Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/449

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY.

 

FEBRUARY, 1883.


 

THE AFRICAN IN THE UNITED STATES.
By Professor E. W. GILLIAM.

THE future of the African in the United States is, in the judgment of many, the gravest question of the day. It must, from its nature, swell in volume and thrust itself forward more and more; and though the evils as depicted in these pages be in their worst forms comparatively remote, yet, if there be real grounds for them, the time for action in seeking and applying a remedy lies in the present. The far-reaching and critical character of the subject demands that it should be approached without political bias, and treated solely from the point of view of the national welfare.

In this spirit the reader is referred to the tabulated figures on a succeeding page, derived from an analysis of the census of the United States, and of several of the Southern States, for each decade from 1830 to 1880 inclusive, and showing the rate per cent of increase or decrease of the white and the black population for the basis of the following discussion.

The very high rate of increase for the whites in the United States, in the first, second, and third decades, is due to a copious immigration adding itself to a lesser population. As the population of a country swells, and the immigration remains about the same, the rate per cent of increase falls.

The enormous rate of increase in several of the States, in the early decades, notably Arkansas and Mississippi, is altogether abnormal, and readily accounted for. These were then new regions, just opening to settlers, and the older slave States poured into their rich bosoms an overwhelming tide. Multitudes of whites, with and without slaves, like bees from a hive, swarmed forth from the older States, to settle in these cheap and productive parts. Hence it is that South Carolina,