Additional Resources

Resources about nineteenth century Cincinnati in the Library’s collection.

Cincinnati History

Centennial History of Cincinnati and Representative Citizens
Charles Theodore Greve
R977.199 qG84
The first volume of this work gives a comprehensive account of the history of Cincinnati through the nineteenth century. The second volume is comprised of biographical sketches of prominent citizens of the city.
Cincinnati in 1826
Benjamin Drake and Edward D. Mansfield
917.7199 D76
Description of Cincinnati as it was in 1826. Contains information on public buildings, religious institutions, government, manufactures, steamboats and more.
Cincinnati in 1841
Charles Cist
917.7199 C58
Contains historical and descriptive information on Cincinnati as well as statistical data. Cist also wrote Sketches and Statistics of Cincinnati in 1851 and Sketches and Statistics of Cincinnati in 1859. Utilizing all three works, one can see the successive growth of Cincinnati from 1840 to 1860.
History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio: Their Past and Present
R977.199 qH67
The first half of this book is devoted to the history of Cincinnati and the surrounding county up to the end of the nineteenth century. The last half consists of biographical sketches and portraits of pioneers and representative citizens.
History of Hamilton County, Ohio: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
Henry A. Ford
R977.199 fF7.1
This 1881 history of Hamilton County focuses on the first ninety years of the county. It gives both early history and biographical sketches of noted residents of Hamilton County.
History of Cincinnati, Ohio: with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
Henry A. Ford
R977.199 fF7 1987
Reprint of a standard work on Cincinnati, this book relates the history of the city up to 1881 and includes biographical sketches of various citizens throughout.
Illustrated Cincinnati: A Pictorial Hand-book of the Queen City
Daniel J. Kenny
917.7178 K36 1986
Modern reprint of a guidebook that describes the city of Cincinnati as it was during the 1870s. Contains excellent illustrations of the city’s architecture and includes a section on commerce and manufactures.
Cincinnati City Directories
A valuable tool for historical, genealogical, and general interest researchers alike, these listings of residents provide home and work addresses, as well as occupation. Of special note are the 1840, 1842, and 1843 directories, which have separate listings for black Cincinnatians. The 1829 directory contains an excellent description of Frances Trollope’s Bazaar. Historical directories dating from 1819 to the present are located in the History and Genealogy Department.
Cincinnati Newspapers
  • Cincinnati Enquirer: 1841 to present
  • Cincinnati Commercial: 1843–1930
  • Cincinnati Daily Gazette: 1827–1881
  • Cincinnati Post: 1881 to present
  • Cincinnati Times-Star: 1840–1958
Federal Census for Hamilton County
View microfilm copies of the original federal census sheets collected on individuals throughout the mid-nineteenth century. This resource allows the researcher to catch a glimpse of life for ordinary Cincinnatians (including Eliza Potter and James S. Wise) for this period. Available in the History and Genealogy Department.
Local History Index
Located in the History and Genealogy Department, this card index centers on nineteenth and early twentieth century sources. It references materials located throughout the Main Library, which are often overlooked but contain a wealth of information.
Natural and Statistical View, or Picture of Cincinnati and the Miami Country. With an Appendix Containing Observations on the Late Earthquake, the Aurora Borealis, and South-West Wind.
Daniel Drake
R977.199 D76
This 1815 work represents a first-hand account of Cincinnati in the early years. Drake explores the physical, civil, political and historical landscape of the budding community along the Ohio.
Serene Cincinnatians
Alvin F. Harlow
917.7199 H286
This portrait of nineteenth century Cincinnati describes the city’s social life and customs, as well as its prominent citizens and institutions. Published in 1950 and available at Main Library and numerous branch locations, it provides an interesting contrast to the works of Frances Trollope and Eliza Potter.


