Museum Blog

Census Enumerators

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To enumerate is to ascertain the number of something. In the case of the census, this is to count the population as close to its entirety as possible. The people who conduct the count are known as enumerators (for obvious reasons). From 1790 to 1870, the census was conducted by U.S. Marshals who received little […]

Museum Blog

The 1918 Flu Pandemic

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This blog was originally posted May 15, 2018. World War I claimed the lives of an estimated 16 million people but an even deadlier killer snuck in on the coattails of the war. An estimated 50 million worldwide were killed in the flu pandemic of 1918 and at least one fifth of the population was […]

Museum Blog

The Census and Representation

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The census has occurred every decade since 1790 but the first censuses were very skewed towards white males. The first census did not ask for any names except the head of the household, generally assumed to be a white male. The number of free white males over 16 and the number of free white males […]

Museum Blog

Why Can’t I Find the 1890 Census?

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The short answer? It was destroyed by a fire. However, that short answer doesn’t illustrate the true demise of the 1890 census.    In 1890, for the first time in the history of the census, there was a separate sheet for each family. A question regarding service during the American Civil War was asked, which […]