Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rebecca’s Brothers – Famous Or Infamous? -Part 2

We continue the story of David Bradford of Adams County, Ohio [Note: We are dealing here with our Rebecca’s brother, David, and not their cousin, David Bradford of Whiskey Rebellion fame).

One of the destinations for slaves fleeing the south along the “underground railroad” was Adams County, Ohio. This was also, as we learned in the previous post, the residence of Rebecca’s brother, David Bradford. David was one of the pillars of the community and, amongst other accomplishments, had built the famous (and still operating) Bradford Tavern. The Lower Scioto blog sited in the previous post tells the story of “Black Joe” Logan, and the reader is referred to that site for the full story, a fascinating tale in its own right, and instructive to those studying Bradford history (see:

After a harrowing escape, Joe Logan eventually arrived in Adams County, Ohio in 1822. His goal was to work and save money to buy a home for him and his family. It appears that David Bradford, and his friend and in-law Reverend John Meek were instrumental in Joe’s attainment of his goal. David employed Joe at his tavern, and over time Joe saved enough money to buy his own home. The property he purchased belonged to the Rev. Meek. Not only are Joe Logan’s accomplishments impressive, but Mr. Bradford’s and Rev. Meek’s contributions were exemplary. For while Ohio was a “free state,” life was not easy for the escaped slaves, and the government added to their burden by threatening to place hefty fines on those who employed or aided them.

While we cannot know if David Bradford was a devoted abolitionist, a staunch Christian wishing freedom for all, or a savy businessman who wanted to do everything he could to keep from losing his hard-working employee, it can be said that he, along with his friend and in-law, Rev. Meek, were loyal and fearless defenders of Black Joe Logan.

In the next post, we will bring David’s younger brother, William, into the story.

[Photo: Brush Creek Valley, Adams County, Ohio. See previous post regarding stage coach story that took place in this valley]

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