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

Cumberland County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870

(born: 1850  -  died: 1870) Cumberland County is located in south-central Kentucky, bordered by the state of Tennessee and five Kentucky counties. Cumberland County was formed in 1798 from a portion of Green County and is named for the Cumberland River that flows through the county.

The county seat, Burkesville, incorporated in 1846, was named for Samuel Burk, a citizen in the community. The city had been known as Cumberland Crossings prior to the name change to Burksville.

The county population was 3,284 in the Second Census of Kentucky 1800: 3,012 whites, 236 slaves, and 36 free coloreds. By 1860, the population had increased to 5,927, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding slaves. Below are the figures for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 295 slave owners
  • 1,150 Black slaves
  • 332 Mulatto slaves
  • 45 free Blacks 
  • 0 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 273 slave owners
  • 1,213 Black slaves
  • 203 Mulatto slaves
  • 47 free Blacks
  • 192 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,288 Blacks
  • 251 Mulattoes
  • About 32 U.S. Colored Troops listed Cumberland County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Cumberland County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Cumberland County, Kentucky Yesterday and Today, by R. Wooten; and History of Cumberland County, by J. W. Wells.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Cumberland County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Cumberland Crossings, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Burkesville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: "Second census" of Kentucky, 1800; a privately compiled and published enumeration of tax payers appearing in the 79 manuscript volumes extant of tax lists of the 42 counties of Kentucky in existence in 1800
NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: Cumberland County, Kentucky yesterday and today

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Cumberland County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed October 30, 2020,

Last modified: 2020-07-24 20:09:30