On October 18, 1859 newspaper headlines in Kentucky exclaimed: “Reported Negro Insurrection in Virginia!” “Harpers Ferry in Possession of a Mob!” “Immense Excitement!” “The Military Ordered Out!” 1 The wake from the Harpers Ferry raid was felt throughout the nation, but it was experienced in a unique way by the border states. Kentuckians, due largely to their geographic location, felt particularly vulnerable to a John Brown-style uprising. Hundreds if not thousands of Kentucky slaves had fled bondage through the years. Clandestine operations, both local and out-of-state, and independent as well as assisted escapes, had cost Kentucky slaveholders tens of thousands of dollars. Now, with Harpers Ferry as a model, the threat of insurrection made some Kentuckians fear for their lives, while others, depending on their political affiliation and social orientation, reacted quite differently.