Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1790 Census, Part II

The first U.S. Census was approved by the Senate and House of Representatives on March 1, 1790, and assigned to 17 marshals of the new nation’s several judicial districts, plus their estimated 650 assistant marshals. 1 

The states had been united as a country for such a short time that people had little grasp that “Federal authority should be unquestioned and instructions promptly and fully obeyed.”1 Congress gave the states nine months to count the country’s inhabitants. However, the census actually took 18 months to complete.

Where We Counted 
If you think the inhabitants of the 13 original colonies were the only ones counted in the first U.S. Census, you’re close, but no cigar. The states and territories represented by the first U.S. Census were:1
·         Connecticut
·         Delaware
·         Georgia (included what is now Alabama and Mississippi)
·         Maryland
·         Massachusetts (included what is now Maine)
·         New Hampshire
·         New Jersey
·         New York
·         North Carolina (included what is now Tennessee, which was soon to be
      organized as the Southwest Territory)
·         Pennsylvania
·         Rhode Island
·         South Carolina
·         Vermont
·         Virginia (included what is now Kentucky)
·         Northwest Territory (included present states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
      Michigan, and Wisconsin, as well as parts of Minnesota)

Where were your ancestors living in 1790?

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1The U.S. Census Bureau website: