From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Pyles, Charlotta G. M.

(born: 1806  -  died: 1880) 

Charlotta G. M. Pyles was born in Tennessee; her mother was a Seminole Indian and her father a slave, so Charlotta was also a slave. Pyles and her children lived on a plantation near Bardstown, KY. After one of Charlotta's sons, Benjamin, was sold, her owner, Frances Gordon, took Pyles and her remaining family from Kentucky to Iowa, where they were freed. Pyles raised $3,000 in six months and returned to Kentucky to buy her two sons-in-law. While in Iowa, she also assisted runaways on their way to Canada. For more see Charlotta Gordon MacHenry Pyles in Digital Schomburg: African American Women Writers of the 19th Century; and Pyles' picture in Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction, by H. Q. Brown, p. 22, full-text at the Documenting the American South website.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Nelson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Bardstown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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NKAA Entry: Migration from Kentucky to Iowa

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Pyles, Charlotta G. M.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 15, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-08-04 22:23:45