Extracts from the History of Cincinnati and the Territory of Ohio, showing the Trials and Hardships of the Pioneers in the Early Settlement of Cincinnati and the West
A.E. Jones
R977.199 J77
This early account of Cincinnati contains a copy of the first plat map of Cincinnati and the list of lots and their purchasers.
Hamilton County, Ohio
Samuel Morrison and Jesse Williams
Based on a survey conducted in 1835 by Morrison and Williams, this engraved map shows major roads, population and number of votes cast in 1830s elections for Cincinnati and each of Hamilton County’s fourteen townships.
Plan of Cincinnati Including All the Late Additions and Subdivisions Engraved for Drake’s Statistical View
This limited edition reproduction from Drake’s Natural and Statistical View of Cincinnati, published in 1815, shows the street layout and location of the Courthouse, mills and factories, breweries, markets, churches and cemeteries.
Topographical Map of the City of Cincinnati
H. L. Barnum
R912.77178 efB263 1831
This 1831 map, based on a study made by the United States Surveyor’s Office, gives a physical view of Cincinnati. Engravings of Cincinnati buildings and river scenes from the period border the map.
Atlas of United States of North America: Cincinnati & Vicinity; Louisville, Jeffersonville and Vicinity
Henry Darwin Rogers
R912.771 R726 1857
Separated from an atlas of North America, this map represents Cincinnati and its surroundings in 1857.
Cincinnati in 1853
R912.77178 C5744 1853
This map gives an overview of the city and its streets in 1853.
Cincinnati: With Covington and Newport: Drawn for the Directory, 1858
Alfred West Gilbert
R912.77178 G464 1858
Separated from the 1858 Cincinnati city directory, this map shows the Cincinnati area, bordered by 16 illustrations of Cincinnati landmarks, including the Court House, Observatory, schools, churches and the Burnet House.
Map of Cincinnati, Newport and Covington
Edward Mendenhall
912.77178 M297 1855
This hand-tinted map by famed mapmaker Edward Mendenhall provides an excellent view of Cincinnati, Newport and Covington, showing streets and canals and the location of 34 Cincinnati public offices, institutions, cultural attractions and hotels.
Titus’ Atlas of Hamilton Co., Ohio: from Actual Surveys
Robert H. Harrison
R912.77199 ffT6 1991
A reprint of a commercially published map displaying property ownership for Hamilton county, this 1869 atlas also shows townships and wards and is available at the Main Library as well as many of the Public Library’s branches.
Atlas of the City of Cincinnati, Ohio
E. Robinson
912.77199 efR66
Taken from official records, private plans and actual surveys, this atlas displays property ownership for the city of Cincinnati in the early 1880s.
Map of Cincinnati and Suburbs and Covington & Newport: Bellevue, Dayton, Ludlow & Bromley, [Ky.]
M. & R. Burgheim (Firm)
R912.77178 efM11 1884
Map showing the 1884 flood area at its highest stage at Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Newport, Bellevue, Dayton and Ludlow, Kentucky on Thursday, February 14.
The Navigator
Zadok Cramer
R917.7 C881
This early river guide was published during the first quarter of the nineteenth century and went through twelve editions. It contains maps and directions for navigating the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, plus it gives descriptions of the towns and settlements found along the way. The Public Library has all editions from the sixth through the twelfth, which were published between 1808 and 1822.
Official Military Atlas of the Civil War
United States. War Dept.
R911.73 ffU585 1978
Reprint of the 1891 edition of the Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.
The Western Pilot
Samuel Cumings
R917.7 C969
This river guide was published during the second quarter of the nineteenth century and went through at least sixteen editions. It contains maps and directions for navigating the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and gives desciptions of towns along the river. The Public Library holds twelve of the sixteen editions, which were published between 1825 and 1854.

