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

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

Muhlenberg County, formed from portions of Christian and Logan Counties in 1798, is located in west-central Kentucky, surrounded by seven counties. It is named for John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, a minister and American Revolutionary War veteran who also served in the U.S. House and Senate from Pennsylvania. The county seat is Greenville, named for Nathanael Greene, also a veteran of the American Revolutionary War and who served in the Rhode Island General Assembly.

The 1800 county population was 1,443, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 1,313 whites, 125 enslaved, and five free coloreds. The population increased to 9,143 by 1860, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave owners, enslaved, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 337 slave owners
  • 1,260 Black slaves
  • 256 Mulatto slaves
  • 23 free Blacks
  • 15 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 348 slave owners
  • 1,175 Black slaves
  • 409 Mulatto slaves
  • 13 free Blacks
  • 20 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,227 Blacks
  • 367 Mulattoes
  • About 11 U.S.Colored Troops listed Muhlenberg County, KY as their birth location.
For more see Muhlenberg County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Around Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, a Black History, by L, S. Smith; A History of Muhlenberg County, by O. A. Rothart; Muhlenberg County, First Black Marriage Book, by G. R. Carver; and Muhlenberg County School Census, 1930.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Muhlenberg County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Greenville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

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

Last modified: 2023-08-29 16:11:13