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ANTHROPOLOGY AT THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION
cart before the horse. Professor Owen did not mistake the skull of a Scotchman for that of a Negro; it was a Negro skull he mistook for that of a Scotchman. Physical characters alone could decide the affini. ties of a race; and as Mr. Crawfurd had rejected the test of language, he failed to perceive what the characters were on which his classification was founded.
Sir RODERICK MURCHISON, after commending the learning and ability of the paper, hoped that the science of anthropology, which had been founded by his friends, Blumenbach, Retzius, and Von Baer, would ere long be recognised by the scientific world.
On the Physical and Mental Characters of the Negro. By Dr. JAMES HUNT, President of the Anthropological Society of London. The author said he had been collecting facts upon the subject for another society; but he was induced to bring it before the Association from the fact that it had never been brought before a scientific audience in England. In discussing the question, he would have nothing to do with anything but the full-blooded, woolly-headed, typical Negro, to the exclusion of the half-breed. The object of the paper was to determine the position which one well-defined race occupies in the genus homo, and the relation or analogy which the Negro race bears to animated nature generally. He had selected the Negro race, as it seemed to be an intermediate form between the highest and lowest existing races of man. In discussing the question, he had nothing to do with the origin of man, for analogies did not necessarily include relationship. The skin and hair are by no means the only things which distinguish the Negro from the European, even physically; and the difference is greater still mentally and morally. The skeleton of the Negro is generally heavier, and the bones are larger and thicker, in proportion to the muscles, than those of the European. The bones are also whiter, from the abundance of calcareous salts. The thorax is compressed; the leg is longer than in Europeans, but is made to look shorter on account of the ankle being only between 1} in. to 14 in. above the ground; the heel is both flat and long. Burmeister has pointed out the resemblance of the foot and the position of the toes of the Negro to that of the ape; and many observers have noticed that the Negroes have frequently used the great toe as a thumb. After pointing out several minor particulars, in which the Negro differs from the European, and quoting the opinions of several writers on the capacity of the Negro cranium, the paper recommended caution in accepting such capacity of the cranium as any absolute test of the intellectual power of any race. The brain of a Negro has a smoky tint, not found in that of an European. The hair is essenti.
proportion to the heavier, and hand morally. Physically; and
e abundanthose of the larger and think of the
and the onliarity aborter gumam ally differehere being solis Büchnerit the most biologists be
portunity for becom benefit of the Encome civilized. This
DR. HUNT ON THE NEGRO. ally different; and the voice resembles sometimes the alto of an eunuch—there being a peculiarity about it by which he can always be distinguished. Dr. Louis Büchner, after summing up the peculiarities of the Negro, says they exhibit the most decided approach to the ape. Other distinguished anatomists and physiologists had expressed a similar opinion. The assertion that the Negro only requires an opportunity for becoming civilized is disproved by history. The African race have had the benefit of the Egyptian, Carthaginian, and Roman civilization, but nowhere did they become civilized. The many cases of civilized blacks are not pure Negroes; but, in nearly every case where they had become men of mark, they had European blood in their veins. In the West Indian Islands it has frequently been observed that all the Negroes in places of trust which require intelligence have European features. Negro children are precocious; but no advance in education can be made after they arrive at the age of puberty --they still continue mentally children. It has been said that the present slave-holders of America no more think of rebellion amongst their full-blooded slaves than they do of rebellion amongst their cows and horses. That was because the tranquillity of Negoes in their approach to civilization resembled the content of domestic animals. From all the evidence brought forward, the writer of the paper saw no reason to believe that the pure Negro ever advances further in intellect than an intelligent European boy of fourteen years of age. After citing authorities to prove the low psychological character of the Negro, the paper continued :-"We now know it to be a patent fact that there are races existing which have no history, and that the Negro is one of these races. From the most remote antiquity, the Negro race seem to have been what they now are.” The writer could see no evidence to support the opinion of some writers that the Negro had degenerated from some higher form of civilization. Everywhere we see the European as the conqueror and the dominant race; and no amount of education will ever alter the decrees of Nature's laws. The general deductions he would make were–First, that there is as good reason for classifying the Negro as a distinct species from the European as there is for making the ass a distinct species from the zebra ; second, that the Negro is inferior intellectually to the European ; third, that the analogies are far more numerous between the Negro and the ape, than between the European and ape. There was in the Negro that assemblage of evidence which would induce an unbiassed observer to make the European and Negro two distinct species. Mr. Galton said that the case was briefly this:-Among the Negroes
ANTHROPOLOGY AT THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION.
