African American Dressmakers, 1900 U.S. Census, Kentucky(start date: 1900 - end date: 1900)
By Reinette F. Jones
May 5, 2019
What was supposed to have been a simple reference question about African American dressmakers, has resulted in a not so simple answer. The question was how many African American dressmakers were in Kentucky at the start of the 20th Century and who was counting. The title, Bulletin no.8, Negroes in the United States, was presented as a possible source. Within the text was the statement that the number of Negro dressmakers in the United States had increased by 65.7%: from 7,586 in the 1890 Census to 12,569 in the 1900 Census (p.62). There was nothing in Bulletin no.8 about Negro dressmakers in Kentucky, but more about that later. There was no solid reason given for the supposed increase in the overall number of Negro dressmakers. The claim was counter to the Bureau of the Census prediction that hand trades, such as dressmaking, were dwindling because hand trade products were being made in factories. Someone had forgotten to tell this to the Negro dressmakers. The contradiction lead to more research, and it soon became very clear that the answer was more complex than an increase in the number of Negro dressmakers based on the say-so of the Bureau of the Census.
1. First, Bulletin no.8, Negroes in the United States, was published as a result of W. E. B. DuBois' influence and persuasion to have the 1900 U.S. Census be a more accurate accounting of the Negro population than in prior censuses, and that there be an analysis of the data in the form of a publication dedicated to the Negroes. W. E. B. DuBois would become a co-author of Bulletin no.8, Negroes in the United States. W. E. B. DuBois was a sociologist, historian, author, and a national civil rights activist. In 1904, he was a professor of economics and history at Atlanta University in Georgia.
2. There were no Negro agents or enumerators hired for the 1900 U.S. Census. [Source: Letter from the United States Bureau of the Census to W. E. B. Du Bois dated January 17, 1922. Available online at UMassAmherst Special Collections and University Archives]. "More than 2,000 Negro enumerators were employed in 1910, but none were employed at previous censuses or in 1920."
3. Approximately 53,000 agents and enumerators were hired for the 1900 U.S. Census. They were given specific instructions concerning Manufactures. This particular census was the first attempt to collect and present separate data on occupations and businesses that were factory industries and those that were hand trades. Dressmaking was a hand trade.
4. The Bureau of the Census admitted that the Manufactures Reports of the past had problems. In 1899, S. N. D. North, director of the Bureau, wrote that the census statistics of manufactures were susceptible to more "misleading interpretations" than any other group. But that did not keep the Bureau from using the data to predict that hand trades were greatly decreasing and would be overtaken by factory output. [Source: S. N. D. North, "Manfactures in the Federal Census," Publications of the American Economic Association, No.2 The Federal Census. Critical Essays by Members of the American Economic Association, (March, 1899) pp.257-302]
5. The Bureau's prediction would come true, somewhat, but the timing was a little off. The prediction was not supported by the data collected for the 1900 Census. The hired agents and enumerators were accused of misconstructing or completely ignoring the instructions from the Bureau of the Census. The data they had collected showed that hand trades were thriving and were more important to local communities than the Bureau of the Census had predicted. The data also showed that Negro dressmakers had increased by 65.7%, which wasn't entirely true, but that too could wait. The Bureau was more concerned that the actions of the errant agents and enumerators had greatly increased the cost of the 1900 Census and caused the census publications to be delayed.
6. After a closer look at the data, it was realized that the hired agents and enumerators had actually gathered good information needed for the publication requested by W. E. B. DuBois. The data showed that Negroes in the United States were making positive strides as a race. On this particular front, all was well and Bulletin no.8, Negroes in the United States, was printed by the Government Printing Office (GPO) in 1904. The publication also provided the first and last time Negro dressmakers were highlighted in a government publication.
7. Prior to the publishing of Bulletin no.8, information about Negro dressmakers had been printed in Negro newspapers. But government publications were not intended to have the same reach as newspapers. The Bureau of the Census was responsible for distributing its publications using a mailing list. Prominent persons, such as W. E. B. DuBois, were familiar with the content of Negroes in the United States, and it was these persons who were depended upon to share the information with peers, colleagues, leaders of the race, and other learned persons.
