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

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

Laurel County, located in southeastern Kentucky, was established in 1825 from portions of Clay, Knox, Rockcastle, and Whitley Counties; it is surrounded by seven counties. It is named for the laurel shrub found in the area. The county seat is London, named in 1825 for London, England. The county population was 342 [heads of households] in 1830, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 5,302 by 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave owners, enslaved, free Blacks, and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 56 slave owners
  • 141 Black slaves
  • 0 Mulatto slaves
  • 2 free Blacks [Peter Johnathan and Joanna Pin, both born in VA]
  • 7 free Mulattoes [Emily, and others with last names Faris, Leckiter, Wiggins]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 37 slave owners
  • 146 Black slaves
  • 40 Mulatto slaves
  • 0 free Blacks
  • 1 free Mulatto [Wiley Young]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 108 Blacks
  • 31 Mulattoes
  • About 11 U.S. Colored Troops listed Laurel County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Laurel County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Pictorial History of Laurel County, Kentucky, by the Laurel County Historical Society; and Marriage Bond Books (indexed) at Laurel County, KY, County Clerk website.

*Thank you to Renee Beets for the correct spelling of Wiley Young's name, and for the addition of Emily, a free woman in the household of John Gibson.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Laurel County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about London, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: Pictorial history of Laurel County, Kentucky
NKAA Source: Marriage bond books (indexed) [Laurel County]

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Laurel County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 26, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-25 17:46:51