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Proceedings of the National Conference of Colored Men of the United States, Held in the State Capitol at Nashville Tennessee, May 6, 7, 8 and 9, 1879.


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especially with regard to the mortuary report; and as there is a large colored population here, a near approximation may be made of the death rate of other cities with similar numbers. The colored population of Washington and the District before the late war, say in 1850, was 13,746, but when the slaves were declared contraband of war, quite a large number flocked to the city, and in the census of 1870 it had increased to 40,000, and in 1877 the estimated colored population was 45,000. Now, while much may be said in commendation of the fairness of the late Board of Health towards the colored people, still they have done us an injustice, inasmuch as in 1870 the white population was said to be 91,567, and the colored 40,133, and in October, 1878, the whites 115,000 and the colored 45,000; but in November, after the census ordered by the District government was reported, it was found that the white population was 106,000 and the colored 54,000, and prior to that date the reports of vital statistics were based upon the figures mentioned above before the District census was made, and therefore the colored people have suffered; in that the percentage of the death rate was made larger than it should have been, while at the same time the percentage of the death rate of the white people was made smaller than it should have been.

The first report published by the Board of Health of this District was in 1873, and embraced seventeen months, including part of 1872, but it is so meager and incorrect that I shall pass it over and commence with the report of 1874, which states that there were—

Marriages—White 69, colored 43; births, white 944, or 8.93 per 1,000; colored, 590, or 14.74 per 1.000; twins, white 16, colored 10. Deaths—White 1,169, or 14.9 per 1,000; colored 998, or 22.45 per 1,000.

1875. Population—White 115,000, colored 45,000. Marriages—White 373 or 3.243 per 1,000; colored 321, or 7.133 per 1,000. Births—White 2,518, or 21.89 per 1,000; colored 1,397, or 31.04 per 1,000; still births, white 147, or 1.277 per 1,000; colored 223, or 4.955 per 1,000; twins white 39, colored 20. Deaths—White 2,210, or 19.22 per 1,000; colored 2,142, or 47.60 per 1,000; percentage of mortality of children under five years, white 425, colored 422.

1876. Population—White 115,000, colored 45,000. Marriages—White 348, or 3.026 per 1,000; colored 404, or 8.978 per 1,000. Births—White 2,568, or 22.330 per 1,000; colored 1,717, or 38.155 per 1,000; twins, white 32, or 2.78 per 1,000; colored 23, or 5.11 per 1,000; still births, white 143, or 1.243 per 1,000; colored 236, or 5.242 per 1.000. Deaths—white 2,153, or 1.872 per cent. of white population, and 50.706 per cent. of total mortality; colored 2,093, or 4.651 per cent. of colored population, and 49,294 per cent. of total mortality.

1877. Marriages—White 271, or 1.69 per 1,000; colored 281, or 1.75 per 1,000. Births—White 2,167, or 13.52 per 1,000; colored 1,725, or 10.80 per 1,000; twins, white 56, colored 36; still births, white 142, or .88 per 1,000; colored 230, or 1.44 per 1,000. Deaths—White 2,102, being 1.82 per cent. of white population, and 51.23 per cent. of the total mortality; colored 2,001, being 4.44 per cent. of colored population, and 48.76 per cent. of total mortality.

1878. Population, (old statement)—White 115,000, colored 45,000; population, (new statement,) white 106,000, colored 54,000. Marriages—White 273, colored 154. Births—White 1,685, colored 1,201; twins, white 9, colored 12; still births, white 110, colored 189. Deaths—White 1,572 or 13.67 per 1,000; colored 1,451, or 32.24 per 1,000.

Now, make the best we can of it, it cannot he denied that there is a fearful mortality among the colored people in the District of Columbia; and what are the causes for it? They are many, and I will mention some of them.

They depend a great deal upon the manner in which the people live. The

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