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

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

Hickman County, established in 1821, is located in the far southwestern tip of Kentucky in the Jackson Purchase region, bordered on the west by the Mississippi River, on the southern tip by the state of Tennessee, and on all other sides by three Kentucky counties. Wolfe Island is separated from the county by the Mississippi River and borders the state of Missouri.

The county was named for Paschal Hickman, who was killed during the Battle of River Raisin. The settlement of Iron Banks became Columbus, the first county seat; the town was renamed for explorer Christopher Columbus. In 1830 the county seat was moved to the town of Clinton.

The 1830 county population was 690 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and increased to 5,758 by the year 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave owners, enslaved, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 234 slave owners
  • 653 Black slaves
  • 188 Mulatto slaves
  • 16 free Blacks
  • 2 free Mulattoes [James Cousins and Frank Waide]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 322 slave owners
  • 938 Black slaves
  • 314 Mulatto slaves
  • 18 free Blacks [many with the last name Cromwell]
  • 1 free Mulatto [Wesley James]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,286 Blacks
  • 327 Mulattoes
  • About 71 U.S. Colored Troops listed Hickman County, KY as their birth location.
For more see the Hickman County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Hickman County History, by the Hickman County Historical Society; Hickman County, Kentucky, Slaves and Black Vital Statistics, 1852-1906, 1907 and 1948, by E. Jewell and S. L. P. Morrison; and Hickman County Public Library Oral History Collection, Hickman County Public Library (Clinton, KY). See the "U.S., Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1863-1865" and other military service records in Ancestry for names and additonal information.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Hickman County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Iron Banks, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Columbus, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Clinton, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hickman County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-21 19:56:48