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entirely independent of any department, but with the same limitation of the decennial work as provided for by the bill which passed the Senate at the close of the second session. In the bill which finally passed both Houses of Congress, as agreed upon in conference, and which was approved by the President March 3, 1899, a census office is established in the Department of the Interior, the chief officer of which is denominated the Director of the Census (instead of Superintendent of Census, as heretofore), to be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Provision is also made for the appointment by the President of an Assistant Director of the Census, who shall be a practical, experienced statistician, and for the appointment by the Director of the Census of five chief statisticians, who shall be persons of known and tried experience in statistical work; of a geographer, chief clerk, disbursing clerk, five expert chiefs of division, and the various clerks and employees essential to the prosecution of the census work. Under the provisions of this act, the census office was organized by the appointment by the President of Hon. William R. Merriam as Director of the Census, March 3, 1899, and of Dr. Frederick H. Wines as Assistant Director of the Census, March 5, 1899. The statistical organization of the office was later completed by the appointment by the Director of the following-named persons: William C. Hunt, chief statistician, population; William A. King, chief statistician, vital statistics; S. N. D. North, chief statistician, manufactures; Le Grand Powers, chief statistician, agriculture; Walter F. Willcox, chief statistician, methods and results; and Henry Gannett, geographer. By the act of March 3, 1899, the Director of the Census is given the entire direction and control of the work, including the appointment of the statisticians, clerks, and other employees of the census office, as above stated, but the act provides that nothing therein contained shall be construed to establish a census bureau permanent beyond the twelfth census. The decennial work is limited to inquiries relating to population, mortality, agriculture, and manufactures, but provision is made after the completion of the decennial work for the collection of statistics relating to various special subjects, such as the insane, feeble-minded, deaf, dumb, and blind; crime, pauperism, and benevolence; deaths and births in registration areas; social statistics of cities; public indebtedness, valuation, taxation, and expenditures; religious bodies; electric light and power, telegraph and telephone business; transportation by water, express business, and street railways; and mines, mining, and minerals.
GROWTH OF CENSUS INQUIRIES.
In the historical review of the Federal census it has been shown that there was constant inquiry concerning the population at the first six enumerations and that this inquiry was supplemented by attempts to
secure additional data concerning manufactures in 1810 and 1820, and concerning mining, commerce, agriculture, manufactures, fisheries, and schools in 1840. The inquiries relating to these subjects were made, however, on schedules prescribed, in most cases, by the several census acts, in which the detail required was expressly stipulated and beyond which no tabulation or combinations of facts were possible, owing, as already explained, to the manner in which the returns were required to be made. But, beginning with the census of 1850, an individual return was required, that is, the detailed enumeration was made with respect to each living inhabitant, each decedent, each farm, and each establishment of productive industry, etc., and in presenting a summary of the census inquiries, showing their inception and growth from` the beginning to the present time, the details called for at the enumerations prior to 1850 have been brought to the basis of the modern idea of census enumeration, as will be more fully explained in connection with the analysis of the inquiries relating to each of the various subjects considered.
Although a material modification and extension of the census inquiries was had at the censuses of 1850, 1860, and 1870, taken under the same general provisions of law, the great, and what is fair to be termed the extraordinary, increase in the scope of the census did not come until 1880 and 1890, when, instead of the census being limited to but five or six schedules, comprising only about 150 details, there were at each of the last two enumerations more than 200 general and special schedules, relating to very many subjects and comprehending several thousand inquiries or details.
At the first nine enumerations, those from 1790 to 1870, inclusive, there were, in all, 26 schedules of inquiry, the number of schedules used at each census, classified according to the subjects to which they related, being shown by the following statement:
SCHEDULES OF INQUIRY: 1790 TO 1870.
By the terms of the acts of March 3, 1879, and of March 1, 1889, which governed, respectively, the work of the censuses of 1880 and
1890, the number of subjects of investigation was greatly increased, and in addition to the five general schedules prescribed by section 2206 of the Revised Statutes of 1878, there were very many special schedules prepared and used at each of these two censuses, as shown by the following summary:
SCHEDULES OF INQUIRY: 1880 AND 1890.
a Includes insanity, feeble-mindedness, deafness, blindness, physical disabilities, etc.
