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deduced from actual observations independent of hypotheses; neither does he undertake the construction of any table of mortality, but by way of example, gives that of M. Kersseboom, with the changes of the numbers which become necessary, in consequence of his altering the radix from 1,400 annual births to 1,000.
Sussmilch took great pains in collecting the numbers of annual deaths in the different intervals of age, which he published in his Göttliche Ordnung; and four tables of mortality formed from these data are to be found in the same work; that in the second volume (461,) which has many imperfections, was formed by himself; the three others, being the 21st, 22d, and 23d, at the end of the third voluine, were constructed by his commentator Baumann, according to the more correct method of Lambert.
The first edition of Dr. Price's Observations on Reversionary Payments, appeared in 1771, containing his observations on the proper method of constructing tables of mortality from bills which shew the numbers dying annually at all ages, and three new tables of mortality constructed from the London, Norwich, and Northampton bills.
The second edition of the same work was published in 1772, and contained, in the supplement, much interesting and valuable information which did not appear in the first, together with five new tables, intended to exhibit the law of mortality that obtained, 1st, in the district of Vaud, in Switzerland; 2d, in a country parish in Bradenburg; 3d, in the parish of Holy Cross, near Shrewsbury; 4th, at Vienne; 5th, at Berlin. The tirst formed from bills of mortality given in the Memoire of M. Muret; and the 2d, 4th, and 5th, from those given by Sussmilch in his Göttliche Ordnung; the 3d, was from the parish register only of Holy Cross. But we consider none of those tables as now of any value, on account of the defects in the data from which they were constructed.
At the end of the first volume of the work of J. H. Lambert, (8vo.) published at Berlin in 1765, he gave a chapter on the certainty of inferences deduced from observations and experiments; and the example with which he concluded the illustration of his theory, was the deduction of the law of mortality in London from the bills of mortality there ; by means of a curve, of which the absciss being proportional to the age, the corresponding ordinate was proportional to the number of survivors of the same age.
M. Lambert also constructed a table by which he intended to exhibit the law of mortality that prevails among mankind in general, from the 23d and 24th tables in the second volume of Sussmilch's Göttliche Ordnung, which gave the numbers of deaths, in the different intervals of age, in seventeen country parishes in the mark of Bradenburgh, and from the London bills for thirty years; supposing, with Sussmilch, (Gött. Ord. t. i. $34,) that the country people are double the number of those residing in towns.
By an extract of a letter from M. Lambert, to Gaeta and Fontana, given in their Italian translation of Demoivre's Treatise on Life Annuities, (Discorso Preliminare, part iii.) it appears, that all his attempts to find a posteriori an equation which should determine the relation between the age and the number of survivors in this last table, proved fruitless; the formulæ he arrived at having been either too long and intricate, or too
incorrect. This is the less to be regretted, since there is no doubt that M. Lambert's table did not represent the true law of mortality, as he made no allowance for the effect of the increase of the people by procreation; and it is singular he did not see that that law might be correctly determined from the numbers of the living, and the annual deaths at all ages in Sweden and Finland, given in M. Wargentin's paper in the Stockholm Transactions for 1766, which paper he himself quotes.
Lambert appears to have first demonstrated clearly the principal properties of tables of mortality, in doing which he made use of the differential and integral calculus; but as he could not determine the equation to the curve of mortality, that resource did not avail him much.
Flourencourt treated this subject algebraically in the third chapter of his Political Arithmetic, where he gave a perspicuous view of it, as it had been previously treated by Euler and Lambert; but added nothing himself that was original, except three new tables of mortality; one for males, another for females, and a third for both sexes without distinction; deriving his data in each case from the Göttliche Ordnung of Sussmilch.
He also gave a new copy of the table of mortality M. Deparcieux had constructed from the registers of the nominees in the Freuch tontines; assuming 10,000 for the radix, and inserting the numbers under three years of age, nearly according to M. Kersseboom's table; this, however, does not differ materially from the original table of Deparcieux.
