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

Magoffin County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880

Magoffin County, located in eastern Kentucky and surrounded by six counties, was formed in 1860 from portions of Floyd, Johnson, and Morgan Counties. Magoffin County is named for Beriah Magoffin, a lawyer, state senator, and the 21st Governor of Kentucky. The county seat is Salyersville, named in 1861 for Samuel Salyer, who was a Kentucky Representative; he pushed for the establishment of Magoffin County. The 1860 county population was 3,413, according to the U.S. Federal Census, excluding the slaves. The population increased to 6,943 by 1880. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1860-1880.

1860 Slave Schedule
  • 13 slave owners
  • 43 Black slaves
  • 28 Mulatto slaves
  • 75 free Mulattoes [most with the last names Cole, Nickell, Oxyer, or Perkins]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 46 Blacks
  • 105 Mulattoes
  • One U.S. Colored Troop listed Magoffin County, KY, as his birth location. [Nelson Gardner]
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 63 Blacks
For more see the Magoffin County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; 'Beriah Magoffin' in Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, volume 2, by R. Sobel and J. Raimo; and E. T. Price, "The Mixed-blood racial strain of Carmel, Ohio, and Magoffin County, Kentucky," Ohio Journal of Science, vol. 50, issue 6 (November 1950), pp. 281-290 [available online at The Knowledge Bank at OSU].

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Magoffin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Salyersville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: Biographical directory of the governors of the United States, 1789-1978

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Magoffin County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 30, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-01-10 21:28:00