Page images
PDF
EPUB

whole of these minute registers, which I have preserved, it appears that the proportion of the births to the deaths is nearly as 170 : luo. I shall merely here adduce a few examples to confirm this assertion; and they are so much the more interesting as we have yet no statistical data on the rela ion of the deaths to the births under the torrid zone.

In the Indian village of Singuilucan, eleven leagues north from the capital, there were from 1750 to 1801, in all, 1950 deaths, and 4560 births: inde, excess of deaths 2610.

In the Indian village of Axapuzco, thirteen leagues north from Mexico, there were, from the period when this village was separated from the parish of Otumba, i. e. from 1767 to 797, in all, 3511 deaths, and 5528 burials ; consequently excess of the births, 2017.

In the Indian village of Malacatepec, twentyeight leagues west from the valley of Tenochtitlan, there were, between 1752 and 1802, in all, 13,734 births, and 10,529 deaths. Excess of births 3205.

In the village of Dolorés, from 175') to 1801, there were, in all, 24,123 deaths, and 61,258 births; hence the extraordinary excess of 37,135 births.

In the city of Guana xuato, there were, from 1797 to 1802, 12,666 births, and 6294 deaths; or an excess of 6372 births.

In the village of Marfil, near Guanaxuato, there

were in the same space of time 3702 births, and 1904 deaths; or an excess of 1798 births.

In the village of St. Anne, near Guanaxuato, there were in five years 3629 births, and 1857 deaths, consequently an excess of 1772 births.

At Yguala, a village situated in a very warm valley near Chilpanzingo, there were during ten years 3373 births, and 2395 deaths, or an excess of 978 births.

In the Indian village Colimaya, situated on a very cold plain, there were, during ten years, 5475 births, and 2602 deaths, or an excess of 2673 births.

In the jurisdiction of the city of Queretaro, there were, in 1793, 5064 births in all, and 2678 deaths, or an excess of 2386 births.

These examples prove that the relation of the deaths to the births is very different according to the climate and salubrity of the air. It is, At Dolores

= 100 : 253 Singuilucan

- 100 : 234 Calimaya

= 100 : 202 Guanaxuato

= 100 : 201 Sta. Ana

= 100 : 195 Marfil

- 100: 194 Queretaro

100 : 188 Axapuzco

100 : 157

= 100 : 140 Malacatepec

= 100 : 134 Panuco

= 100; 193

Yguala

[ocr errors]

The mean term of these eleven places would be 100 to 183; but the proportion which may be regarded as suitable for the whole population appears to me to be 100 : 170. In the United States of America, it is as 100 : 201. It

appears that on the high plain of the Cordillera the excess of births is greater than towards the coast, or in the very warm regions. What a difference between the villages of Calimaya and Yguala! At Panuco, where the climate is as hot as at Vera Cruz, although the mortal disease of black vomiting has never yet been known there, the number of births from 1795 to 1802 was 1224, and the number of deaths, 988; so that we have here the unfavourableproportion of 100 to 123. Hindostan and South America, particularly the province of Cumana, the coast of Coro, and the plains (llanos) of Caraccas, sufficiently prove that heat alone is not the cause of this great mortality. In climates very warm and at the same time very dry the human species enjoys a longevity perhaps greater than what we observe in the temperate

This is especially the case whenever the temperature and climate are excessively variable. The Europeans who transport themselves at an age somewhat advanced into the equinoxial part of the Spanish colonies attain there for the most part to a great and happy old age. At Vera Cruz, in the midst of the epidemical black vomitinys, the na

zones.

tives and strangers seasoned for several years to the climate enjoy the most perfect health.

In general, the coasts and arid plains of equatorial America should be looked upon as healthy, notwithstanding the excessive heat of the sun, whose perpendicular rays are reflected by the soil. Individuals come to maturity, particularly those who approach to old age, have little to fear from these regions, of which the unhealthiness has been unjustifiably exaggerated. The chief mortality is among the children and young people, particularly in those parts, where the climate is at once very warm and very humid. Intermittent fevers prevail all along the coast from Alvarado to Tamia. gua, Tampico, and even to the plains of New Santander. The western declivity of the Cordillera of Mexico, and the shores of the South Sea, from Acapulco to the ports of Colima and San Blas, are equally unhealthy. We may compare this humid, fertile and unhealthy territory to the maritime part of the province of Caracas, from New Barcelona to Porto Cabello. Tertian fevers are the scourge of these countries, adorned by nature with the most vigorous vegetation, and rich in every useful production. This scourge is so much the more cruel, as the natives abandon in the most shocking manner all those who are affected. The children especially fall victims to this neglect of the Indians. In these hot and humid regions, the

mortality is so great that the population makes no sensible progress; while in the cold regions of New Spain (and these regions compose the greatest part of the kingdom) the proportion of the births to the deaths is as 190 to 100, or even as 200 to 100.

The proportion of the births and deaths to the population is more difficult to estimate than even the proportion between the births and deaths. In countries where the laws tolerate only one religion, and where the priest (curé) draws a part of his revenues from the baptisms and burials, we may know exactly enough the excess of the births above the deaths; but the number which expresses the relation of the deaths to the whole population is affected by a part of the uncertainty which envelopes the population itself. In the town and territory of Queretaro, the population is reckoned at 70,600. If we divide this number by 5064 births and 2678 deaths, we shall find that for every fourteen persons one is born, and that for every twenty-six one dies. At Guanaxuato, including the adjacent mines of St. Anne and Marfil, in a population of 60,100, there are communibus annis (assuming the mean term of five years) 3998 births and 2011 deaths. For every fifteen, then, one is born, and every twenty-nine one dies. The relation of the births or deaths to the whole population is in Europe much less favourable to the augmentation of the species. In France, for example, the

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »