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

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

Warren County, in southern Kentucky and bordered by six counties, was formed in 1796 from a portion of Logan County. It is named for Joseph Warren, a Harvard graduate and major-general who was killed in the Battle at Bunker Hill during the American Revolutionary War.

The seat of Warren County is Bowling Green, founded in 1798 and thought to have been named in honor of Bowling Green, VA or for the game 'bowling on the green.'

According to the Second Census of Kentucky, 1800, the total population was 4,686: 4,251 whites; 4 free coloreds, and 431 enslaved. In 1830 there were two free African American enslaved holders. By 1860, the total population was 12,004, according to the U.S. Federal Census, excluding the enslaved.

Below are the number of slave holders, enslaved, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 812 slave owners
  • 3,706 Black slaves
  • 611 Mulatto slaves
  • 92 free Blacks
  • 114 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 882 slave owners
  • 3,893 Black slaves
  • 1,068 Mulatto slaves
  • 99 free Blacks
  • 105 free Mulattoes

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 5,085 Blacks
  • 1,089 Mulattoes
  • About 172 U.S. Colored Troops listed Warren County, KY, as their birth location.

For more see the Warren County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; 1870 Warren County, Kentucky Black Census, by M. B. Gorin; Barbara J. Chase (FA316) in the Western Kentucky University Manuscripts & Folklife Archives; Mt. Moriah Cemetery, by J. Jeffrey, et. al.; Warren County, Kentucky Marriages (1866-1962): Blacks at the Warren County Clerk's Office; and African American Heritage in Bowling Green and Warren County, Kentucky (FA509)  in the Western Kentucky University Manuscripts & Folklife Archives.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Warren County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Bowling Green, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Slave Owners in Kentucky
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: 1870 Warren County, Kentucky black census : they won't be forgotten
NKAA Source: A Study of the Black Cosmetology Field by Barbara J. Chase (FA 316)
NKAA Source: Mt. Moriah Cemetery: A history and census of Bowling Green, Kentucky's African-American cemetery
NKAA Source: Warren County, Kentucky marriages (1866-1962): blacks, 2 volumes
NKAA Source: African American heritage in Bowling Green and Warren County, Kentucky (FA 509) [oral histories]

Cite This NKAA Entry:

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

Last modified: 2023-01-10 21:09:53