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The fifteenth amendment was not ratified when the 1870 census forms were designed. The last two questions in 1870 were

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Was this intended to support Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment (which punished, by reduced representation in the House of Representatives, any state that disenfranchised any male citizens over 21 years of age)?

  • Hmmm. With the fifteenth being ratified in March, I'm surprised they got that in there so quickly. Although it does say that the census is not concerned with the fifteenth. But the first sentence clearly answers my question with a "yes." However, Google is not my friend—it is one of NSA's biggest competitors. What search string led you to that? – WGroleau Jul 18 at 14:14
  • It was the first one I tried, so it was something like: 1870 census 15th amendment. It's the 3d entry, which was the first I tried. (Interestingly, on DDGo, your question shows up before the archives.) I went ahead and submitted this as an answer, since they like answered questions here. – Just a guy Jul 18 at 15:09
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Yes. See the discussion in the instructions to enumerators:

https://www.archives.gov/files/research/genealogy/charts-forms/1870-census.pdf

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