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and with justice to enumerators, can be applied alike to crowded cities, to ordinary agricultural communities, to the population of mountainous regions, to prairie settlements in the newer States, and to the scattered inhabitants of the grazing or mining Territories. The act of May 23, 1850, did indeed attempt to set up a rule which should meet all conditions of settlement. It provided that the assistant marshal should receive two cents for each person enumerated and “ten cents a mile for necessary travel, to be ascertained by multiplying the square root of the mumber of dwelling-houses in the division by the square root of the number of square miles in each division, and the product shall be taken as the number of miles traveled for all purposes in taking this census." For this rule it was claimed that its action was compensatory in the degree needed to secure substantial equity. In the closely settled regions, it was urged, the enumerator would receive chiefly a per capita allowance; the district being small, the mileage would be insignificant. In sparsely populated regions, on the other hand, the enumerator would obtain but a small portion of his compensation in the form of a per capita allowance, while the mileage would constitute his real remuneration.
It cannot be denied that there is in this rule a certain tendency toward equalizing the compensation of enumerators; but a careful study of the workings of the system at the census of 1870 has satisfied me that it allows great injustice to be done as between enumerators laboring with equal energy and zeal, while costing the government in the aggregate far more than would be needed to secure quite as thorough an enumeration under a rule which permits the exercise of administrative discretion, within certain limits, in adapting the rates of compensation to the varying conditions of settlement and occupation. There were hundreds of enumerators in 1870 who earned six and eight dollars a day quite as easily as hundreds of others earned two and three dollars. In exceptional cases, the disproportion of compensation was even greater. The general result was unfairness as toward enumerators and unnecessary expense to the government. I would therefore suggest that at the cen. sus of 1880 an aggregate amount be appropriated by Congress for the compensation of enumerators, to be applied by the department, in its discretion, subject to the provision that no person so employed shall receive more than dollars a day for each full day of — hours, or in proportion for any fraction of a day, the enumerator's statement of time occupied in his work being verified under oath.
Such a system would entail upon the department a great responsibility and no little labor; but that responsibility should be borne by some one, and that labor performed, in justice both to the government and to the body of enumerators. The soundest system, administered with the highest discretion, will not avoid injustice to individuals, but the department could not fail, in its use of such a lump appropriation, to reach a far more equitable apportionment of pay to work than the operation of the rule of 1850 permits; while, by saving the wasteful allowances in many cases resulting from the application of the present rule, the whole enumeration could be accomplished at an expense of not more than 80 per cent.
5th. As to the time to be occupied in enumeration.
In England, or in some other countries of Europe, the census is taken as nearly instantaneously as possible, and the people of the kingdom are, as it were, photographed in the position they occupied at a given moment. To be more specific, the enumeration takes place with reference to a single night, and, schedules having been distributed in advance, every householder makes return of all the persons at that time under his roof. Hotels, hospitals, jails, police stations, and all places of casual entertainment or confinement are included in the canvass.
As a matter of fact, while this photographic process is resorted to, the entire following day is occupied by the agents in collecting the schedules, and practically a portion of the second day is so occupied, though it is not the intention of the authorities that it shall be so.
On the other hand, in the census of the United States, while the enumeration is referred to a single day, (by the law of 1850 the 1st of June,) no attempt is made to photograph the people in the position they then occupy. On the contrary, the inquiry of the law is not where å man was on that day, but where was then his usual place of residence or abode. Thus, a citizen of Philadelphia, staying at the Fifth Avenue Hotel on the night of May 31, would, by the English system, be taken as of the population of New York. By the American system he would be returned in due time as having had his usual place of residence in Philadelphia at the date of the census, June 1. By some these two methods are severally called: the American, a de jure enumeration; the British, a de facto enumeration.
In the Confederated Republic of Switzerland an effort is made, on account of the political and property interests involved in determining the true population of the several cantons and communes, to combine the two methods; and, while photographing the population, in position, on a day certain, to get also the information necessary to enable the population to be redistributed among the several cantons, &c., according to the legal or usual place of residence of those enumerated.
It will be seen that the method adopted in the United States does not require that the enumeration shall be completed in a single day. On the contrary, the act of 1850 allows the work to be protracted over a period of 100 days, viz, from June 1 to September 10. It would, perhaps, be necessary to discuss somewhat at length the comparative advantages of the two methods of enumeration, were a census strictly according to the European model practicable in the United States under the existing conditions of settlement and occupation. I cannot, however, believe that the country is prepared to encounter the expense which would be involved in an effort to take a de facto census from Maine to California, while there is reason to apprehend that such an effort might result in a partial failure, which would allow a greater degree of error in the account of population than is admitted to exist in the case of a de jure census.
