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Harrison County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Harrison County, located in north-central Kentucky in the Bluegrass Region, was formed in 1793 from portions of Bourbon and Scott Counties. It was named for Benjamin Harrison [not to be confused with President Benjamin Harrison]. Harrison was born in Virginia and lived in Pennsylvania before coming to Kentucky. He was a veteran of Dunmore's War and the American Revolutionary War. After moving to Kentucky, Harrison helped write the Kentucky Constitution and was a Kentucky legislator. The first white settlers in Harrison County had come from Pennsylvania and settled near what would become Cynthiana, the county seat. Cynthiana, built on land donated by Benjamin Harrison, was established in 1793 and named for Harrison's daughters, Cynthia and Ana. The 1800 county population was 4,350, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 3,925 whites, 406 slaves, and 19 free coloreds. In 1830 there was one free African American slave owner in Harrison County. The population increased to 10,491 by 1860, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 665 slave owners
  • 2,701 Black slaves
  • 640 Mulatto slaves
  • 88 free Blacks
  • 59 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 620 slave owners
  • 2,398 Black slaves
  • 894 Mulatto slaves
  • 91 free Blacks
  • 58 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,636 Blacks
  • 735 Mulattoes
  • About 97 U.S. Colored Troops listed Harrison County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Harrison County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in the Kentucky Borderland, by J. B. Hudson; African American Marriage Index, Harrison County, Kentucky, by P. A. Naff; Cynthiana Since 1790, by V. Peddicord; and Cynthiana, by M. B. Kennerly.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J]
Geographic Region: Harrison County, Kentucky

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