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

Christian County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Christian County is located in southwestern Kentucky, bounded by the Tennessee state border and five Kentucky counties. It was formed from a portion of Logan County in 1797 and named for the American Revolutionary War veteran William Christian, who was from Virginia. There is also a Christian County in Illinois and another in Missouri.

The county seat of Christian County, KY, is Hopkinsville, incorporated in 1804 and named for Samuel Hopkins, a Kentucky Representative and Senator and U.S. Congressman who was born in Virginia.

The 1800 Christian County population was 2,318, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 2,021 whites and 297 slaves. In 1830 there was one African American slave owner in Hopkinsville. By 1860, the county population was 11,676, excluding slaves (all data according to the U.S. Federal Census). Below are the figures for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule  
  • 1,184 slave owners
  • 7,120 Black slaves
  • 1,020 Mulatto slaves
  • 121 free Blacks
  • 30 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 1,178 slave owners
  • 8,055 Black slaves
  • 1 Colored slave [owned by Elizabeth J. Barnett]
  • 1,878 Mulatto slaves
  • 34 free Blacks
  • 22 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 9,518 Blacks
  • 259 Mulattoes
  • About 500 U.S. Colored Troops listed Christian County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Christian County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; A History of Christian County, Kentucky, from Oxcart to Airplane, by C. M. Meacham; Christian County, Kentucky, Historical and Biographical, by W. H. Perrin; and The Dark Side of Hopkinsville, by T. Poston and K. Hauke.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Christian County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Hopkinsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Slave Owners in Kentucky
NKAA Source: "Second census" of Kentucky, 1800; a privately compiled and published enumeration of tax payers appearing in the 79 manuscript volumes extant of tax lists of the 42 counties of Kentucky in existence in 1800
NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: A History of Christian county, Kentucky, from oxcart to airplane
NKAA Source: Christian County, Kentucky, historical and biographical
NKAA Source: Dark side of Hopkinsville : stories

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Christian County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 21, 2022,

Last modified: 2020-07-28 19:04:27