Monroe County Arkansas 1860 slaveholders and 1870 African Americans






Transcribed by Tom Blake, April 2003


PURPOSE. Published information giving names of slaveholders and numbers of slaves held is almost non-existent. It is possible to locate an ancestor on a U.S. census for 1860 or earlier and not realize that ancestor was also listed as a slaveholder on the slave schedules, because published indexes almost always do not include the slave census. The last U.S. census slave schedules were enumerated by County in 1860 and included 393,975 named persons holding 3,950,546 unnamed slaves, or an average of about ten slaves per holder. The actual number of slaveholders may be slightly lower because some large holders held slaves in more than one County and would have been counted in each County. Excluding slaves, the 1860 U.S. population was 27,167,529, with about 1 in 70 being a slaveholder. It is estimated by this transcriber that in 1860, slaveholders of 200 or more slaves, while constituting less than 1 % of the total number of U.S. slaveholders, or 1 out of 7,000 free persons, held 20-30% of the total number of slaves in the U.S. The process of publication of slaveholder names beginning with these largest holders will enable naming of the holders of the most slaves with the least amount of transcription work. Surname matching of slaveholders with 1870 African Americans is intended merely as suggesting another possibility for further research by those seeking to make connections between slaves and holders.


SOURCES. The 1860 U.S. Census Slave Schedules for Monroe County, Arkansas (NARA microfilm series M653, Roll 54) reportedly includes a total of 2,226 slaves. This transcription includes 36 slaveholders who held 20 or more slaves in Monroe County, accounting for 1,333 slaves, or about 60% of the County total. The rest of the slaves in the County were held by a total of 142 slaveholders, and those slaveholders have not been included here. Due to variable film quality, handwriting interpretation questions and inconsistent counting and page numbering methods used by the census enumerators, interested researchers should view the source film personally to verify or modify the information in this transcription for their own purposes. Census data for 1860 was obtained from the Historical United States Census Data Browser, which is a very detailed, searchable and highly recommended database that can found at . Census data on African Americans in the 1870 census was obtained using Heritage Quest’s CD “African-Americans in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census”, available through Heritage Quest at . In comparing census data for different years, changes in County boundaries, such as the taking of part of Monroe County in 1871 to form part of Lincoln County and Monroe acquiring part of Chicot County in 1879, have not been considered, on the presumption that the changes would have affected the comparison groups equally. For more precise comparison, the affect of the boundary changes should be fully calculated.


FORMAT. This transcription lists the names of those largest slaveholders in the County, the number of slaves they held in the township where the slaves were enumerated, the name of the township and the first census page on which they were listed. The page numbers used are the rubber stamped numbers in the upper right corner of every set of two pages, with the previous stamped number and a “B” being used to designate the pages without a stamped number. Some of the pages were filmed out of sequence. Following the holder list is a separate list of the surnames of the holders with information on numbers of African Americans on the 1870 census who were enumerated with the same surname. The term “County” is used to describe the main subdivisions of the State by which the census was enumerated.


TERMINOLOGY. Though the census schedules speak in terms of “slave owners”, the transcriber has chosen to use the term “slaveholder” rather than “slave owner”, so that questions of justice and legality of claims of ownership need not be addressed in this transcription. Racially related terms such as African American, black, mulatto and colored are used as in the source or at the time of the source, with African American being used otherwise.


PLANTATION NAMES. Plantation names were not shown on the census. Using plantation names to locate ancestors can be difficult because the name of a plantation may have been changed through the years and because the sizeable number of large farms must have resulted in lots of duplication of plantation names. In Arkansas in 1860 there were 69 farms of 1,000 acres or more, the largest size category enumerated in the census, and another 307 farms of 500-999 acres. Linking names of plantations in this County with the names of the large holders on this list should not be a difficult research task, but it is beyond the scope of this transcription.


FORMER SLAVES. The 1860 U.S. Census was the last U.S. census showing slaves and slaveholders. Slaves were enumerated in 1860 without giving their names, only their sex and age and indication of any handicaps, such as deaf or blind Slaves 100 years of age or older were supposed to be named on the 1860 slave schedule, but there were only 1,570 slaves of such age enumerated, out of a total of 3,950,546 slaves nationwide. The transcriber noticed no such slave on this enumeration. Freed slaves, if listed in the next census, in 1870, would have been reported with their full name, including surname. Some of these former slaves may have been using the surname of their 1860 slaveholder at the time of the 1870 census and they may have still been living in the same State or County. Before presuming an African American was a slave on the 1860 census, the free census for 1860 should be checked, as almost 11% of African Americans were enumerated as free in 1860, with about half of those living in the southern States. Estimates of the number of former slaves who used the surname of a former owner in 1870, vary widely and from region to region. If an African American ancestor with one of these surnames is found on the 1870 census, then making the link to finding that ancestor as a slave requires advanced research techniques involving all obtainable records of the holder.


