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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/649

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IMMIGRATION AND CRIME.

The natives, it will be observed, though almost three fourths of the population, commit less than half the homicides; while the aliens, including in that term the negroes as well as the foreign born, though only about one fourth of the population, commit more than half the homicides.

How many of the murders committed by natives are due to the example and presence of the foreigners can not be estimated, but it is doubtless no small proportion.

The number of murders committed by the black race is very large. Out of the 7,386 prisoners indicted for homicide, 4,425 were white and 2,739 were negroes. In point of numbers the negro population is less than a seventh of the white population, and yet the negroes commit more than half as many murders as the whites.

In counting up the cost of the foreigner, in addition to what he kills, burns, and destroys, it may be well to mention the charge we are put to in maintaining his paupers, a service which we have now performed for him for many years with great generosity in our almshouses. Census Bulletin No. 90 has it in a nutshell: "The foreign population of this country contributes, directly or indirectly, in the persons of the foreign born or of their immediate descendants, very nearly three fifths of all the paupers supported in almshouses." In other words, although the foreign element is much less than half of the whole population, it nevertheless furnishes more than half of the paupers. If we leave out the pauper descendants of foreigners and count merely the foreign-born paupers, we find that they alone outnumber the native paupers.

The original native population of the United States, which fought the Revolution and built up the country for the next fifty years, was remarkably free from the habit of settling every petty dispute by homicide, and yet a large part of them were people who may be said to have passed their lives with firearms in their hands. They were hunters and Indian fighters, and they were all familiar with war, whether against the French, the Indians, or their own race in the Revolution; but in their personal disputes among themselves they seldom attempted to kill. The frontiersman of that period usually settled quarrels with his fists. In the Whisky Rebellion of 1794, which was long continued and serious enough to have an army sent to suppress it, the rioters did not take a single human life. They tarred and feathered some of their enemies, shaved their heads, and indulged in other rough treatment. Even after two or three of their number had been shot by the authorities they showed none of that anxious desire for killing that now characterizes rioters.

When the dispute between Connecticut and Pennsylvania for