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Knox County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Knox County, located in southeastern Kentucky, was established in 1799 from a portion of Lincoln County and is surrounded by four counties. The county was named for Henry Knox, a bookseller from, Boston, MA, who would become the first Secretary of War. Knox County industries included mining and and the discovery of oil beginning in 1900. The county seat is Barbourville, established in 1800 and named for James Barbour, who gave the land for the city site. The 1800 county population was 1,109, according to the Second Census of Kentucky; 1,044 whites, 62 slaves, and 3 free coloreds. In 1830 there was one free African American slave owner in Knox County. The population increased to 7,218 by 1860, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 123 slave owners
  • 414 Black slaves
  • 198 Mulatto slaves
  • 56 free Blacks
  • 143 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 115 slave owners
  • 311 Black slaves
  • 179 Mulatto slaves
  • 62 free Blacks
  • 123 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 279 Blacks
  • 365 Mulattoes
  • About 40 U.S. Colored Troops listed Knox County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Knox County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; A History of Knox County, Kentucky, by K. S. Warren; Marriage Certificate Book (Freemen's Marriage Register), 1851-1867, from Knox County (KY) County Clerk; and Tax Assessment Books (1800-1892), from Knox County (KY) County Clerk.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Knox County, Kentucky



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