An Act providing for taking the Census of the Inhabitants of the State of Illinois, 1819


Approved, March 23, 1819

[Sect. 1.] Be it enacted by the people of the slate of Illinois represented in the general assembly. That there shall be appointed by the county commissioners in each and every county, at some session of their court, previous to the first day of August, one thousand eight hundred and twenty, some proper person, whose duty it shall be to take a list of all citizens, of all ages, and sexes, and color, within their respective counties, particularly noting whether white or black; and also noting particularly free male inhabitants above the age of twenty years.

Sect. 2. Be it further enacted, That each commissioner, before he enters on the duties of his office, shall take and subscribe before some judge or justice of the peace, the following oath or affirmation:

" I, A. B. of the county of — do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will well and truly make a correct enumeration of all persons resident within the county of to the best of my ability, and return the same to the secretary of state, on or before the first Monday in December, in the year eighteen hundred and twenty."

Sect. 3. Be it further enacted, That the commissioners so appointed, shall commence on the first day of August, eighteen hundred and twenty, and shall finish and make return to the secretary of state, as pointed out in the foregoing section.— And it shall be the duty of said commissioners) to make the enumeration by actual enquiry at the dwelling house of the head of every family in their respective counties: and the said commissioners shall observe the following form in taking the enumeration, viz: Names of heads of families: Free white males twenty-one years old and upwards: All other white inhabitants, free people of color, servants, or slaves.

Sect. 4. Be it further enacted, That each and every free white person over sixteen years of age, whether heads of families or not, be and they are hereby required to render to said commissioners (if called on for that purpose) a true account of every person belonging to the family in which they may reside; and every person whose usual place of abode shall be in any family on the aforesaid first day of August, shall be returned as belonging to such family.

Sect. 5. Be it further enacted, That if any commissioner having been qualified as such, shall fail or refuse to perform the duties required by this act, he so offending, shall forfeit and pay the sum of two hundred dollars to the use of the county, to be recovered before any court of competent jurisdiction at the suit of the county commissioners.

Sect. 6. And be it further enacted, That the commissioners so appointed, shall receive such compensation for their services as shall be allowed them by law, to be paid out of the
treasury of this state.


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