African Americans in Cincinnati

Cincinnati’s Black Peoples: A Chronology and Bibliography, 1787–1982
Lyle Koehler
R977.1780496073 qK77
Koehler traces the growth and history of Cincinnati’s African American population in a timeline fashion. This information is supplemented by an extensive bibliography pertaining to Black Cincinnati.
Cincinnati’s Colored Citizens: Historical, Sociological and Biographical
Wendell Phillip Dabney
917.717806 D114 1988
First published in 1926 by Wendell P. Dabney, editor of the African American newspaper, The Union, this book is still considered one of the best sources for local African American history. Dabney examines the experience of African Americans in the city. He also provides biographical sketches and portraits of prominent Cincinnati African Americans, including merchants, pharmacists, teachers, “beauty culturists,” teachers and ministers, as well as significant institutions in the Black community.
“The Negroes of Cincinnati Before the Civil War.” The Journal of Negro History. Volume I, Number 1. January 1916
Carter G. Woodson
Noted African American historian Carter G. Woodson writes about mid-nineteenth century Cincinnati in the first article of the first issue of this acclaimed periodical.
“On Slavery’s Fringe: City-Building and Black Community Development in Cincinnati, 1800–1850.” Ohio History. Volume 95 (Winter/Spring 1986)
Henry Louis Taylor, Jr.
R977.1 qO37
Taylor looks at land use, occupational structure and residential clusters relating to African Americans in the first half of the nineteenth century Cincinnati.
Race and the City: Work, Community, and Protest in Cincinnati, 1820–1970
Henry Louis Taylor, Jr.
977.178004 R118 1993
Spanning 150 years, this work examines the internal and external forces that shaped the African American experience in Cincinnati, a borderland city on the boundary between the North and South.

Slavery and Resistance

American Slavery as It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses
Theodore Dwight Weld
326.0973 W444 1969
Weld, a former student at Cincinnati’s Lane Seminary and famous abolitionist, chronicles the lives of slaves in this anti-slavery pamphlet, first published in 1839 by the American Anti-Slavery Society.
Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in the Kentucky Borderland
J. Blaine Hudson
973.7115 qH885 2002
In this work, Hudson examines the Underground Railroad in Kentucky and explores the importance of the state that lay on the border between slavery and freedom.
Reminiscences of Levi Coffin
Levi Coffin
973.7115 C675 1968
First published in 1876, Cincinnati abolitionist Levi Coffin relates the stories of runaway slaves and the role he played in their escape.
Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War
MF975 R311
These primary documents give glimpses of the lives of slaves on plantations in the antebellum South. Sometimes including such rich detail as births and deaths of slaves, this tremendous collection is comprised of over 1,000 reels of microfilm. Bills of sale, slave owner correspondences and business records contained in this set describe runaways and other forms of slave resistance.
Runaway Slave Advertisements: A Documentary History From the 1730s to 1790
Lathan A. Windley
975.00496 W765
This chronological/regional portrayal of runaway slave advertisements allows the reader to gain a glimpse of both the slaves who escaped slavery and the system that drove them to do so.
The Underground Railroad
William Still
R973.7115 S857 1968
One of the earliest histories of the Underground Railroad. This work contains many primary accounts of the network that led so many to freedom.

1841 Riots

Cincinnati, the Queen City, 1788–1912 (vol. 1, pp 179–180)
Charles Frederic Goss
R977.199 qG67
A detailed account of the 1841 riots. This history provides a perspective of Cincinnati and the riots from an early twentieth century outlook.
History of Cincinnati, Ohio: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches (pg. 92)
Henry A. Ford
R977.199 fF7
This early history of Cincinnati delves, briefly, into the riots.
“The Mob.” Cincinnati Daily Gazette, Tuesday September 7 through Saturday September 18, 1841
This series of articles traces the riots through their beginning to cessation. Included in the series are opinions from anti-slavery leaders as well as reports on the progress of the newly founded colony of Liberia.
“Reign of Terror Again in Cincinnati.” The Philanthropist, Wednesday, September 8, 1841
The offices of the abolitionist newspaper, The Philanthropist, were targeted by the mob during the riots of September 1841. Their press was broken into pieces and thrown in the river. This article gives their account of the riots and also reprints several articles published in other Cincinnati newspapers, including the Republican, Enquirer, Chronicle and Gazette.
“The Riots.” Cincinnati Enquirer, Monday, September 6, 1841
The first reports of the riots. This article shows the reactions and events of the earliest moments of the unrest.

