Robert Jackson

22830 Thadds Trail

Spring, TX   77373

 

Colonial Demography in the Americas: Case Studies from the Fringes of Empire

 

            It is generally known that following sustained contact between the Americas and Europe, there was a decline in the size of the native populations the European conquerors and colonists encountered. Demographic collapse resulted from a number of factors, and the introduction of new diseases was perhaps the most important. The arrival of peoples from the Old World in the Americas resulted in the mixing of the disease pools of the two regions.  The Americas were certainly not a disease free biological paradise, but at the same time the new arrivals brought a host of highly infectious “crowd diseases” such as smallpox and measles with them that were lethal in Europe and even more so in the Americas. The Europeans themselves died from these diseases, but mortality patterns were not always the same.[1]

            There is no question that the arrival of Europeans initiated dramatic demographic changes, but it is not always clear that scholars fully understand the dynamic of these changes. Many scholars argue that the newly introduced diseases were catastrophic, while at the same time the maladies were not as severe in Europe or among European colonists.[2] Qualitative and quantitative evidence does show the catastrophic effects of the diseases on the native populations, but as I recently found when reviewing a manuscript misconceptions still exist regarding epidemiology and demography among students of what Alfred Crosby called the “Columbian Exchange.” Moreover, few studies examine in a comparative fashion demographic patterns among indigenous and European colonial populations in the Americas.

            What I call the “numbers game,” the generation of guesstimates of contact population size, has dominated much of the literature on colonial demography, even with flaws in the sources and methods used to make these calculations. There is no doubt in my mind that massive die-offs did occur after 1492. However, while focusing on creating numbers and listing epidemics, this genre of literature fails to explain why indigenous populations experienced demographic collapse, and exactly what factors prevented recovery from epidemic outbreaks. There is often an assumption that most native populations never recovered, and that somehow native and European populations were different in terms of some vaguely conceptualized genetic level of resistance to pathogens.

The problem results, in part, in the weakness of sources from the sixteenth century, the period when many native populations experienced greatest decline, but documents from later centuries, specifically registers of baptisms, burials, and marriages and relatively more accurate censuses, allow for detailed analyses of demographic transformation. These records certainly do not illuminate the process of demographic collapse in those areas that experienced catastrophic losses in the sixteenth century, but can show the effects of epidemic and chronic disease on newly colonized peoples found on the fringes of empire colonized at a later date.

This essay uses sacramental registers and censuses to document the process of demographic change among populations living in missions in two parts of Spanish America, the northern frontier of New Spain (colonial Mexico) and greater Paraguay (parts of modern Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil) in the Rio de la Plata region of South America. The mission was a government sponsored institution designed to acculturate and evangelize non-Christian natives in a cost effective way, and to create politically autonomous indigenous communities of sedentary agriculturalists on the model of core areas such as central Mexico or the Andean Highlands.  It offers detailed case studies of missions in Baja California and California, and the Jesuit establishments known as reducciones. These two case studies will show demographic collapse on the one hand in the missions of the Californias, and stabilization and growth in Paraguay.

Studies of native population decline in the Americas generally do not draw comparisons with contemporary European populations in the Americas, or in Europe for that matter. Such a comparative approach can show if long-term indigenous demographic patterns were similar or significantly dissimilar from European populations, and if the vital rates reconstructed for native populations were unique or similar to European communities. I analyze two distinct predominately military colonial frontier populations. The first is Louisbourg, a French outpost located on Isle Royal (Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia) between 1713 and 1758. Louisbourg and surrounding hamlets had a population comprised primarily of European immigrants brought to garrison the fortress, or attracted to Isle Royal by fishing or commerce. The second is the population of the four military garrisons established in California in the last three decades of the eighteenth-century. The soldiers and settlers brought to California came from neighboring provinces such as Sonora and Sinaloa, and generally were descended from the local or central Mexican indigenous populations or were of mixed European and indigenous ancestry.

Indigenous Demographic Patterns in the Missions of the  Californias

            Baja California, a largely arid peninsula located in northwestern Mexico, attracted Spanish colonizers as early as the 1530s, but defied colonization until in 1697 a group of Jesuit missionaries led by Juan Maria Salvatierra, S.J., established a tenuous mission settlement at Loreto in Baja California. The Jesuits persisted in the arid Peninsula, and established a chain of missions in the central and southern reaches of the Desert land. One of the last missions established before the expulsion of the Black Robes from the Spanish empire in 1768 was Santa Gertrudis, inaugurated in 1751 following a decade of efforts by several Jesuits to find a suitable site in on of the driest parts of the peninsula. The Jesuits attempted to radically transform the social and political organization of the local population collectively known by the Spanish as Cochimi. The Cochimi lived in small bands that exploited food resources in clearly defined territories.

There were two important demographic patterns in the history of Santa Gertrudis mission. The first was the formation of an indigenous community. The limits to agriculture in the Desert surrounding the new mission forced the missionaries to leave a large percentage of the population living at existing village sites. The dispersed settlement pattern delayed the process of assimilation and religious conversion, but at the same time during the Jesuit years it shielded the indigenous population from the devastating effect of epidemics. Fr. Fernando Konsag, S.J., stationed in the 1740s at San Ignacio mission south of the site finally chosen for Santa Gertrudis,  laid the foundations for the mission through the baptism of hundreds of Indians, and Jorge Retz, S.J., assigned to the new mission, completed the superficial evangelization (baptism) of the remaining indigenous population between 1751 and 1764. The population of the mission grew through the early 1750s, and then began to decline. What this meant is that the missionaries, through the symbolic act of baptisms, brought increasing numbers of Indians under the jurisdiction of the mission, as the missionaries themselves understood it. We will never know what the indigenous peoples themselves thought of the radical changes in their lives.  From the mid-1760s on the neophyte population rapidly declined, and as the numbers dropped the missionaries brought the survivors to live at the cabecera.

            An analysis of data from the extant Santa Gertrudis baptismal and burial registers documents several patterns. In the baptismal register Retz distinguished between the baptism of non-Christians also called gentiles and infants born at the mission. The Jesuit baptized the last gentiles in 1764. Indian women bore children, but the number of burials generally was higher than the number of births. Because of the dispersed settlement pattern, only a few severe epidemics attacked the indigenous population, and four outbreaks accounted for seventy-nine percent of the net decline in the numbers.[3] After the 1781 to 1782 smallpox epidemic the population of the mission gradually declined, but in most years there was not a great disparity between births and deaths.

            A more detailed analysis of the vital rates of Santa Gertrudis mission shows that prior to the Jesuit expulsion death rates exceeded birth rates, and the mean life expectancy was below ten years. The years immediately following the Jesuit expulsion through the 1781 to 1782 smallpox epidemic were disastrous for the indigenous population, and it was during these years that the population experienced the greatest degree of loss. Life expectancy also dropped to below two years at birth. The epidemics coincided with the influx of new personnel, the movement of personnel to the new California mission field, and increased traffic through the Central Desert as the Dominicans expanded the mission frontier to the Pacific Coast region known as La Frontera. People traveling along the mission trail carried deadly microbes with them.

            Following the series of severe epidemics the population of the mission stabilized, and mean life expectancy at birth between 1787 and 1801 averaged around 20 years (see Table 1). Higher mortality associated with epidemics significantly lowered life expectancy. During these years the population continued to gradually decline. The surviving population evidenced a gender imbalance with more males than females. However, unlike a number of other mission communities in the Peninsula, children made up a large part of the total population.

After 1810, as Mexico sank into civil war, the government and the Dominican order increasingly experienced difficulty in staffing all of the Peninsula missions, and those establishments in decline such as Santa Gertrudis did not have resident priests for most of the decade. In 1808, 137 neophytes continued to live at the mission, down from the level of 1,586 recorded five decades earlier in 1755.[4] In 1822, the Dominicans abandoned Santa Gertrudis.

In 1767, King Carlos lll ordered the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spanish territory, and assigned Jose de Galvez, a high ranking bureaucrat sent to New Spain as a trouble-shooter to reform and strengthen royal authority, to oversee the transition from Jesuit control of missions on the northern frontier. Galvez attempted to reorganize the Baja California missions, and in 1769 organized an expedition to colonize Alta California (modern California). Franciscan missionaries accompanied the so-called “Sacred Expedition” to San Diego and Monterey, and in 1769 and 1770 established the first two missions in a chain along the California coast that eventually numbered twenty-one. The Gray Robes founded the eleventh mission designated La Purisima in 1788 at a site called Salsacupi in the indigenous (Chumash) language.

The Franciscans stationed at La Purisima congregated Indians to the mission, where they would become residents of an indigenous community at a site chosen because of availability of arable land, water, and building materials. During the course of some fifty years the missionaries baptized 2,065 natives resettled to the mission from villages located on the mainland, as well as from villages on the Channel Islands.[5] A number of factors influenced the Chumash to abandon their traditional way of life and move to the missions, including the onslaught of increasing numbers of cattle and sheep that destroyed traditional sources of plant foods and the progressive collapse of indigenous society that left the remaining Chumash isolated and vulnerable.[6] This section briefly outlines the formation of the mission community at La Purisima, and demographic patterns that caused drastic population decline and instability.

