Look Out For The Census Man

LOOK OUT FOR THE CENSUS MAN!

JAMES HITCHCOCK and WALTER C. HOOD are the Census Marshals for Scioto county. Mr. HITCHCOCK has the townships of Clay, Jefferson, Madison, Nile, Washington, Union, Morgan and Brushcreek. Mr. HOOD takes the city of Portsmouth and the townships of Wayne, Porter, Green, Bloom, Vernon and Harrison. This week we republish the leading questions — and it is hoped that all will try to have the exact answers ready in time for the Marshal when he comes.

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Count up Your Cattle, Children, Corn, Acres, &c., for the Census Man.

IN arranging the heading of this item, we have had respect to the relative degree of interest usually taken in the subjects. This year will occur the decennial census of the United States, the first object of which is the apportionment of representatives in Congress. Persons will be appointed for every locality in the States and Territories, to gather statistics of the inhabitants, and of all the agricultural productions, manufacturers, &c. Every cultivator will be asked for a concise, accurate statement of land occupied by him, the number of acres and the amount of each crop raised during the year ending June, 1859. As these reports will be called for in June, it will be necessary to give in the crops gathered last year, and the suggestion we would now make is, that cultivators write down, while fresh in their mind, the number of acres under cultivation, including the wheat, &c., gathered. The number of acres of each kind, the amount per acre, and the gross amount, will be required. The milk products also, and the amount of pork, beef, &c. will be asked for; also, the number of persons, male and female, and their ages, in every house. — Advanced spinsters, and middle-aged bachelors, widows and widowers, will undoubtedly cordially do their best to enlighten the census-takers as to their ages.

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THE editor is busy, — taking the Census. Can’t do much in the line of writing this week.

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WE have a number of items, touching our experience and observations while taking the census of the First Ward in this city, but must defer their publication to a “more convenient season.” All in time, however.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jun 9, 1860

From The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Florida) apr 5, 1930

From The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Florida) apr 5, 1930

The Census-Takers and the Public.

IT would seem that a good many people have not yet got over their fright of 1840. Twenty years have not obliterated from the tablets of their memory the impressions put there by the Opposition papers and stumpers of that day. They were then told that the census-takers were mere spies of the General Government to find out the substance of the people for the purpose of taxing it.

The babies were to be taxed, the ducks were to be taxed, the corn was to be taxed, the pigs were to be taxed, every thing was to be taxed, and if the taxes were not paid, that their property would be seized and sold to pay them.

It seems that the belief they were then scared into sticks to them, and the census-takers now find considerable opposition from ignorant people. They will not give the information required by the law. It is surprising that at this day any persons can be found who would refuse to comply with the requirements of the law by answering the questions put by the census-takers. The object of the law is a good one, and all good citizens will give the census-takers a helping hand.

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The Decennial Census.

THE United States Marshals and their assistants began, on the 1st of June, the task of taking the seventh decennial census of our people. The different censuses aggregate as follows:
1790……….3,929,827
1800……….5,305,925
1810……….7,280,314
1820……….9,638,131
1830………12,858,670
1840………17,068,666
1850………23,257,273

Unusual care has been taken in the preparation of the schedules of questions, and it is to be hoped that the aggregate statements will be ready for publication at an earlier day  than those of 1850. A circular containing a list of the queries in Schedule 1 has been prepared for circulation among manufacturers, and will be placed in their hands in time to prepare complete replies, as it is very desirable that as correct a return as possible may be made of every description of articles manufactured with the value of each. In case the information is withheld, or false returns made designedly, the following penalty is affixed by the fifteenth section of the Act of Congress:

“Each and every free person more than twenty years of age, belonging to any family residing in any sub-division, and in case of the absence of the heads and other member of any such family, then any agent of such family, shall be, and each of them is hereby required; if thereto requested by the Marshal or his assistant, 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 in and by this act, and the tables thereto subjoined, on pain of forfeiting thirty dollars, to be sued for and recovered in an action of debt by the assistant, to the use of the United States.”

The first schedule will require answers as follows:

The name of every person whose usual place of abode on the first day of June was in the family.

The profession, occupation, or trade of each person, male or female over fifteen years of age.

Value of all real estate, wherever located, and all personal estate.

