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Under the Provisions of the Act of Congress
approved March 1, 1889.

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Washington, D. C., May 1, 1890.

Under the provisions of the act entitled "An Act to provide for taking the Eleventh and subsequent censuses,” approved March 1, 1889, a census of the population, wealth, and industry of the United States is to be taken as of June 1, 1890. By the provisions of section 19 of said act the enumeration must be completed on or before the first day of July, and in any city having over ten thousand inhabitants under the census of 1880 the enumeration must be taken within two weeks from the first Monday of June. One hundred and seventy-five supervisors of census, one or more to each state and territory and the District of Columbia, have been appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.


Upon the approval by the Superintendent of Census of the persons designated for appointment as enumerators in each district the supervisor will issue to each person so named a commission, signed by said supervisor and approved by the Superintendent of Census, authorizing and empowering him to execute and fulfill the duties of an enumerator in accordance with law, and setting forth the boundaries of the subdivision within which such duties are to be performed by him. Accompanying the commission will be a blank form of oath or affirmation [7-062], as required by section 8 of the act of March 1, 1889.

As soon as the commission and printed form of oath are received by the enumerator the receipt of the commission should be acknowledged to the supervisor on form 7-792, and the oath duly subscribed, in accordance with the instructions printed thereon, and transmitted to the supervisor before the first Monday of June, the date fixed by law for the commencement of the enumeration. These requirements must be strictly complied with, as no enumerator is qualified by law to enter upon his

duties until he has received his commission and filed his oath with the supervisor for his district. It is also provided by law that the enumerator, by accepting his commission and qualifying thereunder, binds himself to carry the work on to completion, unless incapacitated by sickness from so doing. For neglect or refusal to perform the duties required of him under the law he will be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars. An enumerator can not throw up the work, therefore, simply because of dissatisfaction or indolence.


It is the duty of each enumerator, after being duly qualified as above, to visit personally each dwelling in his subdivision, and each family therein, and each individual living out of a family in any place of abode, and by inquiry made of the head of such family, or of the member thereof deemed most credible and worthy of trust, and of such individual living out of a family, to obtain each and every item of information and all the particulars required by the act of March 1, 1889. All of this data is to be obtained as of date June 1, 1890.

In case no person shall be found at the usual place of abode of such family, or individual living out of a family, competent to answer the inquiries made in compliance with the requirements of the act, then it shall be lawful for the enumerator to obtain the required information, as nearly as may be practicable, from the family or families, or person or persons, living nearest to such place of abode. The term "individual living out of a family” is explained in the special instructions concerning Schedule No. 1 (page 20).

It is the prime object of the enumeration to obtain the name and the requisite particulars as to personal description of every person in the United States, except Indians not taxed.


It is the duty of an enumerator, in the exercise of his authority to visit houses and interrogate members of families resident therein, to exercise courtesy and consideration. A rude, peremptory, or overbearing demeanor would be an injustice to the families visited, and would render the members of those families less dis

posed to give information with fullness and exactness, and would seriously retard the census work.

On the other hand, it is not necessary that the enumerator should enter into prolix explanations or give time to anything beyond the strictly necessary work of interrogation. The enumerator should be prompt, rapid, and decisive in announcing his object and his authority and in making his inquiries, but in so doing he should not arouse any antagonism or give any offense.


It is not within the choice of any inhabitant of the United States whether he will or will not communicate the information required by the census law. By the fifteenth section of the act approved March 1, 1889, it is provided:

That each and every person more than twenty years of age, belonging to any family residing in any enumeration district or subdivision, and in case of the absence of the heads and other members of any such family, then any representative of such family, shail be, and each of them hereby is, required, if thereto requested by the Superintendent, supervisor, or enumerator, to render a true account to the best of his or her knowledge of every person belonging to such family in the various particulars required by law, and whoever shall willfully fail or refuse shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in a sum not exceeding one hundred dollars.

Enumerators are cautioned, however, not to obtrude unnecessarily the compulsory feature of the enumeration. It will be found very generally that the persons called upon to give information will do so without objection or delay. It is only where information required by law is refused that the penalties for noncompliance need be referred to. The enumerator will then quietly but firmly point out the consequences of persistency in refusal.


It is further to be noted that the enumerator is not required to accept answers which he knows or has reason to believe are false. He has a right to a true statement on every matter respecting which he is bound to inquire. Should any person persist in making statements which are obviously erroneous, the enumerator should enter upon the schedule the facts as nearly as he can ascertain them by his own observation or by inquiry of credible persons.

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