Popular Science Monthly/Volume 30/January 1887/The Intermingling of Races

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THE INTERMINGLING OF RACES.
By JOHN READE.

ABOUT a generation ago, before anthropology had been promoted to the rank of a distinct science, a good deal of noise was made by a school of writers who called themselves polygenists. By this school, which comprised a few men of recognized ability, it was rigidly maintained that no new race had been, or could be, formed by intercrossing. As the different human species had been created, so they had been found at the dawn of history, and so they would remain till the end of time. The theory of the polygenists, like a good many other subjects of controversy, was gravely affected by the revolution of which the publication of Darwin's great work marked the birth-time. Though it is still possible, even on the ground of development, that the main racial divisions of humanity may have come into being by separate evolutions, on portions of the earth's surface widely distant from each other, it is more in accordance with that doctrine to assume a slow and gradual differentiation from a single original type.

What that type may have been we have no means of ascertaining. Professor Grant Allen has, indeed, imagined "a tall and hairy creature, more or less erect but with a slouching gait, black-faced and whiskered, with prominent prognathous muzzle, and large, prominent canine teeth," whose "forehead was, no doubt, low and retreating, with bony bosses underlying shaggy eyebrows, which gave him a fierce expression, something like that of a gorilla"; and that such a creature existed in far-off prehistoric times Mr. Allen considers "an inevitable corollary from the general principles of evolution."[1] "We may have some notion of what such a rough-cast of humanity would look like from the ideal representation of the Neanderthal man which forms the frontispiece to Mr. J. P. McLean's "Manual of the Antiquity of Man." But, whatever may have been the character of the early type, or however the subsequent divergence from it may have arisen, it is sufficiently established that, between the third and second millennium before the Christian era, the several races — black, brown, yellow, and white — had assumed the distinguishing marks by which they are still known. And, no sooner do we meet with evidence of racial diversity, than we begin to discover indications of race intermixture. The ancient Egyptians, who furnish us with such interesting examples of the human varieties of their time, were themselves a people of mixed blood. Nor in that respect were they singular. If, starting from that meeting-place of nations and tongues, the Nile Delta, we traverse the adjacent continents to their utmost limits, everywhere on the route, from Aino-peopled Japan to the Pillars of Hercules, we shall be confronted by the testimonies of interfusion of blood. Even races that seem most homogeneous, like the Chinese, or that have taken pride in avoiding the taint of alien mixture, like the Aryan Hindoos, or, like the Israelites, deemed themselves interdicted by the Divine command from intercourse with foreigners, have been proved beyond a doubt to be of composite origin. To deal separately with those various families of mankind as the dawn of history discloses them to us, or as the centuries of its short range have left them, would take up much time. The general result is, however, well set forth in a passage which I may be permitted to quote from "The Human Species" of M. de Quatrefages. "In China, and especially in Japan," says that distinguished ethnologist, "the white allophylian blood is mixed with the yellow blood in different proportions; the white Semitic blood has penetrated into the heart of Africa; the negro and Houzouana types have mutually penetrated each other and produced all the Caffre populations situated west of the Zooloos of Arabian origin; the Malay races are the result of the amalgamation, in different proportions, of whites, yellows, and blacks; the Malays proper, far from constituting a species, as polygenists consider them, are only one population, in which, under the influence of Islamism, these various elements have been more completely fused. I have quoted at random the various preceding examples, to show how the most extreme types of mankind have contributed to form a certain number of races. Need I insist upon the mixtures which have been accomplished between the secondary types derived from the first? In Europe what population can pretend to purity of blood? The Basques themselves, who apparently ought to be well protected by their country, institutions, and language, against the invasion of foreign blood, show upon certain points, in the heart of their mountains, the evident traces of the juxtaposition and fusion of very different races. As for the other nations, ranging from Lapland to the Mediterranean, classical history, although it does not go back for a great distance in point of time, is a sufficient proof that crossings are the inevitable result of invasions, wars, and political and social events. Asia presents, as we know, the same spectacle; and, in the heart of Africa, the Gagas, playing the part of the horde of Genghis-Khan, have mixed together the African tribes from one ocean to the other." [2]

Turning now from the past to the present, let us briefly inquire whether, where, and to what extent the intercrossing of the human races is going on in our own generation. And let us begin with our own hemisphere.

