Questionnaire Text

1880 10%
1870 1%
1860 1%
1850 1%
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1880 10%
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18. Idiotic.
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The foregoing remark is of special importance with reference to the statements of the heads of families respecting afflicted members of their households. The law requires a return in the case of each blind, deaf and dumb, insane or idiotic, or crippled person. It not infrequently happens that fathers and mothers, especially the latter, are disposed to conceal, or even deny, the existence of such infirmities on the part of children. In such cases, if the fact is personally known to the enumerator, or shall be ascertained by inquiry from neighbors, it should be entered on the schedules equally as if obtained from the head of the family.

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1870 1%
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18. Whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, or idiotic.
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Deaf and dumb, Blind, Insane, or Idiotic.¬óGreat care will be taken in performing this work of enumeration, so as at once to secure completeness and avoid giving offense. Total blindness and undoubted insanity only are intended in this inquiry. Deafness merely, without the loss of speech, is not to be reported. The fact of idiocy will be better determined by the common consent of the neighborhood, than by attempting to apply any scientific measure to the weakness of the mind or will.

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1860 1%
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14. Whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper or convict.


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18. Deaf and Dumb, Blind, Insane, Idiotic, Pauper, Convict.-- It will be your duty to inquire whether there be any persons of the above description in the family you are enumerating, and if any, you must, under heading 14, indicate opposite the name of such person, the fact as it may be. A person is to be noted deaf and dumb who was born deaf, or who lost the faculty of hearing before acquiring the use of speech. If a person be blind from a known cause, it would be well to insert the cause in the column or on the margin. Partial blindness should not be noted. The various degrees of insanity often create a doubt as to the propriety of thus classifying individuals, and demands the exercise of discretion. A person may be reputed erratic on some subject, but if competent to manage his or her business affairs without manifesting any symptoms of insanity to an ordinary observer, such person should not be recorded as insane. Where persons are in institutions for safety or restoration, there can exist no doubt as to how you should classify them. As a general rule, the term Insanity applies to individuals who have once possessed mental faculties which have become impaired; whereas Idiocy applies to persons who have never possessed vigorous mental faculties, but from their birth have manifested aberration. The cases wherein it may be difficult to distinguish between insanity and idiocy are not numerous; should such occur, however, you may rely on the opinion of any physician to whom the case is known. It is to be hoped you will not fail to make record respecting all these classes or persons who may be in your subdivision. In all cases of insane persons, you will write in the space where you enter the word "Insane," the cause of such insanity; and you will in every ease inquire into the cause or origin thereof, and write the word-- as intemperance, spiritualism, grief, affliction, hereditary, misfortune, etc. As nearly every case of insanity may be traced to some known cause, it is earnestly desired that you will not fail to make your return in this respect as perfect as possible. If say person whose name you record be at the time, or within the year, so indigent or destitute of the means of support as to require the support of the community, obtained either by alms-begging or public maintenance, by taxation or poor fund, you are to write the word "pauper" in column 14, on a line with the name of such person. When persons who have been convicted of crime within the year resided, on the lst of June, in any family you enumerate, the fact should be stated by giving in column 14, on a line with the name, the character of the crime; but as such an interrogatory might give offence you had better, where you can do so, refer to the county records for the information, but use care in applying the crime to the proper individual on the schedule. Of course, you are not to insert the name (or crime) of any person who died previous to the lst day of June on this schedule, but may do so on the schedule of mortality. With the county or parish record, and your own knowledge, you will be able to make this return very correctly without occasioning offence by personal inquiry of individuals. Respecting persons in confinement you will experience no difficulty.

Should a poor-house, asylum for the blind, insane, idiotic, or other charitable institution, or a penitentiary, jail, house of refuge or reformation, or other place of punishment be visited, you must number each building or buildings in their regular order, and write in perpendicular column No. 1, the nature of such institution, and in column 14, opposite the name of each inmate, you must state the character of the infirmity or misfortune, in the one case, and in the other the nature of the crime for which each inmate is confined and of which the party stands convicted, and in the column with the name give the year when convicted.


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1850 1%
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13. Whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper or convict.
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13. Heading 13, entitled "Deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict." The assistant marshal should ascertain if there be any person in the family deaf, dumb, idiotic, blind, insane, or pauper. If so, who? And insert the term "deaf and dumb," "blind," "insane," and "idiotic," opposite the name of such persons, as the fact may be. When persons who had been convicted of crime within the year reside in families on the 1st of June, the fact should be stated, as in the other cases of criminals; but, as the interrogatory might give offense, the assistants had better refer to the country record for information on this head, and not make the inquiry of any family. With the county record and his own knowledge he can seldom err.

Should a poorhouse, asylum for the blind, insane or idiotic, or other charitable institution, or a penitentiary, a jail, house of refuge, or other place of punishment, be visited by the assistant marshal, he must number such building in its regular order, and he must write after the number, and perpendicularly in the same column (No. 1) the nature of such institution - that it is a penitentiary, jail , house of refuge, as the case may be; and in column 13, opposite the name of each person, he must state the character of the infirmity or misfortune, in the one case, and in the other he must state the crime for which each inmate is confined, and of which such person was convicted; and in column No. 3, with the name, give the year of conviction, and fill all the columns concerning age, sex, color, etc., with as much care as in the case of other individuals.