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LITTAUER LIBRARY HARVARD UNIVERSITY
HON. ALEXANDER RAMSEY, Gov. of Minnesota.
I have the honor to submit herewith, my First Annual Report upon the Statistics of Min
July 1st, 1860.
Your obedient servant,
J. A. WHEELOCK,
Commissioner of Statistics.
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1860, by
JOSEPH A. WHEELOCK,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Minnesota.
Tabular Series IV., referred to on pages 43, 44 and 45, omitted.
Table XI, referred to on page 89, omitted.
Table XIII., referred to on page 121, omitted.
Documents A. and B., referred to on page 122, omitted.
THERE were many reasons why the first annual publication of the Bureau of Statistics should have been delayed to embrace the results of the census of 1860; and not the least among these, was the fact that the month of February, 1860, was already advanced when the office was instituted, that several months must necessarily elapse before the correspondence of the office, embracing a new and diversified field of inquiry, could be efficiently organized and its results digested and published, and that in the meantime there was some risk that the materials, obtained with so much labor, might be left by the rapid current of events behind the time.
On the other hand, the census will of itself afford materials for a bulky volume, to the exclusion of topics which, though not within the purview of the census, lie at the foundation of statistics and especially concern the objects for which this office was instituted. The physical capabilities and geographical relations of states, afford, with the primary conditions of social development, the fundamental data of statistics. Agriculture, commerce, manufactures, and, after these, society, with its complex movements and relations, repose on these postulates of nature.
It happened, too, that the year 1859, which, in fact, completed the first decade of the political existence of Minnesota, was fruitful of events which furnished a felicitous commentary on the physical elements and topical conditions of its growth. The opening of a broad field of commercial activity to the citizens of Minnesota, in the north-west, the large advances of agriculture, the sudden and lavish overflow of production which, for the first time, brought our farmers into triumphant competition with the agriculture of the world in its central marts, the quiet but decisive return of prosperity upon conditions which seem to ensure its permanence are among the characteristics of the year which commences our annual series. Upon the foundation thus laid in the physics of the state, the census of 1860, whose results I hope to report to the Legislature before the close of its next session, will develop a superstructure of social detail in the natural and logical order of the series.
I should omit a public duty if I failed to express my appreciation of the promptness and cheerfulness with which my inquiries were responded to by a large majority of the public officers of whom information was sought. This is the more due to them, as the nominal compensation which the law allows them is in most cases entirely disproportionate to the services performed. The labor of examining the records for the transactions of a series of years will not, however, have to be repeated hereafter. It is not surprising that, upon instituting an unusual and somewhat laborious inquisition into the public records, requiring the cooperation of nearly the whole body of public servants, there should be some who would fail to comprehend its objects, or be unwilling to advance them. Although the delinquent respondents to my circulars are not numerous, they are sufficiently so to give a character of incompleteness to the data under the several heads, which has been only partially remedied in the general results by laborious computations of averages.
I have been largely indebted to the courtesy of gentlemen connected with various branches of the Federal service, and to numerous private correspondents, for valuable favors, often involving a great deal of labor. The insufficiency of the sum appro