Small gestures in a big world: The Hague 1869
in States and statistics in the nineteenth century

People arriving from Paris, London, St Petersburg, Vienna, Brussels, Rome or Berlin, like the foreign guests of the seventh international statistical congress, would have thought they had landed in a provincial town. Simon Vissering and Marie Matthieu von Baumhauer were familiar faces to the regular participants of the international statistical congress. The Dutch government had good reason to put Vissering and Von Baumhauer in charge when the congress came to The Hague. Much of the brainpower came from Von Baumhauer, who presented the preparatory commission with an Idées-mères, a grand scheme encompassing organisational matters and congress topics. Von Baumhauer and Vissering achieved in The Hague what they had set out to accomplish: to limit the number of topics, limit the number of participants from the host country, give ample attention to theory and methodology and create a place for colonial statistics.

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