Enslavement in Boone County and Beyond

The narrative of enslavement within the Kentucky Borderlands is often painted in broad strokes with little attention paid to the individual lives of the enslaved. As a result, the voices and experiences of the enslaved have been lost to time. It is through persistent and detailed research practices the African American experience in the Kentucky Borderlands is brought back into focus. Boone County, Kentucky is a prime example of a faded view of its enslaved past.

Boone County, Kentucky was an enslaved border county in the border state of Kentucky. Enslaved African Americans were present in every aspect of Boone County life. Some of the first settlers in the Boone County area held slaves and records show that enslaved lived in the area as early as 1785. Bullittsburg Baptist Church recorded enslaved church members in 1794. By 1860, nearly 25% of Boone County’s population was enslaved. Although enslavement was not discussed in detail in the county's narrative until the last decade, the impact of the enslaved on Boone County is apparent throughout the county's historical record. 

Additional Resources

Key Slaveholders in Boone County, Kentucky

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