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Apollonius
08-23-2019, 03:02 PM
The question of how many people were living in the Americas before 1492 has engaged historians for a long time.



There are a wide range of estimates, guestimates, and speculations. Some whole books have addressed the topic, including at one extreme American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 by Russell Thornton (University of Oklahoma Press, 1990) and at the other Numbers from Nowhere: The American Indian Contact Population Debate by David Henige (University of Oklahoma, 1998)




Recently I was reviewing the argument as described by Alan Taylor:



Early in the twentieth century, most scholars were "low counters," who estimated native numbers in 1492 at only about ten million all of the Americas, including about one million north of the mouth of the Rio Grande (i.e., the present United States and Canada). More recent scholars, the "high counters," claim that their predecessors neglected the abundant evidence for the dramatic depopulation of the Amercas during the sixteenth century. The high counters also draw upon archaelogical evidence that much of the Americas was densely settled in 1492, and upon gnerous calculations for the capacity of given environments to support large human populations.

At a minimum, the high counters double the estimated population of the pre-Columbian Americas to twenty million. Some insist on 100 million or more. Narrowing their view to just the lands north of the Rio Grande, the revisionists claim that the future United States and Canada together contained at least two and perhaps ten million people in 1492. Most scholars now gravitate to the middle of that range: about fifty million Indians in the two American continents, with about five million of them living north of Mexico. Even this middle range represents a fivefold increase over the former "low count."


-- Alan Taylor, American Colonies (Viking, 2001)

Apollonius
08-23-2019, 03:16 PM
Sample estimates of some of the sources I've looked include '2.5 million in the U.S. not counting Alaska'


-- Harold E. Driver, Indians of North America (University of Chicago Press, 2nd ed., rev., 1969)




***



The Indian populations found by the Europeans are still being reconstructed. Epidemics often preceded descriptive accounts, making population size estimates difficult for modern scholars. The best estimates currently available indicate low densities of 0.1-1 person per 100 square kilometers in the Arctic, Subarctic, Plains and Great Basin areas. Medium densities of 1-100 people per 100 square kilometers were probably encountered in the Southern Canadian, Plateau and Northeastern Mexico areas. High densities, of more than 100 people per 100 square kilometers, probably characterized the rest of the continent.


-- Michael Coe, Dean Snow and Elizabeth Benson, Atlas of Ancient America (Facts on File Publications, 1986)





***







North America - 3,800,000

Mexico - 17,200,000

Central America - 5,625,000

Hispaniola - 1,000,000

The Caribbean - 3,000,000

The Andes - 15,700,000

South America [Lowland] - 8,600,000



These estimates are from William Denevan, The Native Population of the Americas, 1492 (2nd ed., 1994)



-- from a table in Thomas Benjamin, The Atlantic World: Europeans, Africans, Indians and Their Shared History 1400-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2009)








***



Atlantic History: A Critical Appraisal edited by Jack Greene and Philip D. Morgan (Oxford University Press, 2009) contains an essay by Peter H. Wood called 'From Atlantic History to a Continental Approach' which quotes a chapter called 'North American Population Size: Changing Perspectives' in Douglas H. Ubelaker's Disease and Demography in the Americas (Smithsonian Intitution, 1992) which includes a breakdown of Indian population numbers by region in 1700:


Arctic: 59,000

Sub-arctic: 100,000

Eastern woodlands: 250,000

Plains: 189,000

Great Basin: 34,000

Southwest: 275,000

California: 221,000

Northwest Coast: 175,000


... for a total of just over 1.3 million. It further notes a population decline of 25% by the year 1800.





***





The estimated native populations at the time of Columbus in aggregate and local densities are vitally important as indicators of the overall impact of Europe on America. If there were 50 million or more aboriginal peoples in the Americas in 1492, as some ethnographers, geographers, demographers, and historians now suggest, what happened to them? Regardless of when and where contact occurred, all native communites, large and small suffered loss.

[...]

Until recently, estimates of the pre-Columbian populatin of the Americas were low. For example, Alfred Kroeber in the 1930s placed the total native population of the Americas in 1492 at 8.4 million. That number has more to do with apologetics than with rigorous scientific analysis or statistical common sense. His estimate for North America north of Mexico was 900,000. In other words, the half million Native Americans reported in the 1940 census suggested to Kroeber a decline of 50 per cent over the preceding 450 years. In itself, those numbers posed serious questions about the European impact on native populations. Perhaps lower birthrates and susceptibility to disease, a lower life expectancy, and racial mixing, assimilation, and under reproting could explain the outcome. But as the fields of ethnography, anthropology, and historical demography grew more sophisticated, estimates of the 1592 population rose dramatically to the point where figures of 50 million to as many as 112 million were being suggested for the Americas as a whole. By the 1990s, a pre-Columbian population estimate of about 50 million was beginning to seem acceptable to scholars. Estimates for the area north of Mexico now run from about a million to 4.4 million natives. The latter figure is more generally accepted, although the debate on numbers continues. The frequently revised and wide range of estimates should caution us about their imprecision. Still, the higher numbers now accepted add controversy when considered with the 1940 ntive populatin of a half million. Now, the United States and its predecessor, the British American colonies, are implicated in reducing from >i>four to eight times<i> as much of the native population as Kroeber's lighter figures had suggested.


-- Eric Nellis, An Empire of Regions: A Brief History of Colonial British America (University of Toronto Press, 2010)

Apollonius
08-25-2019, 03:17 PM
As might be guessed from some of the titles in my previous posts I've been doing a lot of reading in so-called Atlantic history and colonial studies.


Another author who writes to this subject and wades into the debate states that:



In 1500 the invader groups represented the energetic colonizing migrant minority out of a population of 67 million, versus an estimated Native American population of 42 million. In 1600 the invaders came out of a European population of 89 million and the defender groups they confronted now represented only 13 million remaining Native Americans.


-- George Raudzens, Empires: Europe and Globalization 1492-1788 (Sutton Pub., 1999)

Apollonius
08-25-2019, 03:36 PM
But I have long been interested in population history as a whole.



A recent population history atlas well worth taking a look at is:


Historical Atlas of the Eight Billion: World Population History 3000 BCE to 2020 by John Carl Nelson (A World History Maps Book, 2014)


Historical Atlas of the Eight Billion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI1ho7JjXa4



The author divides the world into 24 regions (e.g., Eastern North America; Western North America) and compares population trends in each over time.

He also provides lists of the world's most populous countries and cities for each of the different time periods he maps.



