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Prices and Wages by Decade: 1860-1869

Links to government documents and primary sources listing retail prices for products and services, as well as wages for common occupations.

Wages in the United States, 1860-1869

Civil War pay, 1861-1865

Battle flag
  • Army pay for generals, colonels, lieutenants, majors, sergeants, captains, corporals, artificers, musicians, chaplains and privates. Source: Confederate States Almanac (1862)
  • Pay for officers, enlisted men, medical department personnel and general staff as well as blacksmiths, carriage makers, armorers and more in Digest of the military and naval laws of the Confederate States... published 1864, pp. 28-31.

Wages by industry and occupation, 1860-1869

A

B

C

D

E-F

G

H

FARM WAGES

  • National and regional farm wage data
    • 1860 - Average monthly earnings with board. See explanation for this table.
    • 1866 and 1869 - Wages with or without board, at harvest and other times of year. 
  • State farm wage data

H-I

K

L

M

P

Potters earned 25¢/hr.
in Massachusetts, 1865

Textile worker tends a carding engine, 1860s Source: Book of Trades

T

W

Wages by state, 1860-1869

WAGES in CALIFORNIA

WAGES in MASSACHUSETTS

WAGES in MINNESOTA

WAGES in NEW HAMPSHIRE

WAGES in NEW YORK

WAGES in OHIO

WAGES in TERRITORIES

  • Female servant's average wages in 1869
    Pay averaged $50 monthly in Montana Territory, and $40 per month in Idaho and Arizona territories (p. 217). SourceSpecial Report on Immigration, U.S. Dept of Treasury, Bureau of Statistics, pub. 1871.

Foreign wages by country, then occupation - 1860-1869

WAGES in GREAT BRITAIN, 1860s

WAGES in AUSTRALIA, 1860s

WAGES in BELGIUM, 1860s

WAGES in FRANCE, 1860s

WAGES in IRELAND, 1860s

WAGES in SCOTLAND, 1860s

WAGES in SPAIN, 1860s

WAGES in SWEDEN, 1860s

International wages by occupation (A - Z), 1860-1869

Source: 15th Annual Report of the U.S. Commissioner of Labor: A Compilation of wages in commercial countries from official sourcesvolume 1 and volume 2 (published 1900). All wage data is cited back to the original government source through report numbers; see the key to report numbers here.

Economic analysis and calculators, 1860s

Ask a Question

Reference service is available Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Marie Concannon, Government Information Librarian
Government Documents Department
106B Ellis Library (1st Floor East)
University of Missouri, Columbia
Phone (573) 882-0748

Prices in the United States, 1860-1869

PRICES for FOOD & SUPPLIES, 1860s

See tabbed box below for housing, farm and land prices by state.

PRICES for TRAVEL and TRANSPORTATION, 1860s

TRAVEL using ANIMAL-DRAWN VEHICLES

STEAMSHIP TRAVEL

HOTEL RATES, 1860s

Hotel rates found advertised in newspapers and travel guides.

TOOL and MACHINE PRICES, 1860s

PRICES for ANIMALS, 1860s

HEALTH COSTS, 1860s

PHYSICIANS' FEES

COSTS for COMMUNICATION, 1860s

TUITION and EDUCATIONAL EXPENSES, 1860s

PRICES for SERVICES, 1860s

SHAVE and HAIRCUT PRICES

  • 1861
    • Nevada -- Haircut 50¢, shave 25¢ (source)
  • 1863
    • Ohio -- Haircut 15¢, shave 10¢ (source)
  • 1865
    • Virginia -- Haircut 50¢, shave 25¢ (source)
  • 1866
    • California -- Haircut 50¢, shave 25¢ (source)
    • Iowa -- Haircut, 35¢ reduced to 25¢ in March 1866 (source)
    • Ohio -- Haircut 20¢, shave 10¢ (source)
    • Virginia -- Haircut 15¢, shave 10¢ (source)
  • 1867
    • California -- Haircut 50¢, shave 25¢ (source)
    • Tennessee -- Haircut 35¢, shave 15¢ (source)
    • South Carolina -- Haircut 35¢, shave 15¢ (source)
    • Virginia -- Haircut 25¢, shave 10¢ (source)
  • 1868
    • California -- Haircut 50¢, shave 25¢ (source)
    • Tennessee -- Haircut 35¢, shave 15¢ (source)
    • Maine -- Shave 10¢ (source)
    • Mississippi -- Haircut 35¢, shave 15¢ (source)
  • 1869
    • Washington DC -- Haircut and shave together, 25¢ (source)
    • South Carolina -- Haircut 25¢, shave 15¢ (source)

 

MISCELLANEOUS PRICES, 1860s

READING and RECREATION

Housing, farm and land prices, 1860-1869

1867 cottage


"There are many portions of the [American] West
where at the present time (fall of 1866),
this cottage could be fully completed for $400 to $500."
Floor plans and additional detail in: 
Woodward's cottages and farm houses,
published 1867, pp. 18-19.

Alabama

Arkansas

Arizona Territory

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Dakota

District of Columbia

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Iowa

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maryland

Massachusetts

Maine

Michigan

Missouri

Minnesota

Montana Territory

Mississippi

North Carolina

Nebraska

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico Territory

Nevada

New York

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Tennessee

Texas

This Texas dwelling was built in 1867 near Pilot Point.  Photo taken in 1885.
Source: University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, Special Collections.

Utah

Virginia

Vermont

Washington Territory

Wisconsin

West Virginia

Consumer expenditures, 1860-1869

Wholesale prices in the U.S., 1860-1869

Our site focuses on retail rather than wholesale prices, but it can be a challenge to find retail prices during the Civil War.  Prices in various areas of the country could be quite different, and the economic environment was volatile.  The following links to wholesale prices may be helpful to some researchers.

Prices in foreign countries, 1860-1869

Prices in AUSTRALIA, 1860s

Prices in BELGIUM, 1860s

Prices in GREAT BRITAIN, 1860s

Prices in INDIA, 1860s

Prices in IRELAND, 1860s

Prices in ITALY, 1860s

Prices in SPAIN, 1860s

Prices in SWEDEN, 1860s

Timeline -- Major economic events of the 1860s

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1861 economic timeline

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1862 economic timeline

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1863 economic timeline

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1864 economic timeline

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1865 economic timeline

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1866 economic timeline

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1867 economic timeline

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1868 economic timeline

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.
(Click image for detail)

1869 economic timeline

"75 Years of American Finance: A Graphic Presentation 1861-1935"
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis.

Legend