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

Daviess [Daveiss] County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

(start date:  -  end date: ) Daviess County, located in the Western Coal Field region of Kentucky, was formed in 1815 from a part of Ohio County. It is on the Indiana state border, with four neighboring counties in Kentucky. The county was named for Joseph H. Daveiss, a lawyer and an orator who was killed during the battle of Tippecanoe. The present day spelling of the county name was the recording clerk's error in 1815. The Kentucky General Assembly passed an act to correct the spelling to "Daveiss", but it never caught on. The county seat is Owensboro and was originally named Yellowbanks, in reference to the color of the soil along the river banks. When the city was incorporated in 1817, it was spelled "Owensborough," named for Abraham Owen, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War and a Kentucky Legislator who was born in Virginia. The name of the town was later shortened to the present day spelling of Owensboro. In the first U.S. Federal Census for the county in1820, there was a population 501 [heads of households], and by 1860 there was a population of 12,035, excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 585 slave owners
  • 2,359 Black slaves
  • 524 Mulatto slaves
  • 17 free Blacks
  • 9 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 669 slave owners
  • 2,856 Black slaves
  • 22 Colored slaves
  • 611 Mulatto slaves
  • 75 free Blacks
  • 16 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 3,173 Blacks
  • 527 Mulattoes
  • About 7 U.S. Colored Troops listed Daviess County. KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Daviess County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Born With a Purpose by N. Johnson et. al.; and A Generation Remembers Oral History Project by the Kentucky Oral History Commission and Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer

References

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: Born with a purpose, interviews with African Americans in Owensboro, Kentucky, v.2
NKAA Source: A Generation remembers oral history project (audio)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Daviess [Daveiss] County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed October 19, 2017, http://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/2325.

Last modified: 2017-07-19 13:51:47