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

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

Johnson County, established in 1834, is located in eastern Kentucky, and surrounded by five Kentucky counties. It was created from portions of Floyd, Lawrence, and Morgan Counties and named for Richard M. Johnson, who was born in Kentucky and served as a U.S. Representative, Senator, and Vice President under President Martin VanBuren. The county seat of Johnson County is Paintsville, established in 1834 and named for the pictures found on the trees in the area and thought to be the work of Native Americans. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 14 slave owners
  • 20 Black slaves
  • 10 Mulatto slaves
  • 0 free Blacks
  • 0 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 11 slave owners
  • 13 Black slaves
  • 14 Mulatto slaves
  • 0 free Blacks
  • 19 free Mulattoes [most with last names Dale or Spencer, 2 Blanton, 1 Collins]

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 14 Blacks
  • 28 Mulattoes [most with last names Right and Spencer]

For more see the Johnson County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Johnson County, Kentucky, by C. M. Hall; and Johnson County, Kentucky, by Johnson County Historical and Genealogical Society.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Johnson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Paintsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

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

Last modified: 2023-01-10 20:13:35