Census Taking: The Law Under Which Enumerators Will Act 1890 Part II

Sec. 18. That each enumerator in his sub-division shall be charged with the collection of the facts and statistics required by each and all the several schedules, with the following exceptions to wit: In cities or States where an official registration of deaths is maintained, the Superintendent of Census may, in his discretion, withhold the mortality schedule from the several enumerators within such cities or States, and may obtain the statistics required by this act through official records, paying therefore such sum as may be found necessary, not exceeding the amount which is by this act authorized to be paid to enumerators, for a similar service, namely, two cents for each death thus returned. Whenever he shall deem it expedient, the Superintendent of Census may withhold the schedules for manufacturing, mining and social statistics from the enumerators of the several subdivisions, and may charge the collection of these statistics upon experts and special agents, to be employed without respect to locality. And said superintendent may employ experts and special agents to investigate and ascertain the statistics of the manufacturing, railroad, fishing, mining, cattle and other industries of the country, and of telegraph, express, transportation and insurance companies as he may designate and require.

Sec. 19. That the enumeration required by this act shall commence on the first Monday of June, eighteen hundred and ninety, and be taken as of that date, and each enumerator shall prosecute the canvass of his subdivision from that date forward on each week day without intermission, except for sickness or other urgent cause; and any unnecessary cessation of his work shall be sufficient ground for his removal and the appointment of another person in his place; and any person so appointed shall take the oath required of enumerators, and shall receive compensation at the same rates. And it shall be the duty of each enumerator to complete the enumeration of his district, and to prepare the returns hereinbefore required to be made, and to forward the same to the supervisor of his district on or before the first day of July, 1890, and in any city having over ten thousand inhabitants under the census of 1880 the enumeration of population shall be taken within two weeks from the first Monday of June; and any delay beyond the dates above respectively on the part of any enumerator shall be sufficient cause for withholding the compensation to which he would be entitled by compliance with the provisions of this act, until proof satisfactory to the Superintendent of Census shall be furnished that such delay was by reason of causes beyond the control of such enumerator.

Sec. 22. Any supervisor of census may, with the consent of the Superintendent of Census, remove any enumerator in his district and fill the vacancy thereby caused, or otherwise occurring; and in such cases but one compensation shall be allowed for the entire service, to be apportioned among the persons performing the same in the discretion of the Superintendent of Census.

In a circular letter to the supervisors in each district, the Superintendent of Census says among other things:

The present act, approved March 1, 1889, provides for the appointment of supervisors of census, one or more to each State and Territory and the District of Columbia, and the designation by said supervisors, and with the consent of the Superintendent of Census, the employment of suitable persons as enumerators within their respective districts. It is further provided that such persons shall be residents of the subdivisions for which they may be appointed, and that they shall be selected solely with reference to fitness, and without reference to their political party affiliations.

The appointment of enumerators should be made with reference to physical activity and to aptness, neatness and accuracy in writing and in the use of figures. The census requires active, energetic men, of good address and readiness with the pen. Only such can do the work with satisfaction to the Government or profit to themselves.

The number of inhabitants to be included in an enumeration district shall not in any case exceed four thousand, and only in very exceptional cases should this limit be reached.

The enumeration required by the census act will commence on the first Monday of June next and must be completed in cities having over 10,000 inhabitants, according to the census of 1880, within two weeks from that date, and in all other districts on or before the first day of July next thereafter.

Each applicant for appointment as census enumerator must make a written application to the supervisor for his district, giving his Christian name in full, his place of birth, his present legal residence and post office address, the principal facts of his education and professional or business experience, including a statement of all national, State, county, or municipal offices at any time held by him, and the place and nature of his present occupation. This application must be throughout in the handwriting of the applicant, and he must so certify therein.

It will be necessary for each enumerator, before entering upon his duties, to receive a commission, under the hand of the supervisor of the district to which he belongs, and to take and subscribe an oath or affirmation that he will faithfully discharge all the duties required of him under the law.

The small size of the enumeration districts, and the employment of local enumerators, will operate largely to the advantage of the census, both as to accuracy and completeness of returns. The enumerator, if a resident of the subdivision, knows, presumably, every house and almost every family, and is in little danger of making omissions, and can not be easily imposed upon by false statements.

The compensation to be paid to enumerators is fixed by section 11 of the act of March 1, 1889, and provides a minimum rate of two cents for each living inhabitant, two cents for each death, fifteen cents for each farm, twenty cents for each establishment of productive industry, and five cents for surviving soldier, sailor, or marine, or widow of a soldier, sailor, or marine, enumerated and returned, for all subdivisions where such allowance shall be deemed sufficient. In all other subdivisions, where higher rates are to be paid, according to the difficulty of enumeration, the maximum rates shall not be more than three cents for each living inhabitant, twenty cents for each farm, and thirty cents for each establishment of productive industry: nor shall they be less than three nor more than six dollars per day of ten hours actual field work each, in case a per diem compensation is established. Except in extreme cases, no claim for mileage or traveling expenses will be allowed to any enumerator, and then only when authority has been previously granted by the Superintendent of Census.

The law provides a penalty for an enumerator who shall, without justifiable cause, neglect or refuse to perform the duties of his position after accepting an appointment and qualifying for the work.

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Article Name: Census Taking: The Law Under Which Enumerators Will Act 1890 Part II
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


Brooklyn Daily Eagle May 3, 1890.
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