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16th August, 1853.

To the Honorable Malcolm Cameron,) ti^t. j^ ±^ r> j j^ t> ■ i s-
, ,^ , , ' f Members of the Board of Jiegtstration

A. N. MoRiN, } and Statistics.

" " E. P. TACHfi, *

Gentlemen, — In compliance with the request of the Honorable the Chairman of
your Board, I have the honor to present my First Report upon the Census of 1851.
Its very incomplete state will, at the present time, compel me to deal very generally
with some of the subjects embraced, as the oaly parts really perfected are the Returns
of the Origins, the Religions, and the Agricultural Produce of both Provinces.

An immense amount of work has been performed in the Office, as will be shewn
hereafter, but until the Abstracts of each portion are completed, it will be impossible
to draw any accurate deductions, or compile such comparative Tables as will neces-
sarily suggest themselves.

Before entering upon the results of this great work, it will be well perhaps to
make some observations as to the machinery whereby so much valuable information
has been collected and condensed.

In the months of November and December, 1851, the Commissioners for each
County and City in the Provinces received their appointments, and at once proceeded
to select a sufficient number of Enumerators for their respective localities. In the
performance of this there were employed in Upper Canada, 45 Commissioners and
697 Enumerators ; in Lower Canada, 38 Commissioners and 476 Enumerators To
each were furnished printed instructions with "Forms" of Schedules ready filled up
for their guidance.

The Census Is supposed to have beeii taken on the 12th day of January, 1852,
and great credit is due to most of the parties engaged for the prompt and efficient


manner in which their duties were discharged. On the whole the Census of Lower
Canada has been taken with greater care than (hat of the Upper Province, where, un-
fortunately, many of the Enumerators proved themselves wholly unfit for the duties
assigned to them ; and the negligence and ignorance displayed in the work of these
has added materially to the labours of the Office, in the classification and arrangement
of the Tables. From this charge, however, a great number of the Counties are wholly
exempt, and in many the work has been performed most admirably by both Commis-
sioners and Enumerators.

In reference to the degree of accuracy which may be attributed to the Returns.
it must be borne in mind that they are chiefly dependent on voluntary information, —
tested, however, to some extent by the observation and local knowledge of the Enu-
merators. It is, however, a curious fact, and one to which most of them bear testi-
mony, that a very general feeling was found to prevail throughout the Colony, that
the Census had some direct or indirect reference to taxation — and in this belief the
Enumerators were frequently received most ungraciously, and the information sought
was, not only partially, but, in some cases, altogether withheld. It is much to be
regretted that the value of this important work which displays the progress of a Colony,
in which the elements of improvement are working with such increasing and almost
unexampled energy, and which affords the only a,vailable means of satisfactorily prov-
ing the production, distribution, and consumption of its natural wealth, and the moral
and physical condition of its people, should have been thus to some extent counter-
acted by ignorance and prejudice. It is, however, an evil which exists in other Coun-
tries, and in taking the last Census of the United States, it became necessary, in some
-districts, to put in force the Act of Congress for refusal to reply to the Interrogatories
of the Enumerators. The only remedy for this, perhaps, is to be found in the increas-
ing intelligence and education of the community.

With reference to a similar work in another Country, it was remarked that "People
" are slow to see that questions relating to themselves and their households can have
" any bearing on the general good, and forget that, in accounts of large numbers, the
" individual is wholly lost sight of in the average, but that the average can only be
" obtained by an accurate knowledge of all that pertains to the individual."

In all countries, the interval between the taking and publishing of a Census is
thought to be unnecessarily long, and at this time the complaint is made respecting that
of Great Britain and the United States. Of the former, taken as that of Canada for
1851, the details of the numbers and distribution of the population alone were pub-
lished, and we are told that all the information collected relative to the Ages, Occupa-
tions. Civil- condition, and Birth places of the population, with the number of the
Bhnd, the Deaf, and the Dumb, will not be pubUshed for a considerable time. In
the United States, where the Census was taken in 1850, we believe that the publica-
tion is confined to General Abstracts, and that no detail has, as yet, been given to the
public. In fact, the Abstracts have only very recently been published.

It must not be forgotten, that the materials for a Census are obtained by means of
a personal return from each family, and each of such returns has to be passed in


review, and checked, before any of the tables can be prepared. The following remarks
may give some little idea of the labour this involves :

The Returns were with a few exceptions sent by the Commissioners through the
medium of the Post Office, (and of the immense bulk of papers thus transmitted not
one was received at the Office in a mutilated condition, or in any way injured.) The
first Returns were received on the 28th of February, 1852, from the City of Hamilton,
and the County of Lotbiniere, and from that time the most difficult part of the Office
work commenced.

