To the consular officers of the United
Washington , June 24, 1879.
Gentlemen: In view of the application that has been made to the Department by the president of the National Board of Health, now in session in this city, it becomes extremely desirable to secure your aid and co-operation in making the, weekly returns of that board as complete and valuable as possible. To facilitate this result, and to assist the board in carrying out the provisions of section 4 of the act approved June 2, 1879, to prevent the introduction and spread of Contagious or infectious diseases into the United States, the forms for such weekly reports, showing the kind of information specially desired, are being printed and will be sent to you. It is expected, however, that you will not confine yourselves merely to filling out these forms, but that you will, from time to time, furnish such data, documents, and reports relating to the vital statistics and sanitary condition of your respective consular districts so far as may be practicable.
As the Department regards this matter as of the highest importance to the welfare of the citizens of the United States, and to the country generally, it is earnestly requested that you will give prompt and regular attention to the requirements here set forth.
The forms will be furnished and the expense of postage, &c., will be reimbursed to you by the president of the board. You are requested to acknowledge the receipt of this instruction.
I am, gentlemen, your obedient servant,