Two of the books cited in the bibliography for Atlas of the Eight Billion are:


Atlas of World Population History by Colin McEvedy & Richard Jones (Penguin, 1978)


and


A Concise History of World Population by Massimo Livi-Bacci (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007)



There is now a 6th edition of Livi-Bacci's book, published in 2017, but while this remains the standard reference of the history of world population, it is difficult to use for a variety of reasons. Countries, regions, and time periods are all erratically and inconsistently covered, close detail in some cases, absence of any concrete numbers at all in most others. This book is not really a statistical gazetteer, but rather, an analysis of the dynamics of population change.



The second one listed, co-authored by the same Colin McEvedy who wrote so many wonderful little historical atlases published by Penguin, though now forty years old is, as far as I know, still the best and only one of its kind.

On the whole and even with so many advances in archaeology, genetics, and linguistics, the authors' estimates have held up remarkably well, although their totals for the Americas are low by today's standards.


McEvedy and Jones put the total population of the Americas in 1492 at 14 million.


Their numbers are 800,000 people living in what is now the U.S. and an additional 200,000 living in Canada.

Apollonius
08-25-2019, 03:43 PM
The really useful thing about Atlas of the Eight Billion is how cleverly it is set up in order to do quick comparisons for the distribution of populations of regions, countries, and largest cities during the 32 time periods shown. Totals for each region are expressed in percentages of world population rather than absolute numbers, although these are easily calculated from using the numbers provided for total world population.

The world is divided into 24 regions. Up until the year 1500, over half of these regions each contained fewer than 1% of the world's total population and 520 years later their proportion is only up very slightly. Roughly half of the world's population continues to live in just two regions: South Asia and East Asia, a percentage essentially unchanged for the last 5000 years.



This author puts the total world population in 1500 at 440 million and lists these percentages for the Americas:


Middle America 6%

Western South America 3%

Eastern South America 1%

Eastern North America <1%

Western North America <1%

Southern America <1%

Northern America <1%

Tomenable
02-07-2021, 04:38 AM
Atlantic History: A Critical Appraisal edited by Jack Greene and Philip D. Morgan (Oxford University Press, 2009) contains an essay by Peter H. Wood called 'From Atlantic History to a Continental Approach' which quotes a chapter called 'North American Population Size: Changing Perspectives' in Douglas H. Ubelaker's Disease and Demography in the Americas (Smithsonian Intitution, 1992) which includes a breakdown of Indian population numbers by region in 1700:

Arctic: 59,000

Sub-arctic: 100,000

Eastern woodlands: 250,000

Plains: 189,000

Great Basin: 34,000

Southwest: 275,000

California: 221,000

Northwest Coast: 175,000


... for a total of just over 1.3 million. It further notes a population decline of 25% by the year 1800.

^ These estimates look very low. Let's compare to high estimates for some specific tribes/nations.

Some examples of nations that had >10,000 people according to the highest available estimates:

Sioux - 150,000 in the year 1762 (estimate by James Gorrell (http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/gorrell_james_3E.html))
Choctaw - 125,000 in the year 1718 (estimate by Le Page du Pratz)
Illinois - 100,000 in the year 1658 (estimate by Jean de Quen)
Shoshoni - 80,000 in the year 1822 (estimate by Jeddediah Morse)
Iroquois - 70,000 in the year 1690 (estimate by A. L. Lahontan)
Blackfeet - 60,000 in the year 1841 (estimate by George Catlin)
Apache - 60,000 in the year 1700 (estimate by J. de Urrutia)
Creek - 50,000 in the year 1794 (estimate by R. Brooke Roberts)
Hopi Pueblo - 50,000 in the year 1584 (Antonio de Espejo, Col. Doc. Ined.)
Huron - 40,000 in the year 1632 (estimate by G. Th. Sagard)
Tano/Maguas Pueblo - 40,000 in 1584 (Antonio de Espejo, Col. Doc. Ined.)
Comanche - 40,000 in the year 1832 (estimate by George Catlin)
Chippewa - 35,000 in the year 1650 (estimate by J. Mooney 1928)
Cherokee - 30,000 in the year 1730 (estimate by J. Adair)
Tuscarora - 30,000 in the year 1600 (estimate by D. Cusick)
Mohicans - 30,000 in the year 1600 (estimate by J. A. Maurault)
Jemes Pueblo - 30,000 in the year 1584 (Antonio de Espejo, Col. Doc. Ined.)
Pawnee - 25,000 in the year 1719 (estimate by J. B. Dunbar)
Neutrals - 20,000 in the year 1616 (estimate by S. Champlain)
Zuni Pueblo - 20,000 in the year 1583 (Antonio de Espejo, Col. Doc. Ined.)
Tewa/Ubates Pueblo - 20,000 in the year 1583 (A. de Espejo, Col. Doc. Ined.)
Cree - 15,000 in the year 1764 (estimate by J. Mooney 1928)
Delaware - 15,000 in the year 1600 (estimate by Th. Donaldson)
Pennacook - 15,000 in the year 1674 (estimate by D. Gookin)
Keres Pueblo - 15,000 in the year 1583 (Antonio de Espejo, Col. Doc. Ined.)
Abnaki - 15,000 in the year 1600 (estimate by J. A. Maurault)
Powhatan - 10,500* in the year 1612 (based on W. Strachey and J. Smith)
Tompiros Pueblo - 10,000 in the year 1630 (estimate by Alonso de Benavides)

Of course, these are just high estimates (the highest I could find) and for specific tribes/nations.

It would be a lot of work, but it would be interesting to add up estimates for every known tribe.

=====

*Powhatan 10,500 refers to the entire confederacy, it can be broken down into individual tribes:

Powhatan Youghtanund - 350
Powhatan Weanoc - 500
Powhatan Warrasqueoc - 300
Powhatan Tauxenent - 200
Powhatan Secacawoni - 150
Powhatan Rappahannock - 500
Powhatan Quioucohanock - 300
Powhatan [proper] - 250
Powhatan Potomac - 1000
Powhatan Piankatank - 200
Powhatan Pataunck - 500
Powhatan Paspahegh - 200
Powhatan Onawmanient - 500
Powhatan Mummapacune - 500
Powhatan Moraughtacund - 400
Powhatan Mattapony - 700
Powhatan Kecoughton - 1000
Powhatan Cuttatawomen - 250
Powhatan Chiskiac - 250
Powhatan Chesapeake - 500
Powhatan Cassapecock - 500
Powhatan Arrohattoc - 300
Powhatan Appomattoc - 500
Powhatan Accomac - 400
Powhatan Accohanock - 200

When added up it gives you >10,000 for the Powhatan confederation as a whole in early 1600s.