The population of the two Provinces amounts to, 1,842,265

That of the Cities and Towns was taken on slips, left at every house, 171,034
That of the Counties and Villages, on sheets of 50 each, 1,671,231

giving 33,425 sheets, each containing 40 columns which had to be carefully examined
and analysed, being no less than 1,337,000 columns, and averaging the slips at eight
each, we have 21,380 slips, which had to be submitted to the same test. In addition
to these, the Agricultural Returns occupied about 7000 sheets of 65 columns each,
making a total of 1,722,000 columns and 21,380 slips.

The mode of proceeding in the analysis was as follows ; —

1st. Personal Census.

The first duty was to examine every sheet to ascertain if the classification as to
Origins and Religions, given in the Abstracts furnished by the Commissioners, were cor-
rect, and in many cases very great discrepancies were discovered ; in others where no
Abstract had been furnished by the Commissioners, they were preyjared in the Office.
This portion of the Census alone, which is published, occupies 143 pages of printed
matter, and on reference to this the immense amount of labour bestowed upon it will
be apparent, each Municipality being entered separately. In this part of the work
there are 1755 columns and 2178 cross castings.

The trade or occupation of every individual was then extracted from each sheet,
and classified as to Counties and Townships.

The most difficult and tedious part of the work has however been the classifica-
tion of the Ages, Births, Deaths, Number attending School,- Deaf, Dumb, Blind,
Lunatics, Number of Families, Members and not Members of Families, of each Munici-
pality — and the arrangement occupies no fewer than 150 columns, and was rendered
the more difficult and tedious as it was necessary to distinguish the Married and Single,
the Widows and Widowers, and the ages at which the deaths occurred.

Two persons working the whole day could, in some cases, analyse 3000 names, —
and in others not more than 2000, according to the correctness with which ' the
Returns were„made — and where the Married and Single were not distinguished in the
Enumerators sheets, in the column for that purpose, not more than 1000 names could
be taken. Taking the average however at 2600, and this was found to be the aver-


age of two of the most rapid and attentive Clerks in the OiEce, the analyzation of this
part alone would occupy two Clerks over 700 days.

These Abstracts, when made, had to be entered in a tabular form, — examined,
proved, and prepared for the printer. This part of the work will occupy about 340
pages of printed matter.

The next duty was the classification of the Census of Deaths.

Then the number of Houses, distinguishing their materials, those vacant, and
those in course of building and the number of families occupying them.

Then the Public Buildings and Places of Worship according to the Sects to whiclj
they belong.

And lastly the extracting from each sheet a listof every Shop, Store, Mill and Manu-
factory, with their return of capital, produce, rent, number of hands employed, &c.,
and the arranging of them in tabular forms.

2nd. The Agriculhtral Census.

The labour attendant upon this part of the Census has been immense, owing to
the gross negligence of some of the Enumerators. In many cases the figures were
almost illegible — in few cases were the castings correct, and in many there were
none — and with few exceptions this part of the Census was taken in a more careless and
imperfect manner than the Personal Census. , The Agricultural Tables, when printed,
will occupy about 204 pages ; and it is believed that the whole of the tables will occupy
between 600 and 700 pages of printed matter.

The present state of the work is as follows : —

Of the Personal Census.
1st. The Origins and Religions are printed.

2nd. The Census by Ages, Births, Deaths, ^c, of all the Counties of Upper Canada
(with the exception of Wentworth and York, which are in an advanced state, and
the Cities and Towns of Toronto, Hamilton, Kingston, Bytown, and London) are
printed. In Lower Canada the greater part are entered into the tables and ready for
the printer — and the whole are taken from the sheets, with the exception of the County
of Terrebonne, and the City of Montreal.

3rd. Trades and Occupations. — ^In Lower Canada, the whole of them are extracted
and ready for tabular arrangement. In Upper Canada, the majority of them are alse


4th. Causes of Death. — The whole are taken in both Provinces.

5 th. The Number of Mouses and Families occupying. — The whole of these are
extracted in Lower Canada, and the greater part in Upper Canada.

6th. The Churches and Public Buildings are also extracted in the Lower Province,
and the greater part in the Upper Province.

7th. The Q-rist and Saw Mills, and Manufactories, are all extracted in both Pro-
vinces and ready for tabular arrangement.

8th. The Agricultural Census. — The whole of this in both Provinces is extracted ;
that of Upper Canada ready for the printer, and more than half of Lower Canada.
Abstracts of this part of the Census have been furnished to the public.

It would be impossible to form any correct estimate of the time necessary for the
completion of this work, but it is highly satisfactory to be able to state that, although
the number of the Clerks in the Office has been greatly reduced, the classification of
the Returns proceeds rapidly, and the printer is kept fully occupied. It may be well
to remark here, that the duties of the Office have not been confined to the preparation
of the Census, for a great amount of time and labour has been expended upon the
Returns called for by the Legislature — in the compilation of the General Abstracts
which have been published from time to time — and in furnishing information to the
various Railway Companies in both Provinces — the demands of the latter, although in
many cases calling for Statistical Tables extremely voluminous, and requiring conside-
rable research and calculation, have been promptly attended to, although interfering
materially with the ordinary work of the Office.

