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Fast Facts

POP Culture: 1790

ICONS: George Washington, 1790 Census, USS Constitution
George Washington 1790 census plaque USS Constitution

  • President George Washington delivers the first "State of the Union Address" on January 8, 1790.
  • Benjamin Franklin dies on April 17, 1790 in Philadelphia, PA.
  • Washington, DC, is established as the capital of the United States, in 1791.
  • The U.S. Post Office Department is established on February 20, 1792.
  • In October 1794, federal troops put an end to the "Whiskey Rebellion," after distillers in the Appalacian region of the United States resisted paying a tax on distilled spirits.
  • Eli Whitney is granted a patent for the cotton gin, which cleans seed from cotton, on March 14, 1794.
  • The USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") launches as part of the U.S. Navy in 1797 and sails to the Mediterranean Sea to protect American merchant vessels from Barbary pirates.
  • Construction begins on Fort McHenry in 1798. Sixteen years later, Francis Scott Key pens "The Star Spangled Banner" during its bombardment by British forces.
  • George Washington, first President of the United States, dies at Mount Vernon, VA, on December 14, 1799.

The 1790 Census


10 Largest Urban Places

U.S. Resident Population: 3,929,214 Rank Place Population
Population per square mile of land area: 4.5 1 New York City, NY 33,131
Percent increase of population: n/a 2 Philadelphia, PA 28,522
Official Enumeration Date: August 2 3 Boston town, MA 18,320
Number of States: 13 4 Charleston, SC 16,359
Cost: $44,000 5 Baltimore town, MD 13,503
Cost per Capita (cents): 1.1 6 Northern Liberties township, PA 9,913
Total Pages in Published Reports: 56 7 Salem town, MA 7,921
Number of Enumerators: 650 (est.) 8 Newport town, RI 6,716
Number of Office Staff: 9 Providence town, RI 6,380
Census Bureau Director: Thomas Jefferson 10 Marblehead town, MA
Southwark district, PA
Number of Questions Asked: 6

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: December 05, 2022