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The Resource Philadelphia Social History Project: Pennsylvania Abolition Society and Society of Friends Manuscript Census Schedules, 1838, 1847, 1856

Philadelphia Social History Project: Pennsylvania Abolition Society and Society of Friends Manuscript Census Schedules, 1838, 1847, 1856

Label
Philadelphia Social History Project: Pennsylvania Abolition Society and Society of Friends Manuscript Census Schedules, 1838, 1847, 1856
Title
Philadelphia Social History Project: Pennsylvania Abolition Society and Society of Friends Manuscript Census Schedules, 1838, 1847, 1856
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Summary
Initially taken in 1838 to demonstrate the stability and significance of the African American community and to forestall the abrogation of African American voting rights, the Quaker and Abolitionist census of African Americans was continued in 1847 and 1856 and present an invaluable view of the mid-nineteenth century African American population of Philadelphia. Although these censuses list only household heads, providing aggregate information for other household members, and exclude the substantial number of African Americans living in white households, they provide data not found in the federal population schedules. When combined with the information on African Americans taken from the four federal censuses, they offer researchers a richly detailed view of Philadelphia's African American community spanning some forty years. The three censuses are not of equal inclusiveness or quality, however. The 1838 and 1847 enumerations cover only the "old" City of Philadelphia (river-to-river and from Vine to South Streets) and the immediate surrounding districts (Spring Garden, Northern Liberties, Southwark, Moyamensing, Kensington--1838, West Philadelphia--1847); the 1856 survey includes African Americans living throughout the newly enlarged city which, as today, conforms to the boundaries of Philadelphia County. In spite of this deficiency in areal coverage, the earlier censuses are superior historical documents. The 1838 and 1847 censuses contain data on a wide range of social and demographic variables describing the household indicating address, household size, occupation, whether members were born in Pennsylvania, status-at-birth, debts, taxes, number of children attending school, names of beneficial societies and churches (1838), property brought to Philadelphia from other states (1838), sex composition (1847), age structure (1847), literacy (1847), size of rooms and number of people per room (1847), and miscellaneous remarks (1847). While the 1856 census includes the household address and reports literacy, occupation, status-at-birth, and occasional passing remarks about individual households and their occupants, it excludes the other informational categories. Moreover, unlike the other two surveys, it lists the occupations of only higher status African Americans, excluding unskilled and semiskilled designations, and records the status-at-birth of adults only. Indeed, it even fails to provide data permitting the calculation of the size and age and sex structure of households. Variables for each household head and his household include (differ slightly by census year): name, sex, status-at-birth, occupation, wages, real and personal property, literacy, education, religion, membership in beneficial societies and temperance societies, taxes, rents, dwelling size, address, slave or free birth
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Hershberg, Theodore
Label
Philadelphia Social History Project: Pennsylvania Abolition Society and Society of Friends Manuscript Census Schedules, 1838, 1847, 1856
Instantiates
Publication
Note
  • 1838
  • 1847
  • 1856
  • 3805
Control code
ICPSR03805.v1
Governing access note
Access restricted to subscribing institutions
Label
Philadelphia Social History Project: Pennsylvania Abolition Society and Society of Friends Manuscript Census Schedules, 1838, 1847, 1856
Publication
Note
  • 1838
  • 1847
  • 1856
  • 3805
Control code
ICPSR03805.v1
Governing access note
Access restricted to subscribing institutions

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