The very large number of schedules used at these two censuses, as compared with the preceding enumerations, was due, of course, to the great increase in the scope of the census, calling for an investigation at the decennial period of very many subjects or special topics which had not previously been touched by the census inquiries or for which very limited data had been secured. Following the more comprehensive plan of census investigation in 1880 and 1890, supplemental and special schedules were used, wherever deemed necessary, by which the inquiries were specialized, but in which there were, as a matter of course, very many inquiries or details that were common to some or all of the schedules relating to each particular subject. In attempting to arrive at, approximately, the number of different inquiries or details asked concerning each subject of inquiry, or the total number for all the subjects combined, every effort was made to conform the work, as far as possible, to a fixed rule or plan, although realizing fully the difficulties arising in such a work, covering so many different subjects, for which the schedules of inquiry have been prepared by very many persons, and in accordance with various ideas or bases. In making the effort to determine, however, for the purposes of this article, the number of different inquiries or details called for concerning each topic of investigation at each of the various censuses from 1790 to 1890,
inclusive, no claim is made that the results are in any sense to be considered definitive. It is difficult to determine what constitutes an inquiry, and the definition which would hold good in one case would be open to serious objection, perhaps, if applied to a somewhat different line of inquiry. Each topic has been considered, therefore, on its own merits, so to speak, and careful effort made to arrive at a fair approximation of the number of inquiries or details in each case, especially with reference to showing the increase in the detail in which the inquiry was made, or, in other words, the number of details called for at each census concerning each particular item or topic considered.
With this general statement, the following summary is presented, showing the various subjects of inquiry and the comparative increase in the number of inquiries or details asked concerning them at each decennial period.
TOTAL NUMBER OF INQUIRIES OR DETAILS RELATING TO EACH SUBJECT: 1790 TO 1890.
a Including 4 inquiries on schedule for slaves, not common to free inhabitants. b Including 5 inquiries on schedule for slaves, not common to free inhabitants. c Inquiries relating to newspapers and periodicals.
d Inquiries same as given for manufactures, being applicable to products of industry generally.
76 3, 921
The small number of inquiries relating to population at the enumerations from 1790 to 1840, as indicated by this table, is due to the fact, as already stated, that the various details called for by the schedules prescribed by the census acts related to a return, in connection with the name of the head of the family, of the number of persons in each family, classified according to the various specifications of color, sex, and age indicated therein, varying from 5 specifications in 1790 to 50 in 1840, but which, considered with respect to the principle of individual enumeration which has governed the census work since and including 1850, does not in reality represent more than the number of inquiries shown by the table. This point is fully explained in connection with the detailed consideration of the inquiries concerning population, but this brief mention seems necessary here, in order to avoid misapprehension as to the manner in which the table has been compiled.
Considering briefly the total number of inquiries or details asked at each census, as shown by the above table, it is seen that prior to 1840 the inquiries were few in number and were wholly confined to population and manufactures. At the census of 1840 there were 7 subjects of inquiry, comprehending 82 details, and at the census of 1850 there were, under the new law, 15 subjects of inquiry for which 138 details were required. There was no change in the scope of the census inquiries in 1860 and 1870, and the number of details called for at these two censuses was but slightly increased over the number specified on the schedules of 1850. In 1880, however, under the improved methods provided for census enumeration and the opportunities afforded for special investigation, the number of subjects of inquiry was increased to 23 and the approximate number of inquiries or details asked concerning them represented an aggregate of 13,010. The census of 1890 did not comprehend all the subjects of inquiry of its immediate predecessor, but with the subjects that were retained and the new ones for which special provision was made by the law, there was in 1890 practically the same number of subjects of investigation, calling for substantially as many details.
In considering the growth of the inquiries relating to each subject. of investigation it will be only possible, on account of space, to analyze in detail the general inquiries relating to the population, including the mentally and physically defective and the subjects of crime, pauperism, and benevolence, and to mortality, agriculture, and manufactures, and to supplement this analysis by a brief statement concerning each of the special subjects of investigation.