20 May 2016

The Day George Got a Letter From the PM

When it was time to take the Canada Census in 1911, George Mitchell Henderson of Inverness, Quebec was chosen as Commissioner for the district of Megantic. The Commissioner is responsible for each enumerator in his district, who each have a subdistrict. The commissioner is also responsible for giving the enumerators in his district training and handing out supplies they will need to take the census.

George's son Willis Ernest Henderson was one of the enumerators for the subdistrict of Inverness Township.

The government paid for training and expenses (the sums varied), as well as for doing the job. The commissioners and the enumerators had to take an oath, and were to hold secret all the information they gathered. The rules and payment schedules were set out in the Canada Gazette.  Basically the commissioner gets 1¢ per name recorded in his district, and the enumerator gets 5¢ for every name of a living person and 10¢ for every name of a deceased or disabled person. There is a different rate scale for filling out other schedules and for factories, schools and churches etc. Instead of a horse-for-hire allowance, each enumerator of a township (not cities, towns or villages) is given $3 for 100 names.

Well, it seems that George was getting anxious because his men were not getting paid for the work they did in June.  He wrote a letter to the Prime Minister and received a reply on the 6th of October, 1911.

My dear Henderson,
In answer to your favour of the 4th instant, I have to inform you that the money for the Census which was voted by Parliament, is now exhausted, and you cannot expect to have your account settled for a few weeks yet until a new appropriation has been voted. This s a case where patience is quite in order.
Believe me ever,
Yours very sincerely,
Wilfred Laurier

George Mitchell Henderson was born 24 October 1850
to Wilson Henderson and Susannah Mitchell
George is my 3x great uncle.

Letter Source: Books by Gwen, Megantic Genealogy

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