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State Census Schedule, Pennsylvania, 1790 and 1800

State marshals compiled census figures, posted them publicly, and submitted them to the president of the United States. Pennsylvania’s census report for 1790 and 1800 enumerated free white males over and under sixteen years of age, free white females, other free persons, and slaves.

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

State Census Schedule, Pennsylvania, 1790 and 1800

The First Census

The United States Constitution requires the federal government to count the inhabitants of each state every ten years as the basis for taxation and congressional representation. Congress authorized the first census in 1790—it counted every free person and all indentured servants, but excluded Indians who were not taxed and tallied only three-fifths of enslaved persons, who were not considered citizens. After the Civil War, the Fourteenth Amendment recognized formerly enslaved persons as citizens to be fully counted.