Kentucky Slaves on the Vincent Farm
from a Genealogical History by Willa Harmon [Great Granddaughter of John Frazier Vincent]

The period of time just preceding the Civil War, it was thought that John Frazier Vincent [Brother of our Joseph Vincent Jr. and Rosanna Vincent and Elizabeth Vincent and Susannah Vincent] would remain neutral. This may have been one reason that John Frazier Vincent moved from Virginia to Ky in 1846. He moved his family and his possessions down the Ohio River by steamboat. He purchased 3,500 acres on the Little Sandy River between Grayson and Anglin, which is now Hitchins. When the Eastern Kentucky Railroad was built through Carter Co., in 1872, this settlement became Vincent Station.

John Frazier's farm was largely covered with virgin timber and underbrush. With the help of his sons and fifteen slaves, which he brought along from Va, he gradually converted the wilderness into a thriving and prosperous farm. On this farm, he built a house for his large family near the river. He also built log cabins to house his slaves.

About one mile down the river was a farm owned by Dr. Lansdown, and up the river was a farm owned by Dr. DeBard. Both of these men owned a number of slaves who frequently visited each other on weekends and would sing and dance throughout most of the night.

The slave owners found suitable mates for their slaves by buying or trading with each other. The slaves learned that it was only twenty miles to the state of Ohio, which was free territory. On one occasion, four of the Vincent slaves who visited the Lansdown farm on Saturday night disappeared along with three of the Lansdown slaves. John Frazier Vincent and Dr. Lansdown immediately started riding horse-back to Greenupsburg, Ky, which is located on the South side of the Ohio River. When they arrived late that afternoon and made inquiries, it was learned the negroes had been taken across the river by a strange white man. Those slaves were never heard of again.

All of the clothing for the entire family and all of the slaves was made in the home by his wife and daughters and a couple female slaves. Once a year, a trip was made to Richmond, Va. to buy the material needed to make a years supply of clothing. The everyday clothes were made out of spun jeans.

All the cooking had been done by the slaves and when they made good their escape, it left the family without a cook. So they had to bring in a neighbor woman to give cooking lessons.

After the end of the war, some of the slaves continued to live on the Vincent farm and some migrated to the state of Mo and Kansas. About fifty years after the war, a letter was received from a negro woman who remembers living on the Vincent farm when she was a little girl.

The Vincent Cemetery was the first used as a burial ground for the slaves. It was located in a very beautiful place near the river, and overlooking much of the Vincent farm. It later became the burial ground for John Frazier Vincent, his wife, and some of his children and grandchildren.

John Frazier Vincent was a member of the Presbyterian Church and quietly lived his religion. Victoria Vincent Beckwith, another great granddaughter, of Ashland, Ky, was told by her father that his ancestors were Scotch-Irish-English; but that there is no known record of when they came to America.

Contributed by: (Susan S. Buckley)

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