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Clarke, John Milton and Lewis Garrard
The Clarke brothers, John Milton (1820-1902) and Lewis (1818-1897), were born in Madison County, KY. Their father was a white weaver from Scotland. Their mother, Letitia Campbell, was the daughter of plantation owner Samuel Campbell. John and Lewis were at times seen as white slaves. The brothers escaped in 1842, Lewis to Dawn, Ontario (he later returned to Oberlin); and John to Cambridge, where he became the first African American elected to a public office on the Cambridge Common Council. The character George Harris in Uncle Tom's Cabin was based on Lewis Clarke. For more see Cambridge Historical Commission; Narrative of the sufferings of Lewis and Milton Clarke, by L. G. Clark and M. Clark [full-text at the website by S. Railton & University of Virginia]; and Literature in The Economist, 02/13/1847, p. 183.
See image of Lewis Clarke from frontispiece of Narrative of the Sufferings of Lewis Clarke by L. Clarke, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
See image of J. Milton Clarke from Narratives of the Sufferings of Lewis and Milton Clarke by L. G. Clark, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Ontario, Canada / Oberlin, Ohio / Cambridge, Massachusetts