We now have access to Cities in American Political History, an easy to use database offering a number of unique resources. This database highlights ten eras of political development in America and spans the Revolution and Founding era (1776-1790) to the post-Cold War present (1989-2011). The ten most populous cities in the United States during each of these eras are detailed. Information includes city government and politics; industry, commerce, and labor; and race, ethnicity and immigration.
To use the database, you can browse by era or city, read Overviews of cities in each time period, access population statistics, or scan Quick Facts (including info such as city mayors, industries and employers, newspapers, and events). One of my favorite features was included photos and images of cities throughout history. Check out the image below of the shoreline of Cincinnati in the early nineteenth century, and explore more images here.
"Cincinnati Shoreline." In Cities in American Political History, edited by Richard Dilworth, 179. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2011. http://library.cqpress.com/cities/capf-1285-71982-2387679.