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

First Sabbath School of the West

(start date: 1799 or 1800  -  end date: 1801) 

In the year 1909, the Presbyterian Church in Frankfort, KY, celebrated the centennial of the first sabbath school west of the Allegheny Mountains. It may have been unknown that others claimed that same right. In 1849, the sabbath school attempted in Shelby County, KY, had been for African Americans. In the year 1799 or 1800 a young Thomas Spottswood Hinde had established and taught a sabbath school for African Americans in northern Kentucky.

Hinde was teaching his students to read. He had offered to teach on Sundays rather than attend catechism class. The denomination of the church is not known. Nor is it known if the African American students were free or enslaved. In 1833, Hinde's school was recognized in the Liberator newspaper as the first sabbath school for African Americans or whites west of the Allegheny Mountains.

The Liberator was an abolitionist newspaper founded by William Lloyd Garrison. Hinde's school was one of the first schools for African Americans in Campbell County and the state of Kentucky. The school lasted for a brief period. By 1801, Thomas S. Hinde was employed as a clerk for the Kentucky Court of Appeals in Frankfort.

Thomas S. Hinde (1785-1846), opposed slavery. He would become a Methodist minister, a newspaper publisher, a historian, a veteran of the War of 1812, and he had many other accomplishments. The Hinde family had moved from Hanover County, VA, to Newport, KY, in 1797. Daniel Boone and Simon Kenton were neighbors to the Hinde family.

Sources: "Rebecca Gordon Avrill, "Centennial celebration of the first sabbath school west of the Allegheny Mountains," Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, v.7, no.21, September 1909, pp.71-73 [6 total pages], open access online; "First sabbath school in the West," The Liberator [Boston, MA], v.3, no.46, 10/16/1833, p.4; see "Clergy Thomas S. Hinde," a Rev War Talk webpage.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Campbell County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Newport, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“First Sabbath School of the West,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-04-02 21:53:50