The Gallatin County Race Riot of 1866

0 Posted by - July 23, 2021 - Black History, LATEST POSTS

Gallatin County, Kentucky was established in 1798 with Warsaw as the heart and county seat. During the Civil War, several skirmishes occurred in Gallatin County. The outcome of the war would lead to the Gallatin County Race Riot a little under a year later.


The Gallatin County Race Riot of 1866

In short, this was an incident where 500 White people–some members of the area’s Klan–forced Black citizens to leave Warsaw across the Ohio River. While forcing them to flee, the White citizens would attack the town’s Blacks and steal their property according to historians. In total around 200 Black citizens left the town.

It was the belief of the Freedmen’s Bureau’s J.J Landrum that Union soldiers would be the only ones capable of protecting Black citizens in the county and maintain order. During the 1860s and into the 1870s, the population in Gallatin County remained below 5,100.

As of the 2010 Census, the population is in the area of 8,600. The Black population sits at around 1.3-percent, down 18-percent from the previous decade. The county is around 95-percent White. The Gallatin County Race Riot wasn’t the first incident of racial violence in the county nor would it be the last.


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