Sunday, December 19, 2010

Demographics of Livingston County, Kentucky 1847

I love statistics, especially as they relate to a particular place. At the end of the 1847 Livingston County Tax List, James L. Dallam, county clerk, listed the numbers of people and things. This is what I found:
White males over age 21 = 936
Slaves over age 16 = 428
Total number of slaves = 821
Number of horses = 1670
Number of stores = 25
Pleasure carriages = 2
Number of buggies = 7
Number of pianos = 4
Gold Spectacles = 7
Gold Watches = 38
Silver Lever Watches = 22
Tavern Licenses = 2
Children between the ages of 5 and 16 = 919
Total value of property = $1,032,559

The listing that surprises me the most are the four pianos. Were they transported to Livingston County by steamboat? Who played them and on what occasions?  I am also curious about the pleasure carriages and buggies. Surely the roads were in no condition to allow such vehicles to be used in the country. Were they driven only by people who lived in the towns?

I would have guessed there were more than two tavern licenses in the county. Surely there were more than that in Smithland or Salem alone.

These listings help provide a view into life in Livingston County in 1847. I wish more items had been shown, but I'm sure Livingston County residents wished that fewer were listed as they were taxed on these items.


Susan Clark said...

Fascinating, and thought provoking. Surely the children (white) weren't taxed? Were they recorded for school tax purposes? Were there school taxes in Livingston County then?

Brenda Joyce Jerome said...

No, the white children were not taxed. The children were listed for school purposes - sorry that was not clear.