War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0311 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

of England, France, Holland, Denmark, and Sweden, a let us say in 1860.

The census returns of the Spanish West Indian colonies, still slave, are imperfect, and the several estimates of population in these islands vary widely. The most authentic estimates based on actual census returns make the slave and free colored population of Cuba, as late as 1853, a little more than half a million; b with a fair allowance for increase since that date, we may put it in 1860 at 530,000. Porto Rico, a flourishing and increasing colony, contained, by a census return of 1846, c 447,914 inhabitants, of whom about 54 per cent. were white, leaving about 206,000 colored. The rate of increase for the sixteen years preceding was a little upward of 2 per cent. a year. As but 50,000 or 55,000 of the colored people in this island are slaves, so that the gradual falling off of the slave-trade would not very seriously affect the population, we may suppose that some 25 per cent. (say 51,500) have been added since; making in all 257,500 for the entire colored population of Porto Rico.

This would give in the Spanish West Indian colonies a colored population in 1860 of 787,500.

We have not been able to find any official returns of the population of Hayti later than 1826. In 1820, in a "Memoire sub Saint Dominique,"

---------------

a This is probably a full estimate. There were freed in Jamaica 311,070 slaves, one-third of the whole number emancipated in the West Indies. But by the census of 1844 the total black and colored population of the island was but 361,657, having diminished in ten years nearly 20,000. Sewell (Ordeal of Free Labor in the British West Indies, New York, 1862, p.245) says: "If the estimate of mortality by cholera and smallpox within a few years be correct, I do not believe, after making every allowance for a proper increase by birth, that the black and colored population of Jamaica exceeds at the present day 350,000." This is but 12 per cent. more than the number of slaves freed. If Cochin's estimate of the population of the West Indies be correct, there were in the British West Indian colonies in 1855 but 845,000, of whom between 140,000 and 150,000 were whites, leaving, say 700,000 for the entire colored population. (Cochin, Tom.1, p.478 and pp.366, 367). But England emancipated in the West Indies 670,000 slaves (Cochin, Tom.1, p.367), or within 30,000 as many as comprised in 1855 (according to Cochin's estimate) the entire colored population in her West Indian colonies.

The addition to the number of slaves emancipated in the West Indies of one-fifth, or 20 per cent., to make up the total colored population, say in 1860, is evidently ample.

b I take these from a work published in 1855, entitled "Cuba," from the Spanish of Don. J. M. de la Torre, edited by R. S. Fisher, statistical editor of Colton's Works. A table (p.119) gives census returns at intervals from 1775. The three last are:

Year. White. Free Slaves. Total.

colored

and

black.

In 1846 425,767 149,226 323,759 898,752

In 1849 457,133 164,410 323,897 945,440

In 1853 501,988 176,647 330,425 1,009,060

In 1846 there were 472,982 [sic] free and slave; in 1853 there were 507,072, and increase in seven years of about 34,000. If (as the supplies from the slave-trade have been diminished) we put the increase since then at 43,000, we shall have 550,000 as the present total.

c Porto Rico, by J. T. O"Neil, edited by R. S. Fisher, 1855, has returns from an early date. The three last are:

1830................................................. 330,051

1834................................................. 358,836

1846................................................. 447,914

In the census of 1834 the whites were 54 per cent. of the whole population, the free colored being 35 per cent., and the slaves 11 per cent. The proportion of slaves at this time is said to be 9 per cent. only.

---------------