Congregation of the Chumash was episodic. There were periods characterized by moderate but steady numbers of Chumash entering the missions, followed by large surges in resettlement. In the central Chumash area, including La Purisima mission, the 1790s evidenced moderate but steady recruitment. This was followed by a surge in congregation in the years 1800 to 1805 with some 2,000 moving to the missions and more than 1,100 in the year 1803 alone.[7] The population of La Purisima stood at a recorded high of 1,520 in 1804, as hundreds of Chumash relocated to Salsacupi.[8] The surge in resettlement from the Channel Islands occurred in the years 1814 to 1816, and in those years some 1,000 Chumash abandoned their traditional way of life for the missions.[9] The numbers at La Purisima increased from 982 in 1814 to 1,018 two years later, and in the year 1815 alone 90 gentiles moved to the mission (see Table 3).[10]

The population of La Purisima fluctuated with the ebb and flow of congregation, but declined in numbers once the number of new converts dropped. Women living in the missions did bear children, and during the forty-six years the mission operated the Franciscans baptized 1,198 children born at the mission. However, large numbers of children born at the mission died at young ages. A twenty year sample of vital rates of La Purisima mission (1813-1832) shows that life expectancy averaged a mere 2.5 years from birth.[11] The low life expectancy among young children can be shown in a second way as the percentage of children dying by age 4 (see Table 2). In the years 1810 to 1834, 57 percent to 71 percent of the children born at the mission died before their fourth birthday.

The same factors caused the high mortality among the Chumash living at La Purisima. Highly contagious crowd diseases such as measles caused periodic epidemics that significantly raised mortality. However, epidemics only accounted for a part of the problem, and other chronic ailments such as syphilis, enteric disease, and respiratory infections also contributed. Sanitation and public health measures were rudimentary at best or non-existent and medical care inadequate. The Franciscans did import salves, ointments, and pills, but these did not always help sick neophytes. The very act of congregating large numbers of people together in quarters that were overcrowded facilitated the spread of disease. Overcrowding became particularly bad when the Franciscans had adobe housing built for the neophytes, such as the long and narrow buildings at the Los Berros site with small two-room apartments for neophyte families. Finally, the climate also contributed with cool and damp winters and summers often dominated by fog. Mariano Payeras described the climate of Salsacupi in the following terms:

Salsacupi, being an open canyon running from northwest to southeast, suffers even more in summer than in winter because of a continual cold wind which together with fog comes strongly from Punta de Pedernales. The nearby hills almost always prevent the fog from dissipating and the site, therefore, has such a cold atmosphere that it forces the friars and others to the fireside even on summer days.[12]

The climate as described by Payeras contributed to respiratory infections, and otherwise made life miserable for the ill.

One measure of social control instituted by the Franciscans also posed a health threat. The Franciscans expressed considerable concern at what they believed to have been the unrestrained sexuality of the Chumash, and blamed the promiscuity of women for the problem. The solution was to incarcerate single women and older girls at night in crowded dormitories characterized as having inadequate sanitation. The missionaries directed the construction of these dormitories among the first structures erected at the missions. The use of the dormitories contributed to higher mortality among women, along with inadequate care for pregnant women.      

In a letter to a fellow Franciscan and veteran of the California missions dated February 2, 1820, La Purisima missionary Mariano Payeras, O.F.M. dealt in rather frank terms with the ongoing demographic collapse of the Chumash population. The document provides a rare glimpse into the mind of the missionary contemplating the demise of the indigenous population under his control.

…we find ourselves with missions or rather with a people miserable and sick, with rapid depopulation of rancherias [villages] which with profound horror fills the cemeteries. Every thoughtful missionary has noted that while the gentiles [non-Christians] procreate easily and are healthy and robust (though errant) in the wilds, in spite of hunger, nakedness, and living completely outdoors almost like beasts, as soon as the commit themselves to a sociable and Christian life, they become extremely feeble, lose weight [shift in diet], get sick, and die. This plague affects the women particularly, especially those who have recently become pregnant…The notable lack of people and the horrible and unusual mortality among the Indians while those de razon [settlers] remain healthy and seldom die; the fecundity of the latter’s women and the sterility of the former, are scarcely evident in the annual reports. This is due to the fact that in many places in the province they are still baptizing gentiles, and by mixing one group with another, we still come out ahead in the total. But this decline cannot be hidden in the places where the conquest has ended. Here is an example: In the mission of my actual residence, La Purisima, last year, 1819, out of 228 couples, the greater portion at the age of procreation, and only 26 children were baptized from among them while 66 of its neophytes died of the 800 to 900 which it had. This means that in one year alone it had a decrease of 40 individuals…Nearly all the missions have built hospitals, bought medicines, have acquired medical knowledge from the surgeons of the province and from medical textbooks. In short, since this country lacks licensed doctors, the Father Ministers obtain the most expert curanderos and curanderas [folk healers] from wherever the can (gente de razon) and they insist in curing these illnesses without sparing cost, work, and effort. But despite all that I have said, they die.[13]

Several themes appear in Payeras’s account. Once brought to live in the missions the neophytes died, and died despite the efforts made by the Franciscans to save lives. However, the lack of proper medical care is evident in the reliance on curanderos and the importation of medicines of questionable value. Medical texts of the time were still based on a combination of folk medicine and ideas drawn from the ancient Greeks based on the humeral theory. The lower birth rates suggest the progressive infection of the neophyte populations by venereal disease. Finally, Payeras seems to acknowledge that the change in life style in the mission was a factor in the demise of the Indian population.

            An analysis of ten years of demographic patterns at La Purisima, the years 1810-1819, substantiates much of Payeras’s analysis of the demise of the indigenous population at the mission (see Table 3). The sample includes the influx of Chumash converts from the Channel Islands, and over ten years the Franciscans congregated 234 natives to the mission and 90 in the year 1815 alone. How did the influx of new converts affect the population of the mission? During the decade the balance between baptisms and burials left a net loss in numbers in seven out of ten years, and net growth in numbers in only three. The largest population increase was in 1815 following the influx of 90 new converts, but the net increase was only 28. Birth rates were moderate, and ranged between 25 and 37 per thousand population. More importantly, death rates were consistently higher than birth rates, and were it not for the congregation of new converts during the decade the mission population would have declined at a rate of 43.6 per thousand or slightly more than four percent per year. As Payeras pointed out, the continued congregation of gentiles only masked the decline of the indigenous population.

            A mission located further north on Monterey Bay, San Carlos established in 1770 among speakers of the Rumsen language,  exhibited similar patterns to those documented for La Purisima. The congregation of native peoples to San Carlos mission roughly lasted from 1770 until the first years of the nineteenth-century. There were years of baptisms of large numbers of new recruits, and banner years included 131 in 1773, 148 in 1783, and 110 in 1785. The last surge of resettlement was in the years 1801 to 1808, and in the year 1806 alone the Franciscans baptized 71 new converts.[14]

          The mission population fluctuated with the ebb and flow of congregation. However, until the last decade of the eighteenth-century the trend in population movements was upwards. The highest recorded population for San Carlos was 876 in 1795. As the number of new converts congregated in the mission generally declined, the mission population dropped. In 1800, the numbers stood at 747, already showing a net loss of 129 over a period of only five years, 381 in 1820, and 165 in 1834 on the eve of the implementation of the secularization of the mission.[15]

          The Franciscans not only resettled Indians, they also directed the construction of building complexes laid out on a grid plan that would later form the nucleus of the new community.  The church was always at the center of and generally was the dominant structure of the community, and Junipero Serra O.F.M., and the other Franciscans stationed at San Carlos directed the construction of four. One was a temporary palisade structure erected in 1771, when Serra moved the mission to its final location. The second, a more permanent building, was built before 1784. In 1791, a new and presumably temporary church was built, and was replaced by the current stone structure erected between 1792 and 1797. There were several other categories of structures, including buildings related to economic activities such as granaries and workshops, social control (dormitory for single women and girls), and Indian housing.

          The congregation of indigenous neophytes at San Carlos mission has a direct relevance to the larger issue of demographic patterns. The very act of bringing large numbers of people together to live in closely confined quarters greatly facilitated the spread of contagious crowd disease such as measles. Moreover, given the medical knowledge of the time, the Franciscans made inadequate provisions for sanitation and clean water. Finally, the site of San Carlos was subject to fog, and the cool and damp weather of the site created additional health problems for an unhealthy population. In particular, respiratory maladies probably were common at the mission.

          The construction of 93 new adobe housing for indigenous families in 1806 and 1807 created new problems for the mission population. Prior to this time, the neophytes lived in traditional conical grass/reed huts that could be burned and easily replaced if they became too dirty. Moreover, the traditional huts were built in a random pattern, whereas the adobe houses were also built on a grid pattern, were built close to each other, and could not be destroyed when they became too dirty. The compact settlement pattern also facilitated the spread of contagious disease. The annual report from 1831 reported the deterioration of many of the Indian housing units, most likely because of the damp climate and shortage of labor to maintain the roofs and white wash the buildings. This raises the question of how habitable the Indian housing actually was.

          Once congregated in the missions, the Franciscans hoped to transform the natives into stable Christian families. High mortality rates rendered the mission populations inviable, meaning that the population did not grow through natural reproduction and the number of deaths each year was generally higher than births.  Indian women did have children, and birth rates were robust. However, as is discussed below, death rates were particularly high among children and life expectancy remained very low.  Moreover, women of childbearing age died at lower ages, and overall the number of women and girls in relation to the total population fluctuated but was low. This has a direct bearing on fertility, since the pool of potential mothers generally dropped which boded poorly for the long-term survival of the indigenous population of the mission.

          In most years death rates at San Carlos were higher than birth rates. There were two distinct patterns of mortality: chronically high death rates; and mortality crises usually caused by infectious crowd diseases such as measles. There were ten years in which death rates exceeded 100 per thousand population, or ten percent or more of the population. Another 26 years evidenced death rates of between 60 and 100 per thousand population, or in excess of six percent of the population. The single highest death rate occurred in 1828 as a result of a severe measles epidemic, and in the year it exceeded 180 per thousand or more than eighteen percent of the population.

