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other parts the birth rate varies according to climate and soil. Deformity is very rare, particularly among Indians. Age falls lightly upon the latter, with few instances of grey hair, and quite a number of centenarians are claimed, although the proportion of persons over fifty years of age appears larger among the white race, with their later puberty and better mode of living.9

Orders were repeatedly issued from Spain to form statistics of population and resources, and viceroys and civil and ecclesiastic officials responded with more or less elaborate reports,10 but the first worthy to be called a census was that taken in 1793-4 by order of Viceroy Revilla Gigedo. Incomplete as even this proved, one sixth of the population being merely estimated, it has nevertheless been accepted in most respects as a base. The total here presented is 4,483,000, including the Californias, New Mexico, and Texas; but the pertinent objection has been raised that this figure was considerably below the actual number, owing to the general effort of the people to avoid registration, from economic and superstitious ideas.12 Humboldt accordingly added ten per cent to

las castas.' Mem., in Soc. Mex. Geog., Boletin, ii. 83. Instances of fecundity are to be found in Gaceta Mex., i. 35 etc.

Certain afflictions like goitre do not affect Indians and rarely mestizos. Giants and dwarfs are uncommon although such giants as Salmeron and more than one dwarf have come from this country. In Diario, Mex., xi. 128, a pigmy is spoken of as less than three fourths of a vara in height.

Yet the exemption from wrinkles observed by Humboldt does not appear to be sustained. Instances of longevity are given in Panes, Vireyes, MS., 136; Gaceta Mex., i. 291, 379–80, 397, 403-4, x. etc.; Diario, Mex., iii. 128, 159, vi. 11-12 etc.; Viagero Univ., xxvi. 343. One working-man of 135 left 400 descendants; another had sons varying from 8 to 120 years of age. The average claimed for the centenarians is 116-120.

10 Besides a number of statements on special departments or subjects a record exists of 19 formal reports made by order of the government between 1585 and 1787; for a compiled list thereof, with names of the framers, see Soc. Mex. Geog., Boletin, i. 10. A specimen of the orders to this effect and a district report may be seen in Tamaron, Visita Dur., MS., i. et seq.

11 Different copies vary slightly.

12 In evidence of this it was pointed out that while Mexico City in 1793 received 112,926 inhabitants, this figure rose to 168,846 in 1811, although it fell greatly during the following two years. This variation must be attributed greatly to the war, which at times drove fugitives in large numbers to the capital. A better test for the deficiency was the birth-rate, which raised the estimate for the city to more than 130,000, instead of 112,926.


cover this deficiency, while expressing a belief that the addition of a sixth or seventh would not be wrong. Navarro, followed by several others, adds a fifth. The former author took special pains to obtain statistics, in order to arrive at an estimate for 1803. This was no easy task in a country subject to such extremes of climate from the hot malarious coast to the temperate plateau and the cold mountain region occupied by so many different races with varying modes of life. He came to the conclusion, however, that the birth-rate could be placed at one in seventeen, and the deathrate at one in thirty, and that the population would double in about thirty-eight years. The average proportion of births to deaths appearing as 183 to 100, he accepted this, within a small fraction, as a rate for calculating the increase during the decade following the census of 1793, and thus arrived at a total population for 1803 of 5,837,100.13


Since this time a number of calculations have been made which take the census of 1793 for a base, but reduce the increase to about one and a half per cent yearly for the two following decades. During the revolutionary period this rate must be lowered still more, and even afterward the unsettled condition of affairs operated against large recuperation. The most valuable estimates appear to be those made for 1810 by the auditor-general of ways and means for New Spain, Fernando Navarro y Noriega, whose sources could not have been well surpassed by any contemporary. Even his calculations, however, had for several provinces to rest on comparative estimates, but for others he was able to present more reliable

13 This was the corrected calculation of a later date. He brings in a number of comparisons with the rates in European countries, and finds that those ruling in Prussia approximate more closely. The proportion there of births to deaths stood as 180 to 100, while in the United States it rose to 201: 100, and in France it fell to 110: 100. Although the births of males in New Spain exceeded those of females-Humboldt has it 100: 95, others, more correctly, 100: 98.6-yet it appeared that males preponderated among Indians and castes. The studies of the German savant are very exhaustive and interesting, although in several respects less exact than could have been desired, owing chiefly to unreliable data. Essai Pol., i. 54 et seq.

