Thursday, August 13, 2009

Colorado State Census 1885

Sometimes I have felt sorry for myself because the exact census year I need has been lost. The 1890 Census burned in a fire in 1921. The small amount that survived was destroyed by bureaucratic inertia sometime between 1933 an 1935. The fiasco led to the creation of the National Archives.

So when I wanted to find where the survivors of the Cane Creek Massacre were living, I thought I'd have to wait until 1900 to find out. But not anymore. Several states conducted State Censuses, and Colorado was one of them.

In June 1885, a special state census was authorized. With the help of federal authorities, state officials collected a variety of information. Why? I can't find a specific answer, only general explanations that states often did this when they thought the population had changed so much that they could not rely upon the federal census. Colorado had become a state in 1876 and was still growing fast, perhaps so fast they needed more current census data.

Using the 1885 Census I have found that Elisha Talley and his family and William Sealy and his family both moved to Manassa, Colorado by 1885. I know they were back in Tennessee in 1900 and are buried there. With this I can add them to the list of Cane Creek families who found the climate in Colorado too harsh compared to Tennessee. Having recently driven across that area of the country, I can compare the two and I understand their decision. (no offense intended)

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