Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 27.djvu/160

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146
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.


the whites runs as follows: During the decade 1870-'80 the whites increased, upon the face of the returns, 29 per cent, and the blacks 34 per cent. From the former rate of increase he subtracts 9 per cent, to account, as he says, for foreign immigration, leaving 20 per cent to represent what he calls the native increase. From the per cent of increase of the blacks, he deducts 5 per cent to allow for his surmise as to the extent of omissions in the ninth census, “leaving 30 per cent” (sic). Then he restores the 5 per cent, making a normal rate of increase of 35 per cent for the blacks, on the ground that in the future they will increase more rapidly than in the past. It can not be denied that, with these rates of increase for the two races, Professor Gilliam is well equipped for the task of Africanizing the country, and, if these figures, or any approach to them, are correct, we may well feel anxious for the fate of the “white man's government.”

With these figures as a basis, Professor Gilliam goes on to predict the population a century hence, with results as follows: Northern whites, 240,000,000; Southern whites, 96,000,000; Southern blacks, 192,000,000.

An analysis of the author's curious method of deducing these results will, however, aid to dispel this frightful vision of the future. The increase of white population between 1870 and 1880 was slightly less than ten millions. The number of immigrants during this period was a little in excess of two million eight hundred thousand. Subtracting the latter from the former, there is left a number which is 23 per cent of the population in 1870, not 20 per cent, as Professor Gilliam has it. But what does this 20 or 23 per cent (it matters not which) represent? Certainly not the increase of native whites, as he interprets it. The census gives directly the numbers of native whites in 1870 and in 1880, and the proportional gain of this class during the decade was not less than 31 per cent. These are the figures which he should have used in making his comparisons.

Now as to the increase of the colored element. Professor Gilliam, at the outset, deducts from its rate of increase 5 per cent, representing about a quarter of a million persons, on account of the imperfections of the census of 1870. Concerning the omissions of this census little is known, except that they were generally distributed through the cotton States, were largely, if not mainly, of the colored element, and, of that element, approximated nearer three fourths of a million than one fourth, and certainly exceeded half a million. Professor Gilliam's subsequent addition of 5 per cent, “as an obvious consideration points to the conclusion that the blacks will for the future develop in the South under conditions more and more favorable,” certainly is not warranted by the facts or the probabilities, and, as we are reasoning from what has been and is, and not from what may be, it looks very much like begging the whole question.

Correcting Professor Gilliam's statements, it appears that the ratios