Page images

were under ten; nearly four ninths were under fifteen ;* not much more than one fourth were above thirty ;t more than one seventh were above forty; not one twelfth were fifty;9 and only between a twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth attained sixty; less than one in seventy-one had become seventy years of age. Their vital duration was a little longer than that of the male sex. But we may submit it to the judgment of our statistical calculators, whether it is possible, with these established relative proportions of the different living ages of our North American contemporaries, that they could, from their own nativities alone, enlarge their population in a geometrical ratio. Instead of this, I cannot avoid thinking, from all the above circumstances, that if there had been no immigrants to them, the United States would not have done more in the thirty years we have been surveying than keep up their own population, or but very gradually increase it.

Both Mr. Malthus and his followers have made a distinction between the multiplying ratio of the older states of America and their new or back settlements; because, on the comparison of their numbers in the latter at different dates, a greater increase was visible than in the former. But here again the effect of immigration has been mistaken for that of natural birth; the new states have not swelled into their enlarged numbers from the successive reproductions of their original inhabitants. There has been, and is still, a constant influx of new comers; the travellers into America

• Under ten were 1,671,753. One third would have been 1,722,433. Under fifteen were 2,310,816; four ninths of all would be 2,296,576.

↑ The females under thirty were 3,824,191; three fourths would have been 3,875,472. Those of thirty and above were 1,343,108; taking from these one tenth of the next class as the number who reached thirty, those above thirty would be 1,287,552. One fourth would have been 1,291,824.

The number under forty was 4,379,756; and those of forty and above were 787,543. If we take off one tenth of the next class as those attaining forty, the number above that age would be 752,001. One seventh would have been 738,185.

$Of fifty and above were only 432,118 out of the 5,167,299; deducting one tenth of the next class for those who reached fifty, those above that age would be 409,826. One twelfth would have been 430,608.

Those under sixty were 4,958,109; adding to these one tenth of the next class for those who were sixty, those above sixty would be only 196,104. One twenty-fifth would have been 206,692.

Under seventy were 5,088,975. One tenth of the next class would make those who attained seventy 5,094,778. Those above seventy would be 72,521. One in seventy-one would have been 72,778.

agree in this; hence, if their numbers have doubled in ten, fifteen, or twenty-five years, as different advocates of the geometric ratio have thought, the greater rapidity of their augmentation is a mark of the unceasing accession of new roamers thither, not of their maternal prolificness. To them the unprovided, the necessitous, the restless, the enterprising, and the dissatisfied are continually moving; and from these fresh tides of human life, originating in other parts, their enlarging multiplications have principally proceeded. Mr. Sadler has collected some authorities on this point as to former times; but the fact is so clear from all the accounts of America since the present century commenced, that only the "Qui vult decipi" will allow himself to be influenced by any contrary supposition. The hardships, diseases, gross food, and great use of spirituous liquors in the dreary back settlers, must be unfriendly to large and rapid increase of lasting population.†

LOUISIANA. "The population in this state increased in ten years more than 600 per cent." "In the upper settlements the inhabitants are principally Canadians; in the middle, Germans; and in the lower, French and Spaniards."-Carey and Lea, Geog., p. 281. Warden says, the inhabitants are composed of men of every country in Europe.-Štát. Acc., vol. ii., p. 531, 567.

INDIANA. The increase from 1810 to 1820 was upward of 500 per cent. "A majority of the people are from Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and the Carolinas. The remainder are from every state in the Union and from every country in Europe."-Carey and Lea, p. 290..

ILLINOIS has trebled its numbers in the same time. This territory is principally peopled by the French, with numbers of immigrants from both England and the United States.-Warden, vol. ii., p. 57-9.

OHIO. Of this state Dr. Drake says, "There is no state in the Union which has not enriched it with some of its most enterprising citizens; nor a kingdom in the west of Europe whose adventurous exiles are not commingled with us. To Kentucky and the states north of Virginia, to England, Ireland, Germany, Scotland, France, and Holland we are most indebted."-Drake's Nat. and Statist. View, p. 257.

TENNESSEE. "It has scarcely any uniform character, its population consisting of immigrants from the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and the New England States and from Europe."-Warden, vol. ii., p. 351.

KENTUCKY. Imlay says, "I have known upward of 10,000 immigrants to arrive in the single state of Kentucky within one year, and from 4 to 10,000 in several other years."-Topog. Disc., p. 84. Malte Brun mentions of it, "The people consist of immigrants from every state in the Union, and from every country in Europe."--Geog., 1. lxxx., p. 199. Sadler, vi., p. 486-8. How can the back settlements afford any basis for the law of native population?

t Reasoning from the official returns of one of the most flourishing of the North American states, in the year 1825, that of New-York, it would take above fifty years to double its population. This was then returned to be 1,616,458. The numbers of married women were ascer


The experienced Increase shows the real Natural Laws, which are not the same for every Period of Society.-State and Progress of Population m England, Scotland, Ireland, France, and some other Countries of Europe.


The natural course of human population is represented to us, by its actual progress in the nations around us, in its habitual and general operation. A good example of this may be seen in its advancement and variations in our own land, and in the other civilized countries of Europe. In this, as in all things, the exception must be distinguished from the general rule, and never mistaken for it.

We are not only best acquainted with ourselves and our European neighbours, but we are certain of finding in our populations the practical operation of their appointed laws. Under these, they have become what they have been and now are; and it is with the practical operation of any law that we are politically concerned. We may leave abstract theories to the amusive speculations of metaphysicians. But we need to know the acting laws of our daily nature for our moral and legislative guidance; and it is from the experienced effects that these can be most correctly traced. We must seek the real, not the possible. What may occur may also not occur; but what has taken place and is taking place is most likely to continue to recur. It will not, therefore, be wisely done to turn from the regular experience of the Old World to any pe

tained to be 200,481; the females between fifteen and forty-five were 235,872; the marriages that year 11,553; and the births of that year were 60,383.-Nat. Gazette Philad., Feb., 1826. Therefore not one

third of the married women had children that year, and between three and four years would elapse before at that rate they would have children. But the married women were not quite one eighth of the whole population. Hence it would be nearly thirty years before all their married women would have produced a number equal to this population. But an equal number would only replace those who died off; and as a generation die in about thirty-four years, it would require between fifty and sixty years before the actual population of 1820 would, at this ratio, be from its own sources doubled.

culiar or imagined anomaly in the New one. The ordinary results of life are our best instructers as to the natural rules or means which produce them: on these we shall most safely act, and not on extraordinary effects, from extraordinary causation, if such should be found.

Hence any theory of duplication would be very little deserving of our notice if it were such as very rarely was realized, and if such an effect could only take place under contingences that seldom could occur. It is on the results which have been regularly experienced, which come, as if the usual sequences of steadily acting laws, that we should deliberate and act.

In every department of nature, we found our science on this principle. We do not argue on lions from the supposition of what number it is possible they might produce at a birth; for if we took the possible accident for the natural law, we might contend that they would, in time, overrun the world, to the extinction of all other animals. Instead of taking a contingence for the basis of our reasoning, we seek for the. common and experienced fact of their usual fertility. We then find that their possible power of increase is so regulated in its habitual operation, that no more offspring occur from the lioness at one birth than suits the coexistence of the

other quadrupeds of their country.* Comets, according to the law of their projective movement alone, might, at any time they come, rush on in the line of our earth, and whirl, dissipate, or melt us in fiery destruction. This is never impossible. But we know from experience, that by agencies unknown to us, but potently guiding them, they have been always kept from our actual path; and from this practical fact, the neverceasing possibility of the collision is scarcely even thought of

Though the fewness of the lion's progeny has been deemed an argument of his noble nature, yet that lions may be as prolific as eats, we may perceive from the following circumstance which I take from the Cambridge Chronicle, Nov., 1836. "On Tuesday morning last the lioness in Mr. Wombwell's menagerie, exhibiting at St. Andrew's hill, in this town, produced your young cubs, all doing well. The lioness will not be three years old till next month. An instance of such precocity is not known in natural history, it being the opinion of most naturalists that the lioness does not attain maturity till five years old.”—Camb. Chr. So we hear occasionally of four children born at one time; but this amount, though always within her power, is not the law on which nature practically sets. The practical operation is the regulated one, and points to the operating law.


« PreviousContinue »