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

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

Henry County, located in north-central Kentucky, was formed from a portion of Shelby County in 1798. It is named for Patrick Henry, a Governor of Virginia, a Revolutionary War patriot, and considered by some as a founding father of the U.S.

The Henry County seat is New Castle, founded in 1798; the origin of the name is unknown. The county population was 3,258 in 1800, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 2,848 whites, 406 enslaved, and four free coloreds. The population increased to 8,638 by 1860, excluding the enslaved, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Below are the number of slave holders, enslaved, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 676 slave owners
  • 2,754 Black slaves
  • 259 Mulatto slaves
  • 22 free Blacks
  • 21 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 752 slave owners
  • 2,555 Black slaves
  • 750 Mulatto slaves
  • 26 free Blacks [most with last names Adams or Mastason]
  • 10 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 2,121 Blacks
  • 295 Mulattoes
  • About 201 U.S. Colored Troops listed Henry County, KY as their birth location.
For more see the Henry County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; History of Henry County, Kentucky, by M. J. Drane; Henry County, Kentucky, 1798-1995, by the Henry County Historical Society; Henry County Public Library Oral History Collection, by the Henry County Public Library (Eminence, KY); and Who's Who Among African Americans of Henry County, by the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission and First Baptist Church (Eminence, KY).

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Henry County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about New Castle, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Henry County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-29 16:19:13