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Eleventh Census - Volume 3. (Part I & Part II) Report on Crime, Pauperism, and Benevolence in the United States

Component ID: #ti2135470382

General Observations

The number of persons covered in this report is 340,996, namely:

  • prisoners, 82,329;
  • juvenile offenders, 14,846;
  • paupers in almshouses, 73,045;
  • inmates of benevolent institutions, 111,910;
  • insane paupers in hospitals and asylums for the insane, 58,866.

Concerning the insane paupers, no information is given other than their classification by sex, color, nativity, race, and by the institutions in which they were found. (See Table 264.)


The original data for the tables relating to prisoners, juvenile offenders, paupers in almshouses, and inmates of benevolent institutions were obtained through the census enumerators June 1, 1890, by means of special schedules, of which two were prepared, one for prisons and reformatories, the other for almshouses and benevolent institutions. Upon the first page of each were entered questions applicable to all persons enumerated; the second page of each contained special questions applicable to inmates of these classes of institutions. (a)

All of the persons covered by this report are inmates of institutions.(b) The enumerators returned the names of 24,220 outdoor paupers. But, in planning the work to be attempted in the Eleventh Census, it was decided to be impracticable to obtain complete and accurate information concerning this class. They are therefore entirely omitted from the statements contained in the tables of flgures herewith submitted.

It should also be said, to avoid misunderstanding, that not all the inmates of benevolent institutions, so called, are objects of charity or have any direct or indirect connection with the pauper class. Many institutions, such as hospitals, receive pay patients; they are designed for use by the wealthy as well as by the poor. But it was practically impossible to make a list of institutions which should clearly distinguish between those wholly charitable, those partially charitable, and those conducted for profit (c), or at least on a self-supporting basis, and equally impossible to eliminate from the lists of inmates of institutions those not maintained by the gifts of the charitable. A benevolent purpose underlies nearly all of the institutions reported; nearly all of them depend mainly upon contributions for their continued existence and usefulness, and the great mass of their beneficiaries are cared for without charge to themselves or their friends. But the characterization of all of them, without exception, as benevolent, would be an error, and this fact should be borne in mind by the reader.

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