8. The majority of the Negroes in the United States did not have access to Bulletin no.8, Negroes in the United States. Few persons, regardless of race, knew that in order to acquire Bureau of the Census publications, an application had to be sent to the Bureau or you had to be on the mailing list. There were a limited number of individuals and libraries on the Bureau mailing list. Even if the bulletin had been sent to all libraries in the United States, the libraries were segregated in 1904. Less than 10 libraries admitted Negroes and there were less than 10 colored public libraries in the entire country. [Sources: U.S. Government Documents in Small Libraries by J. I. Wyer, Jr.; and W. F. Yust, "What of the black and yellow races?," Papers and Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the American Library Association held at Kaaterskill, N.Y, June 23-28, 1913, pp.159-169. Online at Project Gutenberg.]
In spite of the limited circulation, Bulletin no.8, Negroes in the United States, was hailed as a race positive publication. The Bureau of the Census had written a publication that gave proof of the progress and uplift of the Negro race. In the Plaindealer newspaper, on 08/19/1904, p.1, the publication was said to be "the first authenticated bulletin of its kind ... The bulletin is very instructive throughout and will furnish many pleasant surprises to our people." Bulletin no.8 also received a very favorable review: Negroes in the United States by Walter F. Wilcox, W. E. Burghardt Du Bois. Reviewed by Charles E. Edgerton in Publications of the American Statistical Association, v.9, no.69 (March, 1905), pp.182-191. The following year, in 1906, Negroes in the United States was reprinted into the title Special Reports: Supplementary Analysis and Derivative Tables. Five years later, the news of the increased number of Negro dressmakers was repeated in the 1911 title Half a Man: the status of the Negro in New York by Mary White Ovington (pp.161-162). And, again, the claim was repeated on p.25 in the section "Employment of Negro Women, New York 1900-1911" found within the 1968 title Teaching the Age of the City: the Gilded Age and After (1865-1914). A Guide for Seventh Grade Social Studies.
Within Bulletin no.8, the occupation of dressmaking was said to be among the top 27 leading occupations for Negro breadwinners in the year 1900 (p.13). The numbers showed that the majority of the nonwhite dressmakers lived in the south and in 1900 that number was 8,296 (p.58). The term "non-white" included all who were not considered white. But not to fear; there was the added caveat that Negro dressmakers represented only 0.3 % of all occupations held by Negroes. The percentage of Negro dressmakers among all dressmakers in the United States had only increased from 2.6% to 3.6% (p.62). White dressmakers were still the majority (331,841), and this group had a modest increase of 16.1% from 1890-1900. The increased number of Negro dressmakers was said to have had the greatest impact on the number of Negro seamstresses. It was a bit of a stretch, but the increased number of Negro dressmakers had supposedly caused a decrease in the number of Negro seamstresses who had also been impacted by the increased production of women's clothing in factories (p.63). In other words, it was suggested that a good many of the seamstresses had become dressmakers or they had gone to work in clothing factories. Seamstressing was a hand trade that was supposedly being overtaken by factory output, which was a rationale that supported the census prediction.
There was quite a bit not mentioned in Bulletin no.8, Negroes in the United States. For starters, the 12,569 Negro dressmakers had a second or third paying job. Or, dressmaking may not have been a job, but rather, it was part of the family upkeep because the making of clothing for family members did not generate money-in-hand income but made it possible for the family to save money. Home-made clothes were much cheaper than ready-made clothes from factories. The majority of those enumerated in the 1900 Census as Negro dressmakers did not have the luxury of earning their sole income from making dresses. In 1900, 96 out of every 100 Negro women were employed as field workers, house servants, waitresses, and laundresses [source: The Negro Wage Earner, by L. J. Greene and C. G. Woodson. Chapter V. "Domestic and Personal Service Up to 1917"]. Negro girls started working earlier in life, as young as 10, and Negro women had to work later in life, some over the age of 65 [source: p.55 in Negroes in the United States]. More than 70% of the 51 Negro dressmakers enumerated in Kentucky for the 1880 U.S. Census were girls and younger women not yet married, and divorced and widow women who were heads of households. The overall number of dressmakers were few among the 74,000 Negroes affiliated with textile and garment operations, of which about 8,000 were working in clothing factories throughout the U.S. in 1900 [source: The Negro Wage Earner, p.307]. In the state of New York, there were more than 1,000 Negro dressmakers enumerated in the 1900 Census. Most were not employed in the manufacturing of clothes, and the situation had not changed ten years later. "There were virtually no Negroes in the garment industry in New York in 1910 (p.303)." See the worksheet attached to this entry that has the names of Negro dressmakers in and from Kentucky who were enumerated in the 1880 U.S. Census. See also Uplifting the Race by Kevin K. Gaines; Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and the Struggle for Racial Uplift by Jacqueline M. Moore; Two Strivings: uplift and identity in African American rhetorical culture, 1900-1943 by Jansen B. Werner (dissertation); and Hasia R. Diner, "Black women in families: from field to factory," Reviews in American History, vol.13, no.4 (Dec., 1985), pp.551-556.
Women's clothing was not the main profit of the factory-made clothing industry in 1900. Most of the ready-to-wear market was dedicated to men's clothing. "In 1890, women's styles accounted for only 25 percent of factory-made clothing. ... A survey of department stores from 1911 to 1925 showed that until 1920, fabric sales kept pace with ready-made clothing, but after 1920, the ready-mades overtook fabric." -- [Source: Make it yourself : home sewing, gender, and culture, 1890-1930 by S. A. Gordon, p.3] The department store survey results are in accordance with the data collected by the hired agents and enumerators for the 1900 Census; the hand trades, such as dressmaking, were still very much needed by local communities. The survey also showed that the Bureau of the Census was a tad early with their prediction that factory output was overtaking the hand trades.
All of this information is presented in hindsight and would not have been known in 1904. There is no indication that anyone felt the need to question the 1900 census data published in Bulletin no.8, Negroes in the United States, not even W. E. B. DuBois or his contemporaries. But interest in the publication has not gone away: Did the number of Negro dressmakers really increase by 65.7% between 1890-1900? Probably not. Though, there was more than likely an increase of some sort. The total number of Negro dressmakers enumerated in the 1900 Census was closer to being correct than had been in the previous censuses, and accuracy is what W. E. B. DuBois had asked of the Bureau of the Census. The more confident answer was that there had been a 65.7% increase in the number of Negro dressmakers, as opposed to an ambiguous answer or no answer. The Bureau of the Census was on the line to do right by the Negro. "Some circumstances connected with the preliminary organization of this census lead us to expect from it a somewhat higher degree of accuracy than in the past or at least an avoidance of the faults of the discredited ninth and eleventh censuses." [Quote source: W. E. Burghardt DuBois, "The Twelfth Census and the Negro Problems," The Southern Workman and Hampton School Record, v.XXIX, January 1900, no.1, p.306, online at Hathi Trust Digital Library. Other sources: Hampton Negro Conference, Number III, July 1899. Online at Hathi Trust Digital Library; and letters between W. E. B. Du Bois and the U.S. Census Office within the W. E. B. Du Bois Papers online at UMassAmherst Special Collections and University Archives.]
In truth, the Negro population had never depended on the Bureau of the Census to validate the value of Negro dressmakers in the uplift of the Negro race. Negro dressmakers had been in the United States since the first enslaved women and free women made hand-sewn dresses. After freedom, Negro women still were making dresses. When the colored schools were established, dressmaking was part of the domestic science training provided to Negro girls and women. Learning to sew was preparation for womanhood and family life. Sewing baskets, needles, threads, scissors, sewing whatnots, and materials were sometimes handed down to a young woman from a matriarch in the family. Sewing was also a means of making a living because Negro women's options were limited due to racism, sexism, and prejudice in the job market. By the year 1900, most women, regardless of race, sewed at home. There were few Negro women who worked in dressmaking factories, and few who owned and managed dressmaking shops. [Sources: V. G. Thomas and J. A. Jackson, "The Education of African American girls and women: past to present," Journal of Negro Education, v.76, no.3, Celebrating the Legacy of "The Journal": 75 years of facilitating excellence in Black education, (Summer, 2007), pp.357-372; and Make it yourself : home sewing, gender, and culture, 1890-1930 by S. A. Gordon.]
