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The whole amount of money appropriated for this census was $600,000, but by act of April 24, 1830, $200,000 of this amount, not being required, was ordered to be passed to the surplus fund at the close of the year 1830.
THE SIXTH CENSUS: 1840.
The sixth census was taken under the direction of the Secretary of State, and was governed by the same general provisions of law as were in effect in 1830. The marshals were required to appoint one or more assistants in each county and city and to divide their districts or territories into suitable divisions, which should not comprise more than one county, but could consist of one or more towns, townships, wards, hundreds, precincts, or parishes, plainly and distinctly bounded.
In accordance with the provisions of the act of March 3, 1839, as amended by the act of February 26, 1840, by which certain discrepancies in the first act were rectified, the enumeration was to be made by actual or personal inquiry, and was to commence on the 1st day of June, 1840, and to be completed within five months. The assistants were required within the five months, or on or before November 1, 1840, to transmit two copies of their returns to the marshals, who were in turn required to file one copy and an attested copy of their return to the Secretary of State with the clerks of the district or superior courts, and to transmit on or before December 1, 1840, to the Secretary of State one copy of the returns of their assistants and the return of the aggregate amount of each description of persons. The time for the completion of the work by the assistants and marshals was extended, by act of January 14, 1841, to May 1 and June 1, 1841, respectively, and these limits were further extended, by the act of September 1, 1841, to December 1, 1841, and January 1, 1842, respectively. It was also provided by the latter act that a reenumeration should be made in the county of Montgomery, Md., before the 1st day of October, 1841, to be taken as of June 1, 1840, but that this corrected return should not delay the printing of the census, and should be printed separately.
The marshals and assistants were required to take and subscribe to the same forms of oath or affirmation as in 1830, and in case of failure or neglect to perform properly their duties, or in the case of a false return, they were subject to the same penalties, including the provision making it a misdemeanor for a marshal to receive, directly or indirectly, any fee or reward for the appointment of any of his assistants.
By the terms of the supplementary act of February 26, 1840, it was made lawful for a marshal to take part in the enumeration of a portion of his district, and upon his so doing, he was to have the benefit of the compensation allotted therefor, as if it had been done by an assistant.
No form of schedule for the enumeration of the population was prescribed by the act providing for the census of 1840, being presumably left to the discretion of the Secretary of State, although the law stipulated the nature of the inquiries to be made. The schedule which was provided for the use of the marshals and assistants followed very closely the size and form of the schedule used in 1830, and called for the same subdivisions of the population as to color, sex, and age as at that census, together with the inquiry as to the number of white persons and of free colored and slaves who were deaf and dumb or blind, the same as in 1830, with the exception that the deaf and dumb among the free colored and slave population were not subdivided in 1840 according to the three age periods specified in 1830. In addition, a further inquiry was made for each of these two classes of the population as to the number of insane and idiots, who were, respectively, at public or private charge, and the schedule also called for the number of persons in each family employed in each of seven classes of occupations, namely, mining, agriculture, commerce, manufactures and trades, navigation of the ocean, navigation of canals, lakes, and rivers, and learned professions and engineers.
It was also provided by section 13 of the act of March 3, 1839, that the marshals and assistants should also take “a census of all persons receiving pensions from the United States for Revolutionary or military services, stating their names and ages,” and that they also should "collect and return in statistical tables, under proper heads, according to such forms as shall be furnished, all such information in relation to mines, agriculture, commerce, manufactures, and schools, as will exhibit a full view of the pursuits, industry, education, and resources of the country, as shall be directed by the President of the United States;" and it was also made the duty of the Secretary of State, under the direction of the President, to prepare the necessary forms, regulations, and instructions for carrying out this provision of the census act. The inquiries to be made concerning the names and ages of the pensioners for Revolutionary or military services and the statement concerning schools were incorporated in the schedule relating to the population, and, in the latter case, called for the number of universities or colleges, of academies and grammar schools, and of primary and common schools, respectively; the number of students or scholars in each of these three classes of schools; the number of scholars at public charge, and the number of white persons over 20 years of age who could not read and write.
This provision of the act is also responsible for the inquiries concerning the occupations of the people, which were inserted in the schedule relating to the population as the complement, no doubt, of
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the data to be obtained for the purpose of determining the value and importance of the commercial and industrial interests of the country at that time. For the collection of this information a separate schedule was provided, which prescribed by name the classes of establishments or products concerning which a return was to be made “in statistical tables” by the marshals and their assistants. These inquiries related usually to the quantity or value produced (or both, in some cases), number of employees, amount of capital invested, and number of establishments (in certain cases), for certain specified products of mining, of the fisheries, and of manufactures; the quantity or value of certain specified products of agriculture or of the forest; the number of commercial and commission houses, and of retail dry goods, grocery, and other stores, with the capital invested therein; the number of men employed by butchers, packers, etc., and in internal transportation, and the number of men employed, capital invested, and number of establishments engaged in the lumber trade.
