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

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

Spencer County, located on the western side of central Kentucky, is surrounded by five counties. It was formed in 1824 from portions of Bullitt, Nelson, and Shelby Counties and named for Spier Spencer, who died in the Battle of Tippecanoe. The county seat is Taylorsville, named for Richard Taylor, a gristmill and land owner.

Taylorsville existed prior to 1790 and was incorporated in 1829. The county population was 868 [heads of households] in 1830, according to the U.S. Federal Census. The population increased to 15,615 by 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave owners, enslaved, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 445 slave owners
  • 1,674 Black slaves
  • 477 Mulatto slaves
  • 33 free Blacks [most with the last name White]
  • 10 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 440 slave owners
  • 1,938 Black slaves
  • 273 Mulatto slaves
  • 15 free Blacks
  • 18 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,267 Blacks
  • 133 Mulattoes
  • About 74 U.S. Colored Troops listed Spencer County, KY as their birth location.
For more see Spencer County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Spencer County, Kentucky Negro Marriages, 1866-1914, by J. M. Lily; The History of Spencer County, Kentucky, by M. F. Brown; and "Spencer County" in African American Historic Places, by B. L. Savage.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Spencer County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Taylorsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: Spencer County, Kentucky Negro marriages, 1866-1914
NKAA Source: The History of Spencer County, Kentucky
NKAA Source: African American historic places

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Spencer County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 14, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-23 17:17:51