The Negro press had written more than all others about Negro dressmakers, and during the ten year span, there was no mention in the newspapers of the numbers greatly increasing between 1890 and 1900. Some of the early articles were in reference to New York, "Coloured men in New York State," National Anti-Slavery Standard, 10/27/1855, p.3; and "Statistical [Occupations of the Colored Population in the City of New York]," Weekly Anglo-African, 02/16/1861, p.2. Starting in the 1870s, there were also New York companies seeking employees who would work in the south. One employer was Victoria Manufacturing, a company that continuously placed ads in the Weekly Louisianian, from 1871-1874, seeking Negro women dealers and agents who were druggists, milliners, dressmakers, and those in fancy stores: "$75 Every Week! Made Easy by Lady Agents." By the 1880s, there were articles that complained there were not enough dressmakers: "Industrial notes," Freeman, 05/18/1889, p.7; and "A Surfeit of beauty," Weekly Pelican, 07/20/1889, p.1. There were also articles that listed the number of Negro businesses in a particular city. In 1889, there were 12 Negro dressmakers in Atlanta, GA, mentioned in the Leavenworth Advocate, 11/30/1889, p.2; and there were six in Derby, CT, according to the column "Personal and Impersonal," Plaindealer (Detroit), 07/01/1892, p.2. In some locations, the Negro community was encouraged to support the Negro dressmakers, "Iowa State Bystander, 09/02/1898, p.1. Dressmaking was a highly regarded occupation that was given respect by the Negro newspapers. "Mrs. F. A. Duff, of Chicago, Ill., is a first-class dressmaker, and will give satisfaction to all who may patronize her." - - Western Recorder, 09/26/1884, p.3. "Miss McClure is not only a practical dressmaker, but is also a teacher of the art." - - Freeman, 04/19/1890, p.5. "Mrs. P. A. Sheftall, the dressmaker, has moved from 15 Mercer Street to 271 Barnard Street." - - Savannah Tribune, 01/11/1896, p.3. A contemporary source that gives a history of African American dressmakers with selected biographies is Threads of Time: the fabric of history. Profiles of African American dressmakers and designers, 1850-2002 by Rosemary E. Reed Miller.
Every year there were articles in the Negro newspapers about the local dressmakers, while the Bureau of the Census had nothing to say about Negro dressmakers specifically until 1904. For the Bureau, dressmakers and dressmaking were recognized as an employment industry. The clothing, women's, dressmaking category was one of the 13 found under the heading "The Hand Trades" in the 1900 Census: Volume VII, Manufactures, Part 1, Chapter 1, p.xxxvii [available online at U.S. Census Bureau website]. Dressmaking was suggested as one of the hand trades that were most likely connected to the mercantile business side of large retail stores in cities (p.xxviii). The 1900 Census was the first attempt to present separate statistics for the factory industries and the hand trades. Because of the potential for overlap and ambiguity, such as that of dressmaking being connected to mercantile businesses, it was printed in the 1900 Manufactures volume that the hired agents and enumerators were "specifically" instructed not to secure reports for a list of particular types of businesses. On the "NO" list were dressmakers, milliners, and seamstresses who worked at their homes. Also, on the "NO" list was any person who did not have a shop or a regular place for business (p.xxxviii).
If all had gone as planned, fewer dressmakers would have been included in the 1900 Manfactures Census. The Bureau's prediction of diminishing hand trades would have been supported by the collected data. But that is not how the data collection was done. What happened, according to the 1900 Manufactures volume, was that the "specific" instructions given to the hired agents and enumerators were either misconstructed or completely ignored (p.xxxviii). This resulted in the inclusion of all types of businesses in the census reports, including the hand trades on the "NO" list, along with selected groups of hand trades that the agents and enumerators decided were important enough to be included in the census data. Thus, it was noted in the scope of the 1900 Manufactures Census that there was a discrepancy between the Occupation Tables and the Manufacturing Tables. The inclusion of the hand trades had increased the overall number of establishments. "The lack of such uniformity in the different states and cities results in a false showing of the relative importance of the hand trades in the different localities. (p.xxxix)"