There was only a handful of what would be considered severe epidemics at San Carlos mission. At the same time a combination of high infant and child mortality and the cumulative affect of chronic ailments that debilitated contributed to high death rates. Syphilis was one such serious disease, and given the climate of San Carlos respiratory ailments a second. These chronic ailments might or might not kill, but at the same time they could so weaken the body’s natural defenses that a person might die from an infection that otherwise might not be fatal. Within the mission population mortality was heaviest among young children, and among adults higher for women when compared to men.

The mortality patterns at San Carlos mission manifested themselves in several ways. The first, and most significant, was extremely low life expectancy for children born at the mission.  As long as the Franciscans recruited and resettled natives from outside of the mission, the mission population grew. However, over the long run the mission population proved to be unstable because most children died before reaching adulthood. Mean life expectancy was less than 10 years in nine of twelve quinquennium of data analyzed, and less than five years in five. Life expectancy passed 20 years at birth only in the late 1820s and early 1830s, when the mission population was considerably smaller. However, over the course of the history of the mission the indigenous population did not grow through natural reproduction as each generation died at young ages.

Data from the extant annual reports also show an imbalance in the age and gender structure of the mission population. For most of the history of the mission there was a gender imbalance, with more males than females. This is critical for understanding the inability of the mission population to reproduce, since the pool of potential mothers was small. Moreover, given low life expectancy at the mission, the gender imbalance suggests that women of childbearing age also died young. In a “normal” population there should be a balance between males and females, or slightly more females. The population of San Carlos shows that the percentage of females in relation to the total population was less than half, and was as low as 43 percent in the late 1820s. Given the small size of the mission population by the 1820s, there was also considerable fluctuation in the relative number of males and females.

The age structure was equally skewed, again reflecting low life expectancy. Young children, defined by the Spanish as parvulos (children under age 9), also made up a relatively small percentage of the mission population. The relative percentage also fluctuated, but reached a nadir of below 15 percent around 1810 as the resettlement of new recruits lagged off. The percentage actually increased after 1814, and the rebound reflected a moderate improvement in mean life expectancy with a decline in the mission population.

Demographic Patterns in the Jesuit Missions of Paraguay

The populations of the reducciones established among communities of sedentary agriculturalists collectively known as the Guarani did not decline precipitously as did the populations of northern Mexican missions, and experienced periods of growth through natural reproduction. Several case studies illustrate the point. The first is Loreto established in 1610 in the Guayra region of what today is Brazil. The population of Loreto grew over the course of a century, until the early 1730s. In 1647, it stood at 1,700, and by 1735 reached a figure of 3,523.  The population dropped as a result of the strong epidemics of the 1730s, but had recovered to some 3,200 by 1750.  Following the expulsion of the Jesuits, the population of Loreto declined, and was down to 1,000 in 1801. A part of the decline resulted from desertions from the mission. Reports prepared in the last three decades of the eighteenth-century noted the number of desertions. Moreover, censuses prepared at the end of the century recorded both the nominal and actual populations of the ex-missions.[16] The second is Santa Ana, established in 1633 in the Tape region of what today is central Rio Grande do Sul. The Jesuits relocated the mission in 1638 because of attacks by bandeirantes from Sao Paulo, and was moved a second time to its final site in what today is the Argentine province of Misiones. In 1647, the population of Santa Ana totaled 779; it was 5,600 in 1731, 4,778 in 1750, and 4,400 in 1767 prior to the expulsion of the Jesuits, but then dropped to 1,200 in 1801. The final case study is San Ignacio Mini, also established in 1610 in Guayra, and relocated in 1631 to a site in the modern province of Misiones because of raids by the bandeirantes, and was relocated again in 1696 to its present site near the Parana River in Misiones. In 1647, the population of San Ignacio totaled 1,708, reached 4,300 in 1731, dropped to 2,520 in 1750 but then grew to 3,100 in 1767, and then declined following the expulsion of the Jesuits and was 798 in 1785 and 700 in 1801. (see Table 5).

The Jesuits also divided the populations of existing missions to establish new communities, a practice generally not followed in the missions established on the northern fringe of Mexico. An example of this practice is the establishment in 1697 of San Juan Bautista with neophytes from San Miguel. The Jesuits initially established San Miguel in Tape, a region in modern Rio Grande do Sul, in 1632. Five years later, in 1637, the Jesuits relocated San Miguel to a site in the territory between the Parana and Uruguay Rivers as a result of raids by the bandeirantes. San Miguel remained at the new site for 50 years, and then the Black Robes relocated the mission in 1687 east of the Rio Uruguay, again in modern Rio Grande do Sul. A decade later in 1697 Antonio Sepp, S.J. established San Juan Bautista with Guarani neophytes from San Miguel. At the time San Miguel had a population of 4,592.[17] The population of San Miguel grew during the course of the eighteenth-century, and reached 6,635 in 1750 on the eve of the Guaran uprising following the 1750 Treaty of Madrid that intended to transfer the trans-Uruguay River missions to Portugal. The population of San Juan Bautista totaled 4, 629 in 1724, dropped to 2, 171 in 1740 following a series of epidemics in the 1730s, but grew again and reached 3,347 in 1756.[18]

The high population densities in the reducciones made the populations vulnerable to epidemics,  and a pattern of intra and inter-regional trade further facilitated the spread of epidemics. Major recorded epidemics struck the reducciones in 1618, 1619, 1635, 1636, 1692, 1718, 1733, 1735, 1737,  1739, and 1764. A measles epidemic in 1695 killed 600 people at Candelaria and 2,000 at San Carlos. The decade of the 1730s proved to be particularly deadly. Reportedly, 18,733 died during a 1733 outbreak, measles killed more than 18,000 Guarani in 1735, and smallpox claimed the lives of some 30,000 in 1738 and 1739.[19] The population of the reducciones dropped from 141,000 in 1732 to 73,910 in 1740, but then recovered over the next two decades (see Table 4).

The recovery or rebound of the Guarani population suggests a major difference from the indigenous populations living in the missions of northern Mexico. The Guarani population most likely was a high fertility and high mortality population, similar to contemporary European populations. Birth and death rates were high and population growth low to moderate. Epidemics slowed or stopped population growth, but the population did recover. In contrast, the indigenous populations of northern Mexico, excluding New Mexico, did not recover, and gradually declined to the point of near biological as well as cultural extinction.

Parish registers have not survived for the Guarani reducciones, but extant censuses do record totals of baptisms and burials. Rather than present a detailed analysis of the data that can be gleaned from the reports, the discussion here presents a profile of the Guarani populations living in the missions in selected years to serve as the basis for a comparison of the demographic profiles of the mission populations in northern Mexico.

The Jesuits divided the missions administratively in the region of Paraguay into two groups: those clustered around the Parana River; and those located west and east of the Uruguay River. In 1724, the populations of both groups of missions evidenced a pattern of imbalance, with more girls and women than men. In the Parana missions there were 28,863 girls and women compared to 25,408 boys and men. Similarly, it was 33,107 females and 29,588 males in the Uruguay River establishments. In random populations there generally is a gender imbalance, with slightly more females than males. The disparity reflected, in part, migration by males from the reducciones. Interestingly, there were considerably more widows than widowers, with 2,980 and 3,880 of the first category and 109 and 236 of the latter in the two groups of missions. This last category of information highlights the importance of the cotiguazu, the separate residence for widows, as a social institution in the reducciones. The patterns were similar in 1740 and 1741, with more females than males and considerably more widows than widowers. [20]

The structure of the populations of the Guarani missions was very different from that of the mission communities in the Californias. The indigenous populations of the Californias a gender imbalance, with more men and boys than women and girls. This imbalance was particularly evident at the older establishments in Baja California in the last decades of the eighteenth and first of the nineteenth centuries and in the California missions during periods of slack congregation or resettlement of natives to the missions from surviving communities outside of the missions. The gender imbalance also meant that the pool of potential mothers contracted over time, thus reducing the ability of the indigenous populations to reproduce.[21]

Figures on baptisms and burials that can be used to tentatively reconstruct the vital rates of the Guarani mission populations. The number of baptisms does not necessarily translate exactly to births, and without access to the original baptismal registers it would be difficult to establish if the Jesuits congregated and baptized significant numbers of Guarani from outside of the reducciones. Nevertheless, the total numbers of baptisms reported do give a notion of birth rates, but keeping in mind the caveat articulated above. The Guarani populations of the missions were high fertility and high mortality populations, meaning that women bore children and birth rates were moderate to high. At the same time mortality rates tended to be high, particularly for the most vulnerable segments of the population the very young and the old. In 1740, crude birth and death rates per thousand population were 79.4 and 40.8 respectively for the Parana and Uruguay River establishments, as against crude death rates of 51.3 and 34.1 per thousand population. The bulk of deaths occurred among young children, which more closely matches contemporary European demographic patterns. Disease culled the population of children in Europe, and during the course of the eighteenth-century smallpox was the single largest killer in Europe. The mission populations of the Californias experienced chronically high death rates, rates that tended to be consistently higher than birth rates. Whereas the populations of Europe and the Guarani missions rebounded from epidemics, those of the California missions did not.

