War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0322 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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was 28.58; during the next decade, 31.44. Let us assume the former as the rate of natural increase from 1790 to 1800. Deducting it from the actual increase during that period, namely, 32.23, we have a remainder of 3 2/3 per cent. as the increase from Africa. That would give 27, 770 as the number of slaves imported in the ten years from 1790 to 1800, or at the rate of 2,777 a year.

In the next decade, eight years of which only were open to slave importation, that importation appears to have greatly increased. The colored population amounted by the census of 1810 to 1,377,810, exhibiting an increase in the decade at the rate of 37.58 per cent. If, as before, we rate the natural increase at 28,58, we shall have 9 per cent. on 1,001,436 (that is to say, 90,123) of accession to the population in question, due to other causes than natural increase. But during this decade, to wit, in 1803, Louisiana, purchased from France, became a part of the Union, and her colored population, free and slave, added 42,245 to the census returns of 1810. Deduct this amount from 90,123, and we have 47,884 as the number of slaves that may have been directly imported into the United States in the eight years from 1800 to 1808, being at the rate of 5,985 a year. The rate of importation was evidently increasing with rapidity. Fortunate was it for our country and for the cause of humanity that Congress availed itself of the constitutional provision which permitted, in 1808, the abolition of the slave-trade.

Another item remains to be determined ere we can complete our estimate of importation. Of the colored population which Louisiana brought into the Union, what proportion may we properly ascribe to the slave-trade and what proportion to natural increase? The total number at the date of purchase appears to have been about 30,000. a To supply this number, how many had probably been imported under colonial rule?

Except as to difference of nationality in her owners, Louisiana previous to 1803 was not differently situated from the Southern States of the Union. Part of the same continent, coterminous in her chief boundaries, with similar climate and general condition, there seems no good reason to suppose that the natural increase of her colored population had been at a rate much lower than ours.


a By an accurate census of Louisiana taken in 1785 the total population was 28,537, of whom about 14,000 were slaves and 1,000 free colored. From that date there seems to have been no separate authentic census of the colony until one was made in 1803 by the consul of the United States at New Orleans, under orders from the Department of State. From the best documents he could obtain he put the total population at 49,473, but without separating whites and blacks. (See History of Louisiana from the Earliest Period, by Francois Xavier Martin, New Orleans, 1827, Vol. II, pp.77,78, and -.)

Other authorities put it higher, as Major Amos Stoddard, in his Sketches, Historical and Descriptive, of Louisiana, p.226. he admits that there are no precise data to determine the population in 1803, but estimates 50,700 whites and 42,600 colored; together, upward of 93,000. This, however, is clearly an overestimate, as our own official census of 1810 makes the entire population of Louisiana in that year but 76,556. At first sight the consul's estimate of 49,473 seems too low; since, if it be not, 50 per cent. was added to the population in the seven years from 1803 to 1810. This would seem improbable, but for the remarkable fact that the entire population of Louisiana (chiefly, of course, by immigration from other States in the Union and from Europe) doubled in the next decade, amounting, in 1820, to 152,923. As a medium term between these conflicting authorities we may assume the entire population in 1803 to be

60,000, of whom half were colored. This agrees with Mr. Carey's estimate. Speaking of the colored population, Mr. Carey says: "Nearly 30,000 were found in Louisiana at her incorporation into the Union." (The Slave-Trade, Domestic and Foreign, p.17.)