Stories from William Esham Cemetery
William Esham freed his slaves, but mentioned in his will that his head slave’s headstone was to be equal to his own. The slaves were buried in the Esham Cemetery in a section at the foot of the hill below the graves of the Esham family.
Dr. William M. Talley recorded in Talley’s Northeastern Kentucky Papers a letter from George M. Thomas, dated April 17, 1911…..”My grandmother Boggess made a will and gave a slave girl to my mother. The girl married John Dennis in 1842. Dennis was a slave belonging to William Esham–he bought his wife from my mother and paid 300 in silver for her–the girl was worth $600 at the time of the sale. Jim and John Dennis are sons of Ellen Dennis, the girl–both lived in this town (Vanceburg) at that time.”