The Magazine of Early American Datasets (MEAD)

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This survey of Philadelphia's Black population, conducted by a committee of Quakers in 1847, contains forty-three elements of information for each of more than four thousand households. Above and beyond the basic information of name and address, the 1847 census is incredibly rich in detail, including such datapoints as: occupation, education, literacy, rent and taxes paid, whether the person was born in slavery, amount paid for freedom, and much more. The committee, appointed by the Meeting for Sufferings of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox), distilled the information into a 44 page report published A Statistical Inquiry into the Condition of the People of Colour of the City and Districts of Philadelphia (1849). See also an online exhibit about the study, available at Source material from, and dataset prepared by, Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College.

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Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) Representative Committee records, RG2/Pho, Philadelphia African American Census 1847.

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Date Posted: 30 April 2018