Black Women on Lincoln Avenue in the 1870s

By looking at US Census data from 1870 and 1880, we can better understand the people who lived on what became Lincoln Avenue in 1877.

In 1870, the primary occupation listed for both the Black majority and the white minority of both women and men were the same: most women were listed as “Keeping House” and men as “Daily Laborers.” This post will examine the data on women on Lincoln Avenue in 1870; more will follow on other occupational topics.

Keeping house indicated that a woman devoted her labor to her home and family. We have seen that in 1870 most Black residents had arrived in Walnut Hills from the South, and many of the migrants had arrived during or after the Civil War which lasted from 1861 to 1865. Women who had been enslaved had no previous opportunity to keep house for their families, at least as a primary occupation. Among the 29 Black families living on Lincoln Avenue, sixteen included a woman counted as keeping house – or more significantly as not working outside the home for a living.

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Geoff Sutton, “Black Women on Lincoln Avenue in the 1870s,” Cincinnati Sites and Stories, accessed May 28, 2024,