Henry Brantley

Photo added by Karen Miller

Henry Brantley

  • Birth May 1825
  • Death 15 Apr 1888
  • Burial Ravenna, Portage County, Ohio, USA
  • Plot Section 10 Lot 653
  • Memorial ID 12232540

He was born a slave near Clarksville, Tennessee. He was allowed to marry a fellow slave named Rebecca in 1852, but when their "master" died they were separated and were auctioned off to separate states. They were apart for ten years. Henry escaped to Union Army lines, and miraculously, with the help of an Union captain, found his wife. They accompanied the army officer to Ravenna, Ohio on August 28, 1862 where Henry and Mary both worked for Judge C.A. Reed. At their death the judge had a stone erected in their memory. The stone states that this couple lived "honest and industrious lives". The word "Emancipation" is inscribed on the stone as well as a symbol of a hand with a broken manacle. Taken from newspaper clipping "Stately monument honors fugitive slave couple" Ravenna page 9...Henry was hired as a handyman and caretaker for Probate Judge C.A. Reed, the man whom Reed Memorial Library is named. Rebecca worked in the judge's home.

The Brantleys died in the 1880's, leaving no heirs. It was Judge Reed's decision to use their savings to erect the impressive monument in their memory.

Carved into the granite is the word "emancipation" and a hand wearing broken shackles. The inscription bears tribute to the couple; "Fugitives from justice, they came to Ravenna on Aug 28, 1862, where they lived honest and industrious lives."

Also large article Plain Dealer, Monday July 14, 1975 Broken Chains: Monument recalls freed slave couple!


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  • Created by: Bigwoo
  • Added: 1 Nov 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12232540
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Henry Brantley (May 1825–15 Apr 1888), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12232540, citing Maple Grove Cemetery, Ravenna, Portage County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Bigwoo (contributor 46780407) .