1860 US Census

The 1860 US census was completed as of June 1, 1860. The following states and territories were included in the enumeration:

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

US map - 1860
US map - 1860

The usual name, age, gender, and occupation questions were asked. There were also questions regarding education and literacy. And, of course, the familiar deaf and dumb/blind question asked in earlier censuses was again present, but this time it was coupled with “insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict” – all of them lumped into one category! I wonder how many of the answers to that question were truthful!

The actual detail of the questions in the 1860 US census was as follows:

  • name of every person whose regular abode on June 1, 1850 / 1860 was in this family;
  • age;
  • gender;
  • color (white, black, mulatto);
  • profession, occupation, or trade of all males over age 15;
  • value of real estate;
  • value of personal estate;
  • place of birth (state, territory, or country);
  • whether married within the year;
  • whether attended school within the year;
  • persons over 20 years of age who cannot read or write;
  • Whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper or convict.

The 1860 standard US census form was accompanied by a schedule of slaves. However, those schedules did not name the slaves; rather, they listed the names of the slave owners! The slaves were described in a number of categories, but they were anonymous. An exception to this rule was slaves who were 100 years old or older. In that case, they could be named, and their background and a short biography could be given.

The following list details the contents of the forms:

  • names of slave owners;
  • number of slaves;
  • description - age, sex, color;
  • fugitives from the state;
  • number manumitted;
  • deaf and dumb, blind, insane, or idiotic; and
  • number of slave houses.

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