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

Union Benevolent Society of Colored People, No. 1 & No.2

(start date: 1835) Yvonne Giles provided the information and resources for this entry.

Union Benevolent Society of Colored People, No. 1

Lexington Daily Press. April 13, 1876, p1. "Number One Society"

The 'number one society' which is referred to in one of our city exchanges is the oldest organization among the colored people of Lexington. It was organized about 1835, and was composed of five person of color. Slaves were not admitted as members. Since the war, a second benevolent society has been organized among the freedmen and now far surpasses the old society in members and strength.

[UBSCP #1 did not have a cemetery, though they did own property.] 

The Society was established to bury the dead, care for the sick, and give support to orphans and widows. The organization secretly participated in the Underground Railroad, assisting in the escape of slaves.

Union Benevolent Society of Colored People, No. 2

The Kentucky Leader. February 3, 1892. "A Prosperous Society"

The Colored People Manage Their finances to Good Advantage

The No. 2 Union Benevolent Society of Lexington, a most excellent colored organization, organized October 20, 1852, by Lewis Page Sam Breckinridge, Leonard Fish and others to take care of the sick, bury the dead, and perform other deeds of charity, is still in existence after thirty years of usefulness and makes a splendid financial showing of its condition at the beginning of the new year.

The society owns eight acres of land on East Seventh street which cost $2,400 and on which suitable buildings have been erected, and do not owe a dollar.

The receipts last year from dues were $363.20 and from the cemetery $589.65; total $952.85. The expenditures for the year were $1,073.90. There was a balance of $599 in the treasury at the beginning of this year.

The deaths during the year in the society were Ellan Hickman, William Wright, Isaac Cooper, Maria Linzey, John Grason, Maria Washington and Isom Jackson.

Alfred Ramsey is President and A.W. Redd Financial Secretary of the society.

[UBSCP #2 established African Cemetery #2 (both have #2 in name).]

In 1870, the executive members were James L. Harvey, President; Jordan C. Jackson, Vice President; Henry King, Secretary; and Leonard Fish, Treasurer.

1. Constitution and By-Laws of the Colored People's Union Benevolent Society No. 1.  1877  [UK Special Collections]

2. Peter, Robert. History of Fayette County. 479edited by Adam Perrin. 1882. 

3. Freedman's Bureau Savings and Trust bank records. [Full text online at FamilySearch]
335 (January 1871), Trustees Burying Ground. Leonard Fish, Jordan C. Jackson, Henry King. King is to sign checks for the society. #967 (April 1872), Leonard Fish, Treas. U.B.S. No. 2. 

4. Giles, Yvonne. Stilled Voices Yet Speak. 1,2. 2009. 

5. For more about Benevolent Society No. 2, see chapter 699 of Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Passed, 1869, pp. 349-351 [available full text at Google Books].

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Union Benevolent Society of Colored People, No. 1 & No.2,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-11-01 18:11:37