Crude birth rates recorded per thousand population were generally higher than death rates (see Table 6), and without economic or social constraints the Guarani population grew robustly. There were periodic mortality crises that culled the population and slowed growth, but the numbers generally rebounded. There were four major mortality crises in the years for which data are available, as defined as x3 regular mortality.  These were in 1733, 1738, 1739, and 1764. Major epidemic outbreaks not only raised death rates, but also tended to lower birth rates or the rates of life births. Mean life expectancy at birth dropped as a result of major epidemics.[22]  On average, Guarani living in the missions lived between twenty and thirty years from birth, considerably higher than the life expectancy of children born on the missions in the Californias.

The indigenous populations of the California missions were much smaller than the Guarani missions. In 1724, the average population of the thirty reducciones was 3,906, and it was 4,708 in 1732. For the Jesuit missions of Baja California, the largest recorded population was 7,149 in 1768, the year of the Jesuit expulsion, and an average of 477 per mission. In 1804, less than forty years later, the populations of the missions numbered 2,815, or an average of 156. The Franciscan missions of California reached a high of 21,063 in 1820, but only an average population of 1,053.  In 1834, on the eve of the secularization of the California establishments, only 15,225 neophytes remained at the twenty-one missions, a mean of 721.[23] 

The Guarani congregated in the Jesuit reducciones survived the missions as a biologically and culturally viable population, but was also initially much larger than most of the indigenous populations of the Californias. The hunter-gatherers of Baja California or the more advanced cultures of the coastal region of California proved to be more fragile when subjected to the radical transformations in terms of social organization, religion and belief systems, and way of life introduced in the missions. The Jesuit, Franciscan, and Dominican missionaries rooted out as much of the old beliefs as they could, and in the process undermined the ability of the indigenous peoples to cope with change and survive as viable populations. Moreover, the process of congregating indigenous neophytes into larger communities with rudimentary public health measures at best created an environment that proved deadly for both adults and children. The experience of the native peoples of New Mexico was closer to that of the Guarani missions, in that the numbers declined with the impact of epidemics, raids by hostile natives, and famine, but stabilized and recovered. The Jesuit system in the Guarani establishments was less disruptive in social and cultural terms than the missions of northern Mexico.

The Guarani populations drawn into the missions did not experience the drastic declines associated elsewhere with the arrival of the Europeans, and the creation of new colonial regimes.  Disease and other factors may have reduced the indigenous population of the region following the arrival of the Spaniards, but at the same time the relative isolation of Paraguay in the sixteenth century may have buffered the region from epidemics. Clearly, the demographic history of the Guarani populations reduced to mission life does not exactly fit the generally accepted pattern of drastic population decline following 1492.

How did the demographic patterns in the missions of California and Paraguay compare to contemporary colonial European populations in the Americas? Europeans established different types of settlements in North America, including military outposts primarily settled by non-indigenous peoples. Comparisons between the demographic patterns discussed for the mission communities and predominately European settlements highlights how devastating the impact of disease was in the missions of northern New Spain, but also that the quality in terms of health and longevity of life of the Guarani living in the missions was comparable to European settlers. A comparative analysis of European and indigenous populations also provides important clues to the ways in which epidemics effected eighteenth century populations. The following section examines two military populations, the French colonial outpost of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island in what today is Canada, and the populations of the four military garrisons established by the Spanish in California.

Demographic Patterns of Colonial European Populations

The French government ordered the building of Louisbourg in 1713 to help protect the strategic approaches to the Saint Lawrence River. English forces attacked Louisbourg a number of times during the colonial wars of the eighteenth-century, and occupied the outpost twice in 1746 and 1758. The English returned Louisbourg in 1749, but then kept and later destroyed the outpost during the Seven Years War (1755-1763). At the same time Louisbourg had a large non-military population, and was a trading center and base for the exploitation of rich fisheries off of Isle Royal and New Foundland. The majority of the settlers and particularly the soldiers came from Europe or were of European ancestry from generally closed communities in the Americas.

The second non-indigenous population considered here inhabited the Spanish presidios (military garrisons) established in Alta California following the colonization of the region beginning in 1769. The Spanish established four presidios: San Diego (1769); Monterey (1770); San Francisco (1776); and Santa Barbara (1782). The Spanish occupied California to pre-empt colonization by rival European powers, England and Russia, but the presidio garrisons played a different role than did the French garrison of Louisbourg. The presidio troops pacified the local indigenous populations, and helped maintain social control in the mission communities.  The colonial soldiers stationed in California never faced attacks by European troops, and, considering the level of training they received, the presidio troops probably would not have fared well in open combat with professional European troops. Training and armaments provided to the California garrisons enabled them to control the local indigenous populations, and probably not much more.[24] The presidios also became centers of settlement. Retired soldiers elected to settle by the garrisons, and other families came to live at the presidios or were settled there by the government. The soldiers relocated to California generally came from the population of northern New Spain, which was of mixed European, indigenous, and African-American ancestry.    

The jurisdiction of Louisbourg embraced not only the fortress, but also small hamlets located on Isle Royal (Cape Breton Island). Settlement patterns on Isle Royal changed following the English occupation of 1746-1749. In 1752, the population Isle Royal exclusive of Louisbourg was 1,687 distributed in seventeen population centers. The largest in that year was Iles Madame-P Degrat with 284 people. Prior to the English occupation in 1746, the largest settlement outside of Louisbourg had been Niganiche, with a population of 615 in 1734. This settlement had disappeared by 1752.[25] In his study of Louisbourg, A.J.B. Johnston quoted a figure of slightly more than 4,000 in 1752, including the military population.[26] However, the 1752 census of Isle Royal suggests that the non-military population of Louisbourg was around 2,400.[27]

There was a second population at Louisbourg, the soldiers stationed at the fortress and at different outposts on Isle Royal. The size of the garrison was different between peace and war, and the number of troops available often did not reach official levels. Until the occupation of Louisbourg in 1746, there were two groups of soldiers in the garrison: troops recruited in France; and units from a Swiss formation organized by a Col.  Karrer.[28] In the 1730s, there were between 500-600 soldiers, and after 1741 around 700. There was some turnover in the composition of the garrison. Recruitment for the Swiss units was entirely in the hands of Col. Karrer, and officials in France recruited soldiers for the French units. The number of recruits arriving each year varied. In 1729, for example, 30 recruits reached Louisbourg, whereas in 1741 it was 139. The garrison was reduced in size as a result of the discharge of soldiers from service and their repatriation back to France. The number of soldiers discharged also varied from year to year, but ranged from a low of 1 in 1739 to a high of 43 two years earlier in 1737.[29] The arrival and repatriation of soldiers did affect the non-military population of Louisbourg. Most contact with the outside world came by way of ship, and sick sailors and/or passengers introduced contagious crowd diseases including smallpox to Isle Royal and Louisbourg. Soldiers coming from France may have carried disease with them.

The residents of Louisbourg engaged in a variety of economic activities, but fishing was one of the most important. Cod exported through Louisbourg had a value of some 2.5 to 3.5 million livres between 1718 and 1741, and continued to be important in the 1740s and 1750s despite an overall decline in the value of annual exports.[30] Considerable trade passed through the harbor at Louisbourg, stimulated, in part, by the large cod exports. A large number of ships visited Louisbourg each year, and the volume of trade passing through the port also determined demographic patterns. Ships arriving at Louisbourg brought disease, as well as wealth and new soldiers and settlers for the fortress and Island.

            Parish registers provide information that documents fertility patterns: family formation, and reproduction. Age at marriage for women was a key determinant of overall fertility. The later a woman married, the lower the potential number of children born during the period of fertility. Women at Louisbourg married at a relatively young age. The mean age at marriage was 19.9 years for women as versus 29.2 years for men. Altogether, some 60 percent of women were nineteen years of age or younger when they married, while only three percent of men were under age 20.[31] How does this match up with contemporary French society? A number of studies of a number of French rural parishes from the sixteenth-century through about 1750 show that on average women married between the age 20 and 28, different from the age at first marriage of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.  The mid-20s was the most common age for first marriage for women.[32] The mean age at first marriage for women from the peasant community of Sorel near Montreal in the years 1740-1779 was 22.4 years.[33] The variation in the mean age at marriage most likely reflected the differences in the communities. On the one hand there were the older rural communities in France under a well established seigniorial system, with land rights already defined. On the other hand, the French Canadian frontier farm community of Sorel where land was relatively abundant and the fishing and trading community of Louisbourg, on the other hand, offered greater opportunities for couples to become financially independent at an earlier age. Older communities with more rigid distributions of land or wealth, as shown by the examples from France, evidence a different patter with later marriage. A second factor accounting for the younger age at marriage for women was the gender imbalance at Louisbourg. Men outnumbered women, so it was more difficult for men to find marriage partners. Men married late, whereas women married at younger ages.[34] Scattered evidence suggests that indigenous women married at younger ages, often at puberty.[35]

            Premarital conceptions and illegitimacy were both relatively common at Louisbourg, reflecting the nature of the community with many sexually active men coming and going. Between 1722 and 1757, 11.2 percent of the marriages at Louisbourg ended with the birth of a child less than eight months after marriage.[36] This was higher than Sorel, where the percentage was 6.7 percent between 1740 and 1779.[37] For thirty-eight French parishes prior to 1750, the percentage ranged from 1.6 to a high of 10.1, but the weighted mean was 6.2 percent.[38] There are two explanations for the disparity in premarital conceptions. Men deceived women with the promise of marriage, or else couples had premarital sex and were married when the woman became pregnant or had sex after already deciding to get married. Conception out of wedlock did not always result in marriage, and some children were born illegitimate. At Louisbourg 4.5 percent of births were of illegitimate or abandoned children.[39] This contrasts to 1.8 percent for Sorel between 1740 and 1779, [40] and 2.9 percent for eleven French parishes prior to 1750.[41] The slightly higher rate of illegitimacy would be expected from the more fluid military-maritime society of Louisbourg. Promises of marriage may have been made to women, who in turn consented to sexual relations. Casual liaisons also occurred resulting in pregnancies.