The fourth edition of Dr. Price's Observations on Reversionary Payments was published in the year 1783, and contained new tables of mortality for Warrington and Chester, also for all Sweden and Finland, and for Stockholm separately, in which the sexes were distinguished. Those for the whole kingdom were constructed from enumerations of the living, and registers of the annual deaths, in each interval of age, during twenty-one years; those for Stockholm during nine years.
The tables for Sweden and Stockholm, were the first ever constructed from the data that are requisite to determine the law of mortality among the bulk of the people, and were sufficiently accurate representations of that law, for the times and places in which the observations were made.
In a paper of M. Henrich Nicander, inserted in the Transactions of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Stockholm, for the first quarter of the year 1801, he gave two tables of mortality for all Sweden and Finland, in which the sexes were distinguished, but they were not properly constructed; and the mean duration of life which he gave in them at each age, was very erroneous, especially in early life. In that paper he asserted, without offering any demonstration or proof, that, in what we have called the curve of mortality above, if an ordinate be drawn through the centre of gravity of the portion of the area cut off by the ordinate at any assigned age, on the side of the more advanced ages, the part of the base, or of the axe of the abscisses, intercepted between these two ordinates, will measure the mean duration of life after such assigned age. And the mean duration of life after each age, which he has given, was determined in this manner.
Mr. Milne's Treatise on Annuities and Assurances was published in the year 1815; and, in the third chapter of that work, the construction and properties of tables of mortality are fully treated of.
In the second volume of the same work, three new tables of mortality are given; one constructed from very accurate observations made at Carlisle, by Dr. Heysham, who preserved the bills of mortality of the two parishes, which include that city and its environs, and supplied their deficiences with great care, together with correct accounts of two enumerations of the inhabitants, in which their ages were taken; and a table showing the diseases by which the deaths at all ages were occasioned, is also given.
The fourth and fifth tables in Mr. Milne's work, exhibit the law of mortality which prevailed in all Sweden and Finland, both with and without distinction of the sexes, deduced from the registers kept and the enumerations made there, during twenty years ending with 1795 ; which term was subsequent to that wherein the observations were made, froin which Dr. Price's tables were constructed.
The seventh table in the same work exhibits the law of mortality at Montpellier for males and females separately, and was constructed from the bills of mortality of that place for twenty-one years, ending with 1792.
The second table at the end of this article, was published in the first edition of it in 1822; the tables of mortality for the lives insured in the Equitable Office, which were constructed by Mr. Babbage and Mr. Davies, were published in 1826; and we have given some account of them as well as of those formed by Mr. Finlaison, from observations on Government Annuities in this country, and published in 1829, in the article Annuities in this work. M. M. Quetelet and Edouard Smits, in their “ Recherches sur la
reproduction et la mortalité de l'Homme,” in 1832, gave a table of
mortality for the towns and the rural districts in Belgium separately, distinguishing males from females, and also for the whole population, without distinguishing the sexes, or the inhabitants of towns from those of the country.
Mr. Morgan, in the above mentioned publication of the Equitable Assurance Society, in 1835, gave a table of mortality for the lives insured in it, (marked C, p. 28,) derived from table A, of that work; another (D) derived from table B, is not worth a place there.
The second of the tables at the end of Dr. Casper's work on the Probabilities of Human Life, published in 1835, was intended to exhibit the law of mortality in Berlin, with distinction of the sexes; it was constructed from 69,362 deaths at different ages; 36,895 of males, 32,467 of females, which took place there during the twelve years, 1818–1829. And M. Mallet at the end of his valuable Memoire, published in 1836, has given one for Geneva, in which the sexes are distinguished : it contains both the mean and the probable duration of life after every age, and was formed from the bills of mortality there for the eighteen years, 1814–1833. For males, females, and the two sexes without distinction, M. Mallet took so high a radix as 100,000 births; the number of deaths were, of males 5,219, females 5,688, of both sexes 10,907; and in the column of deaths, on the same line for any age, as the survivors of that age, the author has put the number of deaths in the registers in the next following year, instead of the decrement of life, or excess of the number attaining that above the number attaining the next greater age, which will probably puzzle many readers.
