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

The Morris Family

Shelton Morris (1806-1889), his five siblings, and their mother, Fanny, were freed by their owner (and father of the children), Col. Richard Morris of Ohio. Shelton moved to Louisville, KY, where he purchased land and opened a barbering business and bathhouse. His younger brothers, John and Alexander, were also barbers; they joined Shelton in Louisville. Shelton married Evelina Spradling, sister of Washington Spradling, Sr., who was also a barber. In 1840 Shelton was accused of voting in the presidential election; African Americans were not allowed to vote in Kentucky until 1870 (with the passing of the 15th Amendment). Voting rights for free African Americans had been revoked in 1799 in Kentucky's second Constitution. After the voting incident and the death of his wife, Shelton moved to Cincinnati, where his sister Elizabeth lived. For more see The Saga of the Morris Family, by R. M. Graham.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Spradling, Washington, Sr.
NKAA Source: The Saga of the Morris Family

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Morris, Horace
NKAA Entry:  Barbers (Louisville, KY)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“The Morris Family,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2021,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:14