First Census From 1791 on the Auction Block

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 will be sold at Sotheby's April 14. It's expected to fetch $50,000 to $70,000. It lists the population for the nation's 13 states and Southwest Territory.

The census gives state by state and county by 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 come up at auction since 1975.

The auction comes amid the 2010 census.

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