African American History Forum
Re: Pre-Civil War African Americans Residents
In Response To: Pre-Civil War African Americans Residents ()
Here is my attempt in responding to your questions.
Question # 1:
Answer #1 - Starting with the 1830 US Federal Cenus Population Schedules up to the 1860 Census there were more free persons of color located in the slave-holding States than in the non-slaveholding States. This is my interpetation of North vs South.
In today's LunchBunch Chat Session at AfriGeneas, the discussion of the number of FPOC (Free People Of Color) in the north vs. the south was a topic of discussion.
Question # 2:
Answer # 2- I consider the US Census as reliable in terms of who was counted as what relating to the total numbers (race/color) as reported in the above mentioned Census years to 95+ % accuracy. This is in terms of aggregate numbers and not individuals who may have been mis-classified.
Question # 3:
Answer # 3 - Perhaps not, I'm open to reviewing other available sources to make this type of comparison. Any suggestions?
Question # 4:
Answer # 4 - For a particular year (1830) I would refer you to Carter G. Woodson's work " Free Negro Heads of Families in the United States in 1830: Together with a Brief Treatment of the Negro." There is a chart on page xx of the Introduction that lists the number of Free Negroes by State. A quick count of what I consider North vs South shows more than 200,000 Free Negroes in the South vs less than 125,000 in the North. The resonableness/reliabilty of Dr. Woodson's work is subject to the reader's opinion.
Question # 5:
Answer # 5 - As a source I can refer you to the "Historical Census Browser" found @
Question # 6:
Answer # 6 - I say yes...considering that "people of color" were probably 98% or better what we today call African-Americans. Were Census Enumerators reliable? I would say for the most part yes....I think your question refers to honesty and racial/ethnic bias and I'll leave that one alone.
An example of some of my research may be seen at http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/t/h/o/Arthur-L-Thomas/ .... other examples may be found here on AfriGeneas within the various Forums, Databases & Mail Lists.
Thanks for the discussion and best wishes,