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

Montgomery County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Montgomery County was established in 1796 and bordered the state of Virginia before the land was subdivided into four additional counties, three of which border Montgomery County today. The county was named for Richard Montgomery, a general who was killed during the American Revolutionary War. The county seat is Mt. Sterling, founded in 1792 and named for Stirling, Scotland, by proprietor Hughes Forbes. The 1800 county population was 7,082, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 6,304 whites; 767 slaves, and 11 free coloreds.  In 1830 there was one free African American slave owner. By 1860, the population had increased to 5,180, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slave population. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 532 slave owners
  • 2,588 Black slaves
  • 483 Mulatto slaves
  • 128 free Blacks
  • 37 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 479 slave owners
  • 1,969 Black slaves
  • 783 Mulatto slaves
  • 133 free Blacks
  • 6 free Mulattoes [last names Davis, Glover, King, and Reavis]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 2,037 Blacks
  • 599 Mulattoes
  • About 174 U.S. Colored Troops listed Montgomery County, KY as their birth location.
For more see Montgomery County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; The Early History of Montgomery County, Kentucky by E. P. McCollough; P. W. L. Jones Collection (archival material); and articles in the Mt. Sterling Advocate newspaper.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Montgomery County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Mt. Sterling, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: "Second census" of Kentucky, 1800; a privately compiled and published enumeration of tax payers appearing in the 79 manuscript volumes extant of tax lists of the 42 counties of Kentucky in existence in 1800
NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: The Early history of Montgomery County, Kentucky
NKAA Source: P.W.L. Jones collection (archival material)
NKAA Source: The Mt. Sterling advocate (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  African American Slave Owners in Kentucky

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Montgomery County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 24, 2020,

Last modified: 2018-01-14 02:03:32