MIGRATION OF FORMER SLAVES: According to U.S. Census data, the 1860 Monroe County population included 3,431 whites, no “free colored” and 2,226 slaves. By the 1870 census, the white population of Monroe County had increased about 50% to 5,135, while the “colored” population decreased about 7% to 3200. (As a side note, by 1960, 100 years later, the County was listed as having 8,889 whites, about two and a half times more than 100 years earlier, while the 1960 total of 8,407 “Negroes”was about three and three quarters times more than what the colored population had been 100 years before.) [These figures do not take into account changes in County boundaries if any.] Where did the freed slaves go if they did not stay in the County? Pulaski County saw an increase of 10,000 in the colored population in those ten years, but no other County in the State showed a significant increase. Between 1860 and 1870, the Arkansas colored population increased by 11,000, to 122,000, about a 10% increase. Where did freed slaves go if they did not stay in Arkansas? States that saw significant increases in colored population during that time, and were therefore more likely possible places of relocation for colored persons from Monroe County, included the following: Georgia, up 80,000 to 545,000 (17%); Texas, up 70,000 (38%); North Carolina, up 31,000 (8%); Florida, up 27,000 (41%); Ohio, up 26,000 (70%); Indiana, up 25,000 (127%); and Kansas up from 265 to 17,000 (6,400%).




BALDWIN, Gastin W., 32 slaves, Montgomery, page 70B

BEAZLEY, John P., 31 slaves, Montgomery, page 71B

BENNETT, D. D., 28 slaves, Duncan, page 61B

BOYCE, Johans?, G. L. Boyle in trust for, 46 slaves, Montgomery, page 70

CLAYTON, Theo. F., 24 slaves, Surrounded Hill, page 75

COTTON, E. H., 21 slaves, Jackson, page 66

COTTON, W.? H., 29 slaves, Jackson, page 66B

DIAL, Jere? H., 22 slaves, Duncan, page 61B

HARRIS, Jas. T., 63 slaves, Cache, page 57B

HARRIS, W. K., Estate of, 38 slaves, Surrounded Hill, page 75

HAYS, Saml. J., Moses Moore in trust for, 50 slaves, Duncan, page 60B

JACKSON, Henry G., 56 slaves, Montgomery, page 69B

JACKSON, James R., 27 slaves, Montgomery, page 69

JACKSON, Robert E., 30 slaves, Montgomery, page 70B

JOHNSON, John W., 25 slaves, Montgomery, page 72

KERR, Reese T., 26 slaves, Duncan, page 61

LAMBERT, J. B., Est. Of, 84 slaves, Montgomery, page 71

LIGHTFOOT, Joel F., 29 slaves, Cypress, page 63

LUCKADOO, Noel, 21 slaves, Hickory Ridge, page 65

MATTHEWS, Thos. L., 23 slaves, Jackson, page 66B

MAYS, Jno. W., 32 slaves, Jackson, page 67

MAYS, Wm. M., 53 slaves, Montgomery, page 69

MITCHELL, Edw. F., 28 slaves, Rock Roe?, page 73B

MURRELL?, J. S., 48 slaves, Montgomery, page 69B

OATES, Jno. T.?, 22 slaves, Duncan, page 60B

OATES, O. H., 22 slaves, Duncan, page 62

PASLAY, Robert H., 32 slaves, Hampton, page 64

PAYNTER?, Samuel R., 24 slaves, Montgomery, page 70

PRIDE, William, 41 slaves, Duncan, page 62

REDMOND, Francis P., 113 slaves, Jackson, page 67B

ROBERTS, A. J., 75 slaves, Jackson, page 66

SAMMES?, Paul J., Ira Crow in trust for, 28 slaves, Hickory Ridge, page 65

STEWART, John E., 28 slaves, Cache, page 58B

SUTTON, Sarah A., 22 slaves, Duncan, page 60

SWIFT, C., M., W. T. Brandon in trust for, 21 slaves, Duncan, page 62

WASHINGTON, Geo., 39 slaves, Cache, page 58



(exact surname spellings only are reported, no spelling variations or soundex)

(SURNAME, # in US, in State, in County, born in State, born and living in State, born in State and living in County)


BALDWIN, 634, 21, 9, 7, 5, 3

BEAZLEY, 48, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

BENNETT, 1319, 26, 2, 13, 6, 0

BOYCE, 162, 6, 4, 1, 0, 0

CLAYTON, 686, 11, 0, 2, 0, 0

COTTON, 590, 24, 15, 7, 3, 1

DIAL, 80, 2, 0, 1, 1, 0

HARRIS, 11315, 311, 8, 94, 64, 1

HAYS, 1315, 63, 4, 27, 25, 0

JACKSON, 19100, 497, 20, 180, 112, 2

KERR, 195, 1, 0, 1, 0, 0

LAMBERT, 360, 30, 14, 14, 12, 5

LIGHTFOOT, 257, 10, 2, 5, 5, 1

LUCKADOO, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

MATTHEWS, 801, 16, 3, 7, 5, 2

MAYS, 433, 12, 0, 3, 3, 0

MITCHELL, 4089, 89, 2, 31, 22, 0

MURRELL?, 120, 2, 0, 3, 2, 0

OATES, 67, 2, 0, 3, 2, 0

PASLAY, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

PAYNTER?, 10, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

PRIDE, 200, 3, 1, 2, 0, 0

REDMOND, 93, 5, 3, 2, 2, 1

ROBERTS, 3309, 69, 10, 20, 15, 5

SAMMES?, 3, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

STEWART, 3648, 69, 3, 37, 26, 0

SUTTON, 713, 27, 8, 5, 2, 0

SWIFT, 187, 6, 0, 2, 2, 0

WASHINGTON, 9075, 265, 20, 103, 64, 4


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