Place of birth.

Married within the year.

Attended school within the year.

Persons over twenty years of age who cannot read or write.

The manufacturers’ schedule requires the name of business; amount of capital invested; raw material used, either in manufacture directly or as fuel; the kind and value of raw material; kind of motive power, or resources, as furnaces, bloomeries, etc., number of hands employed; wages paid them; and the quantity, number and value, at the manufactory, of the articles manufactured.

This is the most important schedule, and it is of the utmost importance that all the required information should be fully and accurately given. By this table the entire labor product of the country — its real wealth — is to be determined.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jun 16, 1860

THE census takers will soon be around with all sorts of questions, and the ladies are advised to “get their ages ready.”

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) May 28, 1870

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The census-taker in Davis county, Iowa, asked a woman at a farm house the age of her oldest child, and the reply was: “You have come around a month too soon.”

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Jun 30, 1870

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TWENTY-SIX is the maximum age attained by any unmarried ladies, say the census takers.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Jul 23, 1870

A Southern census taker says:

As for the ages of the negroes, that is almost entirely a matter of conjecture. So far as my experience goes, nineteen out of twenty cannot tell within then years how old they are, nor are their parents more accurate even with regard to their very young children, “John was born in cotton pickin’ time, de year before freedom struck de earth;” “Jenny was two monts old when Massa Charley got wounded in de war;” “Sal was born ’bout de time massa built him new gin house;” “Jime was born in de Christmas week of de year when frost killed de taturs;” such are the data from which to collect the ages of children, while the years of older persons are a matter of more uncertain conjecture.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Sep 21, 1870

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The Census.

The census taker complains of difficulty in ascertaining the number of persons in many families, because of the impression that the information is to be used for political purposes…

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Nov 23, 1873

A SUGGESTION TO THE CENSUS-TAKER.

The work of taking the national census will be commenced in June, and when completed will furnish a great deal of valuable and instructive information, as a comprehensive review of almost everything relating to the material prosperity of the country.

The number of acres under cultivation and the acreage of each particular crop will be given.

The people will also be able to post themselves with regard to the quantity and quality of the weather they have used up in the past, so to speak, and form conjectures as to what they may expect in the future.

All this information can not fail to be useful, and will create a demand throughout the country for more censuses, at shorter intervals than has been customary heretofore.

The field of inquiry might be advantageously extended into other departments of knowledge, and thus the sphere of usefulness of the census-taker widened out very perceptibly.

For instance, a good many believe in the truth of phrenology, and popular parlance sustains this belief. How often we read of a wise man being “a man of brains.” Daniel Webster, Napoleon the First, and almost all other men of remarkable ability had, or are supposed to have had, very large heads. Perhaps, if the census-taker were to present a tabular statement of the exact dimensions of the heads of the members of congress and of our sixteenth legislature, some data might be obtained that would be useful to the state and country, and more than repay the additional expense incurred in obtaining the desired measurements. The people would have some clew by which to go in selecting the next batch of representatives.

Or, let up suppose that the census-taker were to turn his attention to another class of offenders. How instructive, and even amusing, it would be to peruse a tabular statement showing at a glance how many murderers have been tried in Texas during the past few years; how much, in dollars and cents, each murderer was worth; what the action of the courts was in each case; how many lawyers each murderer had to assist him; how long he was in jail before he got his final trial, etc. In that case the relations between big fees, frequent continuances, and foul acquittals could be ascertained. There would be no difficulty in finding out how many wealthy and influential murderers have been executed during the last ten years, and how many indigent and friendless ones honorably acquitted.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Feb 12, 1880

Census Taker — Married or single, ma’am?

Woman — Married.

Census Taker — Any children?

Woman — No.

Census Taker — Husband living?

Woman — Yes.

Census Taker — Has he any children?

Epoch.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Dec 17, 1889

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The Brunet of the Species is More Deadly Than the Blond.

A woman in Lowell, Mass. replied to the census taker’s question, “To what race do you belong?” by writing down brunet. — Indianapolis News.

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Feb 20, 1920

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One Response to “Look Out For The Census Man”

  1. Taking the Census: “Answer a Fool According to His Folly” « YesterYear Once More Says:

    […] Look Out for the Census Man […]

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