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

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

Muhlenberg County was formed from portions of Christian and Logan Counties in 1798, and is located in west-central Kentucky, surrounded by seven counties. It is named for John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, a minister and American Revolutionary War veteran who also served in the U.S. House and Senate from Pennsylvania. The county seat is Greenville, named for Nathanael Greene who was also a veteran of the American Revolutionary War who also served in the Rhode Island General Assembly.

The 1800 county population was 1,443, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 1,313 whites, 125 slaves, and 5 free coloreds. The population increased to 9,143 by 1860, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 337 slave owners
  • 1,260 Black slaves
  • 256 Mulatto slaves
  • 23 free Blacks
  • 15 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 348 slave owners
  • 1,175 Black slaves
  • 409 Mulatto slaves
  • 13 free Blacks
  • 20 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,227 Blacks
  • 367 Mulattoes
  • About 11 U.S.Colored Troops listed Muhlenberg County, KY as their birth location.
For more see Muhlenberg County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Around Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, a Black History, by L, S. Smith; A History of Muhlenberg County, by O. A. Rothart; Muhlenberg County, First Black Marriage Book, by G. R. Carver; and Muhlenberg County School Census, 1930.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Muhlenberg County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Greenville, 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: Around Muhlenberg County, Kentucky: a Black history
NKAA Source: A History of Muhlenberg County
NKAA Source: Muhlenberg County, first black marriage book
NKAA Source: Muhlenberg County school census, 1930

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Muhlenberg County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 2, 2023,

Last modified: 2023-01-10 21:08:10