The Bureau of the Census had gotten crossed-up by making a prediction and having to process data that were contrary to the prediction. Persons employed in the hand trades were many and their work was still very important to local communities. The contradiction was reason enough for the Bureau of the Census to blame the 53,000 hired agents and enumerators for not being able to follow instructions. While at the same time, the Bureau was just as quick to take credit for a more accurate report on the status of the American Negro, with absolutely no credit given to the hired agents and enumerators. For the Negro dressmakers, the facts were already in-hand: Negro dressmakers worked at home, the majority did not have a shop, and for most, they were not connected to retail stores or mercantile businesses in large cities. There were 346,884 dressmakers enumerated in the 1900 U.S. Census, and 12,569 were Negroes. None of the hired agents or enumerators were Negroes. It is highly unlikely that the hired agents and enumerators in every state got the instructions wrong in the same manner. More than likely, the training and instructions were less than adequate, and the agents and enumerators erred on the side of more not less, and in doing so, they did the right thing for one occasion and the wrong thing for the other occasion. [Sources: For the number of hired agents and enumerators see W. C. Hunt, "The Federal Census of occupations," Publications of the American Statistical Association, v.11, no.86 (June, 1909), pp.467-485; and For the number of dressmakers see 1900 Census Special Reports: Occupations at the Twelfth Census. Chapter 2. Comparison of Occupations at the Twelfth and Preceding Censuses. Statistics of Occupations, p.x1vi Table III (available online at U.S. Census Bureau website)]
One other note, the terms "dressmaker" and "dress maker" have been used interchangeably with other terms for several decades in the census and city directories. An example is the terms used to reference the occupation of Matilda A. Smiley in Louisville, KY. She is listed in the Louisville city directory as early as 1880 with the occupation of a seamstress, and also enumerated in the 1880 U.S. Census as a seamstress (source: p.614 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1880). In 1885, her occupation was recorded as a dressmaker in the city directory (p.704 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1885). Throughout the 1890s, she is listed in the city directories as a seamstress. In 1899, she is listed in the city directory as a dressmaker, and in the 1900 U.S. Census, her occupation is given as dressmaker (source: p.1030 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1899). Starting in 1902, the city directory gives Matilda Smiley's occupation as sews (source: p.1189 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1902). Matilda A. Smiley had made dresses and other garments, but did that make her a dressmaker, a seamstress, a sewer, or all of them? Her occupation had not changed, which did not matter one way or the other as far as the enumerator was concerned. Matilda A. Smiley referred to herself as a dressmaker in 1900 and for the 1900 U.S. Census, she was a dressmaker counted among the 270 Negro dressmakers in Kentucky, and the 12,569 Negro dressmakers noted in Bulletin no.8, Negroes in the United States. Matilda A. Smiley was one of the 70 Negro dressmakers enumerated in Louisville in 1900. The city of Louisville had 170 dressmaking establishments and 6 dressmaking factories, and in two other locations, there were six dressmaking establishments in Covington, and 26 in Lexington [source: 1900 Census: Volume VIII. Manufactures, Part II. States and Territories. Statistics of Manufactures, pp.288-290 (available online at U.S. Census Bureau website)]. See the worksheet attached to this entry that gives the Kentucky counties and cities/towns with the estimated number of Negro dressmakers enumerated in the 1900 U.S. Census.
Unfortunately, the geographic locations of the Negro dressmakers were not included in Bulletin no.8. That information can be gathered by reviewing the individual sheets of the 1900 Census. Of the 50 states, all but two had Negro dressmakers; there were 48 states with a rough count of 15,610 Negro dressmakers. [The total differs from that provided in Negroes in the United States. The higher total comes from searching the individual census sheets via Ancestry.com, using the race terms black and mulatto combined with the occupation terms dressmaker, dress maker, dressmaking, and dress making.] On the high end, there were states with more than 1,000 Negro dressmakers. The absolute most were in South Carolina, followed in decreasing order by Virginia, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New York. States with less than 10 Negro dressmakers were Idaho and Alaska with none, South Dakota and Wyoming with 1 each, North Dakota with 4, Nevada and Texas each had 6, New Hampshire and Utah each had 7, Arizona 8, and Maine and Oregon each had 9. Attached to this entry is the list of all 50 states and the estimated number of Negro dressmakers enumerated in the 1900 U.S. Census.