In the compilation of the United States Census, it has not been deemed necessary
to divide the population into divisions other than by Counties, Cities, Wards or
Boroughs. In our own, the population by Origins and Religions, already published, has
been given by Townships. The Agricultural Census has also been prepared in the
same way, but it becomes a question for serious consideration how far it may be advi-
sable, in the completion of the work, to deviate from the original plan, and classify the
various Tables by Counties alone. The subdivision of this matter may be interesting
to the man of science, but can be of little general utility if published. The original
Returns will be carefully preserved — the various Abstracts will at all times be accessible
for reference in the Office — and, by adopting a more general classification of the matter
the expense of printing would be materially reduced.

Although so large a sum has been already devoted to this important undertaking
the expense will not contrast unfavourably with that of our neighbours, and it would
appear that we have done more work, and at a less cost. From a Report recently pub-
lished by Mr. Kennedy, the " Superintendent" of the United States Census, it appears
that the regular staff of his Department consisted of 91 Clerks, 2 Messengers, 2
Watchmen, and 2 Laboiu-ers — that for a considerable period, this number was increased
to 148, the whole of whom did extra work — and that the outlay up to the 1st December
1851, — although with a population not 13 times that of Canada — has already amounted to


£317,000, or 16 times that of our own Census up to the present time, and all this
exclusive of printing the Census when compiled; and includes that merely of a few
Abstracts called for, from time to time, by Congress, and the Eeport above alluded to
of about 150 pages. The Census Superintendent also states that there will still be
required a sum of £37,600 solely to pay Clerks and Office expenses, before the comple-
tion of the work.

At no time has the number of Clerks in this Office exceeded eleven, and but for a
short time did they perform extra work. At this time the number is reduced to four.
The whole expense of the work up to the present time is about £20,000, of which £14,772
was paid to the Commissioners and Enumerators ; £912 for postages up to the 8th Sept.
last, and £872 for printing to the same date. The Office expenses have, as compared
with those of other countries, been very moderate.

It will be seen from the above Report, that the cost of the United States Census, up
to the 1st December, 1851, had been £1 10s. 7d. per 100 individuals, whilst that of
Canada, up to the present time, has not reached £1 2s. 3d. per 100 individuals.

The experience of the Office shews that several alterations may be made in the various
columns of the Schedules, which, whilst rendering the Returns more complete, will, at
the same time, save much labour in their analyzation in the Office, and some of these
changes are so important that it may be well to note them in this place.

Under the head of "Lands" there should be two additional columns, one for the
land " under fallow" and one for the Agricultural Implements possessed by each land-
owner. The first is necessary in order to complete the subdivision of the total land
" held" or " under cultivation," as without such a column the sum of the divisions
cannot be equal to the whole.

The column for value of Implements would also affijrd a desirable source of infor-
mation, not only as shewing the amount of that description of personal property, but
as enabling the public in a future Census, to compare the progress in this most impor-
tant criterion of industrial wealth.

That Farm Implements and Machinery form a very important item in the wealth of
a country, it may be observed, that in the late Census of the United States, of which
Abstracts are published, the columns for these two items shew the large amount of
^151,569,675 being 6s. 4d. currency per each acre of " improved" land. The extent
under this denomination in the whole Union, (32 States and 4 Territories,) being, as
per page 85 of the Census Superintendent's Report, 118,457,622 acres.

In Upper Canada the value of Implements would probably be more than equivalent
to this amount, as there is no Farmer possessing 100 acres of cleared land, who has
not more than 130 dollars worth of implements, waggons, ploughs, drags, threshing
and winnowing machines, &c,, &c.


Another very important item in the wealth of the Colony is the number of pleasure
•arriages and their value, for which there should be two columns, one for wheel car-
riages and another for pleasure sleighs, and a third column for their value.

That this is a very important item will be readily seen from the fact that these are
luxuries procured from the surplus means of the owners, over and above the necessaries
of life, and also from the fact of their very great increase both in number and value.
Take one County, with which I am acquainted. In 1833 there were only 3, not worth
£50 altogether, and now there are upwards of 600, worth at least X10,000. This
County contains a population of 32,000, and this item of wealth alone amounts to 6s.
3d. per individual.

The pleasure carriages were taken in the five Cities of Upper and Lower Canada,
and in Bytown and London, but not elsewhere.

