« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
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.
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.
Instead of providing simply for an enumeration of the population in 1790 according to the number of "free persons" and the number of "all other persons, excluding Indians not taxed," which would have answered all the requirements of the Constitution, the schedule prescribed by the census act called for a return of the population, in connection with the name of the head of the family, in each case, according to five specifications of age, sex, and condition, thus recognizing at the very outset the desirability of using the census as a means of securing data beyond the mere statement of population needed for apportionment purposes. Following this general principle, the number of specifications relating to the population at each enumeration thereafter up to and including that of 1840 was constantly increased, and at the latter census the schedule prescribed called for a return of the number of persons in each family according to 50 specifications of color, sex, age, and condition, in addition to other particulars with respect to their occupation, illiteracy, mental and physical condition, etc. The manner in which the enumeration was made, following the provisions of the census act by which the details of population to be returned by the marshals and their assistants was fixed and determined, did not admit of any combination of color, sex, and age other than as prescribed by the schedule, and the printed results of these earlier enumerations followed closely the form in which the return was made by the marshals, as required by law. The change at the census of 1850 in the method by which the return was made concerning each person enumerated, calling for an individual statement, in each case, of the color, sex, and age, place of birth, occupation, etc., did away with the necessity of specifying in the census act the detail in which the return of population should be made, for purposes of presentation, and charged the work of classifying and arranging the data secured upon the central office at Washington. In determining, therefore, the number of inquiries or details asked at each census concerning population, it is manifest that the returns made by the marshals at the first six enumerations, which were published in practically the same form as transmitted by them, must be brought to the basis of the individual return required at the censuses since and including 1850. In accordance with this interpretation, the following table is obtained, in which the number of inquiries or details asked concerning population at each census from 1790 to 1840, inclusive, are classified according to the specific items for which a return was required to be made:
NUMBER OF INQUIRIES OR DETAILS RELATING TO POPULATION: 1790 TO 1840.
a" All other persons" for 1820 only.
b Also, by three age periods, viz, under 14; 14 to 25; 25 and upward.
In bringing the inquiries prescribed at the first six enumerations to the basis of the individual inquiries made at the later censuses, as previously explained, an attempt has been made in the above table to show at the same time the class or classes of the population at each census for which a return as to color, sex, and age was required to be made. For instance, the above table shows that at the first three censuses the population was subdivided into three classes, namely, free white, other free persons, and slaves, and that at each of these censuses a subdivision by sex was called for concerning free whites, and a further classification by age for free white males in 1790 and for free white males and females in 1800 and 1810. At the next three censuses, those from 1820 to 1840, the population was divided into free white, free colored, and slaves, which were in turn subdivided by sex, and that for each class by sex a further classification of age was required. The detail in which the subdivisions by sex and age were required at each census from 1790 to 1840, and for which the return of population was made and presented in the printed report, is shown for each of the three classes of persons in a second table, as follows:
With respect to the additional information called for at the various censuses, the first table (page 90) shows the classes of occupations for which a return was required in 1820 and 1840; the special inquiries that were made concerning citizenship in 1820 and 1830 and concerning illiteracy and pensioners in 1840, and the classes of the population for which a statement was required at the censuses specified of the number who were deaf and dumb or blind or who were insane or idiots at public and private charge, respectively.
The inquiries relating to population at the first three censuses, therefore, comprehended four items only, namely, name of head of family, color, sex, and age, and at the next three enumerations (1820 to 1840) these four items were not only retained on the population schedules but, in addition, as shown by the above table, inquiries were made as to citizenship, occupation, illiteracy, etc., representing, in all, 6 items of inquiry in 1820, 7 items of inquiry in 1830, and 14 items of inquiry in 1840.