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

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

Owen County, located in north-central Kentucky, was formed in 1819 from portions of Franklin, Gallatin, and Scott Counties. It is bordered by five counties, and was named for Abraham Owen, an early Kentucky Legislator who was killed in 1811 during the Battle of Tippecanoe. The county seat is Owenton, also named for Abraham Owen. In 1820, the county population was 305 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 11,535 by 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave owners, enslaved, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 367 slave owners
  • 1,220 Black slaves
  • 294 Mulatto slaves
  • 48 free Blacks [most with last name Lucas]
  • 2 free Mulattoes [Palina Skilman and Benjamin Yancey]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 398 slave owners
  • 1,299 Black slaves
  • 361 Mulatto slaves
  • 46 free Blacks
  • 23 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 995 Blacks
  • 174 Mulattoes
  • About 26 U.S. Colored Troops listed Owen County, KY as their birth location.
For more see Owen County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; New Liberty by C. Roland; Big Eagle Country by R. R. Williamson; and History of Owen County, Kentucky, "Sweet Owen" by M. S. Houchens.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Owen County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Owenton, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: New Liberty : a brief history of Owen County's oldest town
NKAA Source: Big Eagle country
NKAA Source: History of Owen County, Kentucky, "Sweet Owen"

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Owen County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes,1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 26, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-23 16:23:02