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

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

Madison County, named for 4th U.S. President, James Madison, is located in central Kentucky, surrounded by seven counties. Madison County was formed in 1785 and the town of Milford served as the county seat until 1798, when Richmond became the county seat. [Judge John Kincaid had named the first county seat after his enslaved man, Milford. It has been written that Kincaid granted Milford his freedom.] Richmond was located on land owned by State Representative John Miller, who named the town for his birthplace, Richmond, VA.

In the First Kentucky Census, 1790, there were 5,035 whites and 737 enslaved. The 1800 county population was 10,490, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 8,761 whites, 1,726 enslaved, and three free coloreds. In 1830 there was one free African American slave owner. In 1860, the population was 11,173, according to the U.S. Federal Census, excluding the enslaved. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, enslaved, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 812 slave owners
  • 4.392 Black slaves
  • 844 Mulatto slaves
  • 33 free Blacks
  • 37 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 945 slave owners
  • 5,039 Black slaves
  • 999 Mulatto slaves
  • 86 free Blacks
  • 63 free Mulattoes

1870 U. S. Federal Census

  • 5,811 Blacks
  • 378 Mulattoes
  • About 388 U.S. Colored Troops listed Madison County, KY as their birth location.

For more see the Madison County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Berea and Madison County, by J. G. Burnside; A Study of the black Warford and Bates families of Madison County, Kentucky, by M. Groth; Connections: the Richmond, Kentucky area African-American heritage guide, by the Richmond Tourism and Visitor Center; and History of Middletown Elementary School (archival material). See the "U.S., Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1863-1865" and other military service records in Ancestry for names and additonal information.

Milford source: see Judge John Kincaid on p. 564 in The History of Kentucky, by Z. F. Smith.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Madison County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Milford, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Richmond, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

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

Last modified: 2024-06-21 20:06:16