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

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

Oldham County is located along the Ohio River, bordered by four Kentucky counties. It was formed in 1823 from portions of Henry, Jefferson, and Shelby Counties and named for William Oldham, who fought in the American Revolutionary War. The original county seat was West Port, changed in 1827 to the new town of LaGrange [also spelled La Grange], which was named for the French estate of the Marquis de Lafayette. In 1828, the Kentucky General Assembly moved the county seat back to West Port; ten years later, the county seat was moved permanently to La Grange.

The 1830 county population was 1,127 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, the population increasing to 4,852 by 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave holders, enslaved, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 468 slave owners
  • 2,118 Black slaves
  • 306 Mulatto slaves
  • 36 free Blacks
  • 14 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 369 slave owners
  • 2,031 Black slaves
  • 319 Mulattoes
  • 35 free Blacks
  • 2 free Mulattoes [James Newman and Liter Poetch]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 2,224 Blacks
  • 569 Mulattoes
  • About 44 U.S. Colored Troops listed Oldham County as their birth location.
For more see the Oldham County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; A Survey of African-American Cemeteries, Oldham County, Kentucky, 2004, by the Oldham County Historical Society; and History & Families Oldham County, Ky, by the Turner Publishing Company.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Oldham County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about La Grange, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about West Port, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Oldham County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 26, 2023,

Last modified: 2023-08-29 16:12:51