Let me first thank you all for your thoughtful and thorough research on this; what a great forum for me to have "stumbled" upon.
I work in history in Kentucky, and I am researching fugitive slaves from and through Boone County, KY, which is how I came upon this thread.
The Piatts settled in Boone County before coming to Logan County. OH. Elizabeth Barnett's family was from Virginia, pushing west for a land acquisition around modern day Frankfort, KY. She married Benjamin Piatt in Boone County, Ky in 1799. His family had settled in the area several years before, and were an "important" family, by stature and income standards.
I have lots of information on these Piatts (including Abraham S. Piatt, the owner of the escaped slaves of the story about the family). I am forever finding more, and hesitate to share until I've verified all of the information I've accumulated.
I have found that the Piatt family seems conflicted about slavery and their role. This applies to Piatts in free and slave states. I find many Piatts marrying into families with clear (documented) abolitionist views . I also find slave owning Piatts with abolitionist connections that clearly conflict with this status. So much is left to uncover, and so much will never be discovered.
This being said, I agree that research and documentation is the "smoking gun" in the Piatts of Logan County and their UGRR connection.
However, I can't rule it out completely, based on the history of the extended family.
Many people who helped, actively or passively, did so at great risk to their own families, and kept it pretty quiet.
I'm a little confused about all of the focus on the statue, "lawn jockey", "Jocko" portion of the thread. Did I miss the part where this was defined as the vehicle of communicating to fugitives? I have read Siebert, but I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that I remember "statue" or "signal", but not "jockey". Maybe I missed it.
The point, as I understand it, is to discover if she was truly signalling at all, which may never come to light, sadly.
Thank you all again for all of your sharing of information. I will reciprocate when I feel confident I'm putting solid information out there.