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interest and attention, and upon the cheerful cooperation of all classes of citizens and all sorts of people, the failure referred to becomes altogether inexplicable.

When first it was my fortune to be assigned to the superintendency of the United States census, I besought the President to give to the opening of the enumeration the prestige and éclat of a proclamation. General Grant was not indisposed to do so, but the inexorable Department of State interposed its objection. There never had been such a proceeding, and therefore there never could be. Reasons were nothing as against precedents; and so the great national canvass was allowed to begin with as little of ceremony and of observation as the annual peregrinations of a village assessor. Is it unreasonable to hope that recent painful experiences will effectually impress on the minds of our rulers the expediency of distinguishing this function as clearly as possible from the ordinary routine work of government, and of publicly invoking for it the good will and active cooperation of all ?

The work of the Eleventh Census began, as was said, on the 1st of June. In cities the work was generally concluded within two weeks. In rural districts the enumeration was allowed to be protracted through the entire month. In many districts, however, here and there, the canvass, owing to accidents or to unforeseen obstacles, dragged on through some days or weeks longer. In a very few distant and difficult districts its completion was still further delayed; but on the 21st of October the last returns were received, and on the 28th of that month the Census Office announced the population as 62,480,540, exclusive of "Indians not taxed," according to the phrase of the Constitution. As the result of minor corrections, this total was subsequently changed to 62,622,250, which-whoever may be content or non-content-is destined to stand as the record for 1890.

The count of 1790 showed 3,929,214 inhabitants; so that in the past century the population has increased to nearly sixteen-fold its original number. How far this increase has been out of the loins of the men of 1790 and how far it has been due to immigration from foreign countries, we may

take another occasion to inquire. More marvellous even than the growth in numbers has been the spread of population westward over territory which was then an unbroken wilderness, roamed over only by savage beasts and savage men. The people of 1790 were found wholly in a narrow tract along the Atlantic shore, except where adventurous colonists, to the number of perhaps two hundred thousand, had taken up lands amid primeval forests in the valley of the Ohio. The total inhabited area of those days may be roughly given as a quarter of a million square miles. To-day nearly a million and three quarters square miles are more or less densely covered by population. Then the average density of settlement was sixteen to the square mile. To-day it is nearly forty to the square mile, over a sevenfold area.

The moral and physical energy and courage, the intellectual activity and enterprise exhibited by the American people in thus overrunning and occupying, settling and cultivating, a million and a half of square miles in the course of a single century, is absolutely unparalleled in the history of mankind. It stands, and will long stand, without a rival among human achievements. Think what it means! an average each year of fifteen thousand square miles-a territory larger than Holland, nearly as large as Switzerland with all its barren mountains! for each ten years a territory as large as Great Britain and Ireland combined, first entered upon, taken up, and annexed to the previously occupied and cultivated area! This story of the geographical process of the national growth is among the marvels of our race; and I confess it is to me not less a subject of admiration than the highest achievements in art, letters, and science, or in conquest and warlike enterprise. No other people could have extended settlement in so short a time over so vast a space. Any other of the great migratory races, Slav or Tartar, would have broken hopelessly down in the effort to compass such a field in such a term of years.

Unfortunately, the natural and proper pride and self-satisfaction with which the record of our first hundred years as a nation should have been made up, has been greatly impaired and diminished by grave and widespread complaints against

the count of 1890. It is to these, rather than to gratulation over the undoubted results, that the present paper must be addressed. Certainly, there was great popular surprise and disappointment over the announcement made from the Census Office in October last; and to many persons popular surprise and disappointment are evidence enough. But after a century of censuses we can hardly accept this sort of proof. Experience has shown that dissatisfaction may exist at its maximum where no good reason appears; and, again, that the gravest errors of enumeration may pass unnoticed. When the first census was taken, the people were wholly unreconciled to find that they numbered only four millions—indeed, not quite four millions; and Mr. Jefferson, then Secretary of State, in communicating the results to our ministers abroad, formally notified them that the returns were believed to be inadequate, and even kindly undertook, by "figures in red ink," to supply the deficiencies. Yet the course of the three or four censuses which followed showed conclusively that the census of 1790 was minutely accurate; so much so that it became, as we shall see, the base-line from which population could be unerringly projected for the next fifty years.

