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

Much interest has been manifested in the manner of taking the Eleventh Census of the United States in June next, and Mr. Robert B. Sedgwick, who is supervisor of the census for this district, has been hard at work for weeks preparing the necessary papers and considering the claims of persons desiring to be appointed enumerators.

The law prescribing the manner of taking the census is as follows:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That a census of the population, wealth and industry of the United States shall be taken as of the date of June first, eighteen hundred and ninety.***

Sec. 7. That all mail matter, of whatever class, relative to the census and addressed to the Census Office, to the Superintendent of Census, his chief clerk, supervisors or enumerators, and indorsed "Official business, Department of the Interior, Census Office," shall be transported free of postage; and if any person shall make use of any such endorsement to avoid the payment of postage on his private letter, package, or other matter in the mail, the person so offending shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of three hundred dollars, to be prosecuted in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Sec. 8. No enumerator shall be deemed qualified to enter upon his duties until he has received from the supervisor of census of the district to which he belongs a commission, under his hand, authorizing him to perform the duties of an enumerator, and setting forth the boundaries of the subdivision within which such duties are to be performed by him. He shall, moreover, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation:

"I, _________, an enumerator for taking the ______census of the United States, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will make a true and exact enumeration of all the inhabitants within the subdivision assigned to me, and will also faithfully collect all other statistics therein, as provided for in the act for taking the _____census, and in conformity with all lawful instructions which I may receive, and will make due and correct returns thereof, as required by said act, and will not disclose any information contained in the schedules, lists or statements obtained by me to any person or persons, except to my superior officers. (Signed) ___________."

Which said oath or affirmation may be administered by any judge or clerk of a court of record, or any justice of the peace or notary public empowered to administer oaths: which oath, duly authenticated, shall be forwarded to the supervisor of census before the date fixed herein for the commencement of the enumeration.

Sec. 9. It shall be the duty of each enumerator, after being qualified in the manner aforesaid, to visit personally each dwelling house in his sub-division and each family therein and each individual living out of a family in any place of abode, and by inquiry made of the head of such family or of the member thereof, deemed most credible and worthy of trust, or of such individual living out of a family, to obtain each and every item of information and all the particulars required by this act, as of date June first, eighteen hundred and ninety. And in case no person shall be found at the usual place of abode of such family or individual living out of a family competent to answer the inquiries made in compliance with the requirements of this act, thou it shall be lawful for the enumerator to obtain the required information, as nearly as may be practicable, from the family or families, or person or persons, living nearest to such place of abode. The Superintendent of Census may employ special agents or other means to make an enumeration of all Indians living wit6hin the jurisdiction of the United States, with such information as to their condition as may be obtainable classifying them as to Indians taxed and Indians not taxed.

Sec. 10. And it shall be the duty of each enumerator to forward the original schedules, duly certified, to the supervisor of census of his district, as his returns under the provisions of this act.

Sec. 11. The compensation of enumerators shall be ascertained and fixed as follows: In sub-divisions, where the Superintendent of Census shall deem such allowance sufficient, an allowance not exceeding two cents for each living inhabitant, two cents for each death reported,, fifteen cents for each farm, and twenty cents for each establishment of productive industry enumerated and returned, and for each surviving soldier, sailor or marine, or widow of such soldier, sailor or marine returned, five cents may be given in full compensation for all services; Provided, that the subdivisions to which the above rate of compensation shall apply must be designated by the Superintendent of Census at least one month in advance of the enumeration. Rates of compensation for all other subdivisions shall be fixed in advance of the enumeration by the Superintendent of Census, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, according to the difficulty of enumeration, having reference to the nature of the region to be canvassed and the density or sparseness of settlement, or other considerations pertinent thereto: but the compensation allowed to any enumerator in any such district shall not be less than three dollars nor more than six dollars per day of ten hours actual field work each, when a per diem compensation shall be established by the Secretary of the Interior, nor more than three cents for each living inhabitant, twenty cents for each farm and thirty cents for each establishment of productive industry enumerated and returned, when a per capita compensation shall be deemed advisable by the Secretary of the Interior. No claim for mileage or traveling expenses shall be allowed any enumerator in either class of subdivisions, except in extreme cases, and then only when authority has been previously granted by the Superintendent of Census. The Superintendent of Census shall prescribe uniform methods and suitable forms for keeping accounts of the number of people enumerated or of the time occupied in field work for the purpose of ascertaining the amounts due to enumerators, severally, under the provisions of this act.

Sec. 12. That the subdivision assigned to any enumerator shall not exceed four thousand inhabitants, as near as may be, according to estimates based on the Tenth Census. The boundaries of all subdivisions shall be clearly described by civil divisions, rivers, roads, public surveys, or other easily distinguished lines.

Sec. 13. That any supervisor or enumerator, who, having taken and subscribed the oath required by this act, shall, without justifiable cause, neglect or refuse to perform the duties enjoined upon him by this act, or shall, without the authority of the Superintendent, communicate to any person not authorized to receive the same any information gained by him in the performance of his duties, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not exceeding five hundred dollars; or, if he shall willfully and knowingly swear or affirm falsely, he shall be deemed guilty of perjury, and, on conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned not exceeding three years, and be fined not exceeding eight hundred dollars; or, if he shall willfully and knowingly make false certificates or fictitious returns, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction of either of the last named offenses he shall be fined not exceeding five thousand dollars and be imprisoned not exceeding two years.

Sec. 14. That if any person shall receive or secure to himself any fee, reward or compensation as a consideration for the appointment or employment of any person as enumerator or clerk or other employee, or shall in any way receive or secure to himself any part of the compensation provided in this act for the services of any enumerator or clerk or other employee, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than three thousand dollars, or be imprisoned not more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the court.


 
Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: Census Taking: The Law Under Which Enumerators Will Act 1890 Part I
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina

Source:

Brooklyn Daily Eagle May 3, 1890.
Time & Date Stamp: