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Decennial Census Historical Facts

1850
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1850

Harriet Beecher Stowe

John Brown

Dred Scott

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Population

23,191,876 U.S. Resident Population
7.9
Population per square mile of land area
35.9
Percent increase of population from 1840 to 1850
30
Number of States

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The 1850 Census

Cost $1,423,000
Cost per Capita (cents) 6.1
Total Pages in Published Reports 2,165
Number of Enumerators 3,231 (160 office staff)
Census Bureau Director Joseph C.G. Kennedy
Number of Questions on the Questionnaire 13
Number of Questions on the Long Form N/A

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10 Largest Urban Places

Rank
Place
Population
1
New York City, NY 515,547
2
Baltimore, MD 169,054
3
Boston, MA 136,181
4
Philadelphia, PA 121,376
5
New Orleans, LA 116,375
6
Cincinnati, OH 115,435
7
Brooklyn, NY 96,838
8
St. Louis, MO 77,860
9
Spring Garden District, PA 58,894
10
Albany, NY 50,763

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Pop Culture

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  • The September 18, 1850, Fugitive Slave Act provides for the return of slaves brought to free states.
  • Millard Fillmore is sworn into office as the 13th President of the United States, following Zachary Taylor's death on July 9, 1850.
  • "America" wins the first America's Cup yacht race on August 22, 1851.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is published in 1852.
  • The December 30, 1853, "Gadsden Purchase" gives the United States a strip of land in the Southwest that would later become the states of New Mexico and Arizona.
  • The Republican Party is founded in Ripon, WI, on February 28, 1854.
  • Poet Walt Whitman publishes Leaves of Grass on July 4, 1855.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court's March 6, 1857, "Dred Scott Decision" rules that Scott, a slave moved to a free state, never ceased to be a slave despite residing in a free state, denied him citizenship, and denied him the right to sue.
  • Elisha Otis installs the first elevator on March 23, 1857.
  • Drilling is completed on the first productive commercial oil well in Titusville, PA, on August 27, 1859.

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