African American Biographical Sources

African American Authors, 1745–1945: A Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook
Emmanuel S. Nelson
R810.989607 A2581 2000
This sourcebook not only provides biographical information, but places writers in the context of their times and explores their impact on later literary works.
Artists in Ohio, 1787–1900: A Biographical Dictionary
Mary Sayre Haverstock
R709.22771 A791 2000
This important contribution to the field of Ohio artists gives both biographical information and critiques artists’ contributions to the field, including that of photographer James Presley Ball.
Black Biography, 1790–1950: A Cumulative Index
920.009296073 B627 1987 Index
This three-volume set pulls together listings from nearly 300 biographical dictionaries of African Americans. Alphabetical listings for more than 30,000 individuals give basic information. Names are also organized by birthplace, occupation and religion. In addition, there is a special section for women. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has several of the dictionaries cited here in book form, as well as an accompanying microfiche set with the complete contents of dictionaries referred to in Black Biography. These dictionaries date back to 1810 and include many from the mid-nineteenth century.
In Black and White: A Guide to Magazine Articles, Newspaper Articles, and Books Concerning More Than 15,000 Black Individuals and Groups
Mary Mace Spradling
R920.009296 qS866
Published in 1980, this is one of the first indexes to provide citations to a wide range of sources for biographical information on African Americans.
The Oxford Companion to African American Literature
William L. Andrews, Frances Smith Foster, & Trudier Harris
R810.80896 O98 1997
The Companion, available at Main Library and many branches, presents thousands of articles on literature created by persons of African descent, including biographies of authors, plot summaries, sketches of characters, and the broader historical context in which their writings were produced.

Fashions and Styles of the 1800s

Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1840–1892
This prominent women’s magazine focuses on fashion and contains lavishly illustrated hand-colored plates of costumes and hairstyles of the day.
The Chronicle of Western Fashion: From Ancient Times to the Present Day
John Peacock
391.009 qP356 1991
This work examines and displays fashion from the ancient world through the 1990s. It shows both fashions that Francis Trollope would have encountered in the early nineteenth century and hairstyles that Eliza Potter might have fashioned.

Business and Industry

They Built a City: 150 Years of Industrial Cincinnati
Ohio Federal Writers’ Project
R977.199 F29t
An interesting and detailed account of the growth of the city’s industrial sector. This work traces Cincinnati industry from its earliest origins.
Williams’ Cincinnati Business Directory
R917.71780025 W722 1848/49, 1900–1913
Predecessor of the modern Yellow Pages, these directories supplement early city directories for business listings.
The Centennial Review of Cincinnati
John William Leonard
R977.199 fL58
This review of the city was written in celebration of Cincinnati’s centennial year of 1888. There are numerous descriptive sketches of the commercial and manufacturing enterprises that were located in the city at that time.
The City of Cincinnati and Its Resources
R977.199 ffC58
Although this book begins with a brief look at Cincinnati’s history, it is primarily made up of descriptions of people, industries, organizations, and so forth that were found in Cincinnati at the close of the nineteenth century.
A History of the Manufactures of Cincinnati
R670 q1870
Despite the title of this book, only a small part of its content is actually historical. It consists chiefly of a classified business guide and index for 1870, numerous advertisements, and a few descriptive sketches of particular businesses.
The Industries of Cincinnati
Albert N. Marquis
R977.199 C57.4
Beginning with some background information on Cincinnati, this book is largely made up of descriptive sketches of the industrial and commercial establishments found in the city during the 1880s.

