The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Moment In History

The 1911 county history says Henderson County had one Negro slave who was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation.

Richard, generally referred to as "Nigger Dick," was born in Greenville, Kentucky in 1815 as the property and chattel of Solomon Rhodes. At the age of 12 years he was sold to John Billings who took him to Missouri and sold him to Capt. William Phelps for $1,000.

Capt. Phelps, a brother of S.S.Phelps, brought Dick to Oquawka with him where the brothers engaged in the Indian trade.

Here he became a valuable assistant to them in Iowa and on the frontier. At one time he saved the family of S.S. Phelps at their trading station in Iowa from death in their burning home. In doing so he risked his life and was seriously injured by the explosion of gun powder in the burning building.

Ever afterwards he was treated with the greatest kindness by the Phelps Brothers.

-to be continued 1911 History of Henderson County