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the compensation allowed him, he was subject to a penalty of not less than $1,000, while an assistant was liable to a forfeiture of $500, if having accepted an appointment he should, without justifiable cause, neglect or refuse to perform his duties; and in case either a marshal or an assistant should willfully make a false oath or a false certificate, he was liable to forfeit and pay not exceeding $5,000 and be imprisoned not less than two years.
If any free person over 20 years of age belonging to a family, or if the agent of a family, in the absence of the head and other members, should refuse, upon the request of a marshal or assistant, to furnish the information required, to the best of his knowledge, he was subject to a fine of $30.
The Secretary of the Interior was charged with the duty of carrying out the provisions of the act of May 23, 1850, and was required to provide necessary blanks and proper instructions, and to distribute them among the marshals; to see that there is due diligence on the part of the marshals and assistants, so that their returns may be completed within the time prescribed, and when the returns are so made, 'to cause the same to be classified and arranged in the best and most convenient manner for use, and lay the same before Congress at the next session thereof." And for these purposes he was authorized and required to appoint a suitable and competent person as superintending clerk, at an annual salary of $2,500, and such clerks and other officers as might be needed from time to time, at salaries not to exceed $1,000 per annum. The salary of the superintending clerk, or Superintendent of the Census, was increased by act of April 22, 1854, to equal that of the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury ($3,000).
If no provision was made for the eighth or any subsequent census on or before January 1, of the year in which the census was required to be taken, under the Constitution, it was provided that it should be taken and completed according to the provisions of the act of May 23, 1850; and by a later act, that of July 30, 1852, the Secretary of the Interior was authorized, at any future decennial enumeration of inhabitants, to order a new enumeration of any district or subdivision in case of an improper enumeration or the accidental loss or destruction of returns.
The act of May 23, 1850, also fixed the membership of the House of Representatives from and after March 3, 1853, and directed that the apportionment of representatives under the next or any subsequent enumeration should be made by the Secretary of the Interior, in the manner as provided by the act.
Six schedules were prepared and printed by the census board, as required by the act creating said board, and these schedules were made a part of the act of May 23, 1850, under the provisions of which the seventh census was taken. These schedules were of uniform size (13 by 17 inches), being much smaller than those in use at the censuses of
1830 and 1840, and related, respectively, to (1) free inhabitants, (2) slave inhabitants, (3) mortality, (4) productions of agriculture, (5) products of industry, and (6) social statistics.
Schedule No. 1, relating to free inhabitants, called for a record of the dwelling houses and families visited, and for every person who resided on the 1st day of June, 1850, in any family a detailed statement was required of the name, age, sex, color (white, black, or mulatto), value of real estate owned, place of birth (State, Territory, or country), whether married within the year; whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, or idiotic, or a pauper or convict; whether attended school within the year, if applicable; whether unable to read and write, for persons over 20 years of age, and the profession, occupation, or trade ordinarily followed, for male persons over 15 years of age.
Schedule No. 2, relating to slave inhabitants, called for the names of slave owners, the number of slaves, a detailed statement for each slave as to color, sex, age, and whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, or idiotic; the number of fugitives from the State, and the number manumitted.
Schedule No. 3, relating to mortality, called for a return concerning every person who died during the year ending June 1, 1850, of the name, age, sex, color, and place of birth; the same as for the living population; and, in addition, whether free or slave; whether married or widowed; profession, occupation, or trade; month of death; disease or cause of death; number of days ill, and remarks.
Schedule No. 4, relating to the productions of agriculture during the year ending June 1, 1850, called for a return for each farm of the name of the owner, agent, or manager; the number of acres of improved and of unimproved land; cash value of farm; value of farming implements and machinery; number of live stock on hand June 1, 1850, under seven specifications, namely, horses, asses, and mules, milch cows, working oxen, other cattle, sheep, and swine; value of live stock; quantity produced during the year of each of 29 crops or farm products, namely, wheat, rye, Indian corn, oats, barley, buckwheat, rice, tobacco, ginned cotton, wool, pease and beans, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, wine, butter, cheese, hay, clover seed, other grass seeds, hops, dew-rotted hemp, water-rotted hemp, flax, flaxseed, silk cocoons, maple sugar, cane sugar, molasses, and beeswax and honey; value of orchard products; value of the produce of market gardens; value of homemade manufactures, and value of animals slaughtered; or, in all, 46 items. The twenty-seventh section of the act of May 23, 1850, also provided that for all other descriptions of hemp not embraced in the denominations of dew and water rotted an estimate should be included in the returns.
Schedule No. 5, relating to the products of industry during the year ending June 1, 1850, called for a return of the name of each corporation, company, or individual producing articles to the annual
value of $500; name of business, manufacture, or product; amount of capital invested in real and personal estate in the business; quantities, kinds, and values of raw materials used, including fuel; kind of motive power, machinery, structure, or resource; average number of male and of female hands employed; average monthly cost of male and of female labor; and quantities, kinds, and values of annual product; or, in all, 14 inquiries. This schedule was intended to apply to all forms of productive industry, including manufactures (except household manufactures), mining, and the fisheries, and all kinds of mercantile, commercial, or trading business.
Schedule No. 6, relating to social statistics, called for an aggregate return for each subdivision enumerated of information concerning the following subjects: Valuation of estate; annual taxes; colleges, academies, and schools; seasons and crops; libraries; newspapers and periodicals; religion; pauperism; crime; and wages. The detailed inquiries called for, under valuation, the value of real, personal, and total estate, how valued, and true valuation of total estate; under annual taxes, the kind and amount of each and how paid; under colleges, academies, and schools, the number and kind of each, the number of teachers and pupils in each, and the annual amount in each case either realized from endowment, raised by taxation, received from public funds, or received from other sources; under seasons and crops, the kinds of crops short, to what extent, and the usual average crop; under libraries, the number and kind, and the number of volumes in each; under newspapers and periodicals, the name, character, how often published, and circulation; under religion, the number and denomination of churches, number each will accommodate, and value of church property; under pauperism, the whole number of paupers supported within the year and the number on June 1, 1850, subdivided, in each case, as native and foreign, and the cost of support for the year; under crime, the whole number of criminals convicted within the year and the number in prison June 1, 1850, subdivided, in each case, as native and foreign; and under wages, average monthly wages paid to a farm hand with board, average wages to a day laborer with and without board, average day wages to a carpenter without board, weekly wages to a female domestic with board, and the price of board to laboring men per week.
These schedules were supplemented by printed instructions, (a) in which the intent of each inquiry was explained in detail, and, as a further guide, each assistant was supplied with a set of schedules filled up in the manner contemplated by the census act and the printed instructions. Spaces were provided at the head of each schedule for the entry of the name of the civil division for which the enumeration was made
a Seventh Census of the United States, p. xxi.
and the day of the month when made, and the assistants were required by the instructions to sign each page of each schedule filled by them. The scope of the census was thus extended materially, and, so far as the return of population was concerned, the method of enumeration underwent an important change. At the seventh census, the several inquiries with respect to the free population were made concerning each person enumerated, while for the slave population a detailed statement of the color, sex, and age of each slave enumerated, in connection with other numerical data, was obtained for the first time, instead of, as in the preceding censuses, a return being made of the number of each of the various classes of persons in each family, in connection with the name of the head of the family only. The schedules relating to these two classes of the population contained fortytwo lines to each page, and one family of free persons or body of slaves followed another in the order of their enumeration, the inquiries being printed at the head of the columns and the entries being made on separate lines for each free person or slave enumerated. The returns related to the individual, therefore, and were, for the first time in the census, susceptible of detailed treatment and classification. The preparation of the returns for publication was no longer made a part of the duties of the marshals, and this provision applied equally to the inquiries made, for the first time, concerning persons who had died during the year and with respect, also, to the products of agriculture and industry. All the returns relating to the various subjects investigated were made by the marshals in the form as enumerated by the assistant marshals, and the classification and compilation of the results preparatory to their publication was made in the central office at Washington. These radical changes in the method and scope of the census, therefore, constituted an epoch in the history of census taking in this country, and mark the real beginning of the conduct of the census work in accordance with plans requiring the individual enumeration of persons and establishments, and conforming, in these respects, more nearly to the requirements of the present day.
In the work of enumeration 45 marshals and 3,231 assistant marshals were employed, and the first returns were received at the census office in Washington August 29, 1850. The last returns, those of California, were not received, however, until February 17, 1852, but this was due to the fact that a portion of the California returns was destroyed by fire, and new copies from the originals had to be prepared. The marshals and assistants, with few exceptions, discharged their duties in a prompt and efficient manner, and, as stated in the report of the Superintendent of the Census, December 1, 1851, (a) to them is due the credit of the returns being made "in time to admit of placing the aggregate
a Abstract of Seventh Census, p. 126.
enumeration of population before the Congress succeeding that which enacted the law, and on the first day of the session." The report further states (a) that the utmost care was exercised to insure correct returns, and in all cases where error or inconsistency could be detected, real or imaginary, effort was made by correspondence to have the discrepancy corrected, and, furthermore, that it had been necessary, "in only three cases, to call the attention of a United States district attorney to require enforcement of the act of Congress for refusal to reply to interrogations of the assistants;" in two of these cases returns were eventually made without the necessity of making costs to the parties, and in the other case costs were paid before appearance and a satisfactory return made to the office.
The schedules of the census of 1850, originals and copies, weighed over 100 tons, and required 3,000 reams of medium-size paper to print them. They were sent by express to the marshals, and were returned, when completed, to the census office by mail. The data contained on the schedules were then taken off upon blank forms (b) prepared for the purpose of condensing the information, so as to secure the results for the various civil divisions, for each of the States, and for the United States as a whole. The average number of persons employed in the census office during the last months of 1850 was 23; during the years 1852 and 1853, 128; first three months of 1853, 160, and from March 20 to November 15, 1853, 35.
The first results of the census in printed form were given in an abstract report to Congress December 1, 1851, containing a statement of the population of the States, except California, with other information, and this was followed by a second abstract report to Congress, a year later, containing much more detailed information derived from the census returns. These reports were published together in a small volume of 160 pages, known as the "Abstract of the Seventh Census," and of which an edition of 100,000 copies was printed by order of the House of Representatives.
The printing of the large quarto volume containing the general results of the census was begun about the middle of June, 1853, and was completed and published during the latter part of the same year. This volume is made up of 1,022 quarto pages of tabular matter, covering the various statistics presented in a series of fourteen tables, with explanatory notes, for each State and Territory, arranged in their geographical order, and 136 pages of analytical and introductory matter, or 1,158 pages in all. This preliminary text, which appears for the first time in the reports of the census, contains summaries, by States and Territories, for each of the subjects considered and com
a Abstract of Seventh Census, p. 128.
b Seventh Census of the United States, p. xiii.