            The history of epidemics of contagious disease such as smallpox links the history of the military outposts located at opposite sides of North America, as well as the missions in northern New Spain and Paraguay. Europeans brought a host of new maladies with them to the Americas, creating a new disease pool. Disease was reputedly responsible for the deaths of millions of native peoples in the years following sustained contact with Europe after 1492, but was also claimed the lives of many European settlers especially children. Lethal epidemics spread across long distances following trade routes, and readily spread from port to port carried by sick sailors or ship passengers.[42] Both Louisbourg and the Californias relied heavily on ships for communication with the outside world, and thus were vulnerable to epidemics carried by ships.

            The same diseases affected the populations of both Louisbourg and the northern frontier of colonial Mexico including California. Contagion such as smallpox generally killed children, and survival of bouts of smallpox and other diseases and making it to adulthood often meant having a degree of protection from subsequent infection. Epidemics often killed mostly children and young adults. Burial registers from the eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century generally did not record age at death, but one priest stationed at Pitic in Sonora in northern Mexico (Sonora borders California) did during an 1826 measles epidemic. Of 606 deaths attributed to measles in the village, 476 or seventy-eight percent were of children under the age of ten. Children and young adults to age twenty-one accounted for another 116 deaths, or nineteen percent of the total.[43] The same epidemic killed hundreds of Indian converts in the missions when it reached California, but also raised death rates among the soldier-settler population of the four military garrisons.

            Disease treatment throughout Europe and in European colonies was similar in the eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century. The germ theory did not gain general acceptance until the end of the nineteenth-century, so medicine relied on a combination of folk practices and ideas from the ancient Greeks such as bloodletting that was inspired by the humeral theory. One of the first general treatments of smallpox was inoculation by variolation that entailed taking puss from a ripe smallpox pustule and injecting it under the skin of a healthy person. The hope was that the inoculated person would catch a milder infection and recover. Evidence suggests that inoculation by variolation did reduce smallpox mortality during epidemics, as was the case in a 1781 to 1782 outbreak in Baja California. Several Dominican missionaries inoculated Indians living on the missions and significantly reduced mortality, whereas other missionaries did not inoculate their charges and mortality was higher.[44] Treatment of other ailments such as measles, respiratory disease, or water-born enteric disease was spotty at best.

            One element of disease history of Louisbourg, however, is unique. Twice enemy forces besieged Louisbourg, and sieges created unique public health problems. In addition to fatalities from battle, overcrowding in the fortresses during the sieges resulted in the rapid spread of contagion, and pollution of water supplies that could spread water-born enteric disease such as dysentery. British forces attacked Louisbourg in 1746 and again 1758.  Moreover, conditions for the military and settlers did not necessarily improve after the fall of Louisbourg to British forces, and contagion continued to spread during the foreign occupation. Nonetheless, the two sieges of Louisbourg only altered general demographic patterns over the short run.

There was a clear pattern of seasonal mortality at Louisbourg generally caused by seasonal increases in respiratory maladies, with greater numbers of deaths during the fall and winter. January tended to be the deadliest month. Cold weather forced people to remain indoors for longer periods of time, and close contact between people inside habitations facilitated the spread of airborne germs. Respiratory ailments commonly killed many people, especially the old and young, during the cold months. Contagious disease such as smallpox also spread when people spent more time indoors. Deaths dropped of during the spring (there was an increase in deaths during May, perhaps when there was a large influx of ships), but then began to increase during late summer as epidemics such as smallpox began to spread.  Seasonal mortality patterns were similar in the Spanish missions in Sonora and the Californias.[45]

            Periodic epidemics did hit the population of Louisbourg. One example is an outbreak of smallpox in 1732 and 1733. The outbreak began with the arrival in August of a ship with some people already suffering from smallpox.[46] The contagion claimed the first victims in the same month. Deaths reached a peak as fall began. There were 14 recorded deaths in September, 10 and 12 respectively in the next two months, and reached a peak of 22 and 20 in January and February of 1733., With the advent of winter  when people spent more time indoors at Louisbourg, and the contagion claimed more victims. Moreover, other respiratory infections may have been at work during the winter months, leaving people more susceptible to smallpox.  Smallpox returned to Louisbourg a generation later in 1755. This epidemic struck during the summer, and apparently lingered on into the fall. There were 20 recorded burials in July and 12 in August. The number of burials dropped in September, but then increased to 15 in both October and November.[47] Other epidemics struck the population of Louisbourg, but generally epidemics only slowed population growth and temporarily lowered life expectancy. In 1733, for example, baptisms dropped to 39 from 59 in the previous year, but jumped again to 61 in 1734. Life expectancy during the 1729-1733 quinquennium dropped to 2.1 years, and the crude death rate for all five years was quite high at 119 per thousand population. In the two years 1732 and 1733, the population of Louisbourg experienced a net decline in population of 67. In the years following the epidemic, however, the population recovered, and made up the losses through natural reproduction.

            Non-epidemic deaths, particularly patterns of infant and child mortality, are more important for understanding the role of mortality in the demographic evolution of Louisbourg. Infant and child mortality can be shown in two ways. One is the rate of survival of a birth cohort through infancy and childhood. Infant and child mortality was high in early modern Europe and America. Five percent of children born at Louisbourg died within the first month, and fourteen percent within the first year of life. A fifth of all children, that is twenty percent, died before their nineteenth birthday.[48] Similar patterns were documented for Sorel: 24.8 percent mortality during the first year; and 32 percent by age nineteen.[49] Many children also died in infancy in early modern France.[50] A second way is to show the distribution of burials by age and gender. A number of burial entries did not give the age, but there is a large enough representative sample to document patterns. The cohort under age one accounted for 14.8 percent or all burials of males and 27.8 percent of burials of females. If the groups through age twelve are added, then young children accounted for 24.3 percent of registered deaths of males and 48.9 percent of females.[51] The final way is through the calculation of mean life expectancy at birth. The data for the first quinquennium analyzed (1724-1728) is skewed because of the under-registration of burials, but the data for the other samples are good. The 1732 to 1733 smallpox epidemic significantly lowered mean life expectancy, but in the other samples it ranged from 29 to 39 years. This was close to life expectancy in France during the eighteenth-century.

            The population of Louisbourg was a high fertility and high mortality population. The very nature of the community made it vulnerable to outbreaks of epidemics of highly contagious crowd diseases such as smallpox, generally brought by ships carrying supplies or personnel, or engaged in trade or fishing. Smallpox, perhaps the greatest killer in the eighteenth-century, struck Louisbourg two times: once each generation, when there was a large enough population of susceptible hosts not previously exposed to sustain the spread of the infection. There was also a cleat pattern of seasonal mortality. More people died during the colder months, when they spent more time indoors where infection spread more readily. Infant and child mortality was high, and those children surviving to adulthood lived on average into the late 20s or at best the late 30s.

            In terms of overall demographic patterns, Louisbourg was similar to Sorel, a farming community located not too far from Montreal. We would also argue that mortality patterns were similar in many areas in the eighteenth-century, including France. They were high fertility and high mortality populations characterized by high rates of infant and child mortality and periodic outbreaks of epidemics of highly contagious crowd diseases. The primary difference between the demographic patterns of communities, then, was family formation and age at marriage. One key determinant of when family formation occurred was the ability of couples to establish economic independence and set up a separate household. Older communities with more rigid distribution of wealth would generally be characterized with later age at marriage, as shown in the case of contemporary French villages. Frontier communities such as Louisbourg and Sorel, although organized along different economic lines, also shared a number of similar demographic patterns.

            The Spanish colonization of California began in 1769 in response to a fear of the occupation of the region by either the Russians or British. The Spanish policy goal was to occupy a strategic region with no apparent source of ready wealth at as little cost as possible. The colonization scheme for California entailed the congregation of the indigenous population on mission communities administered by Franciscans, the establishment of military garrisons to protect the missions and assert Spanish claims to sovereignty over California, and the establishment of towns to help populate the province and re-enforce Spanish claims of sovereignty. The Spanish government eventually established four presidios in California: San Diego-1769; Monterey-1770; San Francisco-1776; and Santa Barbara-1782. The presidios became not only defensive outposts, but also important population centers. The government recruited the bulk of the soldiers for the garrisons in northern frontier Mexico, and also sent settlers from central Mexico and frontier regions contiguous to California to establish three towns: San Jose-1777; Los Angeles-1781; Branciforte-1797.[52] The founders of San Jose and Los Angeles came overland to California from Sonora, whereas the government recruited the first group of settlers sent to establish the Villa de Branciforte from the area around Guadalajara (modern Jalisco). New recruits for the presidios came from the growing populations around the garrisons, from the towns, and in the period following independence in 1821 occasionally from Mexico.