Ebizur
02-07-2021, 04:57 AM
The world is divided into 24 regions. Up until the year 1500, over half of these regions each contained fewer than 1% of the world's total population and 520 years later their proportion is only up very slightly. Roughly half of the world's population continues to live in just two regions: South Asia and East Asia, a percentage essentially unchanged for the last 5000 years.It is important to note that these regions did not necessarily contain such overwhelmingly large proportions of the world's human population in the Palćolithic era. An important reason for their high population figures during the last five millennia is the high population density that is afforded by the cultivation and consumption of rice.

Tomenable
02-07-2021, 05:16 AM
BTW colonial (European & African) population of the the present day USA and Canada in the year 1700:

(estimated)

Virginia - 58,560
Massachusetts - 55,940
Maryland - 29,610
Connecticut - 25,960
New York - 19,110
Pennsylvania - 17,950
Quebec - 15,630
New Jersey - 14,010
North Carolina - 10,720
Maine - 9,400
Rhode Island - 5,900
South Carolina - 5,710
New Hampshire - 5,000
Newfoundland - 3,750
Delaware - 2,470
Florida - 1,460
Nova Scotia - 1,400
New Mexico - 1,220
Ontario - 650
Cape Breton - 620
New Brunswick - 600
Manitoba - 210
Illinois - 200
Texas - 150
Minnesota - 150
Mississippi - 120
Michigan - 100
Wisconsin - 100
Arkansas - 50
Arizona - 50

The rest of present day states & provinces still had no any permanent colonial population at that time.

Total - 286,800

RCO
02-07-2021, 12:18 PM
"In the 15th century, ∼900,000 Native Americans, mostly Tupí speakers, lived on the Brazilian coast"
Genomic insight into the origins and dispersal of the Brazilian coastal natives
https://www.pnas.org/content/117/5/2372

Tomenable
09-03-2021, 09:30 PM
^ These estimates look very low. Let's compare to high estimates for some specific tribes/nations.

Some examples of nations that had >10,000 people according to the highest available estimates:

Sioux - 150,000 in the year 1762 (estimate by James Gorrell (http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/gorrell_james_3E.html))
Choctaw - 125,000 in the year 1718 (estimate by Le Page du Pratz)
Illinois - 100,000 in the year 1658 (estimate by Jean de Quen)
Shoshoni - 80,000 in the year 1822 (estimate by Jeddediah Morse)
Iroquois - 70,000 in the year 1690 (estimate by A. L. Lahontan)
Blackfeet - 60,000 in the year 1841 (estimate by George Catlin)
Apache - 60,000 in the year 1700 (estimate by J. de Urrutia)
Creek - 50,000 in the year 1794 (estimate by R. Brooke Roberts)
Hopi Pueblo - 50,000 in the year 1584 (Antonio de Espejo, Col. Doc. Ined.)
Huron - 40,000 in the year 1632 (estimate by G. Th. Sagard)
Tano/Maguas Pueblo - 40,000 in 1584 (Antonio de Espejo, Col. Doc. Ined.)
Comanche - 40,000 in the year 1832 (estimate by George Catlin)
Chippewa - 35,000 in the year 1650 (estimate by J. Mooney 1928)
Cherokee - 30,000 in the year 1730 (estimate by J. Adair)
Tuscarora - 30,000 in the year 1600 (estimate by D. Cusick)
Mohicans - 30,000 in the year 1600 (estimate by J. A. Maurault)
Navajo - 30,000 in the year 1626 (estimate by A. Benevides)
Jemes Pueblo - 30,000 in the year 1584 (Antonio de Espejo, Col. Doc. Ined.)
Pawnee - 25,000 in the year 1719 (estimate by J. B. Dunbar)
Neutrals - 20,000 in the year 1616 (estimate by S. Champlain)
Zuni Pueblo - 20,000 in the year 1583 (Antonio de Espejo, Col. Doc. Ined.)
Tewa/Ubates Pueblo - 20,000 in the year 1583 (A. de Espejo, Col. Doc. Ined.)
Cree - 15,000 in the year 1764 (estimate by J. Mooney 1928)
Delaware - 15,000 in the year 1600 (estimate by Th. Donaldson)
Pennacook - 15,000 in the year 1674 (estimate by D. Gookin)
Keres Pueblo - 15,000 in the year 1583 (Antonio de Espejo, Col. Doc. Ined.)
Abnaki - 15,000 in the year 1600 (estimate by J. A. Maurault)
Powhatan - 10,500* in the year 1612 (based on W. Strachey and J. Smith)
Tompiros Pueblo - 10,000 in the year 1630 (estimate by Alonso de Benavides)

Of course, these are just high estimates (the highest I could find) and for specific tribes/nations.

It would be a lot of work, but it would be interesting to add up estimates for every known tribe.

=====

*Powhatan 10,500 refers to the entire confederacy, it can be broken down into individual tribes:

Powhatan Youghtanund - 350
Powhatan Weanoc - 500
Powhatan Warrasqueoc - 300
Powhatan Tauxenent - 200
Powhatan Secacawoni - 150
Powhatan Rappahannock - 500
Powhatan Quioucohanock - 300
Powhatan [proper] - 250
Powhatan Potomac - 1000
Powhatan Piankatank - 200
Powhatan Pataunck - 500
Powhatan Paspahegh - 200
Powhatan Onawmanient - 500
Powhatan Mummapacune - 500
Powhatan Moraughtacund - 400
Powhatan Mattapony - 700
Powhatan Kecoughton - 1000
Powhatan Cuttatawomen - 250
Powhatan Chiskiac - 250
Powhatan Chesapeake - 500
Powhatan Cassapecock - 500
Powhatan Arrohattoc - 300
Powhatan Appomattoc - 500
Powhatan Accomac - 400
Powhatan Accohanock - 200

When added up it gives you >10,000 for the Powhatan confederation as a whole in early 1600s.

^^^
Most of those estimates for specific tribes which I posted above, can be found in this book:

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b4381154&view=1up&seq=344&skin=2021

=====

Edit:

Based on this publication at the time of Columbus, Amerindian population north of the Rio Grande was around 3,439,665 (3.4 million):

"The aggregate human population in 1500 was probably around 3.4 million" (while Ubelaker's estimate is 1.9 million in 1500).

https://proceedings.caaconference.org/files/2000/35_Snow_CAA_2000.pdf

^^^ See also: "Table 1: North American Indian population change, 1500-1900 (after Ubelaker 1988, with corrections)" on page 2/3.

Snow's figures for the year 1500 are 1.75 times higher than Ubelaker's (rounding up Snow's to 3.5 million, Ubelaker's to 2.0 million):

https://i.imgur.com/2tkTvUj.png

=====


North America - 3,800,000

Mexico - 17,200,000

Central America - 5,625,000

Hispaniola - 1,000,000

The Caribbean - 3,000,000

The Andes - 15,700,000

South America [Lowland] - 8,600,000



These estimates are from William Denevan, The Native Population of the Americas, 1492 (2nd ed., 1994)



-- from a table in Thomas Benjamin, The Atlantic World: Europeans, Africans, Indians and Their Shared History 1400-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2009)

^^^
These estimates look very reasonable too.

Tomenable
09-03-2021, 10:28 PM
^^^
While Native American population was declining, Colonial (white + African slaves, etc.) population was rapidly growing as shown by this graph:

[at some point during the 18th century Europeans became the majority of North America's inhabitants]

https://i.imgur.com/FDl50xA.png

https://i.imgur.com/FDl50xA.png

^^^ It reached close to 6 million by year 1800:

1564 - 300
1565 - 950
1566 - 100
1567 - 100
1568 - 100
1569 - 200
1570 - 200
1571 - 200
1572 - 200
1573 - 200
1574 - 200
1575 - 200
1576 - 200
1577 - 200
1578 - 300
1579 - 300
1580 - 250
1581 - 250
1582 - 200
1583 - 250
1584 - 250
1585 - 250
1586 - 250
1587 - 250
1588 - 250
1589 - 250
1590 - 250
1591 - 250
1592 - 250
1593 - 250
1594 - 250
1595 - 250
1596 - 230
1597 - 250
1598 - 1150
1599 - 1230
1600 - 1230
1601 - 1290
1602 - 1320
1603 - 1340
1604 - 1460
1605 - 1610
1606 - 1600
1607 - 1750
1608 - 1950
1609 - 2050
1610 - 2190
1611 - 2300
1612 - 2630
1613 - 2300
1614 - 2390
1615 - 2400
1616 - 2390
1617 - 2480
1618 - 2510
1619 - 4540
1620 - 4460
1621 - 6250
1622 - 6160
1623 - 6180
1624 - 6310
1625 - 6260
1626 - 6250
1627 - 6260
1628 - 6230
1629 - 6220
1630 - 6410
1631 - 7340
1632 - 9890
1633 - 12900
1634 - 14570
1635 - 16550
1636 - 19550
1637 - 22390
1638 - 24820
1639 - 26780
1640 - 28730
1641 - 32390
1642 - 36010
1643 - 40810
1644 - 42530
1645 - 44240
1646 - 45920
1647 - 47620
1648 - 49280
1649 - 52080
1650 - 54950
1651 - 57020
1652 - 59080
1653 - 61190
1654 - 63660
1655 - 66530
1656 - 69770
1657 - 73000
1658 - 76230
1659 - 80450
1660 - 84680
1661 - 87990
1662 - 91230
1663 - 94520
1664 - 97800
1665 - 101070
1666 - 107870
1667 - 114670
1668 - 117860
1669 - 120530
1670 - 124820
1671 - 133080
1672 - 140360
1673 - 145750
1674 - 149490
1675 - 157730
1676 - 161580
1677 - 160550
1678 - 163070
1679 - 165080
1680 - 170650
1681 - 174300
1682 - 178750
1683 - 185320
1684 - 189820
1685 - 199710
1686 - 204220
1687 - 210650
1688 - 215300
1689 - 221680
1690 - 229280
1691 - 231760
1692 - 234890
1693 - 238940
1694 - 243880
1695 - 249860
1696 - 254250
1697 - 261580
1698 - 268940
1699 - 279920
1700 - 286800
1701 - 294633
1702 - 302262
1703 - 318452
1704 - 322430
1705 - 324758
1706 - 331909
1707 - 340429
1708 - 350924
1709 - 362196
1710 - 376106
1711 - 393485
1712 - 410701
1713 - 427414
1714 - 447102
1715 - 463685
1716 - 473195
1717 - 485477
1718 - 498095
1719 - 506919
1720 - 518583
1721 - 536391
1722 - 555202
1723 - 575822
1724 - 597006
1725 - 612729
1726 - 628466
1727 - 651073
1728 - 668337
1729 - 689432
1730 - 714495
1731 - 753269
1732 - 786490
1733 - 815475
1734 - 848178
1735 - 881452
1736 - 896066
1737 - 916050
1738 - 946829
1739 - 978812
1740 - 1010772
1741 - 1044687
1742 - 1078881
1743 - 1105407
1744 - 1129963
1745 - 1154775
1746 - 1187115
1747 - 1226604
1748 - 1248681
1749 - 1275062
1750 - 1303968
1751 - 1328214
1752 - 1352381
1753 - 1388563
1754 - 1436515
1755 - 1471785
1756 - 1579068
1757 - 1621362
1758 - 1664676
1759 - 1719128
1760 - 1778366
1761 - 1838102
1762 - 1894970
1763 - 1943675
1764 - 1999112
1765 - 2042449
1766 - 2109834
1767 - 2161804
1768 - 2207231
1769 - 2269285
1770 - 2362466
1771 - 2491963
1772 - 2601654
1773 - 2684387
1774 - 2781200
1775 - 2822616
1776 - 2866569
1777 - 2917002
1778 - 2967390
1779 - 3018104
1780 - 3045314
1781 - 3110123
1782 - 3170483
1783 - 3236187
1784 - 3311352
1785 - 3423675
1786 - 3534916
1787 - 3762598
1788 - 3931325
1789 - 4091179
1790 - 4267439
1791 - 4467814
1792 - 4604714
1793 - 4741726
1794 - 4879220
1795 - 5019704
1796 - 5159761
1797 - 5296823
1798 - 5434818
1799 - 5590893
1800 - 5777011


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyTck7P288E

^^^
From 3 states, European settlers were driven out by Native warriors after initial settlement:

- New Mexico (first settlers in 1598, all settlers driven out in 1680, new settlers arrived in 1692)*
- Arizona (first settlers in 1687, all settlers driven out in 1750, new settlers arrived in 1752)
- Montana (first settlers in 1807, all settlers driven out in 1812, new settlers arrived in 1828)

In 1800 there were 14 states in the USA without any existing European forts or settlements:

[I'm talking about present-day states of course; at that time they were not states, and even were not yet inhabited by Europeans]

State (date when the first fort or settlement of at least 50 people was established):

North Dakota (1801)
Oregon (1804)
Montana (1807 / 1828)
Idaho (1809)
South Dakota (1817)
Kansas (1821)
Nebraska (1822)
Colorado (1825)
Utah (1828)
Iowa (1833)
Wyoming (1834)
Washington (1845)
Nevada (1850)
Oklahoma (1889)

*That was the 1680 Pueblo revolt against the Spanish, which caused the large-scale spread of Spanish horses into the Great Plains.

