BlogTalkRadio uses cookies. By using our services, you're agreeing to our Cookies Policy. Got it

Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy have changed. We think you'll like them better this way.

Did My Ancestor Crash the 1855 Fusion (Republican) Convention? Kathy Marshall

  • Broadcast in History



Follow This Show

If you liked this show, you should follow BerniceBennett.

Kathy Lynne Marshall’s most endearing tale of heroism was about her three times great-grandmother, Margaret Booker, and the grisly reason she left Beverly, West Virginia, with her young children in tow, for freedom in Barnesville, Ohio. 

Imagine Marshall’s surprise when an 1855 newspaper article connected Margaret’s possible father, Edward “Ned” Backus, to the Fusion (aka Republican) Convention in Ravenna, Ohio. After many unsuccessful attempts to free his wife and children, Ned’s lawyer suggested he seek legal and financial assistance at the convention. What was it like for a newly freed man traveling 150 miles from the slave state of Virginia to north-central Ohio, five years before Abraham Lincoln was voted the first Republican President? Marshall will discuss her research process and reveal the many twists and turns which culminated in an unbelievable story that was broadcast in many newspapers east of the Mississippi River. The new knowledge of who Edward’s likely slaveowner was, as well as serendipitous information from the Beverly Heritage Center, helped to confirm who Margaret’s actual mother was.

For thirty-six years, Marshall was a researcher, analyst, personnel consultant, and technical writer for the California Highway Patrol. Since 1993, she has been the owner and sculptor/author for her Kanika Marshall Art and Books business (, self-publishing since 2017: The Ancestors Are Smiling!, Finding Otho: The Search for Our Enslaved Williams Ancestors, Finding Daisy: From the Deep South to the Promised Land, and The Mystery of Margaret Booker. She has also been published in the National and Northern California AAHGS Quarterly Newsletters.


Opening Music: Sweet Mellow Spice with AK Alexander Productions