Thomas Jefferson Papers

Estimates of Naval Militia and of Land Militia of the U.S., 23 October 1805

23 Oct. 1803

The best ground for estimating the number of seamen of the US. to be enrolled under the act for establishing a Naval militia, is the tonnage of our vessels. the latest return of tonnage, states it to have been on the 31st. of Dec. 1803. as follows

tons
Registered tonnage employed in foreign trade 585,909
in the whale fisheries 12,389
 Cod fisheries 50,969 63,358
in the coasting trade 267,787
917,054
we are supposed to employ usually in navigating our vessels about 6. men for every 100. tons. but allowing for those who are not free, white, citizens, within the military age, we may estimate 5. to the 100. tons         5
45,852
to these should be added the seamen then in our navy, and those employed on the tidewaters within the US. which we may safely state as making the whole number amount to 50,000.

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An Estimate of the land-militia of the US.

The Census of 1800. gave us of free white males of 16. and under 26. 384,554.
of 26. and under 45. 423,836
Our military age excluding those under 18. we must from the number 384,554
 deduct those in their 17th. & 18th. years, which by Buffon’s tables will be 80,405
 remain of the age of 18. & under 45. to wit the Minor & Junior classes 304,149
Our censuses of 1790. & 1800. having shewed our increase to be in a geometrical
  ratio of 3 pr. ct. pr. annum, the increase from 1800. to 1805 is 54,184
leaving our whole number of free white males from 18. to 26. in 1805 358,333
from these are to be deducted the naval-militia men. but for the greater
 part of those employed in the foreign trade & whale fisheries being always absent, it
 is believed that not half of them were included in the Census. those supposed included then
 are. 35,000, of which according to Buffon those of 18. and under 26. will be only 11,111
 leaving of free, white, landsmen from 18. to 26. in 1805 346,622
from these are still to be deducted those not able bodied. suppose them 1. in 10. 34662
 leaving of free, white, able-bodied landsmen of 18. & under 26. 311,960

To find what proportion of these will be of the Minor & what of the Junior class we are to enquire, Of 311,960. persons of 18. & under 26. years of age, how many will there be of each different year of age? Buffon’s tables resolve them as follows

As 84,589 in Buffon from 18. to 26: to 311,960 in the US. of the same age:

So are 11,014 in Buffon in their 19th. year: to x the number in the US. in their 19th. year.

then x = 311,960/84,589 x 11,014 = 3.69 x 11,014 consequently

Buffon’s nos in US.
those in their 19th. year will be 3.69 x 11,014 = 40,619 }
20th. 10,919 = 40,267 = 120,598 of the Minor Class
21st. 10,768 = 39,712
22d. 10,675 = 39,368 }
23d. 10,514 = 38,775
24th. 10,380 = 38,289 = 191,358. of the Junior class
25th. 10,259 = 37,834 311,956
26th. 10,060 = 37,100
311,956

To obtain the respective numbers of the Middle and Senior classes,

The Census of 1800. gave for both 423,836
Add the increase from 1800. to 1805 75,506
499,342
from which are to be deducted, seamen from 26. to 45 23,289
476,053
deduct also those not able bodied, suppose 1. in 10. 47,605
leaves free, white, able bodied landsmen from 26. to 45. 428,448
Buffon’s tables make the numbers of 26. & under 35 = 84,182 & those of 35 & under 45 = 84,018
these are so nearly equal that we may consider the Middle class one half, to wit 214,224
[. . . .]Senior class one half, to wit 214,224

Recapitulation.

Naval-militia. 50,000
Land-militia. Minor class 120,598
Junior 191,358
Middle 214,224
Senior 214,224 740,404
790,404

MHi: Coolidge Collection.

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