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

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

Ballard County, located in western Kentucky, was established in 1842 from parts of Hickman and McCracken Counties. The county was named after Captain Bland Ballard, a District Court Judge and member of the Kentucky Legislature. Wickliffe was voted the county seat of Ballard County in 1882.

The first U.S. Federal Census for Ballard County was taken in 1850 when 4,654 persons were counted, excluding slaves. Below are the figures for slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes from 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 190 slave owners
  • 646 Black slaves
  • 195 Mulatto slaves
  • 6 free Blacks
  • 19 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 336 slave owners
  • 1,132 Black slaves
  • 585 Mulatto slaves
  • 7 free Blacks
  • 24 free Mulattoes
Note: The 1850 population for Ballard County (given above) is lower than that provided at Ballard County, Kentucky, Free Black and Mulatto Residents, by Kathleen Hill. Additional information about the free Black and Mulatto families can be found at this website.

1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 979 Blacks
  • 483 Mulattoes
  • About 30 U.S. Colored Troops listed Ballard County, KY, as their birth location
For more see the Ballard County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. Kleber; and Ballard and Carlisle Counties History, by Ballard-Carlisle Historical and Genealogical Society.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Ballard County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Wickliffe, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: Ballard and Carlisle counties history

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Ballard County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 6, 2023,

Last modified: 2023-01-10 20:11:54