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November 14, 1896


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(20):1052-1056. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430980024001i

Murders are of very great frequency in this country. The number reported last year was 10,500, an enormous figure! We might, if there were not some reasons against it, take this number as the annual average, which in most countries is a fairly constant quantity. But here, owing to some conditions that I shall endeavor to particularize, the amount of homicide in any year, taken as a standard, does not give us the least reason for predicting that the succeeding year will be marked by a similar number of murders, neither many more nor less. In 1885, for instance, the homicides reported numbered 1,808; in 1890, 4,290; in 1894, 9,800, and I have just mentioned 10,500 in 1895. That is to say, there was nearly six times as much homicidal crime reported last year as in 1885, an increase almost in arithmetical ratio. In a word, the population loses every