Native Identities

Early federal census records, 1790-1850, included Indians only if they lived in settled areas, were taxed, and did not maintain a tribal affiliation. These censuses did not specify their race. Indians were indicated as white, if living with white settlers, or black, if living with African Americans. Indians who lived on reservations or who roamed as nomads over unsettled tracts of land and were not taxed and were not counted in these federal censuses.