Tomenable
09-04-2021, 06:25 PM
If we rely on high estimates, then New England alone had a Native population size of ca. 150-200 thousand:

https://native-land.ca/ - tribal territories ("Languages") can be compared to modern state borders ("Labels")

[it is possible, that some of the smaller/minor tribes of New England, are missing from the table posted below]

https://i.imgur.com/CnPZTFO.png

^^^
If the Native population of New England was 150-200K, then the pop. density there was ca. 1 person per 1 km2:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/98/NE_NA_relief.png

=====

But for example all of Delaware and New Jersey (area - 24200 km2) was inhabited by the same tribe - Lenape.

And Lenape numbered, according to high estimates, 15000 people. So there the population density was lower.

New England apparently had an exceptionally high Native population density.

=====

New England was also densely settled by European population already during the 1600s.

In year 1638 when the Pequot War ended there were over 10000 whites in New England:

Vermont - 0
Maine - 800
New Hampshire - 950
Massachusetts - 8590
Connecticut - 1020
Rhode Island - 180

In the Pequot War most of the tribes fought against the Pequots as allies of New England.

=====

In year 1700, white European population of New England was already over 100 thousand:

Vermont - 0
Maine - 9400
New Hampshire - 5000
Massachusetts - 55940
Connecticut - 25960
Rhode Island - 5900

The first European fort/settlement in Vermont was established in year 1724.

https://i.imgur.com/QyWr5MQ.png

Ajeje Brazorf
03-30-2022, 05:12 PM
World population by year, 10000 BC to 2000 AD



Year
Population


-10000
6,000,000


-9900
6,205,871


-9800
6,418,805


-9700
6,639,045


-9600
6,866,843


-9500
7,102,456


-9400
7,346,154


-9300
7,598,213


-9200
7,858,921


-9100
8,128,575


-9000
8,407,480


-8900
8,695,956


-8800
8,994,329


-8700
9,302,940


-8600
9,622,140


-8500
9,952,293


-8400
10,293,774


-8300
10,646,971


-8200
11,012,287


-8100
11,390,138


-8000
11,780,954


-7900
12,185,179


-7800
12,603,274


-7700
13,035,714


-7600
13,482,993


-7500
13,945,618


-7400
14,424,116


-7300
14,919,033


-7200
15,430,931


-7100
15,960,394


-7000
16,508,023


-6900
17,074,442


-6800
17,660,296


-6700
18,266,252


-6600
18,892,999


-6500
19,541,251


-6400
20,211,745


-6300
20,905,246


-6200
21,622,541


-6100
22,364,449


-6000
23,131,812


-5900
23,925,505


-5800
24,746,431


-5700
25,595,525


-5600
26,473,752


-5500
27,382,113


-5400
28,321,641


-5300
29,293,407


-5200
30,298,515


-5100
31,338,110


-5000
32,413,376


-4900
33,525,535


-4800
34,675,855


-4700
35,865,645


-4600
37,096,258


-4500
38,369,096


-4400
39,685,607


-4300
41,047,289


-4200
42,455,694


-4100
43,912,423


-4000
45,419,135


-3900
46,977,546


-3800
48,589,428


-3700
50,256,616


-3600
51,981,009


-3500
53,764,568


-3400
55,609,325


-3300
57,517,379


-3200
59,490,901


-3100
61,532,138


-3000
63,643,414


-2900
65,827,131


-2800
68,085,775


-2700
70,421,917


-2600
72,838,217


-2500
75,337,424


-2400
77,922,383


-2300
80,596,037


-2200
83,361,428


-2100
86,221,705


-2000
89,180,123


-1900
92,240,050


-1800
95,404,967


-1700
98,678,479


-1600
102,064,311


-1500
105,566,317


-1400
109,188,482


-1300
112,934,930


-1200
116,809,926


-1100
120,817,880


-1000
124,963,353


-900
129,251,065


-800
133,685,896


-700
138,272,893


-600
143,017,279


-500
147,924,453


-400
153,000,000


-300
173,327,993


-200
196,356,818


-100
222,445,315


1
252,000,000


100
254,475,158


200
257,000,000


300
243,761,816


400
231,205,536


500
219,296,036


600
208,000,000


700
218,437,718


800
229,399,215


900
240,910,775


1000
253,000,000


1100
318,119,474


1200
400,000,000


1300
429,569,113


1400
375,000,000


1500
461,000,000


1600
578,000,000


1700
680,000,000


1800
954,000,000


1900
1,634,000,000


2000
6,143,493,823

Ajeje Brazorf
04-01-2022, 12:14 PM
<colgroup><col style="mso-width-source:userset;mso-width-alt:6034;width:124pt" width="165"> <col style="mso-width-source:userset;mso-width-alt:13604;width:279pt" width="372"> </colgroup><tbody>
World human population
Year and comparison with other animal species nowadays


10 million individuals
8500 BC (same amount as mules today)


12-13 million individuals
7750 BC (same amount as deers or mules today)


27 million individuals
5500 BC (same amount as kangaroos today)


40 million individuals
4380 BC (same amount as donkeys today)


58 million individuals
3270 BC (same amount as horses today)


109 million individuals
1420 BC (same amount as equids today)


173 million individuals
300 BC (same amount as buffaloes today)


600 million individuals
1620 AD (same amount as cats today)


850 million individuals
1770 AD (same amount as goats today)


900 million individuals
1790 AD (same amount as dogs today)


1 billion individuals
1810 AD (same amount as sheep or pigs today)


1,5 billion individuals
1890 AD (same amount as cattle today)

</tbody>

pmokeefe
04-01-2022, 12:24 PM
<colgroup><col style="mso-width-source:userset;mso-width-alt:6034;width:124pt" width="165"> <col style="mso-width-source:userset;mso-width-alt:13604;width:279pt" width="372"> </colgroup><tbody>
World human population
Year and comparison with other animal species nowadays


