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

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

Simpson County, in south Kentucky and slightly to the west, is on the Tennessee line and borders the three Kentucky counties from which it was formed in 1819: Allen, Logan, and Warren. Simpson County was named in honor of John Simpson, who was killed during the War of 1812. The county seat, Franklin, was established in 1819 and named for Benjamin Franklin.

The 1820 county population was 674 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census; the population increased to 5,841 by 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave holders, enslaved, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 394 Slave owners
  • 1,664 Black slaves
  • 271 Mulatto slaves
  • 37 free Blacks
  • 7 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 462 Slave owners
  • 1,928 Black slaves
  • 381 Mulatto slaves
  • 92 free Blacks
  • 4 free Mulattoes [last names Husketh, 1 Earnest]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,770 Black slaves
  • 381 Mulattoes
  • About 42 U.S. Colored Troops listed Simpson County, KY as their birth location.
For more see Simpson County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; African American Heritage of Simpson County, Kentucky, by the African American Heritage Committee of the Kentucky Heritage Council; Simpson County, KY African American Death Certificates, by M. Denning; Minutes of the First District Association of Colored Baptists, held with the Alpha Baptist Church, Franklin, Kentucky. On Sept. 21, 22, 23 and 24, 1876, by the First District Association of Colored Baptists (KY); and Gospel Musicians (FA191), Folklife Archives Project 191.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Simpson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Franklin, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Simpson County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 26, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-30 18:27:27