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

Biggerstaff, William

(born: 1854  -  died: 1886) 

William Biggerstaff was born a slave in Lexington, KY. He moved to the western U.S., where he was executed for killing Dick Johnson. Biggerstaff claimed self defense; nonetheless, he was hanged in Helena, Montana. His death was captured by African American photographer James P. Ball. For more see Representing Death; and Relections in black, by D. Willis-Thomas.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Biggerstaff, William,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 3, 2023,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:27