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

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

Larue (or LaRue) County, located in central Kentucky and surrounded by five counties, was created in 1843 from the lower portion of Hardin County. It is named for John LaRue, an early settler who was the grandfather of Kentucky Governor John LaRue Helm. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was born in Larue County in 1809. There is only one Larue County in the entire United States.

The county seat is Hodgenville, named for Robert Hodgen, who was born in England, lived in Pennsylvania, and moved to Kentucky. Hodgenville was created in 1818 on land that had belonged to Robert Hodgen.

The 1850 county population was 5,187, according to the U.S. Federal Census; the population increased to 5,992 in 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave owners, enslaved, free Blacks, and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 186 slave owners
  • 508 Black slaves
  • 157 Mulatto slaves
  • 8 free Blacks [most with last name Savoree, while others were surnamed Lovelace, Friend, Clay, and Barritt]
  • 7 free Mulattoes [6 with the last name Meredith, plus E. Payton]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 221 slave owners
  • 604 Black slaves
  • 297 Mulatto slaves
  • 1 free Black [Ruebin Balis, a 50 year old blacksmith]
  • 3 free Mulattoes [2 Savorees, 1 Wright]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 626 Blacks
  • 327 Mulattoes
  • About 26 U.S. Colored Troops listed Larue County, KY as their birth location.
For more see the Larue County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; LaRue County, by R. H. Nichols; Common Law Marriages, 1866-1876, Colored, Marriages, 1866-1913, Colored, by R. Heady; and Bond-Washington School, 1924-1956, by B. M. Marcus.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Larue County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Hodgenville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Kentucky encyclopedia
NKAA Source: LaRue County
NKAA Source: Common law marriages, 1866-1876, colored, marriages, 1866-1913, colored
NKAA Source: Bond-Washington School, 1924-1956

Related Entries Citing this Entry


Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Larue County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-30 18:46:56