National Geographic : 1893 Mar 20
24 Henry Gannett-Movements of our Population. losses which these states have sustained have been repaired only in part by the fecundity of the people. On the other hand, in the newer states where settlement began since we became a nation, the rate of increase of population was at first extremely large and then diminished down to the present time; but it has not diminished uniformly or continuously, be cause of certain disturbing elements. In the progress of settlement of this and perhaps other coun tries there is a certain order or sequence in the occupations fol lowed by the majority of the people, an order which accompanies and is closely related to the increasing density of the population. After the pioneers, or hunters, trappers, etc, commonly follow herdsmen and ranchmen as the first settlers. The raising of cattle, which requires a wide range of country for pasturage, is the prominent industry of a newly opened territory. Then farmers come and gradually crowd the herdsmen out. The land is occupied in small parcels and affords sustenance to a much larger number, but the time ultimately arrives when the popu lation becomes too dense for profitable farming, and a portion of the people, taking the hint given them by the increasing hard ness of the times, enter other avocations; and so manufactures and commerce take their beginnings and gradually grow and multiply until the farmer finds himself in the minority. The body of people are engaged in making things instead of raising things. Now, when a nation or state approaches the limit in density of population of successful farming it does not pass easily and freely into a manufacturing community. There is more or less trouble. There are hard times and a depreciation of values for a while. It is a sort of dead-point in the machinery; but when the change is effected, or on the way to be effected, pros perity once more beams upon the community. This is not an ideal case. We have before us in the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, and in parts of adjacent states examples of communities which are now passing through just such a crisis. The growth of population in these states is at present very slow. The farmers are getting crowded, while other industries are not sufficiently advanced to take their place. A quarter of a century ago southern New England was in that situation, but has now emerged from it, and having become a manufacturing section is exceedingly prosperous and the popu lation is increasing again with great rapidity, the increase being essentially urban.
1893 Apr 7
1893 Feb 20