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The Sesquicentennial: 8th Census of 1860

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Unidentified African American soldier in Union uniform with wife and two daughters

This year we are commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.  The Library recently debuted the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, and after spending time looking at those photographs, I thought it would be interesting to write a blog post featuring business-related resources that illuminate the lives of the people living in the 1860’s.

Since this is a very broad topic, I thought I would break it up into a series of posts. This first post focuses on the numbers and features of the 8th Census conducted as of June 1, 1860.

Preliminary Report of the 8th Census.

The Census data from this set appears in several volumes, but there are only two that I wanted to touch on in this post.  The first volume is Population and covers basic population figures by state (If you want specifics, see the image in this post).  While the Introduction had some interesting “hidden” tables on the blind, insane, and deaf populations, the bulk of this volume is devoted to tables of data by state.   There are several tables for each state with most of the data broken down by race, age, and sex by county.  There are a few other related tables that include information on occupations and the nativities (including country of origin) of the free population.

The other volume of interest for this post is Mortality, Property, etc., which features multiple charts, none of which necessarily go together. The Mortality tables, which are presented by state, basically look at causes of death by gender.  There are two large groups of mortality tables:  one for Disease the other for Violent Death.  The Disease, tables include data on the number of deaths by type of disease, including asthma, cancer, diabetes, jaundice, influenza, and a whole lot more.  The Violent Deaths tables, which include suicides and accidents, also have more specifics and include poison, falling, drowning, fire-arms.  The rest of this volume includes information of a less depressing nature.  For example, there is a table for the number of lines railroad lines completed, the number of churches in states and counties by denomination, valuation of real and personal estate by state and county, and the number of whites and blacks over the age of 100.

Comments (2)

  1. Am trying to locate the 1860 census for Clinton County New York. Can not locate it on-line. Any help will be appreciated.

  2. Jayne – I am going to forward your question to someone who can answer your question.

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