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April 11, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XL(15):995. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490150047008

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According to newspaper statements, the U. S. Census for 1900 finds 3,536 persons in the United States who are 100 or more years of age. The value of these figures may be questioned, and perhaps may be best estimated by the fact that 72.8 per cent. of the whole number are negroes, many of whom undoubtedly have but very remote ideas of their own age. There are persons of comparative intelligence who can take care of themselves in the ordinary pursuits of life in the society where they find themselves and yet have but the vaguest notions of their early years and of the date of their birth. We remember meeting one such person, not exactly a civilized individual, but an aborigine and one of sufficient intelligence and influence to be a sort of chief among his fellows, who, according to his own figuring, was 268 years of age, but

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