1900 - Census

A Mississippian site in 1539, depicted in this painting by Herb Roe

        Ethnographers estimate that the America's were peopled by 60-100 million inhabitants on the eve of Christopher Columbus' arrival in 1492.   The first European explorers encountered Indian cultures that were thriving and highly sophisticated.

         In pre-Columbian times, the native population of the area encompassed the United States is estimated to have been 10-15 million. By 1900, the native population of the United States had fallen to 237,196.