Church Histories/Records

Bicentennial Microfilm Project
This microfilm collection donated by the Hamilton County Genealogical Society and housed in the History and Genealogy Department, includes Cincinnati area church and cemetery records including: membership lists, baptismal records, and birth, marriage, death and burial information.
Faith and Action: A History of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1821–1996
Roger A. Fortin
282.7717 F742 2002
Fortin traces the development and growth of one of the Cincinnati area’s major religions.
Our Pioneer Churches, 1788–1812
Gilbert Prower Symons
277.7178 S988 1953
This work examines the early churches of Cincinnati. Melding the religious and pioneer spirit, these institutions helped shape the early community.

Frances Trollope

Fanny Trollope: The Life and Adventures of a Clever Woman
Pamela Neville-Sington
823.7 T847Zn 1998
The Indomitable Mrs. Trollope
Eileen Bigland
B T8483b
The Lady from Keppel Street
Clyde W. Park
RB T8483p
Mrs. Trollope: The Triumphant Feminine in the Nineteenth
Helen Heineman
823.7 T847Zh
Salmagundi: Byron, Allegra, and the Trollope Family
N. John Hall
R821.7 B996Zh
Three Victorian Travel Writers: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism on Mrs. Frances Milton Trollope, Samuel Butler, and Robert Louis Stevenson
Frederick John Bethke
R016.8238 T847b
Three English Women in America
Una Pope-Hennessy
920 P823

Frances Trollope (Books by)

Belgium and Western Germany in 1833, including Visits to Baden-Baden, Wiesbaden, Cassel, Hanover, the Harz Mountains
R914 T84.1 v.1&2
Blue Belles
Charles Chesterfield, or, The Adventures of a Youth of Genius
R823 T848c
Domestic Manners of the Americans
917.3 T85 1997
The Life and Adventures of Jonathan Jefferson Whitlaw, or, Scenes on the Mississippi
R823 T848L
Paris and the Parisians in 1835
R914.436 T84
Petticoat Government, a Novel
A Summer in Western France
R914.4 T848 v. 1–2
Travels and Travellers: A Series of Sketches
R914 T84 v. 1–2
The Vicar of Wrexhill
823 T848 v. 2–3
The Widow Married

Eliza Potter

A Hairdresser’s Experience in High Life by Mrs. Eliza Potter: Cincinnati Society in the Mid-Nineteenth Century.” Bulletin of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio. Volume 25, Number 3 (July 1967)
Excerpts from Eliza Potter’s book, plus biographical information, are presented in this article.
A Hairdresser’s Experience in High Life
Eliza Potter
973.6092 P866 1991
Eliza Potter’s story in full. This 1859 memoir traces her life showing both the “high society” of her elite client as well as glimpses of free black society in the city.

