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

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

Meade County, located in northwestern Kentucky along the Ohio River, was formed in 1823 from the bordering counties of Breckinridge and Hardin. The county was named in honor of James Meade, who was killed in the Battle of River Raisin. Fort Knox was constructed in 1918 with 15,000 acres of the site located in Meade County. Brandenburg was named the county seat in 1825, although the community had existed since the early 1800s when Solomon Brandenburg purchased a tract of land and built his tavern; the town of Brandenburg developed around the tavern. The 1830 county population was 570 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and increased to 6,966 by 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave holders, enslaved, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 335 slave owners
  • 1,232 Black slaves
  • 339 Mulatto slaves
  • 16 free Blacks
  • 5 free Mulattoes [all with last name Alexander]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 372 slave owners
  • 1,463 Black slaves
  • 468 Mulatto slaves
  • 13 free Blacks
  • 9 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,061 Blacks
  • 253 Mulattoes
  • About 24 U.S. Colored Troops gave Meade County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see Meade County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Civil War Incidents in and Around Meade County, Kentucky, by M. Myers; Marriage Books, 1824-1974, Meade County (KY) County Clerk; and Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in Kentucky, by J. B. Hudson. 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 Meade County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Brandenburg, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Meade County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-21 00:56:39