A census may be criticised in one or all of three different ways: First, this may be done objectively, by direct proof of its inaccuracy adduced from the outside, as when names of actual residents are shown to have been omitted in large numbers. Such proof may be furnished by another count if carried on in such a way as to be itself incontestable, or by bringing forward a multitude of well-authenticated individual cases of omission. Secondly, the census may be criticised by internal evidence, as when the schedules themselves show, upon expert examination, that they have been fraudulently or loosely made up; or as when the resulting statistics fail to agree among themselves, or fail to correspond to proportions which are determined by laws of population so well ascertained and so general in their operation that no large body of people can escape their control. Thirdly, the criticism may be by comparison with preceding and succeeding censuses, as when an enumeration fails, in a degree not to be accounted for by any temporary causes which

can be adduced, to take its due place in the series. An illustration of this last method is furnished by the Ninth Census, which passed without any general adverse criticism at the time, but which the census of 1880 proved to have been in error to a large extent through the Southern States.

Direct external evidence against the general integrity of the census, throughout a country so broad and of such widely varying conditions as the United States, is not easily obtained, even if it could be had at all, in the degree which would be necessary to condemn the work as a whole. The results of an enumeration carried on over an extended district are not homogeneous. They must differ somewhat in quality-and they may even differ widely-without, perhaps, much blame except in the very worst cases. Hence, such a work cannot be appraised by tests applied at random. No matter how well the work in general may have been done, bad spots can always be detected, here and there, by searching scrutiny. On the other hand, against the widest dereliction from duty the conscientiousness of individual supervisors or enumerators will erect a barrier. Not only does the "personal equation" of enumerators and supervisors thus constitute the enumeration of each district, to a certain extent, a thing by itself, but the special liabilities and difficulties of individual districts and regions are such as necessarily to cause great differences in the degrees of accuracy which can possibly be attained. There are rural communities in which it would be inexcusable for a census-taker to omit a single person among five hundred or a thousand. There are other communities in which it would no more be possible for a census-taker to secure the name of every resident than it would be for complished angler to catch the last trout in a stream. Since, therefore, a census is never all good or all bad, it cannot be judged as a whole by the number and kind of tests which the heedless, impatient character of our people will be likely to cause to be made. Especially when such tests are applied at the instance of aggrieved municipalities, or are carried on in a partisan spirit, are they unlikely to do more than render the public mind uneasy and dissatisfied, without

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affording any measure of the degree of error, or even proving that the census as a whole is defective.

The most important instance of an attempt to secure external evidence against the Eleventh Census is afforded by the painful case of New York City. It will never cease to be a source of regret that the administration at Washington did not take the initiative in this matter and direct a reenumeration, as was done in the case of both New York and Philadelphia in 1870. Such a course would have delayed for a few weeks the final announcement of the result for the whole country; and might, in consequence, have prevented the reapportionment of representation in Congress during the last session. But this would not have been a high price to pay for setting at rest the complaints-whether well founded or ill founded-of the press and the municipal authorities of New York, and for saving, to a great extent, the prestige of the whole census. As it is, the record is made up with a very unhappy state of things: a national enumeration which credits the city with 1,515,301 inhabitants, and a police count 197,000 in excess. Such a contradiction in terms, whatever value one may attribute to the enumeration under municipal authority, cannot fail permanently to impair the satisfaction felt in the centennial canvass of the country.

It is not possible to explain away the difference. It is true that the police count was made at a time when tens of thousands had returned to the city from seaside and mountain. It is true that the police count did not refer back to the census date, June 1, and that the large natural growth of the city during the interval, amounting to some thousands each month, was included in the later enumeration. It is true that the foreign arrivals at the port during the autumn were extremely heavy, and that an unusually large proportion of these stayed in the city. But after all reasonable allowance has been made on these accounts, there remains an enormous difference, which can only mean that one or the other of these enumerations was inexcusably wrong. Either the census officers throughout large districts did their work with culpable negligence, or else the police who were set to follow

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