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Research Guides

U.S. Decennial Census: 1870

Decade by decade information about how to access and use U.S. Census reports.

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Census By Decade

1790  1800  1810  1820  1830  1840  1850  1860  1870  1880  1890  1900

1910  1920  1930  1940  1950  1960  1970  1980  1990  2000  2010  2020

About the 1860 census


  • 9th decennial census
  • US population: 39,818,449 (revised count)
  • Washington Territory population: 23,955
  • First census taken after the 13th amendment abolished slavery and to fully record information on the black population.

Questions asked

  • Name;
  • age;
  • sex;
  • race;
  • occupation;
  • value of real estate;
  • value of personal estate;
  • place of birth;
  • whether parents were foreign born;
  • month of birth if born within the year;
  • month of marriage if married within the year;
  • school attendance;
  • literacy;
  • whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, or idiotic;
  • male citizens 21 and over, and number of such persons denied the right to vote for other than rebellion.
  • Supplemental schedules for persons who died during the year; paupers; prisoners


black and white map of the united states in 1870

Map of coverage of the 1870 census.

For more information: Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790 - 1920 (GovPub Reference HA195 .T46 1987)


Multi-year census compilations (compare across years)

These tend to include statistics for large geographic areas (eg states) but can be very useful when comparing statistics over time. See: list of all census compilations

More Information from the Census Bureau

Statistics: Census Compilations

Raw Data Files

Population Schedules

Census population schedules (or "name schedules" or "manuscript census") are copies of the original questionnaires collected during each decennial census. They list the individual names and family information of the people enumerated. Unlike the statistics published soon after the census, the population schedules remain confidential for 72 years. 1950 is the most recent population schedule available. Below are links to print and online versions of the population schedules. The library also has selected population schedules available on microfilm.


Need help?  Call the Government Publications, Maps, Microforms & Newspapers help desk at (206) 543-4164 during desk hours.  You can also consult the Ask Us! reference service (24/7).