Lewis Richardson

Lewis Richardson was enslaved at Ashland from around 1837 to January 1846. He escaped from Ashland via the Underground Railroad and made his way to Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada. In Amherstburg he delivered a speech about his enslavement at Ashland as well as his escape. Richardson’s speech was published in an abolitionist newspaper entitled the Signal of Liberty. In his speech, Richardson said that he was 53 years old at the time of his escape.

Lewis Richardson was born in 1792 at Poplar Hill, in Fayette County, Kentucky. All accounts indicate that he resisted enslavement continuously throughout his life through many means including escape and violence. In December 1845, according to Lewis Richardson’s speech, on one Sunday he went to visit his wife who was enslaved on a farm several miles from Ashland. Lewis was expected to return to Ashland by 5 am Monday morning, but he returned at 6:02 am. Richardson was met by the angry overseer and was stripped and lashed for being late. He decided to attempt escape before being sold further south or killed.

Lewis Richardson made his way along the Underground Railroad to Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, a primary place of entry for people escaping from slavery. On March 13, 1846 Lewis delivered the speech about his escape, his life, and his feelings about Ashland.  In that speech Richardson relayed the facts of his escape and why he attempted it. He also provided insights into slavery at Ashland, noting how meager the food and clothing provided for the enslaved were and that it was not the paradise that it was made out to be. The speech of Lewis Richardson in March 1846 is the last record of him. Nothing is known of his life after it or his death. Nor is anything more known about the wife he left behind.

Shopping Cart