Stampede Timeline – 1850s

This timeline of "slave stampedes" from across the nation details nearly 200 attempted group escapes as reported in period newspapers, with the majority coming from the Upper South states of Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, and Virginia. According to the existing sources, these stampedes involved nearly 12,000 freedom seekers between 1847 and 1865. Clearly, some of these attempts ended in tragedy, but a surprising number were successful, or least never produced definitive accounts of capture. The few reported stampedes in Northern states typically described alleged fugitive slaves fleeing to avoid rendition under the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. The…