The 1810 US Census

The 1810 US census was taken as of August 6, 1810.  Under the enabling statute, enumerators were to visit each and every household to collect the information first-hand, and were not to obtain it from other sources, such as neighbours.

The population was now about 7.2 million people.  As was the case in the prior two census documents, the 1810 US census did not include native Americans not subject to taxation.

Also, for the first time, a census of manufacturing and other businesses was done, for each county or territory.

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




People and Issues in the 1810s

During the decade beginning in 1810, the following men were US Presidents.

James Madison  (1731 - 1836) was President from 1809 - 1817.  Prior to becoming President, he was Secretary of State from 1801 to 1809.

James Monroe (1791 - 1872) was President from 1817 - 1825.  Before becoming President, he served as Secretary of State from 1811 - 1817.

The War of 1812, officially against Britain but fought on Canadian and American soil, began in June of 1812.  It ended in December of 1814, with signing of the Treaty of Ghent.

In March of 1814, after a Tennessee militia team defeated native Americans living in the area, large parts of the current states of Georgia and Alabama were opened for white settlement. 

Construction of the Erie Canal began in July of 1817. 

In April of 1818, the US flag was adopted, with 13 stripes, and one star for every state in the Union.  The number of stars on the flag has changed over the years as additional states joined.

In October of 1818, the US and Britain agreed on the boundary between the US and Canada.  In the West (that is, from Lake of the Woods, a lake in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario and the US state of Minnesota, to the Rocky Mountains), the 49th parallel was the dividing line.


      Napoleon Bonaparte

On the international scene, King George III was on the throne in Britain, from 1760 - 1820. In October of 1810, he was officially recognized as insane.  His eldest son, also named George, was installed as Prince Regent; after his father's death, he became George IV.

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, at which point King Louis XVIII was reinstated as King.


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

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts


New Hampshire

New York

North Carolina

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Tennessee

Vermont

Virginia







What Questions were asked on the Census?

The 1810 US census form is identical to the 1800 US census.

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 1810 US census, click here






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