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

The Rowan Family

The Federal Hill plantation in Bardstown, KY, is thought to be the location exalted in Stephen Foster's 1852 song, My Old Kentucky Home (sung at University of Kentucky sports events - see on YouTube). Stephen Foster's relative, Judge John Rowan, Sr., owned the plantation. Rowan also represented Kentucky in the U.S. House and Senate; Rowan County was named for him in 1856. Over a century later, Ida Roberts, an African American descendant of the John Rowan family, published the history of the Rowan relatives who were slaves. For more see "Whose Old Kentucky Home?" Louisville Magazine, Sept. 1996; and Rising Above It All: a tribute to the Rowan slaves of Federal Hill, by I. M. K. R. C. Roberts.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Louisville magazine (periodical)
NKAA Source: Rising above it all: a tribute to the Rowan slaves of Federal Hill

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“The Rowan Family,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 26, 2022,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:27