An act concerning free Negroes and Mulattoes was passed by the General Assembly of Kentucky in 1851. This Act required that the assessors of tax in each county, beginning in 1852, keep a register of the names, age, sex and color (black or mulatto) of each free Negro and mulatto living within the county.
In July of 1852, a summons was to be sent to the county sheriff, commanding all free persons of color between the ages of 21 and 45, if a male, or between the ages of 18 and 45, if a female, to appear before the judge of the county court the following month and exhibit evidence of their freedom - whether by deed or will or if born free. When the free persons of color appeared in court, a physical description was recorded, noting any scars or marks. The county clerk was to make a report of the information, give a copy to each person and the free person of color then had to pay $2.00.
On the 3rd day of August 1852, several free persons of color complied with this act in Livingston County, Kentucky by appearing in court. This information obtained is recorded in Livingston County Court Order Book L, pages 75 - 79. The following information has been abstracted from those pages.
Lidia Howard exhibited her freedom papers, which are recorded in Butler County, Ky. She was emancipated by James P. Howard on 14 August 1831. She is about 23 years of age the 30th of August 1831, is a bright mulatto, about 5 feet 2 and 5/8 inches high and has no scars or marks.
Bazil Jenkins exhibited his freedom papers. He was emancipated by the will of William Jenkins dec'd, dated 7 June 1848. He was then 37 years of age. He is 5 feet 11 inches high, light mulatto color with a large scar on his right wrist and thumb occasioned by a burn.
Minta Jenkins, represented by her husband, Bazzel Jenkins (a free man of color), exhibited her freedom papers. She was emancipated by Deed of Emancipation of Bazzel Jenkins. She is 37 years old, about 5 feet and a half inches high, yellow complexion, no scars. Her certificate of freedom is dated 8 August 1849.
Jacob Furbush exhibited his freedom papers. He was set free by deed of emancipation executed by Benjamin H. Logan in the county court of Todd County, Ky on 11 November 1838. Jacob is ascertained to be 49 years old, a mulatto, 5 feet and 1/2 inches high, has a severe scar on his left wrist caused by a cut and by profession is a barber.
Amanda Emdine Mitchell exhibited her freedom papers recorded 4 March 1850 by her mother Cynthia Ann Mitchell. Amanda is 18 years past with marks occasioned by chicken pox on her forehead and nose, she is about 4 feet 10 inches high, rather light complexion. The deed of emancipation bears the date 6 February 1849.
Betsy Dimery having no freedom papers to exhibit, David W. Patterson testified that Betsy Dimery was brought into this country about 7 years ago by a man calling himself Tucker who offered to sell her and she asserting her freedom, Tucker went off and left her here and she has ever since passed for and been regarded as a free woman. Upon examination she is found to be a bright Mulatto, 4 feet 3 & a half inches high, a small scar on her left arm about half way between wrist and elbow and about 35 years of age.
Polly Ann Leech, not having all of her proof present, future time is given her till next court to produce her proof. [Not mentioned in later court sessions]
Mary Ann Bowles exhibited her freedom papers obtained from the Justices of the Livingston County Court on the 3rd day of December 1838 and thus described: 18 years of age, of a light complexion, about 5 feet 5 inches high. Upon examination today the above seems to be correct except the increase of her age, there are no perceptible scars or marks.
Lucinda Bowles exhibited her freedom papers, which she obtained from the Livingston County Court on the 3rd day of December 1838. She is described as of a light complexion, about 5 feet 4 inches high. This seems correct except the increase in age and she being now about 5 feet, 5 and 1/2 inches high.
Edmund McCawley exhibited his freedom papers. Edmund McCawley was emancipated and set free by deed of emancipation executed by Mrs. Martha McCawley on 20 July 1849 and recorded in Livingston County court 3 March 1851. Edmund, being inspected, appeared to be 25 years of age, with a scar on his left arm on the inside of the elbow and a small scar between the eyes just above the nose and is 5 feet high.