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Defiance of Black Codes Barkshire v State of Indiana

Location: 413 Main St., Rising Sun (Ohio County), Indiana 47040 

Installed 2021 Indiana Historical Bureau and Ohio County Historical Society

ID#: 58.2021.1

Text

Side One

In 1854, Arthur Barkshire, a freed African American, was tried, convicted, and fined here for bringing his wife, Elizabeth Keith, a Black woman from Ohio, across state lines in defiance of the “Black Codes.” Barkshire was charged with violating Article 13 of Indiana’s 1851 Constitution, which prohibited African Americans from entering or settling in the state.

Side Two

Passed with overwhelming support, Article 13 was one of many laws in the 1800s that denied African Americans rights, discriminated against them, and sought to exclude them from Indiana. Barkshire appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court. He lost his case in 1856 and the marriage was nullified, yet the couple remained here until 1859. Article 13 was declared invalid in 1866.

Keywords

African American; Law & Court Case