Dressmakers were located all over the United States in 1900. The Manufactures Census showed a decrease of 5,108 dressmaking establishments from 19,587 in the 1890 Census to 14,479 in the 1900 Census. But the Manufactures Reports were said to be fickled and had been for a while. In 1899, the Bureau of the Census director, S. N. D. North, wrote that the census statistics of manufactures were susceptible to more "misleading interpretations" than any other group. For example, dressmaking was one of the industries that had been included in the 1870 Manufactures Census. But in the 1880 Census, dressmaking was one of the industries that had either been omitted or had been classified and merged into other industries which made it impossible to be identified. At the time, in 1880, it was also impossible to accurately track dressmaking from one census to the next. So, in 1890, dressmaking and all other industries that had been omitted in the 1880 Census were again added, then combined with industries that had never been reported in the U.S. Census. When all was said and done, the final report showed that there were 19,587 dressmaking establishments in the United States in 1890. [Sources: 1900 Census Special Reports: Occupations at the Twelfth Census. Chapter 2. Comparison of Occupations at the Twelfth and Preceding Censuses. Statistics of Occupations, p.x1vi (available online at U.S. Census Bureau website); and S. N. D. North, "Manfactures in the Federal Census," Publications of the American Economic Association, No.2 The Federal Census. Critical Essays by Members of the American Economic Association, (March, 1899) pp.257-302]
It appeared as if the number of dressmaking establishments had gone down while the number of dressmakers had increased. In the 1900 Statistics of Occupations, there were 346,884 dressmakers enumerated, compared to 289,164 in 1890. In the scope of the 1900 Manufactures Census it is noted that there was a discrepancy between the Occupation Tables and the Manufacturing Tables. The debate had not been settled on how to construct a measurable difference between factory production and hand trades. There was also the question of whether industries with $500 or less of product should continue to be omitted from the Manfactures Census. Or, had they actually been omitted given that the hired agents and enumerators were accused of misconstructing the instructions they were given. [Sources: 1900 Census: Volume VIII. Manufactures, Part 1. United States by Industries. General Tables, p.5; 1900 Census Special Reports: Occupations at the Twelfth Census. Chapter 2. Comparison of Occupations at the Twelfth and Preceding Censuses. Statistics of Occupations, p.x1vi; and 1900 Census: Volume VII, Manufactures, Part 1, Chapter 1]
The enumeration of the dressmakers and dressmaking establishments had never been a major focus of the 1900 U.S. Census. It just happened to have worked out that the Negro dressmakers were noted in Bulletin no.8, Negroes in the United States. The recognition was a brief moment in time. Dressmaking was a small industry, and as the Bureau of the Census had predicted, the dressmakers numbers greatly decreased to about 70,000 in 1920 (Ancestry.com estimate). Obviously, the dressmakers working from their homes had not completely disappeared. Though, the mass production of ready-to-wear clothes had finally taken over the market, as the Bureau of the Census had predicted. Women's clothing (not just dressmaking) was a much broader and profiting industry than it had been at the turn of the century and it was quickly getting to the level of the men's clothing industry. In 1920, there were 175,270 persons employed in men's clothing (males 80,743 / females 94,527); and 165,649 employed in women's clothing (males 53,181 / females 112,468). [Source: 1920 Census: Vol 8. Manufactures, 1919, General Report and Analytical Tables. Manufactures, Table 14, p.24 (available online at U.S. Census Bureau website)]
1910 U.S. Census
345,164 Dressmakers in the U.S.
15 Women's Clothing Establishments in Kentucky (1909)
370 Negro Dressmakers in Kentucky (Ancestry approx.)
1900 U.S. Census
346,884 Dressmakers in the U.S.
14,479 Dressmaking Establishments in the U.S.
279 Dressmaking Establishments in Kentucky (6 in Covington / 26 in Lexington / 170 in Louisville)
12,569 Negro Dressmakers in the U.S.
270 Negro Dressmakers in Kentucky (Ancestry approx.)
1890 U.S. Census
289,164 Dressmakers in the U.S.
19,587 Dressmaking Establishments in the U.S.
7,586 Negro Dressmakers in the United States
1880 U.S. Census
419,157 Dressmakers, Milliners, Tailors in the U.S.
144 Dressmakers in Kentucky (Ancestry approx.)
51 Negro Dressmakers in Kentucky (Ancestry approx.)
1870 U.S. Census
1,847 Women's Clothing Establishments in the U.S.
34 Women's Clothing Establishments in Kentucky
20 Dressmakers in Kentucky (Ancestry approx.)
14 Negro Dressmakers in Kentucky (Ancestry approx.)
1860 U.S. Census
78 Ladies' Clothing Establishments in the U.S.
170 Dressmakers in Kentucky (Ancestry approx.)
(all available online at the U.S. Census Bureau Publications Library website)
1910 Census: Volume 4. Population, Occupation Statistics. Chapters 1 & 2. Enumeration and Classification of Occupations at the Thirteenth Census: Summary and Analysis of Results, p.56.
1910 Census: Volume 9. Manufactures, 1909 Reports by State, with Statistics for Principal Cities. Volume IX. Manufactures 1909. Table 1, p.406.
1900 Census: Volume VIII. Manufactures, Part 1. United States by Industries. General Tables, p.5.
1900 Census Special Reports: Occupations at the Twelfth Census. Chapter 2. Comparison of Occupations at the Twelfth and Preceding Censuses. Statistics of Occupations, p.x1vi.
1880 Census: volume 1. Statistics of the Population of the United States. Occupations, Table XXXI, Tailors, Dressmakers, Milliners, p.741.
1870 Census: Volume 3. The Statistics of Wealth and Industry in the United States. Table VIII General Statistics Manufactures, p.394 & p.400; and Table IX - (A) and (B), p.521.
1860 Census: Manufactures of the United States. Introduction, p.1xxxvi.