Page:Descent of Man 1875.djvu/202

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186
Part I.
The Descent of Man.

removed to New Zealand, Norfolk Island, and other salubrious places, in order to be educated as missionaries.

The decrease of the native population of the Sandwich Islands is as notorious as that of New Zealand. It has been roughly estimated by those best capable of judging, that when Cook discovered the islands in 1779, the population amounted to about 300,000. According to a loose census in 1823, the numbers then were 142,050. In 1832, and at several subsequent periods, an accurate census was officially taken, but I have been able to obtain only the following returns:

  Year

Native Population


(Except during 1832 and 1836, when the few foreigners in the islands were included.)
Annual rate of decrease per cent., assuming it to have been uniform between the successive censuses; these censuses being taken at irregular intervals.  
1832 130,313    
\scriptstyle{

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\right\}\, } 4.46
1836 108,579
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\begin{matrix}
\ \\ \ 
\end{matrix}

\right\}\, } 2.47
1853 71,019
\scriptstyle{

\left.

\begin{matrix}
\ \\ \ 
\end{matrix}

\right\}\, } 0.81
1860 67,084
\scriptstyle{

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\begin{matrix}
\ \\ \ 
\end{matrix}

\right\}\, } 2.18
1866 58,765
\scriptstyle{

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\begin{matrix}
\ \\ \ 
\end{matrix}

\right\}\, } 2.17
1872 51,531
       

We here see that in the interval of forty years, between 1832 and 1872, the population has decreased no less than sixty-eight per cent! This has been attributed by most writers to the profligacy of the women, to former bloody wars, and to the severe labour imposed on conquered tribes and to newly introduced diseases, which have been on several occasions extremely destructive. No doubt these and other such causes have been highly efficient, and may account for the extraordinary rate of decrease between the years 1832 and 1836; but the most potent of all the causes seems to be lessened fertility. According to Dr. Ruschenberger of the U. S. Navy, who visited these islands between 1835 and 1837, in one district of Hawaii, only twenty-five men out of 1134, and in another district only ten out of 637, had a family with as many as three children. Of eighty married women, only thirty-nine had ever borne children; and "the official report gives an average of half a child to each married couple in the whole