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

Bourbon County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Bourbon County is located in central Kentucky in the Bluegrass Region. The county was developed from a part of Fayette County in 1785. The county seat was named Hopewell, then Bourbonton, and finally renamed Paris in 1790. Bourbon County was one of the nine counties organized by the Virginia Legislature before Kentucky became a state.

In the First Census of Kentucky, 1790, there were 6,929 whites and 908 enslaved. Ten years later, the total population was 12,825, as reported in the Second Kentucky Census 1800: 10,627 white, 2,136 enslaved, and 62 free colored. In 1830 there were nine African American slave owners in the county. When the 1850 Census was completed, there were 7,401 persons, excluding the slaved. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, enslaved, and free Blacks and Mulattoes from 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 1,075 slave owners
  • 5,495 Black slaves
  • 1,576 Mulatto slaves
  • 171 free Blacks
  • 74 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 960 slave owners
  • 5,678 Black slaves
  • 1,086 Mulatto Slaves
  • 240 free Blacks
  • 102 free Mulattoes

1870 U.S Federal Census

  • 5,710 Blacks
  • 863 Mulattoes
  • About 400 U.S. Colored Troops listed Bourbon County, KY as their birth location.

For more see the Bourbon County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Bourbon County in Collin's Historical Sketches of Kentucky: History of Kentucky, vol. 2, by L. Collins and R. H. Collins [available at Google Books]; and History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison, and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky, by W. H. Perrin and R. Peter. See the "U.S., Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1863-1865" and other military service records in Ancestry for names and additonal information.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Bourbon County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Hopewell, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Bourbonton, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Paris, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Bourbon County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 14, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-17 18:08:28