ten provinces as in those estimated, then the total number of slaves in the Empire of Brazil was in the year 1860 2,655,000.
But inasmuch as the largest proportions of slaves to free persons are to be found in the populous provinces on the Atlantic Coast, and as three of these, to wit, Pernambuco, Bahia, and Minas- Geraes, each with a population of 800,000 or upward, are among the provinces not estimated, we think the above total of 2,655,000 slaves is probably somewhat too low, and that it may bear an addition of 10 per cent. This would give for the Empire of Brazil in 1860 2,920,500 slaves; an estimate which we believe to be as near the truth as anything we are likely to obtain. a
We find no reliable data in regard to the number of free persons of African descent, of which the probable reason is the great mixture of colored races. The aborigines of Brazil at the period of its conquest are said to have numbered between 4,000,000 and 5,000,000, b and though probably not more than a fifth of that number now survive, the half and quarter breeds are very numerous.
Ewbank gives an estimate by Senor de Souza (the same writer probably whose calculation of later date is relied on by Kidder and Fletcher), in which, putting the total at about the same we have given, c he divides the population into 2,160,000 whites, 3,120,000 negro slaves, 800,000 domesticated Indians, d 180,000 free blacks, and 1,100,000 "free colored." Unless all the Indian half and quarters breeds are included in the class of "domesticated Indians," which is not likely, we cannot regard the free colored as all of African blood.
On the other hand, it is certain that the number of free negroes and mulattoes in Brazil is large-larger probably than in any other slave country. "By the Brazilian laws a slave can go before a magistrate, have his price fixed, and can purchase himself." e Large numbers avail themselves of this privilege, and the class of freemen is rapidly increasing. All writers agree that more than half the population of Brazil consists of persons of African descent, slave and free.
Under these circumstances, as it is our object not to overstate the case, and therefore to avoid all underestimates of the number of negroes
of the population in 1860. Averaging these, we have 7,219,107 as the total population of Brazil.
We are of opinion, however, that the estimate we have adopted, based on the calculation of M. de Souza and indorsed by Messrs. Kidder and Fletcher, and which exceeds the above by 323,000, is more reliable and probably approaches nearly the truth.
a Cochin, accurate as he usually is, undoubtedly understates the number of slaves in Brazil. Writing in 1861, he says in one place "more than 2,000,000," and in another he assumes 2,000,000 as the number. "Pres de 4,000,000 exclaves aux Etats Unis, plus be 2,000,000 au Bresil," is his expression. And again: "Les 2,000,000 Africans, exclaves au Bresil." (Cochin, Vol.2, p.237.)
b Life in Brazil, by Thomas Ewbank, 1856, p.430.
c The exact figures are 7,360,000, and the date appears to be 1845. This is but 40,000 less than his subsequent estimate for 1856. Ewbank says: "Nothing like positive data was within this writer's reach." From De Souza's last calculation we may infer that he formed his estimate for 1845 too high.
d A report by Councillor Vellosa, made in 1819 (quoted by Ewbank, work cited, p.430), giving the total population at 4,396,321, includes "800,000 wild Indians."
e Brazil and the Brazilians, p.133. The author adds: 'Some of the most intelligent men that I met with in Brazil-educated at Paris and Coimbra-were of African descent; men whose ancestors were slaves. Some of the closest students in the National Library are mulattoes. The largest and most successful printing establishment in Rio, that of Sr. F. Paulo Brito, is owned and directed by a mulatto. In the colleges, the medical, law, and theological schools, there is no distinction of color. * * * I was informed that a man of mental endowments, even if he had been a slave, would be debarred from no official station, however high, unless it might be that of imperial senator."