The Civil War

Cincinnati and the Civil War: Off to Battle
Robert Wimberg
977.17803 qW757 1992
The author presents a day-by-day account of events that took place in Cincinnati during the first year (1861) of the Civil War. A large portion of the text is gleaned from Cincinnati newspapers.
Cincinnati and the Civil War: Under Attack
Robert Wimberg
977.17803 qW7572 1999
The author presents a day-by-day account of events that took place in Cincinnati during the second year (1862) of the Civil War. Cincinnati newspapers are frequently quoted.
History of the Forty-Eighth Ohio Vet. Vol. Inf. Giving a Complete Account of the Regiment
John A. Bering and Thomas Montgomery
R973.7471 J48
This regimental history follows the Forty-Eighth Ohio from its organization at Camp Dennison in October 1861 to the end of the Civil War and the regiment’s final muster-out in May 1866. Includes descriptions of marches, camps, battles, skirmishes, etc.
Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861–1866
Ohio. Roster Commission.
R973.7471 qA2
This twelve-volume work contains the name of each soldier enlisted from Ohio during the Civil War, plus an abstract of their military record, as obtained from the War Department in Washington, D.C. The roster is arranged by military unit; however, the WPA of Ohio did compile a thirteen-volume index to aid in locating individual names.
Ohio at Shiloh
Ohio. Shiloh Battlefield Commission.
973.7471 O3
Report of the commission appointed to locate the positions of Ohio troops who fought in the Battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing. Monuments were erected and dedicated to each of the individual Ohio military units who fought in the battle. Contains a capsule history of each unit up to the Battle of Shiloh and includes illustrations of each monument.
Ohio in the War
Whitelaw Reid
R973.7471 qR36 1995
Originally published in 1868, this two-volume work is one of the most comprehensive studies of Ohio’s part in the Civil War. Volume one covers the home front and includes biographical sketches of Ohio generals and statesmen. Volume two contains histories of Ohio regiments and other military organizations along with a roster of the officers of each unit.
War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
United States. War Dept.
R973.74 U58
This large 128-volume set is an extensive compendium of reports, correspondence and other written communications of the Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. It is a major resource for Civil War history, and it is absolutely indispensable to the serious researcher.

Steamboat History

Cincinnati’s Tall Stacks.
Queen City Heritage, volume 57, no. 2/3 (summer/fall 1999)
386.309771 qQ3 1999
The Cincinnati Historical Society prepared this special issue of their journal for the 1999 Tall Stacks event. All the articles are devoted to steamboating in the Queen City. Of particular interest is an article on steamboat building in Cincinnati.
Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States, 1790–1868: “The Lytle-Holdcamper List”
William M. Lytle
R387.24 qL996 1975
Based primarily on documents in the National Archives, this alphabetical listing of U.S. merchant steam vessels contains basic information for western rivers steamboats from 1811 through 1868. Included in each listing are name of vessel, rig, tonnage, year built, place built, first homeport, and disposition.
Steamboats on the Western Rivers: An Economic and Technological History
Louis C. Hunter
386.30977 H945
One of the most authoritative histories of steamboats on the Ohio-Mississippi River system. Includes chapters on structural evolution, mechanical development, river improvements, techniques of operation, accidents, passage, labor, and more. A “must read” for anyone interested in steamboat history.
Way’s Packet Directory, 1848–1994
Frederick Way
387.2436 qW357 1994
An annotated listing of over 5,900 passenger steamboats that have plied the Ohio-Mississippi River system from 1848 to the present by a noted steamboat historian. Entry listings contain name of boat, rig, class, engines, boilers, the shipyard where and when built, plus other historical information on the vessel’s use, demise and/or conversion.
The Western Rivers Steamboat Cyclopoedium
Alan L. Bates
688.1 q1968
Great source for information on steamboat architecture and design. Contains numerous illustrations and a glossary of terms.

Flood of 1884

Report of the Relief Committee of the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and Common Council of Cincinnati: Flood of 1884
Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. Relief Committee.
361.52 C574 1884
At 71.1 feet, the flood of 1884 is the second highest river stage ever recorded at Cincinnati. This report is primarily dedicated to the relief work that took place during this devastating flood. A “Physical History of the Flood” by R. B. Stephenson is included near the end.
Thunder in the Heartland: A Chronicle of Outstanding Weather Events in Ohio
Thomas W. Schmidlin and Jeanne Appelhans Schmidlin
551.69771 qS348 1996
Through government records, scientific studies, memoirs, diaries, and newspapers, the Schmidlins have compiled the first comprehensive book on Ohio weather. Extremes of rain, snow, storms, and temperature from 1790 to the 1990s are highlighted in this book.
Views of Points on the Ohio River during the Flood of 1884
R551.57 q1884
Photogravures of scenes in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia during the flood of 1884.

Need more suggestions? Contact the History & Genealogy Department (513-369-6905) or the Rare Books & Special Collections Department (513-369-6957) and a reference librarian will be happy to assist you.