It is also a matter worthy of consideration whether there should not be a column
for the value of the Church property in each Enumerator's divisions. To this branch
of information our neighbours have paid a vast deal of attention, giving not only the
value of all the Churches in the Union, but separately of twenty of the principal sects,
having one column for all the minor sects together. To shew that this is a very impor-
tant item in the aggregate wealth of the Country, it is only necessary to mention, that
in Ohio, (the State which approximates the nearest to Canada in population,) the total
value of Church property, (page 30 of the Superintendent's Report,) is $5,765,149, and
the population 1,980,427, being 14s. 9d. each individual. There is no reason to beheve
that the Church property in Canada is less valuable than that in Ohio.

There is another alteration in the heading of the columns, which is very import-
ant, and it may be well to notice them all here that they may not be lost sight of at
the preparation of the sheets for the next decennial Census. In the large column
headed "Information as to Mills, Factories, &c.," the headings should be subdivided
into "Grist Mills," " Saw Mills," " Carding Mills," &c.,&c., and there should be head-
ings for " Value," " Capital employed," " Rental," " Number of Saws," " Number of
run of Stones," &c., &c. The information given under the general heading is undefined
ind so incorrectly stated that little reliable information as to the wealth of the Colony
:u these respects can be gleaned from the Returns. Some Enumerators have given one
?haracteristic of value and some another, and it is most important that whatever char-
icteristic of value is given, it should be given wholly and truly for the entire Province •
'n many cases a sum of money has been set down for a mill, &c., and it was left to the
nere surmise of the Clerk abstracting whether such sum was rent, outlay, or net

Having thus alluded to the propriety of inserting six additional columns in the
Jensus sheets, it may further be observed, that a slight change in the arrangement might
e made with very good effect, — for instance, the columns for Married and Single, and
Widows and Widowers, which are now on the second sheet of the Schedule, should in
iture be placed on the first — thus enabling the Clerk with greater facility to designate
;parately their respective Ages.


There should also be a double column for the Indians, as under the present
arrangement their sex can only be ascertained by reference to the name — a very tedi-
ous process, and with Indian names a Tery doubtful one.

Another very necessary improvement vsrould be to designate the particular weight
of the Beef, Pork, and Ksh. The Returns have been made in such a manner as to
leave every thing to the judgment of the Clerk, whether they denote Barrels, Hundred
weight or Pounds.

With these exceptions the Census sheets have been well arranged, and the infor-
mation is capable of being easily and correctly extracted, — with these alterations and
the increased intelligence of the people, both in giving and taking the Returns, a very
great improvement may reasonably be expected in the amount of information derived
from the next decennial Census.

The Returns of a Population Census acquire their chief utility from being contrast-
ed with those of former periods, as from this comparison we learn the increase or
decrease of the population, the annual rate of such variations, and the proportionate
relation of the two sexes. From these results, as it has been said, " we approximate
" to something like a Law of Population, or to certain natural rules, the infraction of
" which must be due to particular and perhaps removeable disturbing causes." It has
been found that although the population of Great Britain has increased upwards of ten
milUons during the last half century, yet throughout this period the sexes have pre-
served their relative proportion, viz ; 30 males to 31 females.

Until the Abstracts of the Personal Census are completed, it will be impossible to
do justice to this most interesting feature of the Census. A few general remarks must
at the present time suffice, and our chief attention be directed to the Agricultural pro-
duce and prospects of the Country.

It is believed that a very general feehng prevails, not only in the Mother Country,
but even in Canada, that her growth and prosperity are not commensurate with that
of the United States, and vrithout any inclination to deny or conceal the rapid progress
of our neighbours, it may be well, by a few facts, compiled from Statistical Returns, to
prove how erroneous such an impression is, — the growth of Upper Canada, taking it
from the year 1800, having been nearly thrice that of the United States.

According to the " World's Progress," a work published by " Putnam of New
York," in 1851, page 481 — the free population of the United States was in 1800,
5,305,925 ; in 1850 it was 20,250,000, (in 1810 it was 7,239,814,) thus in 50 years
its increase was not quite 400 per cent, whilst that of Upper Canada was upwards of
1100 per cent, for the 40 years, from 1811 to 1851.

Comparing the last decade of Upper-Canada with that of other Countries, exclu-
sive of AustraUa and California ; we arrive at the following result :


The total number of inhabitants in the United States, on the 1st of June, 1850,
according to the Census Report, was 23,263,488, but it has been shewn that the pro-
bable amount of population acquired by Territorial additions should be deducted in
making a comparison between the last and former Census. These diminish the total
population of the Country as a basis of comparison to 23,091,488.

United States— Census of 1850 23,091,488

1840, 17,067,453

Increase in 10 years, 6,022,035 or 35,27 per cent

Online LibraryCanada. Board of Registration and StatisticsCensus of the Canadas. 1851-2 .. → online text (page 1 of 58)