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

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

Hart County is located in south-central Kentucky in the Pennyroyal Region, surrounded by seven Kentucky counties. Established in 1819 from portions of Hardin and Barren Counties, it is named for Nathaniel G. T. Hart, who was killed at the Battle of River Raisin. Munfordville is the county seat, named for Richard I. Munford, the first Kentucky legislator from Hart County. Munfordville was called Big Buffalo Crossing until Munford gave 100 acres for the development of the town in 1816; Munfordville became the county seat in 1819. The county population in 1820 was 584 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and increased to 8,953 by 1860, excluding slaves. Below are the numbers for slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 333 slave owners
  • 1,104 Black slaves
  • 196 Mulatto slaves
  • 29 free Blacks [many with the last names Owens and Woodson]
  • 4 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 339 slave owners
  • 957 Black slaves
  • 440 Mulatto slaves
  • 32 free Blacks [many with the last names Clark, Cowl, and Woodson]
  • 43 free Mulattoes [many with the last names Mills and Temerideth]

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 1,768 Blacks
  • 447 Mulattoes
  • About 28 U.S. Colored Troops listed Hart County, KY as their birth location.

For more see the Hart County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Hart County, Kentucky Pictorial History, by the Tawana Publishing Co.; and Hart County, Kentucky History and Biographies, by L. Collins, et. al.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Hart County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Big Buffalo Crossing, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Munfordville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: Hart County, Kentucky pictorial history
NKAA Source: Hart County, Kentucky history and biographies

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hart County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 27, 2021,

Last modified: 2020-07-10 19:49:12