The Barkshires and Edgertons were free African Americans living in Rising Sun, IN, in the mid-1800s. They ran stations on the Underground railroad for slaves seeking freedom.
Samuel Barkshire, was born in about 1798, in Kentucky. He was a cooper by trade, and ran a safe house for fugitive slaves, many from Boone County. In 1840, he appears on the Dearborn County, IN census; his household has 10 free “people of color”. In 1850, Samuel’s household consists of Samuel, his wife, Frances, and 7 young adults and children who are listed as “Barkshire”, but may be other freed slaves, not his birth family. Several of the children are listed as “black”, while Samuel, Francis, and others of child-bearing age are “mulatto”. There is also a 93 year old man, Thomas James, 93 years of age, black, born in Maryland who is in the Barkshire home at this time. He is listed as a pauper, and may have been freed when he became too old to work, as he cannot be found on any other census records in the area. The Barkshire family helped abolitionist Laura Smith Haviland in her attempt to free the wife and children of escaped Boone County slave, John "Felix" White. Although a documented connection has not yet been found, the Barkshire family may be connected to Boone County's Berkshire family.
Joseph Edgerton, born