|Census Statistics 1850||1860 Slaveholders Index (partial)|
|Census Statistics 1860||Census Slave Statistics 1850|
|Census Statistics 1870||Census Slave Statistics1860|
|1850 Slaveholders Index|
|1930||22,297||blacks were slaves in 1850-1860|
African Americans in the Upshur County Census
Analysis of the 1850 and 1860
United States Census returns demonstrates that almost equal
numbers of Tennesseans and Alabamans moved to the county during
its early period. Planters from the Deep South tended to
concentrate in the eastern half of the county, using their slaves
to open up large tracts of land and to produce cotton. Meanwhile,
farmers from the upper south who owned no slaves tended to settle
in the western section of the county; they operated smaller,
self-sustaining family farms and often lived in log cabins.
According to one account about half of the men from the county who left to join Confederate forces during the Civil War never returned; those who did found a different county than they remembered. After the war the emancipation of the many slaves in the area made it difficult for many local planters to continue operations, and a number of plantations were abandoned or divided; most ex-slaves became sharecroppers, though some acquired land of their own.
By1850 there were 3,934 people, including 682 slaves, living in Upshur County.
By 1860 the population had increased to 10,645, including 3,794 slaves. Nevertheless, the population increased somewhat during the 1860s;
By 1870 there were 12,695 people, including 4,867 blacks. Blacks briefly held a number of political offices in the county after the Civil War, but by the late 1860s the white majority was again firmly in control, partly because the Ku Klux Klanqv intimidated black leaders. Meshack Roberts, for example, moved from Upshur County to Marshall after a Klan beating in 1867. In June 1873 the Texas legislature carved Gregg County out of southern Upshur and northern Rusk counties, and in April 1874 they formed Camp County by lopping off the northern section of Upshur County below the bend in Big Cypress Creek.
In 1880 the United States census found 10,226 people, including 3,381 blacks, in Upshur County. The drop in population was caused by the earlier division of the county. While the county's black population increased during this period, the number of whites grew even more quickly, and
By 1900 there were 15,266 people, including 4,957 blacks, living in Upshur County. The spread of cotton cultivation, combined with the logging boom, led to a marked increase in the population, and the number of whites in the Upshur County continued to increase more rapidly than the black population.
The census reported 19,960 people in 1910 and 22,297 (including 6,234 blacks) by 1920. At least two lynchings of black men took place during the 1910s. Upshur County's population declined during the decade, dropping to 22,297 by 1930.
Primarily because of the oil boom Upshur County's population rose significantly during the 1930s to reach 26,178
By 1940 Meanwhile cotton production continued to decline, and farm consolidation and mechanization forced many of the rural inhabitants to search for jobs in metropolitan areas. As a result the population declined for two decades after World War II, dropping to 20,822 by 1950 and to 19,793 by 1960.
Another postwar trend began in the 1960s, when urban dwellers from other counties began buying second homes in Upshur County and moving there after their retirement. As a result, the population grew to 20,796 by 1970, and by 1980 there were 28,595 people living there. By 1990 Upshur County's population had grown to 31,370.
Sources: Handbook of Texas Online: