Posts Tagged ‘George Washington’

 

Count Me!

Linda Lou Burton posting from Little Rock, Arkansas – I’m signed up for regular updates from the U S Census Bureau because I love anything that gives me facts and figures to analyze. And as a dedicated student of family history, I rely heavily on Census records to “follow footsteps through time.” I was delighted a few years back when the Census was released that first had MY name on it! I was verified. There is something very satisfying about being counted. And 2020 is time to do it again.

As you may know, every 10 years the United States counts its population. It’s a requirement, written into the Constitution. And the first count dates back to our first president, when U S Marshals conducted the census on horseback. It’s happened once a decade since then, as the country has continued to grow, and changes in our laws, our cultural norms and our attitudes have changed the focus of information gathered, and questions asked, in an effort to make sure everyone is counted.

1790

The very first U S Census was conducted a year after George Washington took office. Every household in the original 13 states was visited, plus the districts of Kentucky, Maine, Vermont, and the Southwest Territory. The inquiries called for the name of the head of household, and the number of persons living in the household, as described:

  • Free white male of 16 years and up (to assess the country’s industrial and military potential)
  • Free white males under 16
  • Free white females
  • Slaves

The count according to that first census as of August 2, 1790 was 3,929,214.

1850

It was 1850 when the inquiries expanded to include every free person’s name, not just the head of household. Relationships were not listed, just names and ages, but additional “social statistics” included information on taxes, schools, crime, wages, and value of the estate.

Zachary Taylor was President of the United States on Census Day June 1, 1850. The U S had grown to 30 states by then, with a population count of 23,191,876.

1870

Census Day was June 1 in 1870 and Ulysses S Grant was President of our 37 United States.

After the Civil War, the decennial census questionnaires were redesigned to end the slave questionnaire. The schedules for the 1870 census were: General Population, Mortality, Agriculture, Products of Industry, and Social Statistics.

This was the first year a rudimentary tallying machine helped with the count, which added up to 38,558,371.

1880

Census Day was June 1 in 1880 and Rutherford B. Hayes was President of our 38 United States.

This census is a genealogists dream, because for the first time, relationships to “head of household” are listed: wife, son, daughter, and such things as lodger, or servant. Information about Alaska was included in this census, as well as all untaxed Indians within the jurisdiction of the United States.

The count in 1880 was 50,189,209.

1920

Census Day was January 1 in 1920 (more people would be at home in January, was the theory, than during the busy summertime) and Woodrow Wilson was President of our 48 states.

The format no longer asked about service in the Union or Confederate army or navy and there was no separate schedule for Indians in 1920. The instructions to enumerators did not require that individuals spell out their names. Enumerators wrote down the information given to them; they were not authorized to request proof of age, and the determination of race was based on the enumerator’s impressions.

Can you guess what our population count was a hundred years ago? 106,021,537!

2020

What will our 24th U S Census reveal?

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U S territories, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U S Virgin Islands. Each home received an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail—between March 12-20. No horseback! House calls only as necessary or requested.

Why is it so important to respond?

The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data. The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U S House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

The Census Bureau will never ask for your:

  • Social Security number.
  • Money or donations.
  • Anything on behalf of a political party.
  • Bank or credit card account numbers.

Additionally, there is no citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

If you haven’t responded yet, you can do so online, go here.

https://2020census.gov/en/what-is-2020-census.html

And for a little fun, test your knowledge of census history with this quiz. I did, and (brag, brag) I answered every question correctly. Hint: read the third paragraph of this post and you’ll ace the first question.

https://2020census.gov/en/what-is-2020-census/focus/history-quiz.html

 

 
 
 

The Soup Bowl

07 Welcome to Washington DCLinda Burton posting from Washington, DC – I call it “DC.” When I lived in Seattle if you said “Washington” folks thought you were referring to the state; Washington DC is considered the “other Washington” there. But I’m on the east coast today, easing into “the District” from Maryland and headed for the US Capitol, an icing-on-the cake post-stop in the Journey Across America. The majestic dome loomed tall as I approached; I circled in confusion and landed a parking spot on the other side. The Washington Monument was a few blocks to my right, covered in scaffolding due to earthquake repair. I coaxed the cats to the window to 07 capitol aheadlook; then tied my red wool scarf tight around my head before stepping out into the wind. Not a day for sightseeing. But people were out; a Chinese chorus was performing across the street; cameras were in evidence in every hand. Washington, DC! What is so special about this place? Why do 19 million visitors come every year? It’s exciting, and vibrant, that’s why; a bubbling soup bowl brimming with a little bit of everything. The resident population is 601,723 (US Census 2010), but that jumps to a million throughout the workweek; commuters pour in from the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia. After all, the centers of all three branches of the federal government are 07 car and capitolhere – the Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court. Flags from all over the world fly here; count 176 foreign embassies. The headquarters of international organizations, trade unions, non-profits, and lobbying groups are here. There are more museums here than you could visit in a year; 19 within the Smithsonian alone. The architecture, park spaces, and memorials are stunning. You’ll find both inspiration and controversy here; it’s all in the soup. » read more

 
 
 

Staying Alive And The Final Five

06 12 days of christmas treeLinda Burton posting from Annapolis, Maryland – Psychologically we love countdowns. We count down the twelve days till Christmas. We countdown rocket launches, till we arrive at blastoff, or the mission is scrubbed. We countdown the Final Four in basketball every spring, when the world of college sports reaches fever pitch. I counted down the days in the month before my 16th birthday; I was on pins and needles to get my driver license; something everyone in my little town did back in the 50s when all the cars had fins and all the girls wore bobby socks. The year I went to Antarctica – that was 2005 – I counted off the weeks till my Seattle departure at Pagliacci Pizza. I happened to go for a Friday 06 pizza logonight pizza at the 17-week point and noticed they had 17 pizzas on their menu. “Aha,” I thought, “if I begin with the Original, when I get to the Verde Primo it will be time to fly to South America.” I called for grandson help on big-meat pizza nights; Matthew for Spicy Pepperoni; Andrew for Extra Pepperoni; both of them on Grand Salami Primo night. The AGOG was my favorite – mushrooms, roasted garlic, Kalamata olives, goat cheese, Fontina, Mozzarella and parsley over olive oil; fresh tomato slices added after the bake. The journey through the Pagliacci menu 06 Alex on suitcasewas an experience; I developed new tastes, and learned some things I didn’t know before. I dealt with whatever came next; I adapted as needed. You know where I’m going with that thought. Annapolis finishes the countdown through the Final Five; the Journey Across America is 100% complete. This mission wasn’t scrubbed; we made it all the way (adapting as needed) – the Scion, the cats, and me. We’re travelworn and frazzled, but completely AGOG with success. » read more

 
 
 

By George

29 cupolaLinda Burton posting from Annapolis, Maryland – Before you read this post, look at the column to the right. On the dark blue background is a list of capital cities. Count them. You will find 50 capital cities listed now, because at 2:26 PM today, the cats and I arrived in Annapolis, capital city #50 on the Journey Across America. By George, we made it! I parked in front of the Robert Johnson building on the tight little circle street that surrounds the Maryland State House, and jumped out to record the moment with pictures. When I got back Jack was sitting on top of his carrier, 29 car by capitolwatching people walk by on the sidewalks of Annapolis; Alex was perched like a king on his pillow, unimpressed. “Do you think you’re King George?” I laughed. “You don’t want to acknowledge the feisty colonists?” It felt as though King George could be lurking around the corner; if, that is, King George had ever left England, and, if there weren’t so many 21st-century automobiles crowding the narrow brick-paved streets. We were in what is officially named the “Colonial Annapolis Historic District,” where 18th-century buildings remain much as they were when built. To my left the Maryland State House occupies the city’s highest hill; from that point all streets radiate outward; dropping down towards the 29 capitol approachwaterfront; leading in the other direction towards the countryside. One thing is clear; when this city was laid out, it was intended that all roads lead to the focal point of government – the Maryland State House, the “oldest in the nation still in legislative use” as it so proudly claims. And here the presence of our most beloved “George” remains – George Washington, of course. “This is a living history book,” I said to the cats. “It comes together here.” » read more

 
 
 

