The United States Census

Article 1, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution mandates that Congressional representatives and direct taxes be apportioned among the states according to their respective populations and that these populations be measured every ten years. The United States was the first nation in the world to institute an inclusive national census and to use it as an apportionment tool. These population records are an invaluable source for historians, allowing them to learn about individual as well as community characteristics like wealth or racial background. The topics below present a brief overview of the evolution of the U.S. census, a discussion of its value and limitations as a historical source, and provide access to the complete aggregated census data from 1820 through 1860 for Augusta and Franklin counties and their respective states and regions. You can also search the 1860 population, agricultural, slaveowner, and manufacturing manuscript schedules for Augusta and Franklin counties.