First Census Up For Auction: 1791 Census Lists Population, Signed By Thomas Jefferson
NEW YORK A first edition of the first U.S. census signed by Thomas Jefferson in 1791 is heading for the auction block in New York City.
The 56-page document lists the population for the nation's 13 states and Southwest Territory. It's expected to fetch $50,000 to $70,000 when it's sold April 14 at Sotheby's.
The census gives state and county breakdowns. The state population is listed according to five categories: free white males 16 years and upward, free white males under 16, free white females, all other persons and slaves.
Jefferson was secretary of state at the time.
Only two other 1791 census copies signed by Jefferson have been auctioned since 1975. A manuscripts specialist at Sotheby's estimates that as few as 200 copies were printed but says not all were signed by Jefferson.