Explore the 1860 United States census and find out more about your ancestors.
1860 US Census Date: June 1, 1860 (All reported data is “as of” this official date chosen by the census agency)
1860 Census Duration: 5 months
1860 US Census Population: 31, 443, 321
President During 1860 Census: James Buchanan
33 States participated in the1860 census. New States in 1860 census: Minnesota and Oregon. Participating territories: Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Utah, Washington, Indian and Unorganized Dakota.
1860 Census Data: 8th United States Census
It took $1,969,000, approximately 4,417 enumerators and 3,189 published reports to complete the 1860 census.
The US population increased by 35.6 percent from the 1850 census to the 1860 census.
Information requested for the 1860 US Census
Number of dwelling and number of family (in order visited)
Relationship to head of household
Race - Please note that the terms used in historical records reflect attitudes and language at the time and may now be considered derogatory or offensive. This field is only available for individuals who were recorded as ‘black’, ‘negro’, or ‘mulatto’. See our search tips below for a further explanation of the descriptions found in this field.
State or country of birth
Profession, Occupation, or Trade of each person, male and female, over 15 years of age
Value of person's real estate
Value of person's personal estate
Blind, deaf or dumb?
If over 20 can you read or write?
Population (slave inhabitants): * Name of owner
Number of slave (slaves were assigned numbers not names)
Age, Sex, Color
Blind, deaf, dumb, insane or idiotic?
Number of uncaught escaped slaves
Number of slaves freed from bondage
By the time the 1860 census data was collected for tabulation, the nation was just starting the American Civil War allowing census staff to only produce abbreviated reports. The Census staff did create a cartographic display including maps of southern states for Union troops.
Famous people in history: Milton Bradley
Milton Bradley captured the imaginations of children and entertained families for generations as a leading manufacturer of games and toys. Bradley started as a draughtsman and lithographer, eventually designing the widely successful board game, “The Checkered Game of Life.”
Due to the popularity of Game of Life, he launched the Milton Bradley and Company in 1860 in Springfield, MA. Bradley retained his position as game manufacturer until his death in 1911. One of the longest running and popular board games in history, players in the Game of Life journey through education, careers, marriage, children, insurance, retirement and each players meets “the day of reckoning,” otherwise known as death. Milton Bradley at the age of 23 in the 1860 Census.
Historical Events Surrounding 1860 US Census
February 9, 1861: Jefferson Davis resigns from the senate and becomes the provisional president of the Confederate States of America.
June 22, 1865: The last shot of the American Civil War is fired. The last confederate general surrenders his troops on June 23, 1865.
February 28, 1854: The republican party was founded.
January 1, 1863: Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, offering freedom to the 3.1 million slaves of the confederacy.
Please note that the terms used in historical records reflect attitudes and language at the time and may now be considered derogatory or offensive.
Researchers may use the Race field to find those individuals identified in the transcripts as ‘black’, ‘negro’, or ‘mulatto’. Note that we have standardised the spelling of ‘mulatto’, which is spelt in various different ways in the original records. The original records contain all three of the foregoing terms and, while the distinction between black and mulatto is generally adhered to, sometimes the terms are used interchangeably – the same man may be described as mulatto and black/negro in different records.
Not all black or mulatto individuals are described as such – sometimes the records (or the transcripts) are silent in this respect. Therefore, if you find a man by searching, without a name, for the search term “mulatto”, for instance, you would then want to repeat your search under his name, removing the search term “mulatto”, to fetch all possible references to him.