Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kentucky in the 1840s

In 1840 there were 90 counties in Kentucky with a total population of 779,828. Of that number, 590,253 were white, 7,317 were free persons of color and 182,258 were slaves.

Caldwell County had a population of 10,365;  Henderson County had 9,548 citizens;  Hopkins County's population was 9,171;  Livingston County had 9,025 citizens and Union County had 6,673 living within its borders. Crittenden, Lyon and Webster Counties had not yet been created.

The primary occupation  in the 1840s was agriculture, followed by manufacturing and trades and commerce. There were 2,487 persons in the learned professions and 968 were involved in river and internal navigation.

More Kentucky residents were members of the Baptist church than any other in 1847. They had 60,371 communicants. The Methodists had 26,710 members and the Presbyterians had 8,128 church members. There were 22 Protestant Episcopal clergymen and one bishop in Kentucky.

The constitution in effect in Kentucky in the 1840s was adopted in 1799. Every adult male citizen who had resided in the state two years and in the county or town in which he offered his vote one year was legally qualified. The Representatives were elected annually and the Senators served for four years, one-fourth being elected annually. The Governor was chosen for four years by a plurality of votes and was then ineligible for the next seven years.

There was a lunatic asylum in Lexington founded in 1822. A deaf and dumb asylum was founded the same year in Danville. The school for the blind at Louisville was founded in 1842. The marine hospital at Smithland was established in 1827. The penitentiary was established in 1798.

Frankfort, the state capital, has a population of 1,917.  The chief commercial city of Kentucky was Louisville with a population in 1848 at 46,500. Lexington, the oldest city in the Kentucky, had a population of 7,500.

Source: The Book of the World: Being An Account of All Republics, Empires, Kingdoms and Nations in Reference to Their Geography, Statistics, Commerce, &c, Vol. 1 by Richard S. Fisher, M.D., 1850.


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