            Scholars have not systematically studied the place of origin of the soldiers recruited to serve on the California presidios, but there is some evidence as well as comparisons that can be made of the origins of soldiers recruited for the garrisons in frontier provinces neighboring California. The study of the composition and origins of the garrison of a presidio in Sonora called Terrenate in the mid 1770s serves as an example of the pattern of staffing the frontier military garrisons. In 1774, the bulk of the soldiers in the Terrenate garrison came from different communities within Sonora, including sixteen (32 percent) native to other garrisons located in the province. The non-natives of Sonora came from surrounding provinces such as Sinaloa to the south and Nueva Vizcaya to the east.[53]

            The early settlers and soldiers sent to California beginning in 1769 generally came from the military and settler populations of Baja California and Sonora-Sinaloa. Several examples demonstrate the pattern. Pablo Antonio Cota served in the California military garrisons from 1769 until his death from natural causes in 1800. Cota was born in 1744 at Loreto in Baja California, and was the son of a member of the garrison stationed there. Cota eventually rose through the ranks, and had a commission as Lieutenant.[54] Many sons of soldiers stationed in Baja California went on to serve in the California garrisons, and established families that would become prominent as landowners and local politicians following Mexican independence.[55] The second important source of recruits was Sonora-Sinaloa. In the fall and winter of 1775-1776, for example, Juan Bautista de Anza, commander of the Tubac garrison in northern Sonora, brought a group of 240 soldiers, new recruits, and settlers from Sonora to California. The new personnel established a presidio at San Francisco and a town at San Jose.[56] The overland route between Sonora and California remained open until a major Indian uprising in 1781 along the Colorado River, and the settlers settled at Los Angeles in 1781 came to California along the overland route just before the uprising.

            Monterey, the second presidio garrison established, provides an example of patterns of demographic evolution in Spanish and later Mexican California. Monterey became the capital of California, but in the last decades of the eighteenth-century the population grew only slowly and in 1795 only reached 241 (see Table 9). This all changed in the early nineteenth-century with the growth of trade to California. Monterey became a growing port involved in the so-called hide and tallow trade, and the numbers increased. The Spanish settler population grew, but also by the 1820s Monterey had an increasingly cosmopolitan population that included a community of foreigners who arrived in California either by ship or overland. A number of the newly arrived foreigners married local women, and assimilated into provincial California society. Foreigners who arrived by ship generally assimilated more easily than did Americans who came to California overland.

The structure of California society changed significantly following Mexican independence in 1821. The government closed down the missions beginning in 1834, and also began giving out land grants to promote settlement and economic development. The local politicians who ran California, most descended from the soldiers who staffed the presidios in the late eighteenth-century, assumed control over the administration of the former missions, and used the missions to stock ranches granted from former mission lands. Prominent families from the presidios and towns received land grants, and some intermarried with foreigners. There were also the foreigners, illegal aliens generally, who settled in California, but remained a barely tolerated and hostile minority.[57] The children and grandchildren of the soldiers first brought to garrison the California presidios now controlled the government and economy.

            Although some fluctuation occurred, the overall trend in the population of the presidios was of growth. Some growth occurred with settlement of solders and their families and settlers, but the population of the presidios also experienced increases resulting from natural reproduction. In most years births exceeded deaths, and, as was also the case at Louisbourg, epidemics only slowed growth over the short-term. For example, the 1827-1828 measles outbreak increased death rates, but the population of Monterey, for example, experienced a small net increase during one of the most lethal epidemics in the history of the province. Earlier outbreaks, such as in 1802 and 1808, killed larger numbers of natives congregated on the missions, but only increased mortality and slowed the rate of population growth in the presidio populations. 

Like Louisbourg, the population of the California presidios was a high fertility and high mortality population. Birth rates were moderate to high and were consistently higher than death rates, although the overall rate of growth was slow to moderate. Epidemics increased death rates somewhat, but never matched the high rates that characterized outbreaks at Louisbourg such as the smallpox epidemic in the early 1730s.  Mean life expectancy at birth was in the 20s and 30s, similar to life expectancy at Louisbourg.  Mortality patterns differed between Louisbourg and the California presidios, but despite the differences people on average had similar life spans.

            Despite being located at different ends of America, causes for mortality were similar in both Louisbourg and California, even during the first decades of the nineteenth-century. Most contacts with Mexico came by sea. The overland route to Sonora, first opened in the mid-1770s was largely abandoned following the successful Indian uprising on the Colorado River in 1781. Disease generally arrived in California by ship, and epidemics occurred more frequently after about 1800 as more ships visited the California coast. Many ships came to trade illegally for hides and tallow, while others were involved in hunting for fur-bearing animals. The decade 1800-1809 proved to be one of the deadliest in California, but epidemics did periodically reach California. The diseases were the same as at Louisbourg, including smallpox, measles, and enteric maladies such as dysentery contracted from polluted water supplies.

Conclusions

          The indigenous populations of California experienced drastic declines in population size following congregation or incorporation into mission communities. Epidemic disease and health problems related to living conditions in the missions accounted for the chronically high mortality rates that outstripped birth rates. The Guarani populations of the Jesuit missions of Paraguay, on the other hand, evidenced patterns more characteristic of contemporary European and colonial European populations, with higher life expectancy at birth and robust birth rates that generally outstripped death rates. Epidemics did cull the Guarani populations. However, the populations rebounded and grew. The Guarni mission demographics were similar to patterns documented for European colonial populations, such as the French military outpost Louisbourg and the Spanish military garrisons of California. Guarani population dynamics in the first half of the eighteenth-century did not match the general model for indigenous population decline in the Americas following the arrival of the Europeans.

            Epidemics proved deadly in the mission communities in California and Paraguay, but the pattern of epidemic mortality is important to identify. The construction of epidemic chronologies shows that an outbreak of each pathogen occurred approximately once a generation, therefore the most susceptible were those not previously infected. The data for the Guarani living in the Jesuit missions of Paraguay demonstrate that the majority of deaths were among children and adults who died probably were still young. In the California missions the pattern of mortality included both adults and children, but significantly mortality rates among children and women were also high in non-epidemic years preventing a rebound or recovery from epidemic mortality. Chronic maladies exacerbated by living conditions in the mission communities were largely responsible, coupled with the poor medical attention given to the neophytes. European and colonial European populations experienced heavy epidemic mortality, but rebounded in most instances and grew again if at moderate rates. This difference spelled near biological and cultural extinction of the native peoples of the Californias brought to live in the missions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1: Demographic Statistics at Santa Gertrudis Mission, 1757-1811

 

Quinqueenium

Estimated

Population

Crude Birth Rate

Crude Death

Rate

Mean Life

Expectancy

1757-1761

1,432

 42

 63

 9.4

1762-1766

1,642

 42

 63

11.5

1767-1771

1,313

 52

 74

10.2

1772-1776

  798

 43

106

 2.8

1777-1781

  555

 52

119

 1.6

1782-1786

  383

 40

121

 1.4

1787-1791

  280

 40

 46

20.8

1792-1796

  234

 41

 53

20.1

1797-1801

  203

 41

 45

25.8

1802-1806

  198

 44

106

 5.4

1807-1811

  124

 44

 84

 8.3

Source: Robert H. Jackson, Indian Population Decline: The Missions of Northwestern New Spain, 1687-1840 (Albuquerque, 1994), 77.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2: Percentage of Children born at La Purisima Mission Dead  by Age 4, in Five-Year Cohorts

 

Cohort

% Dead by age Four

 

Cohort

% Dead by Age Four

1785-1789

46.7

1810-1814

57.7

1790-1794

55.9

1815-1819

70.5

1795-1799

59.6

1820-1824

67.6

1800-1804

68.8

1825-1829

71.7

1805-1809

70.2

1830-1834

59.3

Source: John Johnson, “Chumash Social Organization: An Ethnohistorical Perspective,” Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, 1988; Sally McLendon and John Johnson, Cultural Affiliation and Lineal Descent of Chumash Peoples in the Channel Islands and the Santa Monica Mountains, 2 volumes, report prepared for the National Parks Service, 1999.

 

 

 

Table 3: Baptisms, Burials, and Population at La Purisima Mission, 1810-1819

 

Year

Baptisms of Convert

 

Births

 

Burials

Net Gain

+/-

 

Population

1810

13

29

68

-26

1,020

1811

13

25

87

-49

  978

1812

36

26

41

 21

  999

1813

53

31

74

 10

1,004 

1814

16

29

67

-22

  982

1815

90

27

89

 28

1,019

1816

38

34

80

  -8

1,018

1817

 1

32

91

-58

  958

1818

 0

35

69

-34

  937

1819

 0

27

64

-37

  888

Source: La Purisima Mission Annual Reports, Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library, Santa Barbara, California.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 4: Total Population of the Jesuit Reducciones in Selected Years

Year

Population

Year

Population

Year

Population

1641/43

36,190

1724

117,164

1750

 95,089

1647

28,714

1732

141,242

1755

104,483

1648

30,548

1733

128,389

1756

 89,536

1657

37,412

1734

116,250

1762

102,988

1667

43,753

1735

108,228

1765

 85,266

1668

47,088

1736

102,721

1767

 88,796

1676

53,298

1737

104,473

1768

 88,864

1677

58,118

1738

90,287

1772

 80,891

1678

55,125

1739

81,159

1783

 56,092

1682

61,083

1740

73,910

1784

 57,949

1700

86,173

1741

76,960

1791

 44,677

1702

89,500

1742

78,929

1793

 51,991

1717

121,168

1743

81,355

1801

 45,637

Source: “Reductions of Paraguay,” Catholic Encyclopedia, Internet File; Thomas Whigham, “Paraguay’s Pueblos de Indios: Echoes of a Missionary Past,” in Erick Langer and Robert H. Jackson, eds., The New Latin American Mission History (Lincoln, 1995), 168; Herencia Misionera, Internet site, url: www.herenciamisionero.com.ar/; Ernesto Maeder, “La poblacion de las misiones de Guaranies (1641-1682). Reubicacion de los pueblos y consecuencias demograficas,” Estudos Ibero-Americanos 15:1 (June 1989), 49-80; Ernesto Maeder, “Fuentes Jesuiticas de informacion demografrica misional para los siglos XVll y XVlll,” in Dora Celton, coordinator,  Fuentes utiles para lose studios de la poblacion Americana: Simposio del 49o Congreso Internacional de Americanistas, Quito 1997. (Quito, 1997).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 5: Population of the Jesuit Reductions in Selected Years

