Starting in 1905 the state of South Dakota conducted a state census every ten years, designed to supplement the federal census. Their census takers, I'm not making this up, filled out a 3X5 card for each human, including children, in the state. These cards are on file in Pierre, SD; and, for a fee, they will look up a surname and send you copies of the cards.
One feature of the Dakota 3X5's struck me: Along the left margin the census taker would check a series of blocks to designate male/female, married/single, can read/can write, etc. Now here are the choices for race: White/Black/Red/Yellow. Red and Yellow??? Have times changed, a little?
It was also fascinating to learn that the immigration and naturalization act allowed only "free white persons" to declare intent to become a citizen. Though it was never strictly enforced, the provision stayed in the act until 1952.
Return to the Vignettes page - or - return to A McLaren Migration homepage.
This site, A McLaren Migration, is maintained by David J. McLaren - who may be contacted through The Mailbox
Updated July 1, 2011
Copyright © 2005 David J. McLaren, all rights reserved.
Commercial use of the material on this site is prohibited.