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Denmark, Finland, the northern parts of Germany, and a great portion of Russia. And north of these are the Swedes and Norwegians, distinguished by white hair and light gray eyes.
It were desirable that Prichard had proceeded still farther north, and told us why the Laplanders, Greenlanders, Esquimaux, Samoiedes, etc., have a very dark complexion. This fact has always been a stumbling-block in the way of the advocates of a connection between climate and the human complexion. By them it has been referred to their food, consisting of fish and rancid oil, to the grease and paint with which they besmear the body, aided by the clouds of smoke in which they sit constantly involved in their wretched cabins. The agency of these causes is strongly advocated by Dr. Samuel Stanhope Smith, who also refers to Blumenbach, Fourcroy, and J. F. Meckel, who concur in the opinion that, from the affinity of the bile with the fat or oil of the animal body, nations that subsist chiefly on food consisting of animal oil, not only smell of it, hut acquire a very dark complexion. But these northern tribes have the olive complexion, the broad large face and flat nose, and the other features which characterize the Mongolian variety. Hence Lawrence maintains that the distinguishing characters of the German and French, or the Esquimaux or more southern Indians, find no explanation in climate influences. On the contrary, he ascribes the peculiarities of these northern pigmies to the same cause that makes the Briton and German of this day resemble the portraits of their ancestors, drawn by Cæsar and Tacitus. The French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italians, belong, he says, to the Celtic race, whose black hair and browner complexion are distinguished from the blue eyes and fair skin of the German tribes, which include the Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, English, modern Germans, etc.
That climate exercises an influence in causing diversity of color, is an opinion likewise strengthened by the analogy of inferior animals. As we approach the poles, we find every thing progressively assume a whiter livery, as bears, foxes, hares, falcons, crows, and blackbirds; while some animals, as the era mine, weasel, squirrel, reindeer, and snow-bunting, change their color to gray or white, even in the same country, as the winter season advances.
We thus discover a marked relation between the physical characters of nations and climate as expressed by latitude,a law that obtains equally in the modification of climate induced by elevation. Thus the sandy or brown hair of the Swiss, contrasts strongly with the black hair and eyes of those that dwell below on the plains of Lombardy. Among the natives of the more elevated parts of the Biscayan country, the black hair and swarthy complexion of the Castilians give place to light blue eyes, flaxen hair, and a fair complexion. In the northern parts of Africa, we observe the same law as regards the Berbers of the plains and the Shulah mountaineers. And even in the intertropical region of Africa, several examples are adduced by Prichard. We surely cannot regard as a mere coincidence the fact that the intertropical countries all around the globe have black inhabitants; tropical America, from its great elevation, constituting only an apparent exception, and thus illustrating the law that an exception may prove the rule.
Hence it is obvious, that in no point of view can the facts presented in reference to the complexion and the hair, be reconciled with the hypothesis that the Negro constitutes a distinct species, and in a much less degree the American, inasmuch as we do not find in any department of nature, that separate species of organization ever pass into each other by insensible degrees. We will add a few facts in regard to the so-called woolly hair, which, it has been seen, is not wool in fact. Although the shape of the head, among the South African tribes, differs in a degree corresponding to the extent of their civilization, yet it would seem that the crisp and woolly state of the hair, notwithstanding the complexion is considerably lighter than among the tribes of Central Africa, experiences no anodification. The Caffres, for example, who have black and woolly hair, with a deep brown skin, have the high forehead and prominent nose of the Europeans, with projecting cheek-bones and thickish lips. This tribe, as well as the lolofs near the Senegal, scarcely differ from Europeans, with the exception of the complexion and woolly hair. Other tribes, as for instance the darkest of the Abyssinians, approximate the Europeans still more, in the circumstance that the hair, though often crisp and frizzled, is never woolly. Again, some of the tribes near the Zambesi, according to Prichard, have hair in rather long and flowing ringlets, notwithstanding the complexion is black, and the features have the negro type. The civilized Mandingos, on the other hand, have a cranial organization differing much from that of their degraded neighbors, yet in respect to the hair, there is no change.
A similar observation applies to the natives of the islands in the great Southern Ocean.
