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

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

Grayson County, located in the western central region of Kentucky, was established in 1810 from portions of Hardin and Ohio Counties. It was named for William Grayson, a lawyer who was one of the first two U.S. Senators from Virginia. William Grayson was an aid to George Washington, also an early landowner in the Grayson County area. The county seat is Leitchfield, also founded in 1810 and named for David Leitchfield when his widow donated the land for the county seat. The 1810 county census was 357 [heads of households], and it increased to 7,551 by 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, enslaved, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 92 slave owners
  • 248 Black slaves
  • 72 Mulatto slaves
  • 2 free Blacks [Jesse Fenley and Bill Kelly]
  • 5 free Mulattoes [all with last name Holden]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 97 slave owners
  • 226 Black slaves
  • 125 Mulatto slaves
  • 3 free Blacks [last names Harrel and Lowden]
  • 0 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 307 Blacks
  • 37 Mulattoes
  • About 9 U.S. Colored Troops listed Grayson County, KY as their birth location.
For more see the Grayson County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber;  Grayson Co., KY Black Vital Statistics website, submitted by K. Adjodha; and Historical Sketches and Family Histories, Grayson County, Kentucky, Grayson County Historical Society.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Grayson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Leitchfield, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: Historical sketches and family histories, Grayson County, Kentucky

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

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

Last modified: 2023-08-23 16:54:28