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

Colored Union Benevolent Society No. 1 and No. 2 (Lexington, KY)

According to author Jacqui Malone, the Union Benevolent Society was formed in 1843 by free African Americans in Lexington, KY, to bury the dead, care for the sick, and give support to orphans and widows. The organization received support from whites who permitted a lodge run by slaves in 1852. The organization secretly participated in the Underground Railroad, assisting in the escape of slaves.

The organization was also referred to as the Lexington Colored People's Union Benevolent Society No 1. The Union Benevolent Society, No. 2, of Colored People of Lexington, was incorporated in 1870. The organization had existed for a number of years.

In 1870, the executive members were James L. Harvey, President; Jordan C. Jackson, Vice President; Henry King, Secretary; and Leonard Fish, Treasurer.

For more information on the Colored Union Benevolent Society No. 1, see Steppin' on the Blues: the visible rhythms of African American dance, by J. Malone. For more about Benevolent Society No. 2, see chapter 699 of Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Passed, 1869, pp. 349-351 [available full text at Google Books].

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Colored Union Benevolent Society No. 1 and No. 2 (Lexington, KY),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 5, 2023,

Last modified: 2021-05-19 16:01:02