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be a preliminary step in the establishment of an effective system of self-government, was the first, as it was the highest, expression of confidence on the part of the Government of the United States in the capacity and patriotism of the Cubans, removing all feeling of suspicion as to the object of the enumeration, and placing the census at once en rapport with the people. Hundreds of intelligent and trustworthy men and women volunteered to serve as enumerators without pay, and the order of the President was received throughout the island with great satisfaction.
In no other way could such a manifestation of good feeling and of faith in the intentions of this Government have been elicited, and the result proved the wisdom of the measures. While some errors may have crept into the work, and while possibly there are some omissions, it should not be forgotten that this is the first attempt of the Cubans to take a consus, and that the difficulties attending it have been numerous, serious, and not easily surmounted. But whatever its defects, it is the opinion of the people of Cuba and of the expert tabulators and statisticians who have been engaged in compiling and analyzing the figures that they bear the impress of honest work, that the census was taken rapidly and far more accurately than could have been expected, and that in this respect it will compare favorably with any census of the United States.
The different steps by which this was accomplished were as follows: An estimate was prepared of the probable cost of the census, based on the supposed population and the employment of Cubans as supervisors and enumerators; a careful study was made of the necessary organization in all its details, and the best way to carry on the work in harmony with the general administration of the island. At the same time the Military Governor of Cuba was directed to nominate suitable Cubans as supervisors of the census for the six provinces of the island and to order them to Washington. This was done, and on their arrival, August 17, they were received by Dr. Wines and Mr. Hunt, of the United States Census Office, and by Mr. Olmsted, of the Department of Labor, and for two weeks were carefully instructed in their duties as supervisors with a view to their becoming, in turn, instructors of the enumerators.
On August 17 the following proclamation of the President was issued:
EXECUTIVE MANSION, August 17, 1899. To the people of Cuba:
The disorganized condition of your island resulting from the war and the absence of any generally recognized authority aside from the temporary military control of the United States have made it necessary that the United States should follow the restoration of order and peaceful industry by giving its assistance and supervision to the successive steps by which you will proceed to the establishment of an effective system of self-government.
As a preliminary step in the performance of this duty, I have directed that a census of the people of Cuba be taken, and have appointed competent and disinterested citizens of Cuba as enumerators and supervisors.
It is important for the proper arrangement of your new government that the information sought shall be fully and accurately given, and I request that by every means in your power you aid the officers appointed in the performance of their duties.
William McKinley. As there were no general census laws in Cuba it was necessary to promulgate orders which would have the effect of laws, organizing the census, defining the duties of the census officials, and the obligations of the people in respect thereto. Accordingly, August 19, the necessary Executive orders were issued (Appendix I), and on the 23d the order appointing the disbursing officers (Appendix II). These orders were sent to the Military Governor of Cuba for promulgation in English and Spanish.
Having been thoroughly instructed in their duties, and in the meaning of the regulations, schedules, and other blank forms for carrying on the work, and being duly impressed by the Secretary of War with the responsibilities of their office, the supervisors left for Cuba, August 23, and were followed, August 27, by the Assistant Director of the census, with his office force.
Thus far the work of the census had been confined to Washington. The field work, attended with many difficulties, was now to follow.
THE FIELD WORK. This was carried on under the immediate supervision of the Assistant Director, Mr. Victor H. Olmsted, an experienced official of the United States Census, who exhibited from first to last the mental, moral, and physical qualities necessary for the successful prosecution of the work. By dint of great patience, perseverance, unusual activity, and tact he was able to win the confidence of the supervisors and enumerators, to instruct them in their duties, and to carry the work to a successful conclusion-no easy task for a foreigner and nonresident of the island, as for many years its inhabitants had always connected the census with taxation and compulsory military service, toward which they had a strong natural aversion.
Mr. Olmsted was directed to establish his office in the city of Santa Clara, which was selected as a geographical center and as affording sanitary and other conditions favorable to the work. His report is submitted herewith. (Appendix III.)
The first step in organizing the field work was the formation of the enumeration districts, and for this purpose accurate maps of the provinces and municipalities were almost indispensable. Foreseeing this, the Military Governor was directed, August 8, to have such maps prepared, but it was not until the arrival of Mr. Olmsted in Habana, August 31, that much progress was made in this direction. On that date, learning that the military authorities in Habana had no suitable maps, he telegraphed to the military, civil, and judicial authorities throughout the island to furnish him such maps as they had, and later discovered in the insular state department a map, said to be the only one of its kind in existence, showing the boundaries of the judicial and municipal districts in each province, but several years old, and requiring revision.
As soon as the available maps had been collected the number and boundaries of the enumeration districts were determined, subject to such changes as might be necessary after the supervisors had looked over the ground. This was a work of great difficulty.
Paragraph VIII of the order organizing the census prescribed that the boundaries of the enumeration districts should be described by civil divisions-rivers, roads, public surveys, and other easily distinguished lines. But it was soon ascertained that, owing to the imperfections of the maps, little reliance could be placed on their topographical representations, and that, except in the cities, the boundaries of the minor civil divisions were not always given, and even when they were the lines of surburban and rural wards could not be determined, because, as was subsequently discovered, they had apparently overlapped in some locations or were situated in two different municipalities, and the claims of the respective local authorities had not been adjusted.
