This exhibit broadly explores the United States Census; its origin, structure and processes. The first Census of the United States took place on August 2, 1790.  Under the direction of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, the United States Marshals counted the population by visiting people in the original 13 states, plus the districts of Kentucky, Maine, Vermont and the Southwest Territory (Tenessee). Only the Head of Household names were collected along with the number of people. Below are individuals who were living in the City of New Haven in 1790. 

The United States Census Bureau's website provides a condensed timeline of the census history and below is another historical timeline illustrating the "different race, ethnicity and origin categories" used in the census over the centuries.


Curated by Gwyneth Crowley, Kenya Flash, and Lori Bronars of the Marx Science and Social Science Library, with graphics support from Mark Saba of Information Technology Services.