Native American Census Rules

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The following are the instructions given to enumerators regarding Indians…When you read these, you will see the method that was used in an attempt to make Indians invisible if not non-existent…except when it was useful for the whites…The 1880 instructions, for instance, make it clear Indians were to be counted for the purpose of gaining representatives for the states, but not to be counted as Indians…And contrary to what you may believe, people were required to co-operate with census takers and threatened with paying a “penalty” for breaking the law if they refused…

1850 Census:

Indians not taxed are not to be enumerated in this or any other schedule.

1860 Census:

5. Indians.– Indians not taxed are not to be enumerated. The families of Indians who have renounced tribal rule, and who under State or Territorial laws exercise the rights of citizens, are to be enumerated. In all such cases write “Ind.” opposite their names, in column 6, under heading “Color.”

1870 Census:

Indians.—”Indians not taxed” are not to be enumerated on schedule 1. Indians out of their tribal relations, and exercising the rights of citizens under State or Territorial laws, will be included. In all cases write “Ind.” in the column for “Color.” Although no provision is made for the enumeration of “Indians not taxed,” it is highly desirable, for statistical purposes, that the number of such persons not living upon reservations should be known. Assistant marshals are therefore requested, where such persons are found within their subdivisions, to make a separate memorandum of names, with sex and age, and embody the same in a special report to the census office.

1880 Census:

INDIANS

By the phrase “Indians not taxed” is meant Indians living on reservations under the care of Government agents, or roaming individually, or in bands, over settled tracts of country.

Indians, not in tribal relations, whether full-bloods or half-breeds, who are found mingled with the white population, residing in white families, engaged as servants or laborers, or living in huts or wigwams on the outskirts of towns or settlements are to be regarded as a part of the ordinary population of the country for the constitutional purpose of the apportionment of Representatives among the States, and are to be embraced in the enumeration.

1890 Census:

4. Whether white, black, mulatto. quadroon, octoroon, Chinese, Japanese, or Indian.—Write white, black, mulatto, quadroon, octoroon, Chinese, Japanese, or Indian, according to the color or race of the person enumerated. Be particularly careful to distinguish between blacks, mulattos, quadroons, and octoroons. The word “black” should be used to describe those persons who have three-fourths or more black blood; “mulatto,” those persons who have from three-eighths to five-eighths black blood; “quadroon,” those persons who have one-fourth black blood; and “octoroon,” those persons who have one-eighth or any trace of black blood.

1900 Census:

126. Column 5. Color or race.—Write “W” for white; “B” for black (negro or of negro descent); “Ch” for Chinese; “JP” for Japanese, and “In” for Indian, as the case may be.

1910 Census:

108. Column 6. Color or race.—Write “W” for white; “B” for black; “Mu” for mulatto; “Ch” for Chinese; “Jp” for Japanese; “In” for Indian. For all persons not falling within one of these classes, write “Ot” (for other), and write on the left-hand margin of the schedule the race of the person so indicated.

109. For census purposes, the term “black” (B) includes all persons who are evidently full-blooded negroes, while the term “mulatto” (Mu) includes all other persons having some proportion or perceptible trace of negro blood.

1920 Census:

121. For census purposes the term “black” (B) includes all Negroes of full blood, while the term “mulatto” (Mu) includes all Negroes having some proportion of white blood

1930 Census:

150. Column 12. Color or race.-Write “W” for white, “B” for black; “Mus” for mulatto; “In” for Indian; “Ch” for Chinese; “Jp” for Japanese; “Fil” for Filipino; “Hin” for Hindu; “Kor” for Korean. For a person of any other race, write the race in full.

151. Negroes.-A person of mixed white and Negro blood should be returned as a Negro, no matter how small the percentage of Negro blood. Both black and mulatto persons are to be returned as Negroes, without distinction. A person of mixed Indian and Negro blood should be returned a Negro, unless the Indian blood predominates and the status as an Indian is generally accepted in the community.

152. Indians.-A person of mixed white and Indian blood should be returned as Indian, except where the percentage of Indian blood is very small, or where he is regarded as a white person by those in the community where he lives. (Se par. 151 for mixed Indian and Negro.)

