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

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

Trigg County, located in southwest Kentucky, is on the Tennessee state line and borders five Kentucky counties. Trigg County was created in 1820 from portions of Christian County and, to a lesser degree, Caldwell County. It is named for Stephen Trigg, a land commissioner and soldier killed during the Battle of Blue Licks. The county seat is Cadiz. The 1820 county population was 514 heads of households, according to the U.S. Federal Census. The population increased to 7,603 by 1860, excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave holders, enslaved, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 502 slave owners
  • 2,435 Black slaves
  • 362 Mulatto slaves
  • 69 free Blacks
  • 10 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 529 slave owners
  • 2,977 Black slaves
  • 473 Mulatto slaves
  • 25 free Blacks
  • 16 free Mulattoes

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 3,373 Blacks
  • 386 Mulattoes
  • About 230 U.S. Colored Troops listed Trigg County, KY, as their birth location.

For more see the Trigg County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Slave Records of Stephen Trigg; Marriage Books (indexed), Trigg County Clerk; Trigg County African American Oral History Project (FA 196), Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts & Folklife Archives; Oral History Interview with Bobby Allen, B. Allen and S. Fisk; and Y. M. Pitts, "I Desire to Give My Black Family Their Freedom," chapter three in Women Shaping the South, by A. Boswell and J. N. McArthur.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Trigg County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Cadiz, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Trigg County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-03-24 17:57:41