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

Lee County (KY) Free Blacks and Free Mulattoes, 1870-1900

Lee County, located in eastern Kentucky, was formed in 1870 from portions of Breathitt, Estill, Owsley, and Wolfe Counties; it is surrounded by five counties. It is uncertain how the county got its name. The county seat is Beattyville, established in 1872 and named for Samuel Beatty, who provided the land for the town. Lee County was established after the enslaved in Kentucky were freed by the 13th Amendment. Below are the population numbers for African Americans in the county in 1870, 1880, and 1900.

1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 95 Blacks
  • 54 Mulattoes
  • About three U.S. Colored Troops listed Lee County, KY as their birth location. William H. White enlisted on January 1, 1864, Richard Crocket enlisted on November 18, 1863, and John M. Moore enlisted on February 25, 1865. [Note: Lee County. KY, was not officially a county until 1870. Lee County, KY, was recognized as a county in U.S. Civil War military records.]

1880 U.S. Federal Census

  • 51 Blacks

1900 U.S. Federal Census

  • 273 Blacks

For more see the Lee County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber. See the "U.S., Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1863-1865" and other military service records in Ancestry for names and additonal information.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Lee County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Beattyville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Lee County (KY) Free Blacks and Free Mulattoes, 1870-1900,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-18 16:11:10