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

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

Washington County, located in central Kentucky where it is bordered by six counties, was the 10th county formed in Kentucky, in 1792. It was named for President George Washington. Many of the first settlers were veterans who came to the area to claim land grants awarded to them for service during the American Revolutionary War. The county seat, Springfield, was founded in 1793 and named for the many springs in the area. In 1800, the total population was 9,050: 7,611 whites, 17 free coloreds, and 1,422 slaves, according to the Second Census of Kentucky, 1800. In 1830 there were two free African American slave owners in Springfield. By 1860, the total population was 8,753, 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
  • 608 slave owners
  • 3,127 Black slaves
  • 337 Mulatto slaves
  • 48 free Blacks
  • 15 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 450 slave owners
  • 2,149 Black slaves
  • 674 Mulatto slaves
  • 32 free Blacks
  • 14 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,783 Blacks
  • 312 Mulattoes
  • About 25 U.S. Colored Troops listed Washington County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Washington County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; 1792 Tax List of Washington County, Kentucky; Marriage Bond Books, (1858-1942) at the Washington County Clerk's office; Marriages of Black Residents of Washington County, Kentucky Back Dated and Recorded, 1866-1872, by L. A. Anderson; I Shared the Dream, by G. D. Powers; and Washington County, Kentucky, St. Rose Cemetery, and other "tidbits", by D. F. Bertram.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Washington County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Springfield, 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: 1792 tax list of Washington County, Kentucky
NKAA Source: Marriage bond books, (1858-1942) [Washington County]
NKAA Source: Marriages of black residents of Washington County, Kentucky back dated and recorded 1866-1872 : also, Washington County, Kentucky black marriages originating 1866-1872
NKAA Source: I shared the dream : the pride, passion, and politics of the first Black woman senator from Kentucky
NKAA Source: Washington County, Kentucky, St. Rose Cemetery and other "tidbits"

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  African American Slave Owners in Kentucky

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Washington County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 28, 2022,

Last modified: 2017-11-30 23:05:10