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Jessamine County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Jessamine County, named for  the jasmine (jessamine) flower and Jessamine Creek, was established in 1798 from a portion of Fayette County. Located in the Bluegrass Region, it is surrounded by five counties. The county seat is Nicholasville, named for George Nicholas, who was appointed the first U.S. Attorney in Kentucky by President George Washington. Nicholas was born in Virginia and was a veteran of the U.S. Revolutionary War. He drafted the first Kentucky constitution and was the first professor of law at Transylvania College. He had come to Kentucky around 1788 and died in 1799, about a year after Jessamine County was formed. The total county population for 1800 was 5,461, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 3,879 whites, 1,561 slaves, and 21 free coloreds. Ten years later the population was 8,377, according to the Third Census of the United States (Census of 1810), Jessamine County, Kentucky: 3,072 white males, 2,786 white females, 2,483 slaves, and 36 free Black persons. In 1830 there were three African American slave owners. By 1860, the population had increased to 5,776, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes from 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 615 slave owners
  • 3,367 Black slaves
  • 457 Mulatto slaves
  • 116 free Blacks 
  • 42 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 572 slave owners
  • 3,153 Black slaves
  • 572 Mulatto slaves
  • 73 free Blacks
  • 23 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 2,862 Blacks
  • 634 Mulattoes
  • About 88 U.S. Colored Troops listed Jessamine County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Jessamine County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia; A History of Jessamine County, Kentucky, by G. H. Young; A History of Jessamine County, Kentucky, by R. Fain; Slaves to Soldiers, by B. R. Eades; and Camp Nelson, Kentucky, by R. D. Sears.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J]
Geographic Region: Jessamine County, Kentucky



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