The census tells us who we are and where we are going as a nation. The census helps our communities determine where to build everything from schools to supermarkets, and from homes to hospitals. It helps the government decide how to distribute funds and assistance to states and localities. It is also used to draw the lines of legislative districts and reapportion the seats each State holds in Congress.
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The Eighth Census of the United States was authorized by the previous census May 23, 1850 act. On the recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior, the provisions of this act were to be adhered to, following the requirement for the taking of the eighth, or any subsequent census under its provisions, if no law, therefore, was passed before January 1 of the year in which the census was required.1”
The census office, and the position of Superintending Clerk were (for all practical purpose) abolished in May 1862. A portion of the clerks engaged in census work were transferred to the General Land Office, where the work of the 1860 census was completed, including the publication of a two-volume census report, under the direction of the Commissioner of the General Land Office.