United States Direct Tax of 1798: Tax Lists for the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: New Market Ward


The Direct Tax of 1798 was imposed by the United States government on dwellings, lands, and slaves, with the aim of raising $2 million, primarily to increase the strength of the armed forces during a time of tension with France over attacks on American shipping. To carry out the taxation program, every structure, lot, and tract in the country had to be accounted for in the tax listings. The result was a housing inventory remarkably complete and detailed for its time, and one not equaled for many years. This book is a compilation of these tax lists for New Market Ward in the City of Philadelphia. The properties (which are listed alphabetically by owner in the original rolls) are organized by street and in the order that they existed on the street, providing an overview of the social and economic characteristics of the neighborhood. Most of the original rolls for New Market Ward are lost, but various derivative lists provide the name of the owner and occupant, the assessed valuation, and the tax to be paid for every property. For certain areas information is also available on the size of the lots. An appendix includes the introduction to the microfilm edition of the Pennsylvania tax lists (published by the National Archives), a circular of the Secretary of the Treasury providing instructions to the assessors, and sample pages from the New Market Ward tax forms. A fullname index of owners and occupants is provided for the 2,200 properties listed.

Wilbur J. McElwain

2000, 8½x11, paper, index, 308 pp. 

ISBN: 9780788415364