War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0376 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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It is sometimes inferred from this that the slaves live in greater comfort than the free colored people, and that the latter cannot take as good care of themselves as masters take of their slaves. But the facts which have come to our knowledge touching the actual condition of these two classes, the slave and the free colored, are wholly at variance with any such conclusion. We believe the chief reason of the small rate of increase to be that the proportion of mulattoism among the free colored is much greater than among slaves; and that the mulattoes, certainly in northern latitudes, are less healthy and prolific than the pure blacks.

In support of the opinion that the same may be predicated of these two classes in Southern States, it may be alleged that a cold climate is, in all probability as little suited to the pure black originally from the torrid zones of Africa as to the mulatto, with a cross of Anglo-Saxon blood; and that it, in such a climate, the mortality among the mixed race is greater than among pure blacks, the climate is not likely to be the sole cause.

It is certain, however, that, both as regards blacks and mulattoes, their mortality, as compared with whites, essentially depends upon climate. As this is an important matter, the Commission has spent considerable time and labor in collecting reliable statistics which throw light upon it. a The following table, the most exhaustive summary, probably, that has yet been made public in connection with this subject was carefully made up from the materials obtained:

Table of comparative mortality among white and colored persons in eleven cities of the United States.

Summary

of annual population.

Place. Period. Number White. Colored.

of

years.

Boston 1725 to 1774 57 {689,000 59,500

Boston 1855 to 57 1, 188,452 15,620

1859; 1861

and 1862

New Bedford 1861-62-63 3 65,259 4,746

Providence 1840 to 1863 24 958,028 35,349

New York 1821,24- 38 15,427,466 531,544

29,31-36,38-

62.

Buffalo 1854-58, 7 530,582 5,466

62-63

Philadelphia 1821 to 1862 42 12,466,457 750,996

Baltimore 1818, 24-25, 38 4,294,476 859,025

27-29, 33-

34, 36-63.

Washington 1849 to 1860 12 455,754 126,305

Charleston 1828 to 1857 30 457,756 523,536

New Orleans 1849-50, 4 2/3 547,523 121,343

1856 and

two-thirds

of 1855;

1860.

Memphis 1851 to 1853 3 24,126 8,043

Total

-----

---- 37,104,879 3,031,473

Population

Number of deaths. to one death.

Place. White. Colored. White. Colored.

Boston 23,750 4,000 29.10 14.90

Boston 27,522 500 43.18 31.24

New Bedford 1,550 179 42.09 26.51

Providence 20,744 1,306 46.25 27.06

New York 479,879 20,428 32.14 25.39

Buffalo 14,013 120 37.86 a 45.55

Philadelphia 269,824 26,397 46.22 28.45

Baltimore 107,623 26,551 39.90 32.34

Washington 8,869 2,723 51.38 b 46.36

Charleston 13,945 16,868 32.83 31.03

New Orleans 32,143 6,277 17.03 19.51

Memphis 1,406 428 17.17 18.79

Total 1,001,268 106,217 37.57 28.54

Population to one death: Per cent.

White................................................ 2.699

Colored............................................. 3.503

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a This being the sole exception among Northern cities, to what seems the general rule, to wit, that the mortality among blacks is much greater than among whites, we may reasonably suppose some inaccuracy in returns.

b The great apparent salubrity among both classes in Washington is not, probably, to be ascribed either to the climate or the mode of life, but to the fact that a large proportion of the population are mere sojourners there for a few years, during the working period of life when the rate of mortality is lowest.

a In this they have been greatly by. Dr. Edward Jarvis, of Boston. That gentleman not only kindly opened to the Commission the treasures of his valuable statistical library, but has personally superintendent some of the researches touching this matter. Some of the results obtained will be found in Supplementary Report A.

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