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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

A Notable Kentucky Born Free African American

Notable Kentucky African Americans Database

Isbell, Louis

Birth Year : 1818
Isbell was free born in Kentucky and at the age of 20 moved to Chicago. He participated in Chicago's first recorded sports competition in a race between Isbell, a Native American named White Foot, and a man on a horse; Isbell won the race. According to author Perry Duis, who cited articles in the Chicago Post and the Chicago Democrat, Isbell was the fastest and most popular runner in the Chicago area for ten years. He retired and became a full-time barber after coming in second in a race in 1847 that took place before more than 1,000 spectators. For more see Challenging Chicago: coping with everyday life, 1837-1920, by P. R. Duis, pp. 171-172.
Subjects: Barbers, Migration North, Track & Field
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

https://www.uky.edu/Libraries/NKAA/record.php?note_id=1290
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Elkhart, Indiana DAILY REVIEW, Nov 19, 1899, p. 1:

At the age of 82 years, Lewis Isbell, the first Negro settler of Illinois, was converted during a revival in Quinn Chapel, Chicago.
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And also another newspaper article from November 1, 1847:

Milwaukee, Wisconsin Sentinel, page 2, column 3

FOOT RACE ---The celebrated John Giddersleeve, from New York and the Indians from Buffalo have arrived, and the great Foot Race will come off November 10th. A Purse of Three Hundred dollars, and Fifty dollars to the second, and Twenty-five to the third, also a match of Fifty dollars, against Giddersleeve, that Mr. Lewis Isbell of Chicago is to turn in the tenth mile, and run with Giddersleeve - the first of the two that comes to the stand takes the bet. This race free for all. Chicago - November 1, 1847


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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