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Researching African American Slavery in Kentucky: Home

Using primary sources and documents to discovery more on the history of those enslaved in Kentucky

Timeline: Kentucky and Slavery

Related guide at the University of Kentucky

This guide has been created to assist researchers searching for the following information:

1. The history of slavery in Kentucky,

2. Records and documentation of the lives of enslaved Africans in Kentucky,

2. Identification and the financial aspects of slave ownership in Kentucky,

   3. Family and individual lives after emancipation or freedom gained by any other means.


A postcard illustrating a sale of slaves: caption on postcard: "SOLD TO GO SOUTH":  

Date: 1938        Creator: La Fayette Studio (Lexington, Kentucky) 

John Winston Coleman Jr. collection on slavery in Kentucky 

University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center


Cheapside, the largest slave-trading locality in the state; street scene

Date: unknown    Creator: unknown

Hunt-Morgan House deposit photographs

University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center

The city of Lexington was the center of slave trade in Kentucky. Thousands of enslaved Africans were sold at the Cheapside auction block in downtown Lexington. Read more about Cheapside Slave Auction Block by Andrew Patrick @ Explore Kentucky History.