figures than those of Revilla Gigedo. Where this was not possible he added twenty per cent to the returns of 1793 for deficiency, and twenty-five more for the increase during the seventeen years, obtaining a total of 6,122,354.14 The proportion of races gives the Indians sixty hundredths, the castes twenty-two, and the whites eighteen.15 Of the last he assumes only fifteen thousand to have been European Spaniards, while raising the proportion of castes with Legro blood to nearly half a million. Large as this number appears, it is certain that both economic motives among slave-holders, and natural predilection among aboriginal women favored the diffusion of African blood. Navarro agrees with Humboldt that the slaves could not exceed ten thousand, the pure blacks forming two thirds of this number."

Even without the impulse given by republican principles in modern times for the amalgamation of races, it is evident that the castes strictly speaking must gain in number by encroaching on the other classes, even if these were to show a constant increase-an increase which becomes somewhat fictitious when we consider

14 While several points in the table on page 737 are subject to criticism, the arca for instance being in some cases obviously inexact, yet these defects affect the value of the paper so little as not to render changes and attempts at better estimates advisable at this stage of the history. Indeed, the figures tend in this form to better represent the official views at the close of the colonial period. In a later volume the population will demand and necessarily receive a more critical treatment.

15 Humboldt raised the whites slightly to one fifth and lowered the Indians to about two fifths, leaving a large remainder to castes. Navarro has the tribute lists to prove the greater correctness of his Indian figures, those of 1837 showing 2,925,179 aborigines.

16 Humboldt estimated their number in 1803 at about 70,000, but this appears to have been based on their proportion at the capital, where they were gathered in large force as the leading holders of offices and commercial positions. Navarro's figure certainly is very low, but he had access to migration statistics, and such a careful student as Alaman corrects his own larger estimates by this. The government gave no special encouragement to emigration.

The negroes and negro mixtures rest on rather vague estimates, for those recognized as of this class were included among Indians as tributaries, and those not so recognized merged into other classes. The estimate for white people is also somewhat misleading, since amid the general effort to approach the superior race a number of persons with imperceptible Indian or negro admixture declared themselves white, many indeed obtaining legal permission to do so.

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the large number of castes that by intermarriage seem to return gradually to the mother race. We find no such withering influence on the aboriginal population as in the north, and this must be due partly to the similarity between them and the invaders in their settled condition, which demanded no radical change for adaptation. While making few efforts to increase the population with emigrants, the government certainly did all to foster a natural growth by promoting early marriages, by introducing seeds and live-stock, and by other measures. Following in the wake of Las Casas early foreign writers have indulged in lamentations over the havoc inflicted by the conquerors and later by encomenderos, notably in working the natives to death in the mines. The disturbances ever accompanying war could not have failed in effect, as shown at the fall of Mexico, and the mines entombed vast numbers, less, however, by overtaxing strength than by the effect of climatic changes on persons suddenly transferred from a warm district to cold and rugged mountain regions. To this was added the change from quiet plantation life to rough mining toil. Nevertheless the losses by these means were comparatively small, and the great ravages that took place must be ascribed almost wholly to the diseases following the new civilization, such as small-pox, measles, and probably syphilis.18

Endemics and famines also ruled periodically, and different districts had their special afflictions. The former, however, had less effect, since the people either became inured to or avoided the pestiferous regions. There remains no doubt that their total has fallen greatly from what it was in the time of Montezuma, when Tezcuco, Cholula, and a number of other cities

18 Las Casas' exaggerated attacks on his countrymen for cruelty have already been exposed, and I have also alluded to De Pauw's views in his Recherches. Raynal lowers the estimate of losses suffered by the Indians, but places too much stress on the effect of mines. Zamacois in seeking to prove that they increased under Spanish rule finds no difficulty in dealing with figures and readily accepts the vague statements of early chroniclers concerning the ravages of epidemics.

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