of Africa there were more frequent instances of an abject and superstitious character, combined with brutal behaviour, than could be paralleled elsewhere in the world. It was a wonder that people like those of Dahomey could mould themselves into any form of society at all, and it was actually found that when the chief of such a tribe died it disintegrated and rapidly disappeared. In short, the tribes of Africa were remarkable for their rapid formation and short continuance. Many of their chiefs were of alien descent, and it was remarkable bow their greatest kingdoms had been ruled by Tawarek8-men with Arab blood-or, as Captain Speke now informed us, by straight-haired Wabumas. How did it happen, then, that so degraded a people could furnish men capable of constructing nations out of the loosest materials? The question once stated was almost its own reply. The Negro, though on the average extremely base; was by no means & member of a race lying at a dead level. On the contrary, it had the capacity of frequently producing able men capable of taking an equal position with Europeans. The fact of a race being distinguished by the diversity of its members was well known to ethnologists. There were black and red sub-divisions of many North African races, and the contrast between the well-fed and ill-fed classes of the same tribe of Negroes was often such as to amount apparently to a specific dif. ference. : Mr. CRAFT said that though he was not of pure African descent he was black enough to attempt to say a few words in reference to the paper which had just been read. Many scientific gentlemen present would probably dispute that; but at any rate, supposing Adam to have been the founder of a race of men, white men had no stronger claim to him as their father than black men, as it was admitted that owing to the climate in which he commenced his existence, he could have been neither black nor white, but copper coloured. As Africans were very dark, and the inhabitants of Northern Europe very fair, and as, moreover, the nations of Southern Europe were much darker than those of Northern Europe, it was perfectly fair to suppose that climate had a tendency to bleach as well as to blacken. The thickness of the skull of the Negro had been wisely arranged by Providence to defend the brain from the tropical climate in which he lived. If God had not given then thick skulls their brains would probably have become very much like those of many scientific gentlemen of the present day. The woolly hair was not considered by Africans as a mark of inferiority, though some of them shaved it off, but it also answered the purpose of defending the head from the sun. With regard to his not being a true African-his grandmother and grandfather were both of pure Negro blood. His grandfather was a chief of the West Coast; but, through the treachery of some white men, who doubtless thought themselves greatly his superiors, he was kidnapped and taken to America, where he (Mr. Craft). was born. He had recently been to Africa on a visit to the King of Dahomey. He found there consider. able diversities even among the Africans themselves. Those of Sierra Leone had prominent, almost Jewish features. Their heels were quite as short, on the whole, as those of any other race, and upon the
DR. HUNT ON THE NEGRO,
whole they were well formed. Persons who had any knowledge of
Floeoy locks and black complexion
Dwells in white and black the same. The Rev. H. B. TRISTRAM said he had been a chaplain for several years in a mixed school for blacks and whites in one of the West Indian islands, and could testify that the children of free Negroes who were engaged in honourable occupations were invariably more intelligent than the children of slaves.
Mr. CARTER BLAKE said that he agreed substantially with the author of the paper upon the anatomical evidence which he had brought forward with regard to the Negro race. Mr. Craft had stated that the heels of the Negro were not longer than those of Europeans, but that was contrary to the testimony of anatomists. He contended that in nearly every instance of a Negro attaining intellectual eminence it had been ascertained that there was an admixture of European blood in his veins. The evidence of the paternity of full-blooded African Negroes, in contact with Europeans, was rather difficult to ascertain. Anatomists had ascertained that there were wide differences in the structure of the Negro and European, and he specified some instances of such diversity. If the woolly hair and thick skull of the Negro were given to him by a bountiful Providence to fit him for living in a tropical climate, the inhabitants of Brazil were suffering great
390 ANTHROPOLOGY AT THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. injustice, for they had neither woolly hair nor thick skulls. With regard to the philanthropic element, he thought it ought not to have been introduced into the discussion. In conclusion, he expressed his opinion that, till Mr. Craft could rail away the seal which nature bad impressed on the physical character of the Negro, his breath was all spent in vain when he contended for the equality of the African and European races.
Sir E. BELCHER said that he had spent nearly all his life among the Africans, and believed that, when properly educated, they could be as true, as faithful, and as sound-hearted as Englishmen. He mentioned several instances which he had met with in bis travels of remarkable intelligence in the Negro, and scouted the idea that he was naturally, either physically or mentally, of inferior capacity to other human races.
Professor WILSON claimed for the author of the paper and those gentlemen who supported him, the credit of being in uenced by a desire to search out facts which could throw a light on the important subject under discussion. At the same time he differed considerably from them in some of their conclusions. It was very important to have sufficient data before forming a theory, and he thought that Sir Charles Lyell and others who contended that the intellectual progress of the Negro stopped at the age of fourteen, had fallen into the error which a person would who went into a workhouse among the most degraded and wretched of its occupants to find intellectual culture and capacity. The fact was that very few, if any, black children had any opportunity of pursuing their education after the age of fourteen, and, in addition to that drawback, they had the misfortune to belong to a degraded and oppressed class, which was crushed and held down in the social world. The wonder was that any of these unfortunate people had energy enough to make their escape, and to acquire knowledge sufficient to enable them to carve a way for themselves through life as not many of them did. The English character was made up of many elements; but a few hundred years ago the inhabitants of this island were cruel, unlettered, practical people. When put under good training and subjected to certain influences the Anglo-Saxon proved capable of remarkable development, owing chiefly to the native energy of his character. The same quality was observable in some tribes of the present day, such as the New Zealander, and it was not wise therefore to argue as though the absence of combination denoted a natural and primary inferiority of race. Mr. CRAWFURD made a few observations on Negroes generally.
Dr. Hunt in reply said he was sorry that some speakers had attempted to draw away the attention of the audience from the great facts under discussion. Scientific physical facts had been met with vague general assertions, and no reply had been attempted to be made by any speaker against the facts that had been adduced. He would leave his scientific friends to judge of the value of Mr. Craft's remarks. He was sorry, however, that the speaker had not confined himself to uttering exploded theories, but had accused scientific men of wasting their time when discussing this subject. He for one