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

Coleman, George

(born: 1820  -  died: 1908) 

George Coleman was a famous jockey in the 1830s who rode in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and other locations.

Born in Charleston, SC, Coleman was enslaved in Kentucky, where he was held by the Lindsay family. It is believed that George Coleman lived in Madison County, KY, since he remembered being neighbors with Cassius and Henry Clay.

In his later years, George Coleman was a member of the circus managed by Dan Rice, who had hired him from Colonel Lindsay. Coleman worked with  horses in the circus for three years.

Coleman came to Guadalupe County, TX in 1856 with Major Hicklin, a relative of the Lindsay family in Kentucky. As a free man, he and his family settled in Seguin, TX, where he died in 1908.

According to the U.S. Census records, George Coleman was born around 1820 (not 1798) and he was not free prior to the end of the American Civil War. He was the husband of Mary (b. in KY); the couple had six children [source: 1870 U.S. Census]. Three of the children were born in Kentucky and three in Texas. George Coleman made his living as a farmer.

For more see "Former slave dead at 110," The Washington Post, 7/18/1908, p. 1; and "Is dead at the age of 110 years: Uncle George Coleman once a famous jockey and circus man," The Daily Express, 7/17/1908, front page, col. 6.

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NKAA Source: The Washington post (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Daily express (newspaper)

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“Coleman, George,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 15, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-06-24 18:26:36