of gain during the past decade were, as nearly as can be known, as follows: For native whites, 31 per cent; for blacks, not above 25 per cent.
But all such comparisons, based upon the results of the ninth census, are utterly worthless. No reliable conclusions regarding the increase of negroes can be drawn from a comparison in which these statistics enter. The extent of the omissions can be a matter, within certain wide limits, of conjecture only. The only comparisons which yield results of any value are those made between the statistics of the eighth and tenth censuses. That the former was, to a certain slight extent, incomplete, is doubtless true, especially in regard to the colored element, but the omissions were trifling as compared with those of the ninth census. A comparison between the results of the eighth and tenth censuses shows the advantage to be clearly in favor of the native whites, who increased 61 per cent in the twenty years, while the colored element increased but 48 per cent. This great increase of the native whites was effected in spite of the fact that the ranks of the adult males were depleted to the extent of over a million by the casualties of war, which the negroes scarcely felt.
This relatively greater increase of the whites is sustained by the record during the days of slavery. In but one decennial period since 1790 did the negroes increase as rapidly as the whites, and in most cases their increase was far less, as appears in the following table, extracted from Scribner's “Statistical Atlas”:
|DECADE.||PERCENTAGE OF INCREASE.|
|1790 to 1800||35·76||32·38|
|1800 to 1810||36·13||37·46|
|1810 to 1820||34·12||28·57|
|1820 to 1830||34·03||31·41|
|1830 to 1840||34·72||23·28|
|1840 to 1850||37·74||26·61|
|1850 to 1860||37·69||22·06|
|1860 to 1870||24·76||9·86|
|1870 to 1880||29·21||34·85|
It will be noticed that the only period during which the colored element increased faster than the white element was between 1800 and 1810, during the continuance of the African slave-trade, which ceased in 1807. It will also be seen that the rate of increase of the negroes, while irregular, shows a marked and rapid decrease — a much greater decrease than that of the whites — even up to 1850, when immigration from Europe began to make itself felt.
This decrease of the colored race in proportion to the whites is set forth still more strongly in the following table, quoted from the same work: