Prisoners in the U.S. in the 19th-century

face of a prisoner
Reference point: sheet:1860, states by nativity

Prisoner totals by sex, estimated mainly from prisoner statistics in the decennial censuses. Includes prisoners in jails and houses of correction. Counts of prisoners in individual state prisons, mid-19th century.

Dataset sheets:

  • prisoners 1850-1890: summary best estimates of total prisoners from corresponding decennials censuses; by sex for 1880 and 1890
  • prisoners pre-1840: fragmentary data available on prison populations prior to 1840 (first national census including prisoners)
  • 1840 convicts: convicts in state prisons by sex, from miscellaneous data included in the Census of 1850
  • 1850 compare-sum: estimates of prisoners by sex in 1850 based on analysis of data on prisoners in individual prisons
  • by prison 1849-50: prisoners by state, individual prison, and by sex, for comparative analysis of data from the Prison Association of New York and two data tables from the Census of 1850
  • MA 1850-55: prisoner data from Massachusetts state censuses
  • NY 1850-80: prisoner data from New York state censuses
  • 1860, states by nativity: prisoner counts by state and nativity from Census of 1860
  • 1868-1880, prisons: prison counts by sex for individual prisons
  • sex ratio 1870-80, ex NY: change in the sex ratio of prisoners in U.S. state prisons, 1870 to 1880, excluding prisoners in New York State (the NY 1850-80 sheet provides change in sex ratio of prisoners in NY)
  • sentence status, 1880-90: prisoners in jails by sex and sentence status, 1880-1890

Related datasets:

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