Monday, 28 January 2013


The history of slavery in Kentucky dates from the earliest permanent European settlements in the in the state until the end of the civil war. Although Kentucky was generally classified as the Upper South or a Boarder state rather than the deep south enslaved African made up a substantial percentage of the population. Early Kentucky history was built on the labor of slavery and it was an integral part of the state from 1790 to 1860 the slave population of Kentucky was never more than one quarter of the total population, with lower percentages after 1830 as planters sold slaves to the deep south.  Slave population were greatest in the central "Bluegrass" region of the state which was rich in farmland in the1860 23% of Kentucky white males held enslaved slaves.

Early travelers to Kentucky in the 1750's and 1760's brought there slaves with them. As permanent settlers chiefly migrants from Virginia continued to rely on slaves labor as they established more permanent farms.Planters who grew hem and tobacco made the greatest use of slave labor as these were labour intensive crops, subsistence farming could be done with out slave labor, some owners also used enslaved African in mining and manufacturing operations. Farms in Kentucky tended to be smaller than the plantations of the deep south, so ownership of large numbers of slaves was uncommon. Many slaves had to find spouses on the neighboring farm and often father families.