In regards to the 1860 Census, can the slaveholder be filtered by race by State?

Regarding the 1860 Census, can the slaveholder be filtered by race by State?

I am the administrator of a historical group on Facebook, specifically, on the War of 1861. Many of my group members are interested in comparing the number of slaveholders by race, (White, Black and Mulatto).

Is there a data table that contains this data by Nation, State, and County?

It does not appear that the race of the slaveholder was collected in the 1860 census. The US Census Slave Schedules provide the names and ownership types of slaveholders, but not their race (only reporting the race of the slave). There is however occupation information (OCC) that identifies respondents engaged in the slave trade in the 1860 census that can be segmented by race (RACE) that you might be interested in on IPUMS USA. You can follow these video tutorials on how to create a personal extract of the 1860 full count file.

Although it’s outside of your timeframe, it appears that the 1790 decennial census does provide slaveholding status by race. You can find this table on IPUMS NHGIS by filtering by year (1790) and topic (slavery). The table NT14. Families by Slaveholding Status by Race aggregates the number of slaveholding families by race by county. I hope this gives you some leads on where to begin your research.


Thank you. After reviewing the videos, I still need assistance. I would appreciate it if someone could provide me with a step-by-step process with a way to download the data into a spreadsheet, please.

I need a state-by-state analysis of persons who engaged in the slave trade in 1860 by ethnicity.


I see that your accounts on IPUMS USA and NHGIS have been approved. That’s a great first step to getting your data. This tutorial, though showing an older version of the website, will guide you through requesting your extract on IPUMS USA (please let me know if you would like additional guidance on accessing IPUMS NHGIS data). When the tutorial notes to select your sample, you’ll need to navigate to the Select Samples page, click on the USA Full Count tab, and hit the check mark next to 1860. When the tutorial notes to add your variables of interest, you will want to add OCC and RACE to your cart. Once you’ve completed these steps and requested your data, this tutorial will guide you through requesting a .csv (Excel) formatted data file. Note that you will need an extraction software to decompress the file once you’ve downloaded it from the IPUMS website. We recommend 7-zip for Windows users and The Unarchiver for mac.

Note that Excel has a limit of 1,048,576 rows per sheet. The 1860 full count file has a bit over 27 million observations (one row per individual). If you wish to view the entire 1860 full count file in Excel, you can use the select cases feature to add STATEICP and other variables to your extract to create multiple files that subdivide the full count into usable segments.