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

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

Calloway County is located in southwestern Kentucky, surrounded by two Kentucky counties, Kentucky Lake, and the Tennessee state border. Formed from a portion of Hickman County in 1822, it was named for explorer Richard Calloway. The county seat was first named Williston, then Pooltown, then Pleasant Springs, and finally Murray in 1844, after John L. Murray, a Kentucky Legislator and U.S. Congressman.

The county population was 822 [heads of households], according to the 1830 U.S. Federal Census, increasing to 8,424 in 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, enslaved, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 255 slave owners
  • 866 Black slaves
  • 126 Mulatto slaves
  • 2 free Blacks [teenagers Henry and Dan Cooper]
  • 14 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 336 slave owners
  • 1,135 Black slaves
  • 348 Mulatto slaves
  • 2 free Blacks [last names Harper and Mays]
  • 13 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 775 Blacks
  • 81 Mulattoes
  • About 29 U.S. Colored Troops listed Calloway County, KY as their birth location.
For more see the Calloway County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; A Distant Light, by B. Cunningham; History of Calloway County, Kentucky 1931, by E. A. Johnston; and The Story of Calloway County, 1822-1976, by D. Jennings and K. Jennings.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Calloway County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Williston, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Pooltown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Pleasant Springs, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Murray, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Calloway County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-25 17:41:42