ABOLITION––RUNAWAYS––PUBLIC MEETING––GREAT EXCITEMENT––THREATS OF VENGEANCE.––News having been received in this city yesterday morning, that the runaway negroes had been overtaken near the line of Harrison and Bracken, and a white man killed in an attempt to arrest them, hand-bills were posted through the city calling a public meeting in the Court Houses yard at eight o'clock, for the purpose of adopting efficient means to overtake and secure the runaways and their aiders and abettors. At the appointed hour a large crowd assembled in front of the Court House, and an informal meeting was organized, by calling T.H. Duncan, Esq., to the chair, who read the following letter received on Tuesday night at two o'clock by express from Cynthiana:
CYNTHIANA, Aug. 8, 6 P.M.
DEAR SIR: This will inform you that your negroes are supposed to be surrounded about the county line between Harrison and Bracken,15 or 18 miles short of the Ohio river. They have taken some 9 or 10––have had several battles, and C.H. Fowler is mortally wounded. About 100 of our citizens have been after them since Monday morning. They are worn down, and it is requested that you send a fresh set of men immediately, say 50 or 100, well armed, for they appear determined to fight for every inch of ground, and are commanded by a white man or more. They were encamped and fortified last night, and our Cynthiana boys came upon about 40 or more, and a battle ensued, and Fowler was wounded, and the company carried him back and then pursued the negroes. We hear that one dead negro was found to-day.
Elliott Roberts is between them and the river with a company and will not let them pass if it is possible to prevent it. Fowler is still alive.––Send all you can and speedily, or all will be lost. Harrison will assist you to the uttermost. Come if you want any of your negroes. We have not time to say more.
Fifty or sixty armed men were promptly raised and left for the scene of action, breathing vengeance on the abolitionists and a fixed resolution to bring back the negroes if they even have to follow them to the confines of Canada. Intense excitement prevailed in the city equal to that during the True American of August, 1845, and we doubt not if the negroes and whites said to be with them are overtaken and arrested, fearful scenes will be witnessed and popular vengeance wreaked upon them. We are not the advocates of mobilities or mob-law, but we do think it is high time the impertinent and thievish interference of Abolitionists was ended in a summary manner. Nothing will deter them from their infamous conduct, but the prompt and immediate execution of the first one we can lay our hands on. And whilst we would not advocate or recommend such a course of procedure, yet we stand ready to justify our fellow citizens should they hang ever one they can catch to the tallest tree in the forest. An example must be made of them, that will deter these base and infamous rascals from future operations.
"Abolition--Runaways--Public Meeting--Great Excitement--Threats of Vengeance," Lexington (KY) Atlas, August 10, 1848