Indian Population Decline: The Missions of Northwestern New Spain, 1687-1840

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9780826315052: Indian Population Decline: The Missions of Northwestern New Spain, 1687-1840
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The University of New Mexico Press announces the publication of the paperback edition of Indian Population Decline: The Missions of Northwestern New Spain, 1687-1840. This ethnohistory of missions in California, Arizona, and northwest Mexico seeks to answer questions long debated about how Indians fared when relocated and placed under the Church's care. Drawing on extensive and scattered archival sources, Jackson produces a sophisticated demographic analysis that permits evaluation of the causes, manifestations, and regional variations of the demographic collapse of mission Indians.

The central finding is that diseases are only part of the explanation of population decline. In addition to deaths due to such illnesses as measles and smallpox and to psychological trauma, we must consider the effects of declining fertility among Indian women manifested in abortions, miscarriages, and death in childbirth. Moreover, the unhealthy conditions in missions often resulted in nine of ten children dying before age eight.

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About the Author:

Robert H. Jackson, a history professor at Texas Southern University, is a Latin Americanist and Borderlands specialist. He is the coauthor of Indians, Franciscans, and Spanish Colonization (UNM Press).

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"This book promises to become the standard work on this subject for years to come." -- John E. Kicza, Washington State University

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