To avoid the double enumeration liable to result from this, it was decided to indicate the areas of rural and suburban enumeration districts which could not be defined as the orders prescribed by designating the ward or wards to be included in their limits and by directing the enumerators to inquire whether the persons and premises visited by them had been visited and enumerated before, and if they had, to pass them by. Each enumerator was also required to post a printed notice on all buildings visited by him, giving the date of his visit, which was designed as an additional safeguard against double enumeration.
By September 13 Cuba had been divided into 1,315 enumeration districts. Later on, owing to the scattered state of the population, the great difficulties of communication in the rural districts, and the importance of completing the enumeration within the time designated by the President, it was found necessary to increase this number to 1,607,
The enumeration districts having been established, the appointment of enumerators followed. As the value of the statistics to be collected depended entirely on the fidelity and intelligence of the enumerators, the supervisors were cautioned to exercise great care in their selection, and were informed that women were not necessarily disqualified on account of their sex. One hundred and forty-two women were appointed enumerators and rendered excellent service, and it is said that for the first time in the history of Cuba, women were given public employment.
To prepare the enumerators for their work and, so far as practicable, to guard against errors in the returns, one or more enuinerators in each municipality were directed to report to the supervisor for instruction, becoming in turn the teachers of the other enumerators in the district. This they did by assembling in classes and going carefully over the orders, schedules, etc., and testing their knowledge by the actual preparation of the papers required in the regulations. All enumerators were told that in doubtful cases of literacy the person to be enumerated should be required to read and write in the presence of the enumerator, and, as far as could be ascertained by very careful inquiries, this was done.
As soon as appointed each enumerator was given a commission and full field kit, and was then ready for the work. Some of those assigned to rural and suburban districts performed their duties at the peril of their lives, and all of the rural enumerators were subjected to much personal risk and discomfort, owing to the condition of the roads and streams, the prevalence of rain, and the depleted and sparsely settled state of the country. (Appendix IV to XII.)
A full list of the enumerators will be found in Appendix XIII, and among the illustrations groups of those with whom the Director came in contact during his tour of inspection in November and December.
For the accuracy with which this census has been taken the Cubans connected with it are certainly entitled to the credit and distinction of being faithful and intelligent pioneers in the discharge of civil duties never before intrusted to them.
On the 10th of November the Director of the Census left Washington on a tour of inspection, to enable him to ascertain, as far as possible, in what estimation the work of the census was held by the people; to inspect the offices of the assistant director and supervisors; to see and question as many enumerators as could be collected together in the large cities; to determine the best disposition to be made of the census property, and on what date the clerical work incident to the examination of the schedules could be closed, and the latter shipped to Washington.
The result of this inspection was satisfactory. The offices of the supervisors were found in good order, the secretaries, clerks, and the enumerators intelligent and very much interested in their work, and, as a rule, the schedules accurately and neatly prepared.
After consultation with Mr. Olmsted, it was decided to close the work December 31, discharging all Cubans who might be connected with it on that date, except the supervisors, and to bring the latter, with their schedules, and Mr. Olmsted and party from Cienfuegos to Washington January 6. It was thought advisable to bring the supervisors to Washington, that they might make the gross count of the population and be on hand to explain any ambiguities or defects which might be discovered in the schedules; to supervise the punching of the cards from which the tables were to be made, and to learn the entire method of handling the statistics. This programme was carried out, and Mr. Olmsted and his companions, with the records, arrived in Washington January 15.
The gross count of the population was completed and certified by the supervisors by January 31, and on February 1 a contract was made with the Tabulating Machine Company of Washington (Appendix XIV), and the work of punching the cards was commenced. This was continued under the supervisors until completed, March 24, and between April 1 and 10 they returned to their homes, having labored conscientiously, intelligently, and successfully in the discharge of their important duties. Their reports are submitted. (Appendices IV to IX.)
As much public interest had been shown in the results of the census, it was decided not to await the preparation of the full report, but to publish census bulletins containing condensed tables with a brief analysis of their contents. The first bulletin, in English and Spanish, appeared May 10, and the others at intervals until all, three in number, had been published and distributed, the English edition in the United States and Europe and the Spanish in Cuba. Other tables essential in deciding questions connected with the municipal elections were compiled and mailed to the military governor of Cuba April 14, 1900.
In the preparation of the bulletins and report I have had the assistance of Mr. Henry Gannett, of the Geological Survey, and Mr. Walter F. Willcox, of the United States Census, both well known to the scientific world and thoroughly familiar with census work.
In addition to the account of previous Cuban censuses Appendix XVII and the analysis of the tables to be found in this report, it has been thought advisable to present a description of the island and a brief sketch of so much of its history as bears on its population, economic condition, and government. A list of the authors consulted in this connection will be found in the Appendix (XX).
The maps, diagrams, and views which illustrate the report were selected with sole reference to their practical or historic value. No attempt at a general collection of photographs was made. The cities represented are either the capitals of the provinces or, like Baracoa, among the oldest settled by the Spaniards. The landscapes give some idea of the most noticeable topographic features, viz, the great cen