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Joint Document, No. 4.

STATISTICAL REPORT

OF THE

SECRETARY OF STATE

OF THE

STATE OF MICHIGAN.

FOR THE YEAR 1848-19.

No. 4.

LEGISLATURE, 1850.

Statistical Report of the Secretary of State.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATB,)
Lansing, January 7, 1850.

STATE, To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the State

of Michigan:

The “Act to provide for Statistical Information," approved April 3d, 1848, provides that the assessors of each Township in the State, at the time of making out the assessment roll in each year,

shall ascertain and set down in Blank Tables, prepared and distributed for that purpose by the Secretary of State, the condition and products of certain branches of Industry, Agriculture and Manufactures, enumerated in the first section of the act; which tables are to be returned by the assessors, to the clerks of their respective counties, on or before the third Monday of May thereafter. Each County Clerk is required to make a condensed statement of the annual returns so made to him by the assessors of his county, record the same in a book to be kept in his office for that purpose, and transmit a copy to the Secretary of State, on or before the first Monday of July in

each year.

It is made the duty of the Secretary of State, to report to the Legislature, at the commencement of each Session, a condensed statement of the returns made to him by the County Clerks.

As the act above mentioned, did not take effect until sixty days after its passage, at which time, the valuation of property for the year 1848 had been completed by the township assessors, no action could be had under it so as to procure returns for the year 1847–48.

In the month of March last, I prepared, printed and distributed to the County Clerks, the necessary Blank forms, as required; togeth

er with copies of the law, and such instructions for the officers required to act under it, as were deemed necessary and useful. The following pages, constituting the first annual statistical report from this department, embrace the returns made by the County Clerks during the year 1849, from the statements of the assessors for that year, and relate solely to the condition of things for the year ending on the second Monday of April last.

The whole number of organized townships in the State, during that time was four hundred and eighty; from four hundred and sixty of which, returns, more or less complete, were made by their assessors: the several townships failing to report are named under their respective Counties.

The returns, sv far as made, undoubtedly present correct state- . ments of the several interests comprehended under the General Heads of "Land,” “Live Stock” “ Agricultural Products,” “Saw Mills” and “Flouring Mills;” it is probable lowever, that the reluetance of proprietors to answer inquiries respecting the business and capital invested in Mills, render the returns relative to the amount of capital invested in Saw Mills and Flouring Mills somewhat defective; it is certain that in some instances the amount of capital stated is entirely disproportionate to the manufactures reported, and the character and probable cost of the machinery and fixtures requisite for the business. In some instances, assessors or owners have evidently excluded from the account, the cost of Mill and machinery, reporting only the amount of capital invested in the purchase of materials. In all other respects, the returns referred to are supposed to be correct, It shoull be noted in this connection, that in the returns received, "Flouring" and "Grist” mills were in general, reported together without discrimination; they are accordingly, both included under the head of "Flouring mills" in the following tables.

The returns under the head of “Manufactories,” exhibit a very meagre and incomplete view of the great manufacturing interests of the State; being defective in the case of almost every county. The want of experience on the part of assessors, the difficulty of reporting every variety of information under general heads, and the indisposition of persons concerned, to bestow the time and attention to their replies, necessary to give full details, are probably the causes of this rasult. In many Counties the assessors appear to have supposed that the Law contemplated under this head a return of persons engaged in every variety of mechanical pursuit, and a statement of their business; while in the same Counties, others returned statistics of Manufactories proper only. However satisfactory or desirable a full statement of the Mechanical industry of the State would prove, it was clearly not the object of the Law; nor were the partial and incomplete returns of it made by assessors, sufficient to afford any useful or reliable data. They have consequently been disregarded in the compilation of this report. Another cause of the comparatively incomplete view of the manufacturing interest herewith presented, was the failure to procure returns from the City of Detroit, the seat of by far the largest Manufacturing interest in the State. The act under which the returns were made, require the facts to be collected by the Township assessors while making assessments for **Township purposes.” The assessors of the City of Detroit make the assessment under the charter of that City, at an earlier period in the year than that appointed for the ordinary township assessment, for which reason no returns whatever were received from that City. It is suggested that an amendment be made obviating this difficulty, Owing to the fact last stated, the report is also incomplete in the "value of Merchandize imported for sale;" it is thought, however, to be nearly correct in that particular as to the remainder of the State, as far as reported.

The Statistics of the mining operations of the Lower Peninsula, as stated in Abstract seven, (7,) were collected from the official returns of the assessors; but owing to the want of perfect Township organization in the Upper Peninsula, and the remote and scattered situation of the mines worked, it was found impossible to procure returns from that District, under the provisions of the act.

Under these circumstances I addressed a letter to the Hon. John W. Allen, U. S. Mineral Agent on Lake Superior, soliciting such information respecting the mines and minerals of his district as he might have in his power to communicate. I have the pleasure to acknowledge my obligations to that gentleman and his Assistant, S. V. R. Trowbridge Esq., for the very interesting and reliable information respecting the great mining district of the North, to be found in the

following pages.

I have prepared and subjoined a comparative Table, being the

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