Final Proposal

For our final project, I have chosen the 1800 Census for the City of Albany. I selected this dataset because it provides a relatively detailed breakdown of the population as opposed to other available censuses. The dataset provides a count of each person residing within city limits, and offers both qualitative (text) and quantitative (numeric) data regarding the other members of their households.

Each row of data in the census begins with the person’s full name before providing counts of who else resides in their home. These quantitative counts are divided into twelve categories, in order:

  1. Free White Males < 10 Years (Min: 0 | Max: 5)
  2. Free White Males 10-16 Years (Min: 0 | Max: 5)
  3. Free White Males 16-26 Years(Min: 0 | Max: 10)
  4. Free White Males 26-45 Years (Min: 0 | Max: 14)
  5. Free White Males 45+ Years (Min: 0 | Max: 10)
  6. Free White Females < 10 Years (Min: 0 | Max: 14)
  7. Free White Females 10-16 Years (Min: 0 | Max: 4)
  8. Free White Females 16-26 Years (Min: 0 | Max: 4)
  9. Free White Females 26-45 Years (Min: 0 | Max: 10)
  10. Free White Females 45+ Years (Min: 0 | Max: 10)
  11. Other Free Persons [Except Untaxed Indians] (Min: 0 | Max: 9)
  12. Slaves (Min: 0 | Max: 11)

In addition to these counts, there are two qualitative columns of data: Head of Household Race and Head of Household Gender. For Head of Household Race, only two possibilities occur: White and Black. Similarly, there are only two possibilities for Head of Household Gender: either f (female) or m (male).

I plan to analyze three primary relationships between two or several data columns. First, I am going to examine the relationship (and any related trends) between the Total Number of Free White Males and the Total Number of Slaves in a household. I am seeking to answer whether or not the volume of the former affects the latter in any way. I will make the comparison using averages for Free White Men and Slaves in each household.

Second, I am going to investigate the relationship between Households with a Female Head of Household and the Distribution of Other Members of the Household. I am looking to see whether there are identifiable trends in occupant distribution for homes run by a dominant female. I will find the average counts of all members in households that fall in this category.

Third, along the same vein as the last, I will study the relationship between Households with a Black Head of Household and the Distribution of Other Members of the Household. Again, I will find the total number of counts for each category of occupant only for homes where the head of household is African American (Black). The purpose of this examination is to spot trends relating to the race of the head of household.

One thought on “Final Proposal

  • April 11, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    Good breakdown of the dataset. You should also consider doing an average or white male headed household vs distribution of other, so that you have something to compare your white female and black headed households against. (And are there households headed by black women? Where do those households fit?)

    How are you going to group free white males? Adults? All men? What about for different household types–what does the number of enslaved people tell you about that household?

    For some of your questions, you may need to dig a bit in county histories–the university library has several histories of Albany county published in the 19th century, which discuss the pre-revolutionary period. Since the town is so small at that point, there’s several of your people mentioned by name and that could help give you context for some of your questions. Several of your people, including the black heads of household, I know for sure show up in the 1815 city directory, so that may be worth looking at as well, whether to look up occupations or do a visualization to compare against.

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