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

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

Estill County was formed in 1808 from portions of Clark and Madison Counties. Located in eastern Kentucky, it is surrounded by five Kentucky counties. It was  named for James Estill, who was killed during the Revolutionary War. [Monk Estill was enslaved by James Estill before becoming the first enslaved person freed  in Kentucky.]

The county seat of Irvine, established in 1812, is named for William Irvine, who was wounded in 1782 during Estill's Defeat, also known as the Battle of Little Mountain.

The county population in 1810 was 295 [heads of households], increasing to 6,378 by 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave holders, enslaved, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 119 slave owners
  • 359 Black slaves
  • 52 Mulatto slaves
  • 1 free Black [Judy Wages]
  • 1 free Mulatto [Lucy Jones]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 132 slave owners
  • 379 Black slaves
  • 128 Mulatto slaves
  • 9 free Blacks [5 children with the last name Corner]
  • 7 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 446 Blacks
  • 152 Mulattoes
  • About three U.S. Colored Troops listed Estill County, KY as their birth location.
For more see the Estill County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited, by J. E. Kleber; History of Irvine and Estill County, Kentucky, by E. C. Park; and Estill County, Kentucky: a pictorial history, by Citizen Voice and Times.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Estill County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Irvine, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Estill, Monk
NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: History of Irvine and Estill County, Kentucky
NKAA Source: Estill County, Kentucky : a pictorial history

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Estill County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-25 17:58:07