10 million individuals
8500 BC (same amount as mules today)


12-13 million individuals
7750 BC (same amount as deers or mules today)


27 million individuals
5500 BC (same amount as kangaroos today)


40 million individuals
4380 BC (same amount as donkeys today)


58 million individuals
3270 BC (same amount as horses today)


109 million individuals
1420 BC (same amount as equids today)


173 million individuals
300 BC (same amount as buffaloes today)


600 million individuals
1620 AD (same amount as cats today)


850 million individuals
1770 AD (same amount as goats today)


900 million individuals
1790 AD (same amount as dogs today)


1 billion individuals
1810 AD (same amount as sheep or pigs today)


1,5 billion individuals
1890 AD (same amount as cattle today)

</tbody>

My apologies for such a trivial quibble but ...
"There are an estimated 30 million white-tailed deer, including subspecies, currently distributed throughout the continental US."
https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/wildlife/profiles/deer.html

Ajeje Brazorf
04-01-2022, 12:31 PM
My apologies for such a trivial quibble but ...
"There are an estimated 30 million white-tailed deer, including subspecies, currently distributed throughout the continental US."
https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/wildlife/profiles/deer.html

Thanks for correction.

Tomenable
04-05-2022, 02:24 AM
My proposed estimates of the Native American population in what is now the USA (without Canada):

Year - Native population / Colonial population

1600 - ca. 3 million / 1 thousand
1701 - 2.5 million / 271 thousand
1743 - 2.3 million / 1 million
1769 - 2.1 million / 2.1 million
1783 - 2 million / 3 million
1800 - 1.8 million / 5.4 million
1810 - 1.65 million / 7.3 million
1820 - 1.5 million / 9.5 million
1830 - 1.4 million / 13 million
1840 - 1.2 million / 17 million
1850 - 1 million / 23 million
1860 - 760 thousand / 31.5 million
1865 - 670 thousand / 35 million
1870 - 570 thousand / 38.5 million
1875 - 460 thousand / 44 million
1880 - 343323 (census) / 50 million

=====

Now just the Wild West (including California, excluding New Mexico):

Year - Native population / Colonial population

1820 - 1 million / 6 thousand
1830 - 950 thousand / 9 thousand
1840 - 850 thousand / 12 thousand
1845 - 780 thousand / 20 thousand
1850 - 700 thousand / 130 thousand
1855 - 600 thousand / 0.5 million
1860 - 500 thousand / 0.8 million
1865 - 430 thousand / 1.3 million
1870 - 365 thousand / 1.8 million
1875 - 300 thousand / 2.9 million
1880 - 232938 (census) / 4 million

Tomenable
04-21-2022, 08:40 PM
My apologies for such a trivial quibble but ...
"There are an estimated 30 million white-tailed deer, including subspecies, currently distributed throughout the continental US."
https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/wildlife/profiles/deer.html

Anticosti Island alone has over 166 thousand deer (20.9 deer per km2) while it has never really had any human population:

https://www.sepaq.com/chasse/chevreuil/anticosti.dot?language_id=1

But these deer on Anticosti Island are an invasive species.

Granary
04-23-2022, 05:08 PM
My proposed estimates of the Native American population in what is now the USA (without Canada):

Year - Native population / Colonial population

1600 - ca. 3 million / 1 thousand
1701 - 2.5 million / 271 thousand
1743 - 2.3 million / 1 million
1769 - 2.1 million / 2.1 million
1783 - 2 million / 3 million
1800 - 1.8 million / 5.4 million
1810 - 1.65 million / 7.3 million
1820 - 1.5 million / 9.5 million
1830 - 1.4 million / 13 million
1840 - 1.2 million / 17 million
1850 - 1 million / 23 million
1860 - 760 thousand / 31.5 million
1865 - 670 thousand / 35 million
1870 - 570 thousand / 38.5 million
1875 - 460 thousand / 44 million
1880 - 343323 (census) / 50 million

=====

Now just the Wild West (including California, excluding New Mexico):

Year - Native population / Colonial population

1820 - 1 million / 6 thousand
1830 - 950 thousand / 9 thousand
1840 - 850 thousand / 12 thousand
1845 - 780 thousand / 20 thousand
1850 - 700 thousand / 130 thousand
1855 - 600 thousand / 0.5 million
1860 - 500 thousand / 0.8 million
1865 - 430 thousand / 1.3 million
1870 - 365 thousand / 1.8 million
1875 - 300 thousand / 2.9 million
1880 - 232938 (census) / 4 million

3 million might a bit on the upper side if you consider that some natives have already been hit by diseases, though if you think there were 4-5 million natives in 1492 then that figure is possible.
You seem to put 1/3 of all natives West of the Rockies, not sure if that's too much or reasonable.

https://www.academia.edu/13999531/Prehistoric_demography_of_North_America_inferred_f rom_radiocarbon_data

This sources gives a medium count peak value of 2.4 and a high count peak value of 3 million, by 1492 this value would have been lower and I imagine after the diseases spread in the southern US and the 16th century droughts the figure was maybe around 2 million.

Granary
04-23-2022, 05:20 PM
^^^
Most of those estimates for specific tribes which I posted above, can be found in this book:

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b4381154&view=1up&seq=344&skin=2021

=====

Edit:

Based on this publication at the time of Columbus, Amerindian population north of the Rio Grande was around 3,439,665 (3.4 million):

"The aggregate human population in 1500 was probably around 3.4 million" (while Ubelaker's estimate is 1.9 million in 1500).

https://proceedings.caaconference.org/files/2000/35_Snow_CAA_2000.pdf

^^^ See also: "Table 1: North American Indian population change, 1500-1900 (after Ubelaker 1988, with corrections)" on page 2/3.

Snow's figures for the year 1500 are 1.75 times higher than Ubelaker's (rounding up Snow's to 3.5 million, Ubelaker's to 2.0 million):

https://i.imgur.com/2tkTvUj.png

=====



^^^
These estimates look very reasonable too.

The figure for Hispaniola has been thoroughly dismantled by Reich's Lab genetic study on the region which shows that it's extremely unlikely that the population of Hispaniola+Puerto Rico was higher than 100k, I think this single refutation casts a lot of doubt on the validity of the methodology of people that estimated much higher figures for this region along side other, if they got it so wrong in Hispaniola what stops their methods for being just as wrong for other regions?

