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Henderson County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Henderson County, established in 1798 from a portion of Christian County, is located in western Kentucky, bordered by the Ohio River and four counties. It is named for Richard Henderson, a lawyer and judge from Virginia and founder of the Transylvania Company. The company purchased millions of acres of land (in Kentucky and Tennessee) from the Native Americans, which was in violation of the Royal Proclamation of 1763; therefore the sale was void. In compensation for their losses, the Virginia House of Delegates gave the Transylvania Company members 200,000 acres of land on the Ohio River (present day Henderson County, KY). The settlement of Red Banks would later become the county seat named Henderson. The 1800 county population was 1,468, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 1,076 whites, 390 slaves, and 2 free coloreds. In 1830 there was one free African American slave owner in Henderson County. By 1860, the population was 8,495, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 677 slave owners
  • 3,988 Black slaves
  • 407 Mulatto slaves
  • 53 free Blacks [many with the last name Pointer]
  • 68 free Mulattoes [many with the last names Hamilton, Drew, Fisher, and Bradley]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 993 slave owners
  • 5,046 Black slaves
  • 726 Mulatto slaves
  • 38 free Blacks [many with the last names Painter and Fisher]
  • 37 free Mulattoes [many with the last names Painter, Fisher, and Piner]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 4,526 Blacks
  • 1,478 Mulattoes
  • About 168 U.S. Colored Soldiers listed Henderson County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Henderson County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; History of Henderson County, Kentucky, by E. L. Starling [available at Google Book Search]; The Annals and Scandals of Henderson County, Kentucky, 1775-1995, by M. Arnett; and Henderson Kentucky Black Births of the City, 1896-1910, by the Henderson County Historical Society.
  See photo images of Colored School at Anthoston, Henderson County, KY, 1916, at Library of Congress.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J]
Geographic Region: Henderson County, Kentucky

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