This peculiarity of hair would be regarded by Prichard as a permanent variety, which“ differs from species," he says, “in this circumstance, that the peculiarities in question are not coeval with the tribe, but sprang up in it since the commencement of its existence, and constitute a deviation from its original character.” The so-termed woolly hair of the negro, may perhaps be, with good reason, classed among the accidental or congenital diversities of inankind, which are transmitted froin the parent to the offspring. This would certainly not be more extraordinary than the phenomenon of the otter-breed of sheep, which occurred in New England. Such peculiarities in an individual, at a remote and unknown period, may have readily become the characteristics of a whole nation ; for then mankind, few in numbers, were dispersing themselves in detached bodies over the face of the earth; and we can easily comprehend how, in the event of the occurrence of any peculiarity of color, form, or structure, it would naturally, as society multiplied in these detached bodies, become the characteristics of an entire people. Under existing circumstances, however, or indeed ever since the population of the world has been comparatively large, these peculiarities of organization can extend very little beyond the individuals in whom they first appear, being soon entirely lost in the general
It will be observed that we dwell particularly upon the characteristics of the Negro; and to this we are led for the reason that as they constitute much greater deviations from the Caucasian type than those of the American variety, it follows that the reconciliation of the former with the Mosaic account of the unity of the human family, will the more completely disprove the con clusion of Morton, that "there are no direct or obvious links between the people of the old world and the new." He adds“ Once for all, I repeat my conviction that the study of physical conformation alone excludes every branch of the Caucasian race from any obvious participation in the peopling of this continent.” Now, if the principles developed in this essay are founded in nature; such as, the origination of the diversities of man from congenital causes, and the doctrine that there is an intimate connection between physical feature and moral and intellectual character, both being influenced by local causes, then does this
last conclusion likewise prove a mere postulate. That there is a remarkable coincidence between the natural talents and dispositions of nations and the development of their brains, cannot be denied. This is illustrated in the intellectual superiority of the Caucasian race, taken in connection with the development of the anterior portion of the brain. Time was, no doubt," when the present distinction of races did not exist ; and hence, at the period when man, in his gradual diffusion, reached America, the Caucasian race may scarcely have been known as a distinct variety
“ This idea (the American race being essentially separate and peculiar) may, at first view,” says Morton, “seem incompatible with the history of man, as recorded in the Sacred Writings. Such, however, is not the fact. Where others can see nothing but chance, we can perceive a wise and obvious design displayed in the original adaptation of the several races of men to those varied circumstances of climate and locality, which, while congenial to the one, are destructive to the other.” As difficulties, regarded by some as insuperable, have been encountered in tracing back the diverse varieties of mankind to the same single pair, Morton, like others before him, has cut this imaginary Gordian knot by calling in the aid of supernatural agency. He thinks it“ consistent with the known government of the universe to suppose that the same Onnipotence that cre-, ated man, would adapt him at once to the physical as well as to the moral circumstances in which he was to dwell
the earth.” Now this supposed miracle did not, of course, occur until the dispersion of Babel; and, inasmuch as man is endowed with a pliability of functions, by which he is rendered a cosmopolite,-a faculty possessed in the highest degree by the inhabitants of the middle latitudes,-there is not the slightest ground for the belief that it ever did occur, simply because no such special adaptation was demanded. The chief characteristics which distinguish the several varieties of man, viz., the comparative development of the moral feelings and intellectual powers, require no particular adaptation to external causes. Least of all, could the American race, regarded by Morton as the same exterior man“ in every locality and under every variety of circumstances,” have been endowed with an “original adaptation" " to the varied circumstances of climate and locality," inasmuch as the region inhabited by them, embraces every zone of the earth, through a distance of one hundred and fifty degrees of latitude! Is not this an absolute confutation of his own theory?
But for this boasted power of accommodating himself to all climates, man is less indebted to the pliability of his body than to the ingenuity of his inind; for, although naturally more de• fenceless against external agents than inferior animals, yet, by the exercise of his mental endowments, he can interpose a thousand barriers against the deleterious effects of climate. That man thus modifies the agencies of the elements upon himself, is sufficiently obvious; but there arises the converse question, already noticed-Do not these agencies likewise -modify him, thus fitting him to possess and occupy the whole earth ? Are we not to attribute to these physical causes, in connection with moral conditions, the very different organization presented in different regions by the same human family? Hence arises the question constituting the leading object of this paper, -Have all these diverse races descended
from a single stock? Or, on the other hand, -Have the different races of mankind,
from the beginning of their existence, differed from one another in their physical, moral, and intellectual nature? The labors of naturalists in recent years have demonstrated an admirable conformity between the organic capabilities of each region of the earth and the surrounding physical circumstances. This peculiar adaptation of organic structure to local conditions, is apparent in the camel of the sandy deserts in which he is placed, as his stomach has cells for holding water; and also in the circumstance, that the hoofed animals of South America are suited to the precipitous Cordilleras, while the solidungular quadrupeds of Southern Africa are equally adapted to its vast sandy plains. And we may add that a most remarkable instance of similar adaptation has recently come to light, in the fact that there have been discovered, in the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, fish without eyes,--a specimen of which is now in the NewYork Lyceum of Natural History.
The natural history of man in regard to his diversities may also receive valuable elucidation from comparative physiology, as well as the laws of the distribution and migration of plants and inferior animals. So similar is the physical organization of man and the brute creation,-so identical are the laws whereby their species are preserved,--and so analogous is their subjection to the operation of natural causes, to the laws of morbid influences, and to the agency of those artificial combinations