153. For a person reported as Indian in column 12, report is to be made in column 19 as to whether “full blood” or “mixed blood,” and in column 20 the name of the tribe is to be reported. For Indians, columns 19 and 20 are thus to be used to indicate the degree of Indian blood and the tribe, instead of the birthplace of father and mother.

154. Mexicans.-Practically all Mexican laborers are of a racial mixture difficult to classify, though usually well recognized in the localities where they are found. In order to obtain separate figures for this racial group, it has been decided that all person born in Mexico, or having parents born in Mexico, who are not definitely white, Negro, Indian, Chinese, or Japanese, should be returned as Mexican (“Mex”).

155. Other mixed races.-Any mixture of white and nonwhite should be reported according to the nonwhite parent. Mixtures of colored races should be reported according to the race of the father, except Negro-Indian (see par. 151).

1940 Census:

453. Column 10. Color or Race.-Write “W” for white; “Neg” for Negro; “In” for Indian; “Chi” for Chinese; “Jp” for Japanese; “Fil” for Filipino; “Hi” for Hindu; and “Kor” for Korean. For a person of any other race, write the race in full.

454. Mexicans.-Mexicans are to be regarded as white unless definitely of Indian or other nonwhite race.

455. Negroes.-A person of mixed white and Negro blood should be returned as Negro, no matter how small a percentage of Negro blood. Both black and mulatto persons are to be returned as Negroes, without distinction. A person of mixed Indian and Negro blood should be returned as a Negro, unless the Indian blood very definitely predominates and he is universally accepted in the community as an Indian.

456. Indians.-A person of mixed white and Indian blood should be returned as an Indian, if enrolled on an Indian agency or reservation roll, or if not so enrolled, if the proportion of Indian blood is one-fourth or more, or if the person is regarded as an Indian in the community where he lives.

457. Mixed Races.-Any mixture of white and nonwhite should be reported according to the nonwhite parent. Mixtures of nonwhite races should be reported according to the race of the father, except that Negro-Indian should be reported as Negro.

1950 Census:

114. Item 9. Determining and entering race.-Write “W” for white; “Neg” for Negro; “Ind” for American Indian; “Chi” for Chinese; “Jap” for Japanese; “Fil” for Filipino. For a person of any other race, write the race in full. Assume that the race of related persons living in the household is the same as the race of your respondent, unless you learn otherwise. For unrelated persons (employees, hired hands, lodgers, etc.) you must ask the race, because knowledge of the housewife’s race (for example) tells nothing f the maid’s race.

115. Mexicans.-Report “white” (W) for Mexicans unless they are definitely of Indian or other nonwhite race.

116. Negroes.-Report “Negro” (Neg) for Negroes and for persons of mixed white and Negro parentage. A person of mixed Indian and Negro blood should be returned as a Negro, unless the Indian blood very definitely predominates and he is accepted in the community as an Indian. (Note, however, the exceptions described in par. l18 below.)

117. American Indians.-Report “American Indian” (Ind) for persons of mixed white and Indian blood if enrolled on an Indian Agency or Reservation roll; if not so enrolled, they should still be reported as Indian if the proportion of Indian blood is one-fourth or more, or if they are regarded as Indians in the community where they live. (See par. 116 for persons of mixed Indian and Negro blood and also exceptions noted in par. 118.) In those counties where there are many Indians living outside of reservations, special care should be taken to obtain accurate answers to item 9.

118. Special communities.-Report persons of mixed white, Negro, and Indian ancestry living in certain communities in the Eastern United States in terms of the name by which they are locally known.

The communities in question are of long standing and are locally recognized by special names, such as ‘”Croatian,” “Jackson White,” “We-sort,” etc. Persons of mixed Indian and Negro ancestry and mulattoes not living in such communities should be returned as “Negro” (see par. 116). When in doubt, describe the situation in a footnote.

119. Mixed parentage.-Report race of nonwhite parent for persons of mixed white and nonwhite races. Mixtures of nonwhite races should be reported according to the race of the father. (Note, however, exceptions detailed in pars. 116 and 118 above.)

120. India.-Persons originating in India should be reported as “Asiatic Indians.”

Our thanks to Barbara Ellison for providing this information.

 



MLA Source Citation:

Partridge, Dennis N. United States Census Guide. Copyright 2008-2013. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 19 November 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/native-american-census-rules.htm - Last updated on Apr 8th, 2013


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