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Caldwell County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Caldwell County is surrounded by six counties, it is located in the western section of the state. The county was formed in 1809 from a portion of Livingston County. and was named for John Caldwell, a veteran of the Indian Wars, a Kentucky Senator, and the 2nd Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky. The first community was Eddy Grove and the first county seat was Eddyville. The new county seat of Princetown was selected around 1817, named for land owner William Prince, and the town name was later changed to Princeton. The 1810 population for Caldwell County was 659 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and that increased to 6,912 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the figures for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes from 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 566 slave owners
  • 2,723 Black slaves
  • 384 Mulatto slaves
  • 95 free Blacks
  • 43 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 433 slave owners
  • 2,013 Black slaves
  • 418 Mulatto slaves
  • 22 free Blacks
  • 16 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,342 Blacks
  • 656 Mulattoes
  • About 228 U.S. Colored Troops listed Caldwell County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see Caldwell County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Caldwell County, Kentucky History by S. W. Steger; and First History of Caldwell County, Kentucky by C. R. Baker. See photo image of Caldwell County Negro high school in Kentucky Digital Library - Images.

Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Caldwell County, Kentucky



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