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Jackson County

African American rural settlements documented: 1

Jackson County was established in 1816.  From the first federal decennial census for the county in 1820 to 1870, the African American population increased from 36 to 164 people.  Like so many other Indiana counties, the black population census numbers fell between 1850 (214) and 1860 (187).  It dropped again in 1870 and rallied in 1880. Most blacks that came to Jackson County by 1870 were from North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, and other Indiana counties.

Jackson County U.S. Census Numbers, 1820-1900

Census Year
1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900
No. of African Americans
36 120 190 214 187 164 344 270 228

 

The county had at least one black pre Civil War rural community located in Jackson Township. Surnames included Bishop, Christy, Goens/Goins, Mitchell, Newby, Parke, and Parks.  By the 1870s, there was a church and a school.

Bibliography

Thornbrough, Emma. The Negro in Indiana before 1900: A Study of a Minority. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1993.

U.S. Bureau of the Census. “Aggregate Amount of Each Description of Persons within District of Indiana,” 1: 352. Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Office, 1841.

U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population of Civil Divisions Less Than Counties; Table III State of Indiana,” 1:124 Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Office, 1852

U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population of Civil Divisions Less Than Counties; Table III State of Indiana,” 1:124 Eighth Census of the United States, 1860.  Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Office, 1862

U.S. Bureau of the Census. “Population of Civil Divisions Less Than Counties; Table III—State of Indiana,” 1: 124. Ninth Census of the United States, 1870. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1872.

Audrey C. Werle “Research Notes on Indiana African American History,” M 792. William Henry Smith Memorial Library, Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, Indiana.             

By Wilma L. Moore, October 31 2014