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

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

Grant County, formed in 1820 from a portion of Pendleton County, is surrounded by six Kentucky counties. Located in north-central Kentucky, it was named for one or all of the frontiersmen brothers Samuel, John, and Squire Grant.

The county seat, Williamstown, was incorporated in 1825; it was named for William Arnold, a native of New Jersey, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War and builder of the first Grant County courthouse in 1821.

The 1820 Grant County population was 278 [heads of households] in the U.S. Federal Census, increasing to 7,660 by 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the numbers for the slave holders, enslaved, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 164 slave owners
  • 452 Black slaves
  • 80 Mulatto slaves
  • 6 free Blacks
  • 0 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 195 slave owners
  • 500 Black slaves
  • 197 Mulatto slaves
  • 15 free Blacks
  • 12 free Mulattoes [last names Lair, Prudean, and 1 King]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 331 Blacks
  • 176 Mulattoes
  • About 18 U.S. Colored Troops listed Grant County, Ky as their birth location.
For more see the Grant County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; History of Grant County, Kentucky, by J. B. Conrad; and Grant County, Kentucky Biographies, by L. Collins, et. al.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Grant County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Williamstown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: History of Grant County, Kentucky
NKAA Source: Grant County, Kentucky biographies

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Grant County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 13, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-23 16:29:38