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The Garfield Report to Congress from the Committee on the Ninth Census, 1870

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Opening Remarks

Mr. Garfield, from the Committee on the Ninth Census, made the following report.

The Committee of the House of Representatives on the Ninth Census, having had the subject under consideration, beg leave respectfully to submit the following report:

The relations of a census of the United States to the general subject of statistics are so intimate that the committee have thought it proper to offer a few preliminary suggestions on the general subject of statistics, and to submit a brief history of such inquiries made by ancient and modern nations, together with an exhibit of the statistical methods now in use in each of the states of Europe. They have also added a history of statistical inquiries, including censuses, made in this country, from the beginning of the colonial period to the present.

The great change made in the basis of popular representation by the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments to the national Constitution made it necessary for the committee to examine the constitutional and statutory provisions of the several States of the Union, in order to ascertain what would be the effect of the constitutional amendments referred to upon the representative population of each State. The committee addressed a circular to the governors of the several States, forwarding to each a copy of the clauses of the State constitution and laws which define the qualifications of a voter therein, and requesting him to cause the same to be examined, corrected and authenticated. The results of that investigation and correspondence are submitted in the appendix to this report, marked "A." In appendix "B" will be found the provisions made by the different States of the Union in regard to taking censuses and making other statistical inquiries. Appendix "C" is a paper laid before the committee by Dr. Edward Jarvis, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, relating to vital statistics, and suggesting what inquiries ought to be made concerning population. It is believed that several subjects discussed in this report and in the appendix will be of sufficient interest to warrent the committee in laying them before the House.

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