ifgraMtioH hto reras, 186-1880
HOMER L. KERR
T HE UNITED STATES CENSUSES, BOTH THE ORIGINAL MANU-
script returns and the printed reports, have come to be
widely recognized as veritable mines of information for
social and economic historians. Only recently, however, it has
been recognized that the original manuscript returns of the free
inhabitants in each of the censuses from 1850 onward offer unique
information on migration into the newer agricultural states.
By application of the child-ladder method to the manuscript
returns of the Tenth Census of 188o for Texas it is possible to
measure and analyze migration into Texas from about 1859-186o
to 1879-188o.1 Hyphenated years are used because the census year
ran from June through May rather than by the calendar year.2
Data for the study has been aggregated and analyzed by county,
sub-region, region, and the state as a whole.8 Soil, climate, and
physiography are fundamental in defining the natural regions
of Texas. By study of these natural factors Texas can be divided
into four large divisions-sometimes called provinces or regions
-each of which can be divided into sub-regions small enough
to allow analysis of data from the manuscript census returns
of 1880.4 For this study the four major regions of the state
have been subdivided into twenty sub-regions, fourteen of which
are considered significant enough for general treatment.
Map I is an outline map of Texas in 1882 showing the four
major regions, and their sub-regions. In some cases the physio-
1This method was first developed by Barnes F. Lathrop in Migration into East
Texas, z835-x86o (Austin, 1949), 23-33-
2U. S. Bureau of the Census, Compendium of the Tenth Census (Washington,
1883), Part I, xxvi.
8Complete county data can be found in Homer L. Kerr, Migration into Texas,
1865-188o (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1953).
'For discussion of the climate, vegetation, and soil of the various regions and sub-
regions see Elmer H. Johnson, The Natural Regions of Texas (Austin, 1931; Uni-
versity of Texas Bulletin No. 3113), 2o, 88-148.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/. Accessed March 5, 2015.