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

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

Caldwell County, surrounded by six Kentucky counties, is located in the western section of the state. It was formed in 1809 from a portion of Livingston County and named for John Caldwell, a veteran of the Indian Wars, a Kentucky Senator, and the second Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky.

The first community was Eddy Grove and the first county seat was Eddyville. The new county seat of Princetown was selected around 1817, named for landowner William Prince; the town name was later changed to Princeton.

The 1810 population for Caldwell County was 659 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and that increased to 6,912 by 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the figures for the slave owners, enslaved, and free Blacks and Mulattoes from 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 566 slave owners
  • 2,723 Black slaves
  • 384 Mulatto slaves
  • 95 free Blacks
  • 43 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 433 slave owners
  • 2,013 Black slaves
  • 418 Mulatto slaves
  • 22 free Blacks
  • 16 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,342 Blacks
  • 656 Mulattoes
  • About 248 U.S. Colored Troops listed Caldwell County, KY as their birth location.
For more see Caldwell County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Caldwell County, Kentucky History, by S. W. Steger; and First History of Caldwell County, Kentucky, by C. R. Baker. See the "U.S., Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1863-1865" and other military service records in Ancestry for names and additonal information.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Caldwell County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Eddy Grove, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Eddyville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Pricetown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Princeton, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: Caldwell County, Kentucky history
NKAA Source: First history of Caldwell County, Kentucky
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Caldwell County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-21 00:34:52