Mission

1641/43

1647

1657

1667

1676

1682

Guasu

 998

1150

1327

1940

2326

2741

Itqpua

2199

1700

2292

2735

3094

3288

Candelaria

1490

1077

1471

2363

1991

1868

S Cosme

2100

1075

1376

 

1210

1283

S Ana

 850

 779

1024

1300

1352

1415

Loreto

1476

1700

1920

2089

2358

2772

S I Mini

1750

1708

2171

2439

2253

2441

S Carlos

2300

1701

2123

2714

3633

4420

S Jose

1441

1334

1268

 

 

2272

Corpus

1604

1300

1331

 

 

1350

Aposteles

1635

1144

3239

 

2158

3548

S Nicolas

1803

1854

 

 

2921

3548

Concepcion

3665

1469

3275

 

6035

7014

S Javier

1442

1300

1604

 

2740

3029

La Mayor

2637

2000

2776

 

4378

5171

Martires

1040

1186

1278

 

1769

1980

S Miguel

1860

1165

2101

 

3830

3740

La Cruz

1300

1472

1514

 

2212

2251

San Tome

3000

1960

3494

 

5129

5243

Yapeyu

1600

1600

1828

 

2100

2477

Source: Same as Table 4.

 

Mission

1724

1731

1735

1740

1741

1750

1756

Guasu

3343

 

1385

2018

2152

2251

2472

La Fe

5463

 

2100

3086

3298

4296

4853

S Rosa

4742

 

 

1973

2031

2524

3056

Santiago

2720

 

 

4128

4276

3968

4304

Itapua

5357

 

4361

2179

2106

3276

3789

Candelaria

2863

 

2990

1441

1639

2031

2409

S Cosme

2120

 

 

1209

1094

1449

1632

S Ana

3600

5600

4083

4533

4505

4778

5040

Loreto

6113

7000

3523

2246

2422

3276

4023

S I Mini

3138

4300

3010

1933

2076

2520

2773

Corpus

3584

 

 

2808

2922

3976

4773

Trinidad

3140

3200

 

2268

2047

2629

2680

Jesus

1947

2400

 

1836

1850

1899

2074

S Carlos

3065

 

 

1140

1273

1663

2024

S Jose

3274

 

 

1390

1411

2019

2310

Aposteles

4140

 

 

1494

1582

2118

2522

Concepcion

4894

 

 

1944

2369

2136

2912

Martires

3343

 

 

2829

2839

3112

3217

La Mayor

3490

3900

 

 819

 894

2128

2870

S Javier

3409

 

 

1789

1894

1968

1898

S Nicolas

6667

7700

 

2194

2279

4255

 416

S Luis

5045

 

 

2308

2432

3037

3828

S Lorenzo

5224

6400

 

1173

1311

1729

4459

S Miguel

3972

 

 

4740

4974

6635

1035

S Juan

4629

4500

 

2171

2525

3221

3347

Stos Ang.

4052

 

 

5228

5199

 

2531

San Tome

2949

 

 

1892

2063

2917

3042

S Borja

2906

 

 

3291

3430

3435

1668

La Cruz

3615

 

 

2163

2314

2518

2982

Yapeyu

4360

 

 

5687

5748

6518

7597

Source: Same as Table 4.

 

Mission

1767

1768

1772

1784

1785

1796

1801

Guasu

2100

 

1241

 800

 867

 

 700

La Fe

3300

4300

2294

 800

1062

 986

1000

S Rosa

2400

2522

2124

1200

1264

1013

1200

Santiago

3600

 

 

2700

1215

 

1300

Itapua

4600

 

 

2800

2889

2095

2100

Candelaria

3600

 

 

1700

1748

1356

1200

S Cosme

3300

3446

 

1200

1111

 864

 800

S Ana

4400

 

 

1700

1747

2471

1200

Loreto

3200

 

 

1300

1457

1095

1000

S I Mini

3100

 

 

 600

 798

 

 700

Corpus

4000

5093

 

2500

2574

 

2300

Trinidad

2600

 

 

1100

1097

 

 900

Jesus

2900

 

 

1200

1302

1037

 800

S Carlos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S Jose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aposteles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concepcion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martires

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Mayor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S Javier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S Nicolas

 

 

 

 

 

 

3940

S Luis

 

 

 

 

 

 

2350

S Lorenzo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 960

S Miguel

 

 

 

 

 

 

1900

S Juan

 

 

 

 

 

 

1600

Stos Ang

 

 

 

 

 

 

1960

San Tome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Borja

 

 

 

 

 

 

1300

La Cruz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yapeyu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Same as Table 4.

 

Mission

1814

1822

1827

San Nicolas

1545

 250

 404

San Luis

1412

 200

 446

San Lorenzo

 434

 250

 258

San Miguel

 706

 660

 271

San Juan

 554

 300

 212

Santos Angeles

 320

 350

 103

San Borja

1424

 400

 404

Source: Same as Table 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 6: Crude Birth and Death Rates per Thousand Population in the Guarani Missions, 1691-1766

Year

CBR

CDR

Year

CBR

CDR

1691

60

 34

1747

70

 43

1694

65

 40

1748

66

 43

1707

65

 50

1749

71

 84

1708

73

 47

1750

71

 40

1729

68

 38

1751

65

 43

1732

55

 48

1752

60

 40

1733

41

133

1753

63

 35

1736

46

 72

1754

65

 41

1737

47

 26

1755

66

 42

1738

44

172

1756

47

 40

1739

38

140

1758

53

 54

1740

61

 61

1762

51

 47

1741

77

 43

1763

48

 60

1742

71

 55

1764

51

135

1743

76

 45

1765

45

 92

1744

71

 43

1766

52

 47

1745

70

 44

 

 

 

1746

74

 45

 

 

 

Source: Ernesto Maeder, “Fuentes Jesuiticas de informacion demografrica misional para los siglos XVll y XVlll,” in ,” in Dora Celton, coordinator,  Fuentes utiles para lose studios de la poblacion Americana: Simposio del 49o Congreso Internacional de Americanistas, Quito 1997. (Quito, 1997).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 7: Population of Settlements on Isle Royal Outside of Louisbourg

Settlement

     1724

     1734

     1752

Baie de Gabraus

      

 

        19

Barrachois de Fourchu

 

       137

 

Saint Esprit

       58

       234

        86

L’Ardoise

 

 

        60

Port Toulouse

     262

       199

      239

Iles Michaud

       16

         27

     

Iles Madame-P. Degrat

     161

       178

      284

Riviere aux Habitants

    

 

        30

Ile de la Sainte-Famille

 

 

          3

Pointe a la Jeunesse

 

 

      137

Niganiche

     289

       615

 

Port-Dauphin

       29

         57

        16

Petite Bras d’Or

       12

         21

        60

Baie des Espagnoles

 

 

      190

Baie d’Indienne

      131

         20

        38

Baie de Mordienne

 

 

        66

Baie et barrachois de Mire

 

     

 

         36

 

      106

Ile de Scatary

      204

       280

      100

Menadou et Baleine

      132

       219

        80

Petit et Grand Lorembec

        67

       240

      173

Total

   1,361

    2,263

   1,687

Source: Christian Pouyez, “La population de l’Ile Royale en 1752,” Histoire Sociale 6:12 (1973), 157.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 8: Vital Rates of the Population of Louisbourg and Dependencies by Quinquennium

 

Years

Population-at mid point

Crude Birth Rate

Per Thousand

Crude Death Rate

Per Thousand

Mean Life Expectancy

1724-1728

 873

     57

     18

     50.5

1729-1733

 822

     57

   119

       2.1

1734-1738

 763

     71

     38

     29.1

1739-1743

 923

     75

     31

     39.4

1753-1757

2623

     60

     34

     34.2

Source: Table 7; Louisbourg Baptismal and Burial Registers, Internet file; Christian Pouyez, “La population de I’lle Royale en 1752,” Histoire Sociale 6:12 (1973), 147-175.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 9: Population of Four Alta California Presidios, in Selected Years

Year

San Diego

Monterey

San Francisco

Santa Barbara

1790

     197

     178

     128

     213

1795

     219

     241

     140

     246

1800

     158

     344

     223

     369

1805

     159

     367

     265

     374

1810

     328

     465

     319

     446

1815

     182

     581

     364

     482

1820

     515

     562

     325

     623

1825

     620

     594

     224

     671

1830

     439

     978

     238

     645

1834

     743

     997

     360

     740

Source: Ms. Mission Statistics, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

 

 

 

 

Table 10: Vital Rates (in quinquenniums)  of the Population of the Four Alta California Presidios, 1790-1834

 

 

Years

Population at

Mid-Point

Crude Birth Rate

Per 1000 Pop.

Crude Death Rate

Per 1000 Pop.

