The 1800 US Census

The 1800 US census was taken as of August 4, 1800.

The population had grown to 5.3 million people.  Of that number, 893,000 were enslaved.

What was happening in the US in particular, and in the world in general, during this decade?




People and Issues in the first decade of the 1800s

During the decade beginning in 1800, the following men were US Presidents.

John Adams (John Adams (1735 - 1826) was President from 1797 - 1801.  He was the first President to reside in the White House.

Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826) was President from 1801 to 1809.  Prior to that, he had served in various government  positions, was the main author of the Declaration of Independence, and served in the mid-1880s as ambassador to France. 

As a young nation, the decade of 1800 saw many 'firsts'.  A few examples:

  • the first edition of the New York Post was published on November 16, 1801;
  • the country's capital was officially moved from Pennsylvania to Washington, and the first session of the US Congress was held on November 17, 1800;
  • in 1803, the Louisiana Purchase, the first of many such purchases from other countries with claims to land in North America, doubled the size of the US; and
  • from 1802 to 1805, the US fought its first war as a nation, against Tripoli.

The importation of slaves was outlawed in 1808.  However, the slave trade continued; between 1808 and 1806, an additional 250,000 Africans were enslaved and brought into the US.

      Napoleon Bonaparte

On the international scene, King George III was on the throne in Britain, from 1760 - 1820. 

On 1 January 1801, Great Britain and Ireland merged, resulting in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

In France,  Napoléon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821),was the First Consul until 1804, at which time he declared himself Emperor.  He remained in this role until 1815.


What States were Included in the Census?

The following states and territories were included in this enumeration.  As the map reveals, much of the West was still divided into territories:

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts


New Hampshire

New York

North Carolina

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Vermont






What Questions were asked on the Census?

The 1800 US census contains the same information as the 1790 census, although the number of age categories for both free males and free females has expanded to five.

That is, in addition to the address or county of each head of household, the following information was provided:

  1. Name of heads of families;
  2. number of free white males, divided into 5 categories
    (under 10, 10-15, 16-25, 26-44, and 45+;)
  3. number of free white females, in the same 5 categories
    (under 10, 10-15, 16-25, 26-44, and 45+;)
  4. number of other free persons; and
  5. number of slaves.

To see a blank sample of the 1800 US census, click here






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