From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Christian County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

Christian County is located in southwestern Kentucky, bound by the Tennessee state border and five Kentucky counties. It was formed from a portion of Logan County in 1797 and named for the American Revolutionary War veteran William Christian from Virginia. There is also a Christian County in Illinois and another in Missouri.

The county seat of Christian County, KY is Hopkinsville, incorporated in 1804 and named for Samuel Hopkins, a Kentucky Representative and Senator and a U.S. Congressman who was born in Virginia.

The 1800 Christian County population was 2,318, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 2,021 whites and 297 enslaved. In 1830 there was one African American slave holder in Hopkinsville. By 1860, the county population was 11,676, excluding the enslaved (all data according to the U.S. Federal Census). Below are the figures for the slave holders, enslaved, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule  
  • 1,184 slave owners
  • 7,120 Black slaves
  • 1,020 Mulatto slaves
  • 121 free Blacks
  • 30 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 1,178 slave owners
  • 8,055 Black slaves
  • 1 Colored slave [owned by Elizabeth J. Barnett]
  • 1,878 Mulatto slaves
  • 34 free Blacks
  • 22 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 9,518 Blacks
  • 259 Mulattoes
  • About 500 U.S. Colored Troops listed Christian County, KY as their birth location.
For more see the Christian County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; A History of Christian County, Kentucky, from Oxcart to Airplane, by C. M. Meacham; Christian County, Kentucky, Historical and Biographical, by W. H. Perrin; and The Dark Side of Hopkinsville, by T. Poston and K. Hauke.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Christian County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Hopkinsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Christian County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 30, 2024, https://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/index.php/items/show/2309.

Last modified: 2023-08-29 16:20:51