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

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

Henry County, located in north-central Kentucky, was formed from a portion of Shelby County in 1798. It is named for Patrick Henry, who was Governor of Virginia, a Revolutionary War patriot, and considered by some as a founding father of the U.S. The Henry County seat is New Castle, founded in 1798; the origin of the name is unknown. The county population was 3,258 in 1800, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 2,848 whites, 406 slaves, and 4 free coloreds. The population increased to 8,638 by 1860, excluding slaves, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 676 slave owners
  • 2,754 Black slaves
  • 259 Mulatto slaves
  • 22 free Blacks
  • 21 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 752 slave owners
  • 2,555 Black slaves
  • 750 Mulatto slaves
  • 26 free Blacks [most with last names Adams or Mastason]
  • 10 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 2,121 Blacks
  • 295 Mulattoes
  • About 201 U.S. Colored Troops listed Henry County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Henry County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; History of Henry County, Kentucky, by M. J. Drane; Henry County, Kentucky, 1798-1995, by the Henry County Historical Society; Henry County Public Library Oral History Collection, by the Henry County Public Library (Eminence, KY); and Who's Who Among African Americans of Henry County, by the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission and First Baptist Church (Eminence, KY).

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Henry County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about New Castle, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

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: History of Henry County, Kentucky
NKAA Source: Henry County, Kentucky, 1798-1995 : a history of our heritage
NKAA Source: Henry County Public Library oral history collection
NKAA Source: Who's who among African-Americans of Henry County: past and present

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Henry County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed October 20, 2020,

Last modified: 2020-07-10 19:41:35