Monday, February 13, 2012

Newport Population, 1774

I've been running some numbers on the population of Newport, as given in the 1774 census.

Fast facts:
  • Total Population: 9,136 people living in 1,582 households
  • 86% white, 13% black, .5% Indian
  • average household size: 5.8
The census distinguishes white people by age and sex, but lumps all black people together, making it difficult to determine their age, sex, or freedom status. There are some clues, though — there are 48 (perhaps 49) households with a black household head. I think it's reasonable to conclude that the 151 people living in these households were probably free. There may also be some free people counted in households with a white household head, but there's no way to tell that from the census.

If we assume that the 149 black people (and 2 Indians) living in black-headed households were free and that the 1,076 black people living in white-headed households were slaves, then 12% of black Newporters were free and 88% were enslaved.

Free black households were substantially smaller than free households, averaging 3.2 people per household rather than the overall 5.8. About 38% of free black households were headed by a woman, compared to 20% of white households.

More on Newport's slaves and slaveowners to follow . . .


Anonymous said...

You're back! Having a job, researching, and tending a baby probably kept you from your blog, but it is lovely that you have returned to your constant readers.

Joe G. said...

+1 on that!