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Southern Farms Study, 1860 (ICPSR 7419)

Principal Investigator(s): Parker, William N.; Gallman, Robert E.


This study presents 1860 data on population and farm production in 5,228 farms located in 405 major cotton-producing counties in the South. The data was compiled from the agriculture, slave, and population schedules of the 1860 United States manuscript Census. For each farm, variables describing farm land, machinery, crops, and livestock are included, as well as production figures for specific crops and types of livestock on the farm. The population variables tabulate the free and slave residents of each farm by sex, race, and age in five- or ten-year categories.

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Study Description


Parker, William N., and Robert E. Gallman. Southern Farms Study, 1860. ICPSR07419-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1991.

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This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    agricultural census, agricultural land, agricultural production, agricultural workers, agriculture, Antebellum South (USA), crops, economic conditions, farms, livestock, rural population, slave labor, slavery, Southern United States

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1860

Universe:    All farms located in Southern counties that produced over 1,000 bales of cotton in 1860.

Data Type(s):    census/enumeration data

Data Collection Notes:

ICPSR added Variable 236, representing an identification number given to each farm, to the original data.


Sample:    A total of 405 counties produced over 1,000 bales of cotton in 1860. A random bloc of five farms was selected from every 280 farms located in the target counties (i.e., a five-farm bloc from every 14th page of the manuscript Census). The resulting sample thus comprised 1.67 percent of all farms in the major cotton-growing counties of the 11 states forming the Confederacy.

Data Source:

Schedules 1 (free population), 2 (slave population), and 4 (agricultural production) of the 1860 manuscript U.S. Census

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-11

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