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This Is Who We Were: 1880–1899

Table of Contents

Essay: America, 1880–1899


Section One: Profiles

Farmer and Community Leader in 1880

Telephone Company Executive in 1880

Educational Reformer and Teacher in Rural Wisconsin in 1881

Thirteen-Year-Old Orphan in 1882

Lawn Tennis Player in 1883

Railroad Construction Engineer in 1883

Chinese Immigrant Photographer's Assistant in 1884

Traveling Salesman and Entrepreneur in 1885

Shoe Lasting Machine Inventor in 1886

Cattle Rancher in 1888

Professional Baseball Player in 1888

New Teacher for the Dakota Sioux in 1888

Textile Mill Worker in 1890

Barbershop Quartet Member in 1891

West Point Graduate on the Frontier in 1891

Mining Company Owner in 1892

Sweet-Potato Farmer in 1892

Yale University Oarsman in 1893

Children's Aid Society Agent in 1894

Cash Register Inventor and Company Founder in 1895

Anti-Corset Campaigner in 1896

Salmon Cannery Cooperative Manager in 1896

Socially Prominent Bon Vivant in 1897

Housemaid in 1898

African American Wood Turner in 1898

Businessman in 1898

College Professor in 1898

Teenage Garment Industry Labor Organizer in 1898

Clarinetist in John Philip Sousa's Band in 1899

Section Two: Historical Snapshots

Early 1880s

Late 1880s/Early 1890s

Late 1890s

Section Three: Economy of the Times

Annual Income

Selected Prices

Value of a Dollar Index 1860–2014

Section Four: All Around Us—What We Saw, Wrote, Read & Listened To

All Around Us–1980–1899

Section Five: Census Data

State-by-State Comparative Tables: 1880, 1900 and 2010

Total Population

White Population

Black Population

American Indian/Alaska Native Population

Asian Population

Homeownership Rate

Eleventh Census of the United States: 1890 Population of the United States, Part I

Progress of the Nation: 1790 to 1890

Sex, General Nativity and Color

State or Territory of Birth

Country of Birth

Foreign Parentage

School, Militia and Voting Ages

Conjugal Condition

Dwellings and Families


School Attendance


Can Not Speak English

Citizenship of Foreign Born Males 21 Years of Age and Over