THE GENERAL POST OFFICE.
Table showing the length of Mail Routes, Total Annual Transportation and its Cost in
each State, for the year ending 30 June, 1848.
Length of Total annual Total annual
42,565 New Hampshire,
109,071 Rhode Island,
46,485 New York, .
233,143 New Jersey,
165,472 North Carolina,
152,166 South Carolina,
105,627 Wisconsin, .
163,208 41,012,579 $2,394,703 Mail Agencies,
54,063 Foreign Mails,
$2,549,266 Extracts from the Report of S. R. Hobbie, Assistant Postmaster General,
Wednesday, December 19, 1848.
HISTORICAL. The Post Office had no existence, as an institution for general use, till towards the close of the 15th century. The establishment of posts we can trace as far back as the Persian Empire, and the range of Darius the I. The correspondence between Julius Cæsar and Cicero makes memorable those established by the great Triumvir between Britain and Rome. His skill in such arrangements, acquired possibly whilst Surveyor of the Appian Way, gave them a speed unsurpassed in modern times, till the introduction of steam. Augustus and his successors maintained them on a larger scale. But their character is indicated by the fact, that the head of this mail establishment, was the Captain of the Praetorial Guard. They were courier despatches between the Government and the Army-Military posts furnished the relays that performed the service: and whether they did not also confer their name upon it, is a matter that the lexicographers, who derive it from the past participle of a latin verb, may have yet to settle with the historians. Posts of a like character the Spanish adventurers found under the Incas of Peru. The Universily of Paris, and the affluent merchants of Italy and Germany, following the example of their Governments, sent their own messengers for the conveyance of letters. But with the dawn of liberty in the Italian States, and especially in the Duchy of Milan, the Post Oifice first entered upon the duty of serving the citizen as well as the Government. And the comprehensive genius of Charles the Vth. systematized it for his vast dominions on the basis of public and social accommodation. He created the first Postmaster General known to history in the person of Leonard, Count of Taxis.
The Post Office was introduced into England from Italy,—but under ecclesiastical auspices. The Pope's Nuncio was the chief functionary. It was but little used in this form ; and was, at length, flung aside as one of the Papal encroachments. The office of Postmaster General in England enjoys the honor of being created by Elizabeth, who conferred it upon Thomas Randolph, a gentleman of distinction in the foreign service of the Queen, where he had acquired, as we may presume, a knowledge of the mail establishments of the continent.
It is a notable circumstance, that in the 17th century the Post Office establishment was given away in Germany as a feudatory monopoly to the family of Taxis : in France it was set up at auction and farmed out for a term of years, and so continued till near the close of the 18th century, 1791. And the same disposition was made of it during the Commonwealth in England. In the reign of Queen Anne, the Post Office Department for the British Empire, was re-organized under a statute of Parliament, that embraced the American Colonies, and provided for the establishment of one chief letter office in New York, with others in convenient places in the other provinces.
But it was long anterior to this, as early as the reign of Charles the II. that the popular movements brought the Post Office into existence in America as a convenience of the people, a character in which it had never originated in any nation or country before. A Post Office was established in Boston, under John Heyward, by the Colonial Court, in 1677; and in Philadelphia, under Henry Waldy, by order of William Penn, in 1683. The Virginia Assembly gave Mr. Neal a patent as Postmaster General in 1692, which never went into effect. But in 1700 Col. John Hamilton, of New Jersey, obtained a patent from the Colonial Government for a Post Office scheme for the whole country, which he carried into successful operation, and for which he obtained indemnity from the English Government, when it was superseded by the statute of Anne in 1710. The illustrious name of Franklin first appears in connexion with the service of the American Post Office in 1737. He was