A protracted enumeration is essentially vicious. All that can be done by administration, under the best provisions of law, is to reduce the error within moderate limits. Many persons have a “usual place of abode” only in a qualified sense. They are here or there as business or pleasure or necessity requires. This class does not comprise the vicious or the poor alone. It embraces large numbers of persons of ample means, often of wealth, whose local ties are very slight, who drift about from place to place, where they are found in hotels and fashionable boardinghouses. A census-taker visiting such places on the 1st of August, and asking an over-busy landlady or a stupid servant for the names of those who had their usual place of abode there on the 1st of June previous, will probably fail to secure a record of the greater part of such persons. In the case of those who shift their quarters, under the stress of want, from one cheap boarding house or tenement house to another, the chances of omission are even greater. Every additional day through which the census is protracted affords opportunity for the escape of an additional number of persons from enumeration.
This is not a question of the strong or loose administration of the law. It is involved in the very provision of the law by which a period of 100 days is taken. The most familiar illustration is that of a ward of a city. The enumeration commencing on the 1st of June, and being protracted until the 10th of September, a family moving on the 1st of July or the 1st of August from a portion of a ward not yet visited by the assistant marshal, into a portion of another ward where the assistant marshal has already made his rounds, will, of course, escape enumeration, unless the head of the family so thoroughly appreciates the importance of the census as to be at pains to hunt up the proper person and offer information, some portions of which are never given without considerable reluctance. It is assuming more than is fair to suppose that one out of a hundred of persons so situated will be at this trouble to perform a duty necessarily more or less unpleasant. When it is considered how many thousands of persons in every large city, how many tens of thousands in a city like New York, not only live in boarding-houses, but change their boarding-houses at every freak of fancy or disgust, not to speak of those who leave under the stress of impecuniosity, and therefore are not likely to leave their future address or advertise their residence, it will be seen how utterly unfitted is such a system of enumeration to the social conditions of the country at the present time.
Of course the extent to which this liability to omission will affect the results of the census depends entirely upon the stability of the population. In rural districts, where a family may be expected to reside not only for the entire year but for a term of years in the same house, the omissions on this account are not large. The danger here is mainly from the liability of assistants to overlook houses situated on by-roads, and cabins standing in the woods or in the fields. This liability, however, is not greater in an enumeration protracted over three or four months than in an enumeration taken on a single day. But wherever we have to deal with the population of cities and manufacturing towns, the percentage of loss becomes considerable. [* Report of the Superintendent of Census, November 21, 1871, PP. xxi, xxii.]
In recognition of such facts and conditions, the part of wisdom would seem to be to arm the Census Office or the Department of the Interior with sufficient control over the formation of subdivisions and the appointment of enumerators to secure the work being done in the least time practicable, without any appreciable increase of expense. If the work must drag somewhat among the mountains, that constitutes no reason why it should drag in the valley. If weeks are required for the enumeration of mining regions or scattered agricultural populations, days will suffice to canvass large cities and compact manufacturing towns. There is no such place in the United States where a sufficient number of bright, active, prompt, well-spoken young men cannot be obtained to begin and close the work between two Sundays.
6th. As to the several schedules for enumeration.
The act of 1850 contained six schedules, which were, without reference to the order in which they stood in the law, as follows:
1st. The population schedule, from which are obtained the statistics of age, sex, color, occupation, nativity, &c.
2d. The mortality schedule, from which are obtained the statistics of the number and causes of deaths occurring during the twelve months immediately preceding the census date; the occupation, age, sex, color, nativity, &c., of the deceased.
3d. The agricultural schedule, from which are obtained the statistics of farms, live stock, and farm products.
4th. The industrial schedule, from which are obtained the statistics of manufactories, mining, the fisheries, &c.
5th. The “social statistics” schedule, highly miscellaneous in its subject-matter, covering churches, schools, libraries, newspapers, wealth, taxation, pauperism, crime, wages, &c. 6th. The slave schedule.
* Ninth Census, vol. 1, Population and Social Statistics, pp. xxi-xxii.
The last-named schedule dropped out of itself at the census of 1870, by reason of the late Constitutional amendments.
The 5th schedule as numbered above, that relating to social statistics, was the only one which, by the act of 1850, was not to be carried around and filled up by the regular assistant marshals, each in his own subdivision. For the purposes of enumeration, so far as this schedule was concerned, the United States marshal was authorized in his discretion to appoint a special deputy or deputies within the judicial district, on whom this duty should be charged. In case of such appointments, the regular assistant marshals were to be relieved of all responsibility relating to the social statistics, and to be deprived of all claims to the compensation allotted to that service. Under this provision of the act of 1850, special deputies were appointed by the marshals of many judicial districts, constituting a majority of the States of the Union, with results altogether superior to what could have been obtained through the regular enumerators, owing to the peculiar nature and requirements of the work involved in collecting the social statistics.
For the census of 1880 I would respectfully recommend the extension of the policy of the act of 1850, in allowing the appointment of special deputies for special work.
The agricultural schedule should not be divided from the population schedule. It can never be worth while to have one man canvassing an agricultural district. to secure the statistics relating to the inhabitants and another going over the same ground obtaining the statistics relating to farms and farm productions. In general, too, the mortality schedule should not be divorced from the population schedule, for, as only one death may be expected to occur in any district for every thirty, forty, or fifty living inhabitants, it could never pay to carry around the mortality schedule by itself, unless the compensation for deaths reported were to be increased greatly above what is allowed by the act of 1850. Even in respect to the statistics of mortality, however, the Census Office should have a discretionary power to withhold the schedule from the regular enumerators, for there are many cities, embracing in the aggregate several millions of inhabitants, where a compulsory registration of deaths exists, affording data more complete and exact than could be expected from a popular canvass by an enumerator without professional knowledge of the causes of death. The Census Office, with but a portion of the funds required to pay for a separate canvass of the field, could secure transcripts of the registration records, which would have a far higher value.
But it is with respect to the statistics of manufactures that the importance of special agencies in enumeration most clearly appears. The Census Office should be empowered to provide, at its discretion, for the collection of the entire manufacturing statistics of any
part of the country, and for the collection of the statistics of any branch of manufacturing industry throughout the entire country.
In all large cities and considerable manufacturing towns the manufacturing establishments should be enumerated as a whole, and by officers specially appointed for the purpose. There can be no reason why the same officer should conduct the two classes of inquiries. The regular enumerators will have enough to do in canvassing the population of their respective districts. To charge upon them a duty so different in its nature and requirements can only distract their attention and perplex their minds.
Moreover, “the necessities of enumerating the population of cities and large towns require the subdivision of territory and the assignment of enuunerators according to lines of demarcation, which, however natural or logical with respect to the population, do not correspond to the conditions of the manufacturing industry of the place.” [Report of the Superintendent of the Ninth Census, Remarks on the Tables of Manufacturing Industry, Vol. Industry and Wealth, p. 372.]
Thus, in no small number of cases, the factory where the hands are employed and the work is done is distinct from the office where the complete accounts of wages, labor, and materials are kept. The two may fall into different subdivisions, and between the two the establishment may be enumerated in neither.
Again, the qualifications required for good work in collecting the statistics of manufacturing industry are in excess of those required for the proper canvass of population. In a city like Indianapolis or Worcester it would be easy to find one good man who should intelligently conduct the inquiries of the census in respect to all the varied industries of the place; it would be altogether unreasonable to expect that each one of the fifteen or twenty agents charged with the count of the inhabitants would do equally well by that fraction of the manufacturing interests which should fall within his subdivision.
Lastly, it is only when the manufacturing establishments of a city are taken as a whole, by some one who gives himself solely and professionally to the work, that the liability to grave omissions can be overcome.
Any one who stops to consider will see how easy it would be, in a considerable mannfacturing town, for an assistant marshal, visiting every inhabited dwelling and enumerating thoroughly every family in the place, to omit many important establishments of productive industry. There are instances in great cities like Philadelphia, where large industries are carried on below the sidewalk, and one might pass and repass frequently without receiving any intimation that hundreds of operatives, aided by steampower, were working almost under his feet. The only entrance to many other estah. lishments in such a city is from alleys or interior courts, where the work of enumerating families would not lead the assistant marshal; indeed, into which, with the best intention on his part, he would hardly find his way. Other establishments in great numbers are carried on beneath the same roof with more pretentious industries, or in lofts above stores. In numerous cases the most diverse industries not only occupy the same building, but take their power from the same wheel. Such are the difficulties which beset the enumeration of manufacturing industry. If every establishment occupied a distinct and an entire building, situated squarely upon a public street, and with some conspicuous blazon of what was going on within, it would then, beyond question, be the fault of an enumerator if a single one should be omitted from his returns; but when, instead, establishments of this nature are lisposed about and hidden away with a promiscuousness and an intricacy of which the above will hardly convey an idea, it is not to be wondered at that an officer wholly unfamiliar with the manufacturing industries of his district, and perhaps unacquainted with the conditions of a single important industry, should make a very incomplete and partial return of production. [Report of the Superintendent of the Ninth Census, Remarks on the Tables of Mannfacturing Industry, Vol. Industry and Wealth, pp. 371-2.]
On the other hand, an officer specially charged with the enumeration of the manufactures of a city would not only visit establishments which stared him in the face, but he would complete his lists by reference to directories and by inquiries within each special trade; he would become expert in dealing with the special difficulties of that service; he would get "an eye” for productive establishments; his ear would become preternaturally quick to detect the movements of machinery; and his sense of smell would become as keenly alive to the peculiar odors of different branches of manufacture as is reported to have been the case with a late distinguished minister of the United States at a northern court.
But it is not only with reference to the manufactures of large cities and considerable towns that the Census Office might advantageously exercise its discretion in reserving the collection of statistics for a special agent. There are not a few branches of industry in the United States which should be canvassed as a whole from the central office. Here, let us suppose for the sake of illustration, is a branch of industry which