The compensation of assistants, of whom there were, approximately, 2,048, was materially increased at this census, they receiving $2 for every 100 persons returned in country districts, and in cities and towns of 3,000 inhabitants or more, at the rate of $2 for each 100 persons up to 3,000 persons, and at the rate of $2 for every 300 persons over 3,000, while in those divisions where $2 for 100 persons would not be sufficient compensation, they could receive as high as $2.50 for every 50 persons returned. In those cases where the superficial content of a county or parish exceeded, in either case, 20 or 40 miles square, and the number of inhabitants did not exceed 3,000, the same provision for further allowance was made as in 1830, but by the terms of the supplemental act of February 26, 1840, the assistants, instead of receiv" ing $5 for each of the two copies of their return of population to be made and set up for the inspection of all concerned, as in 1830 and as originally provided by the act of March 3, 1839, were allowed “at the rate of $5 for ten sheets, or in that proportion for a less number, and at the rate of 30 cents for every sheet over ten in the copy of the return.” In all cases, also, where the assistants had performed the duties and made the returns of manufacturing and other industrial statistics, as prescribed by section 13 of the act of March 3, 1839, they were allowed therefor a sum equal to 20 per cent of the allowance made to them respectively for the enumeration. The compensation of the marshals of the several districts and territories, now numbering 39 in all, was also increased very materially, and the amounts prescribed varied from $50 for each of the three districts in the Territory of Florida to $500 for the district of Ohio.
The marshals were allowed the amount of the postage expended by them in connection with their work, and the papers relating to the sixth census were carried in the mails regardless of their weight, and
for the transmission of such papers between the marshals and their assistants periodical pamphlet postage only was charged.
The Secretary of State was authorized to have printed 10,000 copies of the aggregate returns received from the marshals, including the census of pensioners and the statistical tables of manufactures and other industries, and was further directed to cause to be noted all the clerical errors in the returns of the marshals and assistants, whether in the additions, classification of inhabitants, or otherwise, and that he should direct to be printed the corrected aggregate returns only. He was also directed by the act of September 1, 1841, to cause to be printed 20,000 copies of a compendium or abridgement of the census, by counties and principal towns; and by the resolution of February 24, 1843, providing for the distribution of the census reports and compendium, he was directed to send one copy of each to universities, colleges, and literary institutions entitled to receive Congressional documents. The act of February 26, 1810, also fixed the compensation for a superintending clerk (a) at $1,500 per annum, a recording clerk at $800 per annum, two assistant clerks at $650 per annum each, and such other clerks as might be needed in examining and correcting the census returns, to be paid out of the appropriations for the sixth census; while under the provisions of the act of January 14, 1811, extra compensation was allowed to the superintending clerk for arranging and preparing the census of pensioners, and for the compiling and supervision of the printing of the statistical returns relating to the commerce and industries of the country.
The act of March 3, 1839, provided that the original returns of the enumeration, within thirty days after they had been laid before the grand juries, should be transmitted by the clerks of the district and superior courts to the Department of State, but by section 5 of the act of February 26, 1840, this provision of the census act was repealed, the same as in 1830.
The printed results of the sixth census are contained in three volumes, one relating to the enumeration of the inhabitants, one to the statistics of industry and commerce, and one to the census of pensioners; and, in addition, a “compendium of the enumeration of the inhabitants and statistics of the United States."
The results pertaining to population are presented in the northern States for cities, towns, and the other civil divisions, with a recapitulation by counties, and usually in the southern States for counties and a few civil divisions; and are followed in each case by an epitome of the population for the entire State or district. The presentation of the statistics of industry and commerce follows the plan of the report on population, so far as the nature of the returns will permit, showing
a William A. Weaver, of Virginia, who served as superintending clerk until March 18, 1842.
the results returned under the various heads prescribed by the schedule by towns, townships, etc., in the northern sections and mainly by counties in the southern sections, with recapitulations by counties, where necessary, and a summary by States and districts. The compendium is an exhibit of the population and industries of the country according to counties and principal towns, to which is appended an abstract of each preceding census, while the volume relating to pensioners gives the names, ages, and places of residence of pensioners for Revolutionary or military services, and the names of the heads of families with whom they resided June 1, 1840; but the number of such pensioners returned at the sixth census is given in the report of the census proper, in connection with the returns relating to the color, sex, and age of the population.
The total population of the United States in 1810 was 17,069,453, including 6,100 persons on public ships in the service of the United States, not credited to any State or Territory.
The total cost of the sixth census was $833,370.95, subdivided as follows: For enumerating the inhabitants, $586,628.74; for printing and binding, $184,629.92; for postage, $11,048.08; for temporary clerk hire, etc., at the Department of State, $11,294.83; for incidental and contingent expenses, $9,769.38. (a)
The census of 1810 may be said to mark the beginning of a concerted effort to make the decennial enumeration the instrument for ascertaining something beyond the mere number of persons of each sex and of various ages constituting each of the three great divisions of the population. Beyond these items, with one or two other minor particulars added from time to time, and two fruitless efforts to secure industrial statistics, nothing had been attempted thus far which, in any way, would show the growth and development of the country with respect to its industries and resources. Imbued with this feeling, however, President Van Buren, in his second annual message to Congress, (b) dated December 8, 1838, not only recommended the adoption of the necessary provisions for taking the sixth census, but also suggested “whether the scope of the measure might not be usefully extended by causing it to embrace authentic statistical returns of the great interests specially intrusted to or necessarily affected by the legislation of Congress.” This suggestion found expression in the requirements of the census act, by which it was directed that the marshals and assistants should " collect and return in statistical tables
all such information in relation to mines, agriculture, commerce, manufactures, and schools, as will exhibit a full view of the pursuits, industry, education, and resources of the country;" but these efforts to expand the scope of the census were not wholly suc
a Report of Seventh Census, viii.