Mean Life

Expectancy

1790-1794

     788

     48

     32

     33.5

1795-1799

     920

     46

     30

     34.9

1800-1804

   1038

     43

     39

     26.4

1805-1809

   1160

     39

     36

     27.3

1810-1814

   1306 

     54

     44

     24.7

1815-1819

   1544

     40

     24    

     39.9

1820-1824

   1753

     40

     28

     34.9

1825-1829

   1827

     51

     36

     30.2

1830-1834

   2360

     53

     36

     30.6

Source: Robert H. Jackson, Indian Population Decline: The Missions of Northwestern New Spain, 1687-1840 (Albuquerque, 1994), 155.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes

 


 

[1] Michael Flinn, The European Demographic System, 1520-1820 (Baltimore, 1981) provides a useful overview to European demographic patterns in the early modern period. Much of the literature on colonial demography in the Americas, particularly for the century or so following first contact, focuses on guesstimates of the size of the native populations when the Europeans arrived, and the degree of depopulation following first contact. For a good overview to this debate wee William Denevan, The Population of the Americas in 1492 (Madison, 1976).

 

[2] Robert McCaa, “Spanish and Nahuatl Views on Small[pox and Demographic Catastrophe in Mexico,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History XXV:3 (Winter, 1995), 397-431 revisits the issue of the early consequences of smallpox on the nahuatl speaking peoples of central Mexico.

 

[3] Robert H. Jackson, “Demographic Patterns in the Missions of Central Baja California,” Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 6:1 (1984), 91-112.

 

[4] Ibid.

 

[5] John Johnson, “Chumash Social Organization;” in Sally McLendon and John Johnson, Cultural Affiliation and Lineal Descent of Chumash Peoples in the Chanel Islands and the Santa Monica Mountains, 2 vols., report submitted to the National Parks Service, September 1999,  1: 94-95.

 

[6] Robert H. Jackson with Anne Gardzina, “Agriculture, Drought, and Chumash Congregation in the California Missions (1782-1834,” Estudios de Historia Novohispana 19 (1999), 69-90.

 

[7] McLendon and Johnson, “Cultural Affiliation,” vol. 1, 102.

 

[8] Jackson, Indian Population Decline, 173.

 

[9] McLendon and Johnson, “Cultural Affiliation,” vol. 1, 104.

 

[10] Jackson, Indian Population Decline, 173.

 

[11] Robert H. Jackson, “The Population of the Santa Barbara Channel Missions (Alta California), 1813-1832,” Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology  12:2 (1990)., 268-274.

 

[12] Mariano Payeras, O.F.M., to Jose Joaquin de Arrillaga, La Purisima, March 11, 1813, in Donald Cutter,  trans. & ed.,  Writings of Mariano Payeras (Santa Barbara, 1995), (hereinafter cited as WMP), 67.

 

[13] In WMP, 225-226.

 

[14] Robert H. Jackson, Indian Population Decline: The Missions of Northwestern New Spain, 1687-1840 (Albuquerque, 1994), appendix 5.

 

[15] Ibid., appendix 4.

 

[16] Herencia Misionera, Internet site, url: www.herenciamisionero.com.ar/, chaps. 18, 20.

 

[17] Luiz Antonio Custodio, “Sao Miguel-Uma Trajetoria,” Porto Alegre: IPHAN, 1994.

 

[18] Population of San Miguel and San Juan Bautista in Selected Years

Year

San Miguel

San Juan Bautista

1641/1643

1,860

 

1647

1,165

 

1657

2,101

 

1676

3,830

 

1682

3,740

 

1697

4,592

 

1702

2,197

 

1707

 

3,361

1719

 

3,722

1720

 

3,996

1724

3,972

4,629

1731

 

4,500

1740

4,740

2,171

1741

4,974

2,525

1750

6,635

3,221

1756

1,035

3,347

1801

1,900

1,600

1814

  706

  554

1822

  660

  300

1827

  271

  212

 

 

[19] Herencia Misionera, chapter 10.

 

[20] Catologo de la numeracion annual de las Doctrinas del Rio Parana Ano 1724; Catologo de la numeracion annual de las Doctrinas del Rio Uruguay-1724; Catologo de la numeracion annual de las Doctrinas del Rio Parana Ano 1740; Numeracion Annual de los Pueblos del Rio Uruguay Ano de 1740;  Catologo de la numeracion annual de las Doctrinas del Rio Parana Ano 1741; Numeracion Annual de los Pueblos del Rio Uruguay Ano de 1741. The originals are from the Archivo Nacional in Asuncion, Paraguay. I would like to thank Barbara Ganson for providing copies of these documents.

 

[21] Jackson, Indian Population Decline.

 

[22] Calculated by Robert McCaa using Populate and included as a dataset with Populate, a microcomputer program that uses inverse projection to calculate sophisticated demographic statistics including mean life expectancy at birth. Populate analyzes five year samples of data, and reports statistics at the mid-point in the quinquennium. McCaa used data from the research of Ernesto Maeder, and used Populate to fill in the gaps in missing data.

 

Quinquennium Mean Life Expectation at Birth* in the Guarani Missions, 1692-1767

Year

MLE

Year

MLE

Year

MLE

1692

29.7

1722

26.7

1752

30.0

1697

28.6

1727

34.8

1757

23.2

1702

26.6

1732

  8.8

1762

  6.1

1707

26.7

1737

  0.2

1767

  8.3

1712

32.3

1742

20.1

 

 

1717

19.3

1747

23.0

 

 

*Calculated using “Populate.”

 

McCaa’s figures give an average of the mean life expectancy of 26.8 years at birth in quinquenniums without major epidemics, and 5.9 years at birth in quinquenniums with major epidemics. We calculated the same statistics using a sample of only complete data for the years 1736-1755, and 1762 to 1766. The figures we calculated for Mean Life Expectancy may be a little different from McCaa’s, but are in the general range: 1736-1740=4.5 years; 1741-1745=24.8 years; 1746-1750=24.4; 1751-1755=29.9; 1762-1766=9.4 years. The average in non-epidemic periods was 26.4 years at birth, and 7 years at birth in periods with a mortality crisis.

 

[23] Ibid., 57-60; Robert H. Jackson, “Congregation and Population Change in the Mission Communities of Northern New Spain: Cases From the Californias and Texas,” New Mexico Historical Review 69:2 (April, 1994), 163-183.

 

[24] The standard work on the Spanish presidios on the northern frontier of Mexico is Max Moorhead, The Presidio: Bastion of the Borderlands (Norman, 1975). For the French military at Louisbourg see Allen Greer, The Soldiers of Isle Royale, 1720-1745 (Ottawa, 1979).

 

[25] Christian Pouyez, “La population de I’lle Royale en 1752,” Histoire Sociale 6:12 (1973), 147-175.

 

[26] A.J.B. Johnston, Religion in Life at Louisbourg, 1713-1758 (Toronto, 1984), figure 1, p. 5.

 

[27] Pouyez, “La population.”

 

[28] Greer, Soldiers.

 

[29] Ibid.

 

[30] Johnston, Religion, 4.

 

[31] Ibid., 123.

 

[32] Flinn, The European Demographic System, 125-126.

 

[33] Allen Greer, Peasant, Lord and Merchant: Rural Society in Three Quebec Parishes 1740-1840 (Toronto, 1987), 51.

 

[34] Johnston, Religion, 123.

 

[35] Robert McCaa, “Child Marriage and Complex Families (cemithualtin) among the Ancient Aztec (Nahua),” Colonial History Workshop, University of Minnesota, January 15, 1997. Spanish version published in Historia Mexicana (Julio-Septiembre, 1996), 3-70.

 

[36] Ibid., 134.

 

[37] Greer, Peasant, Lord and Merchant, 59.

 

[38] Flinn, European Demographic System, 121.

 

[39] Johnston, Religion, 115.

 

[40] Greer, Peasant, Lord, and Merchant, 58.

 

[41] Flinn, European Demographic System, 118.

 

[42] One of the first studies of disease in colonial America was John Duffy, Epidemics in Colonial America (Baton Rouge, 1953).

 

[43] Jackson, Indian Population Decline, 121.

 

[44] Robert H. Jackson, “The 1781-1782 Smallpox Epidemic in Baja California,” Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 3:1 (Summer 1981), 138-144.

 

[45] For a discussion of patterns of seasonal mortality on the Spanish frontier of northern Mexico see Jackson, Indian Population Decline, 122-125.

 

[46] George Burns, “Smallpox at Louisbourg, 1713-1758,” Nova Scotia Historical Review 10 (1990), 31-44.

 

[47] Louisbourg Burial Register, Internet file.

 

[48] Johnston, Religion, 144.

 

[49] Greer, Peasant, 67.

 

[50]  Flinn, European, 130-131.

 

[51] Johnston, Religion in Life at Louisbourg, 148.

 

[52] For a discussion of settlement in one Spanish settlement established in California see Robert H. Jackson "The 1845 Villa de Branciforte Census," Antepasados 4 (1981), Pp. 45-57. There has been no detailed reconstruction of the origins of the soldiers stationed in the California presidios, but Robert H. Jackson and Peter Stern, "Vagabundaje and Settlement Patterns in Colonial Northern Sonora," The Americas 44 (1988), Pp. 461-481, shows that soldiers in presidios in neighboring frontier regions of northern Mexico came primarily from the frontier.

 

[53] Stern and Jackson, “Vagabundaje,” 475.

 

[54] Luann Davis Powell, “Pablo Antonio Cota,” Antepasados 3 (1978-1979), 29-40.

 

[55] The names of many of the early soldiers sent to California first appear in the records of the Baja California missions, where their fathers served. See Rudecinda Lo Buglio, “Baja California Mission Records,” Antepasados 2 (1976), part lll, 37-61.

 

[56] Ronald De Ruyter, “The Second Anza Expedition,” Antepasados 2 (1976), part 2, 3-11.

 

[57] Jackson, “1845 Villa de Branciforte Census.”

 

 

 

 

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