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

Convention of Free Negroes of Kentucky

A convention of Free Negroes was organized in Philadelphia by James Forten in 1813. The National Convention of Free Negroes was called in 1830 by Arthur Tappan and Simeon S. Jocelyn. The convention members were anti-colonizationist, against deporting former slaves and free persons, the organization standing for the abolition of slavery and equal citizenship to all free persons.

The Convention of Free Negroes of Kentucky was established with branches in various cities. The exact starting date of the organization is not known, and very little has been written about the group.

According to an article in The Lima Argus newspaper, in 1847, the Kentucky Convention of Free Negroes and the Kentucky Colonization Society had agreed that a representative party of free Negroes from Kentucky would be allowed to go to Liberia for one year to inspect the colony, then return to make a full report to their constituencies. Persons were nominated from Lexington, Maysville, Danville, Richmond, and Louisville. The purpose of the plan was to convince more free Negroes in Kentucky to migrate to Liberia.

The chosen delegates were Stephen Fletcher, J. Merriwether, H. Underwood, and A. Hooper, who left the United States in 1847 and returned August 1848, along with S. Worrell, a North Carolina delegate. The Kentucky delegates' report on the Liberia Colony was favorable: the colony was healthy and prospering satisfactorily. However, Jesse Merriwether wrote an unfavorable report and advised against emigration to Liberia.

For more see The Chronological History of the Negro in America, by P. M. Bergman and M. N. Bergman; "Convention of Free Negroes," The Lima Argus, 7/27/1847, p. 2; and "Arrival of the Liberia Packet," The Adams Sentinel, 08/14/1848, p. 1.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Mason County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Boyle County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Madison County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Maysville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Danville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Richmond, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Merriwether, Jesse [Mount Moriah Lodge No. 1]
NKAA Source: The Chronological history of the Negro in America
NKAA Source: The Lima Argus (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Adams sentinel (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Convention of Free Negroes of Kentucky,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-10 19:32:53