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

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

Bullitt County is located in the western Bluegrass Region of Kentucky, bordered by four other Kentucky counties. Shepherdsville is the county seat, named for Adam Shepherd, an engineer and Revolutionary War veteran. The town was founded in 1793, three years before the county was established. Bullitt County was formed from parts of Jefferson and Nelson Counties and named after Alexander Scott Bullitt, the state's first Lieutenant Governor.

The total population in 1800 was 3,542, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 2,564 whites, 969 enslaved, and nine free colored. In 1830, there were two African American slave holders in the town of Mount Washington. The 1860 population was 5,631, according to the U.S. Federal Census, excluding the enslaved. Below are the figures for the slave holders, enslaved, and free Blacks and Mulattoes from 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 252 slave owners
  • 1,186 Black slaves
  • 169 Mulatto slaves
  • 23 free Blacks
  • 4 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 294 slave owners
  • 1,067 Black slaves
  • 391 Mulatto slaves
  • 13 free Blacks
  • 3 free Mulattoes [women]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 984 Blacks
  • 189 Mulattoes
  • About 16 U.S. Colored Troops listed Bullitt County, KY as their birth location.
For more see the Bullitt County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Bullitt County, Kentucky, by Turner Pub. Co.; and Rogers Family African American Graveyard (Fox Chase), a Bullitt County History Museum website.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Bullitt County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Shepherdsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Bullitt County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-29 15:59:12