Danville, KY

Kentucky's most expensive college was once at the center of an incident involving slaves

Anita Durairaj

In the 2021-2022 academic year, Centre College in Danville, KY ranked first for having the most expensive tuition and fees in the state.

Tuition and fees at Centre College were listed at $46,000.

The college is a liberal arts institution that is known for graduating prestigious alumni such as Vice Presidents Adlai Stevenson and John Breckinridge.

In addition to the vice presidents and other notable alumni, there was a more controversial figure who is also mentioned in the annals of Centre College's history. That person - Edward James "Patrick" Doyle was at the center of an incident involving slaves.

Doyle was an Irishman who was attending Centre College in 1848 when he helped to lead the mass escape of slaves.

It is not clear if Doyle was truly attempting to help the slaves or if he had a different agenda altogether. According to reports, Doyle was first arrested for attempting to sell free blacks into slavery. When this failed, he tried to obtain money from runaway slaves promising them their freedom.

His agenda was to obtain payment from each slave in return for guiding them to their freedom. He planned the escape of a total of 75 runaway slaves and even led them as far as Ohio. Unfortunately, the group of slaves led by Doyle were eventually confronted by 100 white men and there was an exchange of gunfire.

Forty slaves escaped but the rest were caught and returned to their owners. Doyle was also captured and sentenced to twenty years in the state penitentiary.

The incident was considered to be the largest slave "uprising" in Kentucky history.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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