REMNANTS ON OFFSHORE
suitable island and shoreline ringing the Caribbean Sea. Powered by slaves who planted and cut the sugarcane, the islands depended upon regular shipments of supplies, especially boards and barrel staves, fish, salt pork, vegetables, cheese, barley and cornmeal. Another regular import was horses, which were used to turn the mills that crushed the cane, for the transport of goods by pack and wagon, and for riding. While initial shipments came directly from Europe, by the first quarter of the 17th century, English, French and Dutch colonies in America and Canada had begun to grow and prosper. Lying much closer to hand, they soon took over as the source of island supply.
The “law of dispersal” is a biological principle that allows us to predict that the descendants of Colonialera horse breeding are most likely to be found in peripheral areas. In the first phase a new form of animal appears in a certain place. In the wild, the “new form” would be a species or subspecies that either arises in or migrates into a new area, but the principle applies equally to domestic forms that are brought into a new area by people. As soon as they arrive, the new form begins to multiply and spread outward from the center of distribution. In the beginning, the population density is greater at the center than in peripheral areas. In the next phase outward migration reaches its maximum limits and the density of the population at the periphery comes to be about equal to the density at the center.
In the third phase the population density at the center becomes less than at the periphery. Eventually the type may become entirely extinct at the center. In the final phase the population also becomes extinct in certain parts of the periphery, so that the type eventually survives only as isolated remnants, usually in rural, remote or mountainous areas.