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

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

Washington County is located in central Kentucky where it is bordered by six counties. It was formed in 1792, becoming the tenth county in the state. It was named for President George Washington.

Many of the county's first settlers were veterans who came to the area to claim land grants awarded to them for service during the American Revolutionary War. The county seat,Springfield was founded in 1793 and named for the many springs in the area.

In 1800, the total population was 9,050: 7,611 whites, 17 free coloreds, and 1,422 enslaved individuals, according to the Second Census of Kentucky, 1800. In 1830 there were two free African American slave holders in Springfield. By 1860, the total population was 8,753, according to the U.S. Federal Census, excluding the enslaved. Below are the number of slave holders, enslaved, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule
  • 608 slave owners
  • 3,127 Black slaves
  • 337 Mulatto slaves
  • 48 free Blacks
  • 15 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 450 slave owners
  • 2,149 Black slaves
  • 674 Mulatto slaves
  • 32 free Blacks
  • 14 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,783 Blacks
  • 312 Mulattoes
  • About 127 U.S. Colored Troops listed Washington County, KY as their birth location.
For more see the Washington County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; 1792 Tax List of Washington County, Kentucky; Marriage Bond Books, (1858-1942) at the Washington County Clerk's office; Marriages of Black Residents of Washington County, Kentucky Back Dated and Recorded, 1866-1872, by L. A. Anderson; I Shared the Dream, by G. D. Powers; and Washington County, Kentucky, St. Rose Cemetery, and other "tidbits", by D. F. Bertram. 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 Washington County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Springfield, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Washington County (KY) Enslaved, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 24, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-06-21 19:26:01