AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Dauphin County, PA 1850 Census
The Afrolumens Project has just finished transcribing the names of all African American residents of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania enumerated in the 1850 census. Data is sorted first by location (town or township) and then alphabetically. It is now possible to locate any African American individual, child or adult, and read the data that was recorded about them in this census year.
This project is important to Harrisburg, state and national history because it records all those African Americans who lived in the county in the months before the infamous Federal Fugitive Slave Act was passed. That act forced many African Americans to move further north, many to New York and Canada, for fear of being captured by slave catchers and kidnappers. A comparison of these names with those recorded in the 1860 census (not yet transcribed) reveal a dramatic change in the local African American community. Many of the families shown here in 1850 were not here ten years later.
This database joins our other lists of historical data on the African American community in Central Pennsylvania, including:
The website main page is at www.afrolumens.org See the link below for the 1850 index page.