negroes who desired to leave the State— an expeditious method of ratifying the Constitutional Amendment. The Western Citizen of Paris, Ky., says the stampede of negroes is enormous, and gives particulars of their thronging about headquarters. It alleges that in five days 1,300 passes averaging four persons to each pass had been issued. So at Lexington and other points, and it was estimated that 25,000 negroes left Kentucky last week.  

            But now comes The Cincinnati Enquire of August 1, with this statement   


                                                            THE NEWS.



                 General Palmer to the President.


                                 LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 27, 1865                      }

 To his Excellency ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States:––

   SIR––I have already by telegraph acknowledged your despatch of yesterday, containing copy of a despatch of Mr. Price, which states that provost marshals issue "free papers" to negroes indiscriminately. I refer you to my despatch, in which I say no "free papers" are issued by any officers of this department, which, though literally true, does not quite meet the facts as they are.


        Slavery in Kentucky.

   General John M. Palmer, commanding the Department of Kentucky, has addressed the following letter to President Johnson in answer to the charge that the provost-marshals of his department were in the habit of issuing "free papers" to colored persons, without regard to the legal right of those receiving them to freedom––



                                 LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 27, 1865                      }

 To his Excellency ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States:––



Recollections of the Underground Railroad.


We had also agencies and stations at Baltimore–Jacob R. Gibbs and our lamented friend; Darius Stokes. At Alexandria we had a host of true friends. Now for the modus operandi:


The Plans of John Brown.

                Gerrit Smith writes a long letter, in which he denies that he know [knows] anything of John Browns’ invasion scheme. He also relates some interesting circumstances in regard to that old her. Mr. Smith says:


...When I was about 17 years old, eleven slaves came along at one time some of them women. We put them into two lightly covered wagons, and I drove one of the teams. It was not practicable to stop at Plymouth station, so we had to drive to the next sixty miles from home, took the day time for the last thirty miles. Keeping the darkies well covered with hay in the wagon body. Did not reach home until the fourth day, and you can well imagine that our folks here were pretty well frightened about us. I suppose that nearly one hundred slaves passed the Mendon station of the Underground R.R. and I never heard of but one being captured. That was near McComb, McDonough Co. Ills....


               FREE NEGRO FOR 46 YEARS.

   Last survivor of the 1848 'Insurrection' Tells of Attempt to Escape.

   There is living in Lexington, Ky., an old negro, Harry Slaughter, who is the last survivor of the negro "insurrection" of 1848. He was born on March 13, 1818, and grew to be a man of remarkable physique. He was 6 feet 1 inches tall, weighed 214 pounds, and was considered the best man physically in Fayette county when he was in his prime, says the New York Sun. 

   In 1849 he was owned by Miss Sidney Edmiston, who had at that time one of the most costly residences in Lexington. She had a fondness for male servants of gigantic proportions, and on account of his size he was made a dining-room man. Although well treated, he longed for freedom. This is the story he told one day of his attempts to obtain it. He is now in his 80th year: