Our own negroes in slavery times were like animals under domestication - fed, clothed, housed, doctored when sick, and kept in health as a matter of dollars and cents. Since emancipation a most intense struggle began in an environment to which they are unfitted physically and mentally. In the last thirty-five years there has been a progressive and appalling increase in consumption, insanity and crime, showing that the deterioration has already begun. There is a large number of congenital defectives among the young, due in great part to parental faults, improper food and clothing, unsanitary houses, and vicious habits. Our negro problem will settle itself in time, for like domesticated animals turned loose into an unsuitable environment, they will certainly perish, lasting longest in the hottest climates. Dr. J. L. M. Curry, in Popular Science Monthly, details the awful savagery already rife in our negro districts, almost as bad as in West Indies, where sixty to seventy-three per cent, of births are illegitimate.
*La Vie et la mart des nations, Int. de Sociologie, 1894, page 421. * New York Evening Post, about November 1, 1900.
Doctor Barringer says,* "all things point to the fact that the negro, as a race, is rapidly reverting to barbarism, with the inordinate criminality and degradation of that State." He and others mention the enormous number of illegitimate births and frightful infection with venereal disease. In the winter charities of Southern cities it not infrequently happens that every recipient is a black * unfit for the struggle for existence.
It is said that nearly all pardons of negro criminals are due to consumption, though this is also an affliction of white criminals. Their death rate from this and other causes has increased from twenty-four per 1,000 in Charleston, S. C, in 1822, to about forty-five per 1,000, some say over fifty per 1,000 in some cities, and is now more than double the white race, whereas in slavery it was less than the white race. "Dirt, disease and the devil" are given as the causes, but this is merely the result of putting savages in a civilized environment - they are savages still - only they talk English and many can read and write. Civilized negroes can only arise in millenniums in the same way we arose, by the brutal method of killing off the stupid of each generation. Their annual birth rate, twenty-six per 1,000, is now slightly more than that of whites, twenty-two per 1,000, and they must decrease. They should have numbered 26,000,000 now instead of 9,000,000; their increase in the last ten years ending in 1900, is said to have been twelve and twenty-four one hundredths per cent., the white increase being twenty-three and ninety-one one hundredths per cent. Negro fathers cannot support their wives and children, hence sixty-two per cent, of all negroes over ten years old are required to work. In the white population, the corresponding per cent, is forty-eight and six-tenths. Also forty and seven-tenths per cent, of female negroes over ten years old must work, while only sixteen per cent, of white females * The negro condition is then like the savage condition in which all must help support the family.
* American Medicine, August 16, 1902. * "Race Problems," McClure's.
Wm. Hannibal Thomas, himself a negro, writes that the negro is still a savage unfit for civilization, that is, unfit to carry it on.* Doctor Curry, mentioned before, and P. B. Barringer, Chairman Board of Trustees, University of Virginia, are both said to have declared the higher education of the negro impossible, as they have not the brain. Dr. Searle Harris*¡ Professor of Medicine, University of Alabama, shows that the continual decadence of our negroes means extinction in time, and Dr. A. B. Richardson, Superintendent of the Government Hospital for the Insane, in Washington, D. C, stated that all the superintendents of Southern asylums are unanimous in stating that negro insanity has increased since the war and is constantly increasing.
Prof. Walter F. Wilcox, of Cornell University, has analyzed the Negro Problem in the United States, § and seems to think that the census returns show a steadily decreasing rate of increase and that 25,000,000 is the maximum number of negroes who can live here, and that their proportion to the whites must steadily decrease.
Some parts of our South and West Indies have climatic conditions proper for negroes, and there they have resumed their original savage state - Hayti is an Africa in America, and in Louisiana and Florida there are small bands of tiny negroes almost pygmies, living essentially as their ancestors lived in Central Africa as described by Stanley. In Cuba the negro question is far more complex, as the forces are more nearly balanced. The climate is not so markedly different from the native one, as to prevent adjustment and permanent survival, so that if he gets the upper hand as in Hayti a reversion to savagery is possible, and the whites will disappear.
* 1900 Census.
* "The American Negro." Macmillan.
*¡ American Medicine, September 7, 1901.
§ Quarterly Journal of Economics, August, 1905.