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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: June 2014

D - Demography and the Franchise in the United States


This appendix presents more information about the estimates of the African American share of the United States' population and theoretical electorate appearing in Chapters 7 and 8.

For both the national and state levels, where election year data had not been compiled by demographers from the decennial censuses, I linearly interpolated data for noncensus election years using the surrounding decennial censuses as the end points.


My estimates of the African American share of the national population and of the theoretical electorate appear in Table 7.1 and Figure 7.1.

To construct these estimates, I generally began with national totals and, if necessary, subtracted noncontributing states. For example, for 1862 and 1864, the populations, African American populations, and theoretical electorates of the eleven Confederate states were subtracted from the national totals; for 1866, the same was done with the exception of Tennessee, which had been readmitted to the Union; and for 1868, Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, and Virginia only were subtracted from the national totals because they had not yet been readmitted to the Union.

For 1860-1866, the African American theoretical electorate consisted solely of those African Americans of the enfranchised age and gender in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. For subsequent election years, matters became more complicated and required several assumptions of varying validity. These assumptions were: (i) all African Americans in the former Confederate states were enfranchised from 1868 until 1908 (with the exception of Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia in 1868), disenfranchised from 1910 until 1964, and again enfranchised from 1965 onwards; (ii) no non–African Americans were disenfranchised in the former Confederate states; and (iii) outside of the former Confederate states, all African Americans were enfranchised from 1870 onwards.