Remarkable Ohio

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Greenfield Cemetery, N. Washington Street

, OH

Augustus West, an African American, was born in Madison County, Virginia on March 20, 1814, and moved to Ohio in 1837. Legend has it that West was a runaway slave and worked as a farm laborer before designing a scheme to purchase his own farm. West, with abolitionist Alexander Beatty, traveled into slave territory no fewer than three times where the pair would sell West, help him escape, and split the profits. After splitting the profits, West used his portion of the money to purchase 177 acres of land in Fayette County where he built his “mansion.” To remain inconspicuous and secure, West built the “mansion” as far from the main road as possible. (continued on other side)