By Kathrin Levitan (auth.)
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Extra info for A Cultural History of the British Census: Envisioning the Multitude in the Nineteenth Century
For Graham, preparing for this more extended census meant communicating in advance with individuals involved with the army, the navy, the canals, the merchant shipping board, the prisons, the Poor Law board, and “A National Undertaking”: Taking the Census 35 lunatic asylums, all of which sent returns directly to the Census Office instead of being counted by enumerators. 118 Otherwise, the census was taken using the same method as in 1841, with enumerators leaving schedules at each house and returning the following week to collect them.
As a writer for the Westminster Review explained in 1854, “Our national portraiture must be taken by daguerreotype process, and not by gradual finishing. ”90 “A National Undertaking”: Taking the Census 29 As the Statistical Society of London’s committee on the 1841 census pointed out, “A census . . extending . . ”91 If numerical strength was important on the international scale, the other particulars would be important domestically, and would aid the government in legislating for the population.
Statistics had thus gained the support of people across the political spectrum. 16 Rickman began by justifying the gathering of information in general. ”19 The series of bad harvests had provoked concern about importing food during wartime, when the disruption of trade made it difficult. ”22 He thus wanted to determine the population of each county for militia recruitment purposes, as well as the number of seamen in the country. Despite the anxieties facing the British ruling classes, Rickman believed that ultimately the census would be a source of pride because it would show a large and increasing population.
A Cultural History of the British Census: Envisioning the Multitude in the Nineteenth Century by Kathrin Levitan (auth.)