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

Lyon County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880

Lyon County, located in western Kentucky, was formed in 1854 from a portion of Caldwell County and is bordered by five counties. It was named for Chittenden Lyon, who was born in Vermont and came to Kentucky when he was a child. He was a Kentucky Representative and Senator, and a U.S. Representative. The county seat of Lyon County is Eddyville, which was established in 1798 by David Walker, a Revolutionary War veteran who had received a land grant. The town was named for the eddies in the nearby stream. Eddyville was first established as the seat of Livingston County in 1799, and was later the seat of Caldwell County, before being named the seat of Lyon County in 1854. The 1860 county population was 4,214, according to the U.S. Federal Census, excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1860-1880.

1860 Slave Schedule
  • 195 slave owners
  • 902 Black slaves
  • 195 Mulatto slaves
  • 34 free Blacks
  • 10 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,306 Blacks
  • 118 Mulattoes
  • About 85 U.S. Colored Troops listed Lyon County, KY, as their birth location.
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,102 Blacks
  • 390 Mulattoes
For more see the Lyon County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Predestinarian Baptist Church Records, 1865-1891 from Predestinarian Baptist Church (Lyon County, Ky.); Marriage Books (indexed), 1854-1987 from Lyon County (Ky.). County Clerk; and Tax Assessment Books, 1863-1911 from Lyon County (Ky.). County Clerk.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Lyon County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Eddyville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: Predestinarian Baptist Church records, 1856-1891 (archival material)
NKAA Source: Marriage books (indexed) [Lyon County]
NKAA Source: Tax assessment books, 1863-1911 (Lyon County)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Lyon County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 28, 2022,

Last modified: 2018-01-16 18:56:10