Jameson Jenkins was born in North Carolina sometime around 1810. It is unclear whether he was born into slavery or free, but he was documented as being a free man by 1846. Within ten years, he had left his home state making the potentially risky trek through slave states to reach the free state of Indiana, where he married Elizabeth Pelham. In 1844, after the birth of their daughter Nancy, the family traveled on to Illinois. Soon after his arrival in Springfield, Jenkins filed his Certificate of Freedom papers with the Sangamon County Recorder of Deeds, on March 28, 1846.
Eleven run away slaves, belonging to citizens of St. Louis, and for which a reward of $300 each, was offered, were captured in this county yesterday, by individuals of this city.
On January 17, 1850, Jenkins was involved in an incident that was reported in the local newspaper as a "slave stampede." Jenkins assisted a group of runaway slaves in escaping the hands of slave catchers, and took the fugitives north to Bloomington, Illinois. During the following days, newspapers reported various and contradictory stories regarding the runaway slaves, including reporting their capture and that they were betrayed by Jenkins. Then newspapers later revealed that rather than betraying the runaway slaves, Jenkins had indeed assisted them. The newspaper also explained that the various contradictory stories were passed on to them so that the railroad car that Jenkins traveled on to Bloomington would not be discovered. Jenkins had risked his home, his livelihood, and his life to deliver freedom to those who had once been enslaved.
Two years later, on February 18, 1848 Jenkins and his family purchased a small, two-story home, which sat on the northwest corner of this lot. Jameson was an enterprising, comparatively successful drayman (teamster). the occupation of drayman was a perfect job for someone who was a conductor on the Underground Railroad. The Jenkins family contributed to their middle class neighborhood that also represented Lincoln's dream: to rise by a person's own ability, free from the shackles of slavery that deprived a human's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Runaway Slaves Recaptured
We stated yesterday that eleven runaways from St. Louis had been recaptured by individuals of this city. We learn today that only eight were caught, and that after our publication was made seven of them made their escape, and the remaining one, who was Lame, made an assault upon his captor, but was overpowered and is now in jail - his hip having been dislocated in the emute. This is quite a revulsion of prospects with the catchers.
|Series||This marker is part of the Illinois: Lincoln Home National Historic Site series|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 11:33pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||16S E 273537 N 4408536|
|Decimal Degrees||39.79666667, -89.64503333|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 47.8', W 89° 38.702'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 47' 48.00" N, 89° 38' 42.12" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 500 S 8th St, Springfield IL 62703, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.