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; and 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 slaves 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 3 U.S. Colored Troops listed Lee County, KY as their birth location.

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.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Lee County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Beattyville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Lee County (KY) Free Blacks and Free Mulattoes, 1870-1900,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 23, 2023,

Last modified: 2023-01-10 20:49:55