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33361817/

Tomenable
04-27-2022, 03:11 AM
3 million might a bit on the upper side if you consider that some natives have already been hit by diseases, though if you think there were 4-5 million natives in 1492 then that figure is possible.
You seem to put 1/3 of all natives West of the Rockies, not sure if that's too much or reasonable.

https://www.academia.edu/13999531/Prehistoric_demography_of_North_America_inferred_f rom_radiocarbon_data

This sources gives a medium count peak value of 2.4 and a high count peak value of 3 million, by 1492 this value would have been lower and I imagine after the diseases spread in the southern US and the 16th century droughts the figure was maybe around 2 million.

I arrived at this 2.5 - 3 million figure by summing up numbers for U.S. tribes from this table:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_history_of_Indigenous_peoples_of_the_Am ericas#Estimations_by_tribe

^^^
And this table was actually added to Wikipedia by me, I have collected this data. This is not a complete list of all tribes yet, some like e.g. Mikmaq* and other tribes from Canada's Maritime Provinces are still missing. Some tribes from Oregon Country are also still missing. But all the most important tribes are already there.

I was using mainly highest available estimates for each tribe. My reasoning was like this:

Lower estimates might refer to either 1) times when a tribe was already decimated or 2) just part of a tribe's population / territory, not entirety.

So I assumed that the highest estimate is usually the most valid at least for pre-diseases times (so times with the peak population for each tribe).

*I'm finding conflicting numbers for the Mikmaq. From as low as 15K to as high as 50K but in this case I'm not sure if I can trust the high estimate.

BTW the first reliable censuses for Native Americans were:

USA 1880 census - counted 343,323 Natives in total
CAN 1885 census - counted 131,952 Natives in total

Combined USA + Canada had 475,275 Natives in 1880-85.

So let's say that around half a million remained by then.

=====

The sum for all tribes from my "Estimates by tribe" Wiki table is currently 3,196,575 (for the USA and Canada combined) and some tribes are still missing.

E.g. I'm not sure which of these can be added, because most of these are rather unknown (hard to find more info about them - like where they lived etc.):

http://www.nanations.com/tribes.htm

https://www.aaanativearts.com/extinct-tribes/extinct-native-american-indian-tribes-a

In my table I added also data on the number of villages/towns each tribe had, if available.

Especially J. R. Swanton gives lot of data on villages, for example he wrote that the Iroquois had in total 226 towns/villages (and he listed them by name):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_R._Swanton - but as for population siizes, he borrowed all estimates from James Mooney (so they are low estimates)

Tomenable
04-27-2022, 03:17 AM
The figure for Hispaniola has been thoroughly dismantled by Reich's Lab genetic study on the region which shows that it's extremely unlikely that the population of Hispaniola+Puerto Rico was higher than 100k, I think this single refutation casts a lot of doubt on the validity of the methodology of people that estimated much higher figures for this region along side other, if they got it so wrong in Hispaniola what stops their methods for being just as wrong for other regions?

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33361817/

I agree, genetics-based estimates can clarify a lot of things and answer many questions!

Tomenable
04-27-2022, 03:44 AM
BTW - George Catlin (painter) personally visited in his lifetime as many as 48 tribes of the "Wild West", and he estimated their combined population as at least 400,000. I've included some of his estimates in that Table. Catlin visited those tribes between the 1830s and the 1850s so his estimates of their population refer to this time period.

Check out his paintings they are awesome:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Catlin

"he produced more than 500 paintings"

And:

"In 1879 Harrison's widow donated the original Indian Gallery, more than 500 works, along with related artifacts, to the Smithsonian. The nearly complete surviving set of Catlin's first Indian Gallery, painted in the 1830s, is now part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection. The associated Catlin artifacts are in the collections of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian. Some 700 sketches are held by the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. Some artifacts from Catlin are in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology collections. The Huntington Library in San Marino, California also holds 239 of Catlin's illustrations."

Tomenable
04-27-2022, 04:15 AM
You seem to put 1/3 of all natives West of the Rockies, not sure if that's too much or reasonable.

Well, California was among the most densely inhabited regions in pre-contact times, and California Natives have been reliably estimated as 310,000 - 340,000 in year 1769 (= at first contact with the Spanish). I added 340,000 for California in that Table. Sources are provided, including him:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherburne_F._Cook

California Natives population over time:

Year - population

1769 - 340,000
1800 - 260,000
1834 - 210,000
1845 - 150,000
1853 - 100,000
1859 - 65,000
1865 - 33,860
1870 - 30,000
1880 - 20,385 (census - but there could be a slight undercount of remote groups/bands)
1890 - 16,624 (census - but there could be a slight undercount of remote groups/bands)
1900 - 15,377 (census)

California Natives started "dying like flies" only during the Gold Rush (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Gold_Rush). From 1769 to 1845 the decline was slower.

Kale
04-27-2022, 04:49 AM
If we rely on high estimates, then New England alone had a Native population size of ca. 150-200 thousand:
New England apparently had an exceptionally high Native population density.

New England could definitely sustain that population size or more, that is if you manage the forests and acquire a taste for acorns.
I lived on maybe half an acre as a kid and one time my siblings and I decided to collect all the acorns in the yard, after making a small dent we gave up somewhere around 7 gallons.

I imagine at least some tribes collected vast quantities during the season, stored them dry and processed and ate them as needed.
Hickory nuts too used to be a lot more common than they are today, I've only seen them in one place locally, you can smell them from a hundred yards :P the taste is much milder than the smell thankfully.

Tomenable
04-27-2022, 07:31 PM
though if you think there were 4-5 million natives in 1492 then that figure is possible

It is unlikely that diseases killed so many (1-2 million) in North America in period 1492-1600. Most likely only the South-East (where Spaniards explored Florida + De Soto's expedition further inland + short-lived colonies in Georgia in 1526 and in both Carolinas* in the 1560s-1580s) as well as the Maritime Canada (Cabot arriving in 1497 and a lot of contact throughout the 1500s, also a short-lived French colony at the St. Lawrence River in 1541-1543) could be hit hard by diseases so early. Many scholars argue that it is unlikely that epidemics preceded contact with Europeans (i.e. that they were transmitted between Natives over long distances).

Only some scholars believe that the spread of diseases preceded the arrival of Europeans. Others think it was unlikely.

*In South Carolina Spain established a town Santa Elena which survived long (1566-1587) but was then abandoned.

