From the result of all these data and experience thus gained, fixed rules can be deduced for the government of future recruiting. For example, the relation of weight; the relation of chest circumference to height and weight; the relation of height, chest measurement, and weight to age.
The health statistic of this Nation can now from these records be to a very great extent made known, and medical questions of great importance in reference to the beneficial effect of different sections of the United States on disease, or the effect of occupation thereon, be ascertained and made public.
PREFACE TO TABLE.
In presenting following tables I have the honor to call your attention to the fact that they are submitted without comment. The period of time which has elapsed since the organization of this branch of your Bureau has scarcely permitted the completion of tabular views of the prevalence of disease. In order to carry out the original plan it would require another year at least in which to finish the report. All of those questions which have been referred to, in speaking of the extent and value of the records on file here, remain untouched, or have been made the subjects of such incomplete investigation as will preclude the opinions that may have been formed from admission into this report.
It is scarcely necessary, now that the attention of the world has been so generally directed to the subject of vital statistics, to insist upon the importance of data more comprehensive and extensive than any other government has as yet collected.
It is beyond dispute that these tables exhibit a more complete view of the physical condition of this Nation than has been heretofore compiled; and it is not unreasonable to expect that when they shall have been more completely discussed they will be found to throw light upon the caused of many of the more common diseases to which mankind are subject.
The only condition under which any researches of this nature can aspire to a true scientific value is that in which the investigator, proceeding from the observation of phenomena, arrives finally at the laws regulating their manifestation. Whether this could be done in the case of these records has not been tried by the test of experience. It would not be premature, however, to declare that the accomord an opportunity never surpassed for the determination of the truth of some of the most important principles which the science of health has ascertained. This is the case, because, both on account of their magnitude and the variety of the conditions they embrace, they afford the opportunity of comparisod but less extensive tables of European statisticians.
In the future elaboration of the records on file in this branch it may be expected that the results which will be deduced will be ascertained and compared with each other.
That a series of tabular illustrations of the various conditions of race, age, height, complexion, occupation, geographical position, &c., will be presented and an explanation of them attempted, and that in the future these labors will enable the Government of the United States to publish a work more complete in its character than has yet been issued by any foreign power.
Among the questions that have been already referred to as possibly capable of solution through a more complete study of the records of