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

Voting Rights in Kentucky, 1792-1799 - Free Negro, Mulatto, Indian Males

Kentucky became a state in 1792 and the first state constitution had no restrictions on the voting rights of all free men, including African Americans. "Article III. § 1. In elections by the citizens, all free male citizens of the age of twenty-one years, having resided in the State two years, or the county in which they offer to vote one year next before the election, shall enjoy the rights of an elector;..." [source: p.5 in "First Constitution of Kentucky. (1792)" a .pdf at procon.org (available online)].   However, when the 1799 constitution was written, the voting rights were rescinded. "Section 8. In all elections for representatives, every free male citizen, (negroes, mulattoes, and Indians excepted,) who at the time being, hath attained to the age of twenty-one years, and resided in the state two years, or the county or town in which he offers to vote one year next preceding the election, shall enjoy the right of an elector;..." [source: p.29 in "The Old Constitution of Kentucky" found in The Revised Statutes of Kentucky by C. A. Wickliffe, S. Turner, and S. S. Nicholas, 1852 (available online at Internet Archive)]. According to the Second Census of Kentucky, there were free Negroes and Mulattoes and 40,303 slaves in 1800. Voting rights were regained for African American males with the ratification of the 15th Amendment, February 3, 1870. Voting rights for African American women and all other women were gained with the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920. 

References

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Free Blacks, Negroes, and Mulattoes in the 1800 Kentucky Tax Lists
NKAA Entry: Kentucky Slaves and Free Blacks, 1800
NKAA Source: "Second census" of Kentucky, 1800; a privately compiled and published enumeration of tax payers appearing in the 79 manuscript volumes extant of tax lists of the 42 counties of Kentucky in existence in 1800

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Voting Rights in Kentucky, 1792-1799 - Free Negro, Mulatto, Indian Males,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed August 21, 2019, https://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/2999.

Last modified: 2017-09-16 00:33:02