Sophisticated Simplicity

15 washington rotundaLinda Burton posting from Richmond, Virginia – If you want to know what George Washington really looked like, go to the Virginia state capitol. Centered in the rotunda against the simplicity of a formal backdrop of black and white stands a life-size statue of Washington, considered by his contemporaries to be “a perfect likeness.” It was June 1784 when the Virginia General Assembly commissioned the statue to be made; Thomas Jefferson, on a diplomatic mission in France, secured the services of French artist Jean-Antoine Houdon for the work. Houdon didn’t guess at his task; in the fall of 1785 he traveled to Mount Vernon to study his subject. He made a plaster mask of Washington’s head and took detailed measurements of his body; from this he modeled a terra cotta bust to take back to his workshop in France. 15 washington cThe resulting statue, carved of Carrara marble, was shipped to America in 1796 and has graced the capitol’s rotunda since. It is considered to be Virginia’s greatest treasure and one of the world’s finest portrait sculptures; it is the only full-length statue for which the first President posed. Although Washington’s sword is by his side and he wears his Revolutionary uniform, he 15 statue and rotundacarries a civilian walking cane and stands over a plough; Houdon sought to show the balance between Washington’s life as a soldier, statesman, and private citizen. In the niches of the rotunda are busts of other Virginia-born presidents who succeeded Washington – Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, and Wilson – and another work by Houdon; that of LaFayette, the French citizen who was a Major General in service to the United States during the Revolutionary War. But more about the rotunda itself, a magnificent two-story space capped by a dome; a dome that is invisible from the outside. » read more

 
 
 

Sunday in the Park with George

03 sunday parkLinda Burton posting from Raleigh, North Carolina – Stephen Sondheim (b 1930) is an accomplished American composer best known for his contributions to musical theater. In 1984 he and James Lapine put together a Broadway production called Sunday in the Park with George. It opened to mixed reviews, but in the end, wound up winning a Pulitzer Prize for drama, two Tony Awards for design, the 1991 Olivier Award for Best Musical, and the 2007 Olivier Award for Outstanding Musical Production. The play was inspired by a painting called A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, done by George Seurat (1859-1891), a French Post-Impressionist painter. It took George two years to complete this 10-foot-wide piece that shows members of different social classes participating in various 03 george 5park activities on a Sunday afternoon; he devised an innovative technique for it called “pointillism,” using tiny juxtaposed dots of color, rather than physically blending the colors on canvas. Very different in its day, and as you might guess, the painting “opened to mixed reviews;” today however it is recognized as a work that altered the direction of modern art. So what does this have to do with Raleigh, North Carolina? I’m about to tell you the story of Antonio Canova (1757-1822), an Italian sculptor, and the controversial statue he did of George Washington (1732-1799) that sits in the rotunda of the North Carolina capitol today. It wasn’t meant to be controversial, of course, and what you see today isn’t what Canova did in 1820; but, well, I’d better start from the beginning to explain. » read more

 
 
 

Uncles and Aunts

Uncle Rick talking with Nephew Sam

Linda Burton posting from Edmonds, Washington while traveling between Juneau, Alaska and Helena, Montana – This post is a bit of a stretch, capital-city wise. But I am in Washington state and it is the only state named after a president (although we know for sure George Washington never slept here!). I was thinking about George’s relatives today, because I spent the afternoon with some of mine. With all the stories I have heard about our first president, I never learned about his relatives. Did he have any kids? Or nieces and nephews? A little research tonight led me to the answer; turns out George has often been referred to as “First Uncle.” George didn’t have any children of his own, but he was step-father to Martha Dandridge Custis’ two children, Jacky and Patsy, only four and two when George and Martha married. George had two half-brothers, three brothers, and a sister; he wound up with a number of nieces and nephews too. And since George outlived all his siblings, it follows that he wound up with responsibilities towards their children. » read more

 
 
 

Marcus Whitman, Missionary Doctor

Linda Burton posting from Olympia, Washington – We saw a lot of faces today. Faces of capitol visitors like ourselves, and faces of history, in bronze statues and busts both inside and out, in renderings of the face of George Washington in the shining state seal and on banners furled from balconies, in portraits of former governors hanging on the wall of the Governors Office, and even on the magnificent Tiffany chandelier hanging in the rotunda. But at the end of the day one face and one story in particular stood out. We aimed for an on-the-hour tour – son Rick, grandkids Andrew and Kayla, and me – and arrived just as a bus-load of Japanese students on a summer study program came in. We began clicking cameras at the same time; the Tour Volunteer manning the front desk stepped up to sort us out for Japanese or English-speaking guides. Above the fray I spotted a hale and hearty looking figure; a statue in bronze who appeared to be looking across the room and beyond. I walked over and read the name inscribed across the bottom: Marcus Whitman. His story is one of good intent, with a tragic ending. Listen. » read more