In Virginia there was a short-lived Ajacan colony in 1570-1571. In Tennessee Fort San Pedro & Fort San Pablo in 1567-1569.

Granary
04-27-2022, 07:47 PM
BTW - George Catlin (painter) personally visited in his lifetime as many as 48 tribes of the "Wild West", and he estimated their combined population as at least 400,000. I've included some of his estimates in that Table. Catlin visited those tribes between the 1830s and the 1850s so his estimates of their population refer to this time period.

Check out his paintings they are awesome:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Catlin

"he produced more than 500 paintings"

And:

"In 1879 Harrison's widow donated the original Indian Gallery, more than 500 works, along with related artifacts, to the Smithsonian. The nearly complete surviving set of Catlin's first Indian Gallery, painted in the 1830s, is now part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection. The associated Catlin artifacts are in the collections of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian. Some 700 sketches are held by the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. Some artifacts from Catlin are in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology collections. The Huntington Library in San Marino, California also holds 239 of Catlin's illustrations."
I'm personally not the biggest fan of eyewitness accounts and estimations, but at least they seem to be less crazy than the estimates than some modern scholars come up with.
But seeing your numbers I'm surprised there was no clearly exaggerated estimate, did you purposefully exclude estimates that you thought were too big or did you really not encounter any?

Granary
04-27-2022, 07:49 PM
It is unlikely that diseases killed so many (1-2 million) in North America in period 1492-1600. Most likely only the South-East (where Spaniards explored Florida + De Soto's expedition further inland + short-lived colonies in Georgia in 1526 and in both Carolinas* in the 1560s-1580s) as well as the Maritime Canada (Cabot arriving in 1497 and a lot of contact throughout the 1500s, also a short-lived French colony at the St. Lawrence River in 1541-1543) could be hit hard by diseases so early. Many scholars argue that it is unlikely that epidemics preceded contact with Europeans (i.e. that they were transmitted between Natives over long distances).

Only some scholars believe that the spread of diseases preceded the arrival of Europeans. Others think it was unlikely.

*In South Carolina Spain established a town Santa Elena which survived long (1566-1587) but was then abandoned.

In Virginia there was a short-lived Ajacan colony in 1570-1571. In Tennessee Fort San Pedro & Fort San Pablo in 1567-1569.
What I find weird is that your estimates seem to claim that there was a reduction of only 40% between 1600 and 1800 or I guess 60% excluding the West, what were the tribes that were not hit according to your view? Central plain groups? Midwestern natives?

I actually agree that diseases spread with direct contact with Europeans(which frankly shows the low level of trade and economic integration in the region...) but I would have thought that South-East woodlands would have been more important.

Tomenable
04-27-2022, 09:19 PM
But seeing your numbers I'm surprised there was no clearly exaggerated estimate, did you purposefully exclude estimates that you thought were too big or did you really not encounter any?

I really did not encounter any, but I used mostly estimates from primary sources = eyewitnesses who lived in the 16th-19th centuries American Frontier and had direct contact and interacted on a daily basis with those tribes. Only in few cases I used secondary sources (20th-21st century estimates).

So yeah, there was no any clearly exaggerated estimate.

Tomenable
04-27-2022, 09:31 PM
What I find weird is that your estimates seem to claim that there was a reduction of only 40% between 1600 and 1800 or I guess 60% excluding the West

That was a preliminary estimate, I'm still working on it and it will be updated, probably the final result will show a greater reduction.

Probably the main reason why the reduction seems too small is because I overestimated the number of remaining Indians east of the Mississippi River in 1800. For example I just recently found out that Central Kentucky was almost totally depopulated already in the mid-18th century, there was probably just one Native town left there:

https://www.kyatlas.com/ky-eskippathiki.html - the Indian town of Eskippathiki (called Kentucky by the Iroquois - so the name of the state comes from this town)

https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/12330533/eskippakithiki-the-last-indian-town-in-kentucky-the-filson- - "Eskippathiki the last Indian town in Kentucky?"

There were more Indian settlements along the Ohio River on the northern border of Kentucky, but Central Kentucky was probably mostly depopulated (was only used as hunting grounds) by mid-18th century.

But main reasons for depopulation of Kentucky were 1) the Beaver Wars & 2) because it was a "no man's land" between hostile to each other tribes. Not diseases.

Kentucky Beaver Wars - http://thefreedomskool.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-kentucky-beaver-wars-1600s.html?m=1


I'm personally not the biggest fan of eyewitness accounts and estimations, but at least they seem to be less crazy than the estimates than some modern scholars come up with.

Well, it was often a "matter of life and death" for early European settlers to know how many warriors the tribes they were facing could mobilize.

So I'm sure they tried to gather as much of accurate intel as possible about neighbouring tribes.

In the 1600s English settlers were very outnumbered by the Indians. Not to mention the French.

Tomenable
04-27-2022, 10:16 PM
Oh wait now I remember that I actually did encounter a clearly exaggerated estimate at least for the Haida tribe and I purposefully excluded it. IIRC it was something like 50,000 Haida. But it was an estimate by a modern 21st century Canadian scholar.

Instead I used for Haida the 8,400 figure from:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_F._Newcombe

If they were really 50,000 then the Haida Gwaii archipelago would be probably the most densely inhabited (by far!) region of pre-Columbian North America... :)

Haida Gwaii covers 10,180 km2 (3,930 sq mi).

So 8,400 people is realistic but not 50,000...

Granary
04-27-2022, 10:35 PM
Oh wait now I remember that I actually did encounter a clearly exaggerated estimate at least for the Haida tribe and I purposefully excluded it. IIRC it was something like 50,000 Haida. But it was an estimate by a modern 21st century Canadian scholar.

Instead I used for Haida the 8,400 figure from:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_F._Newcombe

If they were really 50,000 then the Haida Gwaii archipelago would be probably the most densely inhabited (by far!) region of pre-Columbian North America... :)

Haida Gwaii covers 10,180 km2 (3,930 sq mi).

So 8,400 people is realistic but not 50,000...

Some modern estimates are very out there, even the Spanish said there were millions of people in Hispaniola, which is why I'm surprised the first account estimates for North America seem to have been more conservative.

Tomenable
04-27-2022, 11:47 PM
Some modern estimates are very out there, even the Spanish said there were millions of people in Hispaniola, which is why I'm surprised the first account estimates for North America seem to have been more conservative.

I have always doubted these high figures for Hispaniola. But Mesoamerica and the Andes had large populations. What about the Isthmo-Colombian region?