In a recent article in this magazine,[3] Professor Rudolph Virchow directed attention to what he terms "a delicate ethnological problem" — "the peculiar physiology of the Yankee." "That type," he says," is not wholly comparable either with the English or the German, or with a cross of the two with the Irish race. "He implies, rather than asserts, that its distinctive features are due to the transforming influence of climate, nor does he hint that it might be the result of a tinge of aboriginal blood. In another portion of the same paper he expresses the belief that, however mixed, the population of the United States must remain Aryan at bottom, heterogeneous elements being absorbed without leaving a trace. The problem is certainly interesting, even if we have regard merely to the stage of development that has been reached, and study American characteristics as compared with those of any of the European races that have had a share in the making of the nation. But its interest is intensified when we survey the scattered groups—white and black and red and yellow—whose amalgamation into one vast community may be the work of years to come.

The opinion prevails that north of the Gulf of Mexico the fusion of European and Indian blood has hitherto been extremely rare. Dr. Daniel Wilson believes, on the other hand, that, to a great extent, what has been taken for the extinction of the Indians has been simply their absorption, and that "they are disappearing as a race, in part at least, by the same process by which the German, the Swede, the Irishman or Frenchman, on emigrating to America, becomes, in a generation or two, amalgamated with the general stock."[4] Nor is it on the frontier settlements alone that he has observed the evidences of such interfusion. "I have recognized," he says, "the semi-Indian features in the gay assemblies at a Canadian Governor's reception, in the halls of the Legislature, among the undergraduates of Canadian universities, and mingling in selectest social circles." Dr. Wilson says, moreover, that "in Lower Canada half-breeds, and men and wommen of partial Indian blood, are constantly met with in all ranks of life," and cites with approval the opinion that "in the neighborhood of Quebec, in the Ottawa Valley, and to a great extent about Montreal, there is hardly among the original settlers a family in the lower ranks, and not many in the higher, who have not some traces of Indian blood."

M. Benjamin Sulte, on the contrary, indignantly denies that the early Canadians intermarried (except in rare instances) with the Indian tribes.[5] On this point, Abbé Tanguay, than whom no one should be better fitted to pronounce judgment on such a question, makes the following remarks: "For many years the proportion of women to the male immigrants was extremely small. The Carignan regiment alone added fifteen hundred to the population. Did those young soldiers marry native women, and are we to reckon the latter among our ancestors? Some of the colonists did certainly marry native girls, but those girls had been educated and civilized in the institutions of the Hôtel-Dieu and the Ursulines. We can cite several of the most respectable families in Canada who number among their progenitors the sons of the forest, and who should be proud to do so. Among others may be mentioned that of the late Commander Jacques Viger, one of whose ancestors was a daughter of Arontio, the disciple of Father Brebœuf, and like him a martyr to the faith. Nevertheless, we must regard such alliances as exceptional." [6]

In the foregoing quotation Abbé Tanguay indicates the cause to which, in frontier settlements, the union of whites and squaws is mainly to be attributed — the dearth of white women. It was under the stress of such a famine that the half-breed population of the Canadian North-west, which has of late been so much before the world, grew to its present proportions. Its history carries us back to near the beginning of the eighteenth century. Arthur Dobbs, whose account of the countries adjacent to Hudson Bay was published in 1744, obtained his information almost wholly from a half-breed trader called La France — a proof that the métis was not unknown a century and a half ago. The explorations of the Verandryes, father and sons, lasted from 1731 to 1754. After the conquest of Canada by England, the fur-trade ceased for some years; but in 1766 the Montrealers began to push northwestward, and from that time their agents, mostly French-Canadians, mingled freely with the Indians—the consequence being the growth of a half-breed community. There was a considerable population, known by their chosen designation of Bois Brulés (for which they sometimes substituted the more ambitious style of "the new nation"), when Lord Selkirk began his scheme of colonization in 1811. That even then they were not all French is shown by some of their surnames being Scotch or English. But it is from the years immediately following the establishment of the Red River Colony that the bulk of the English-speaking half-breeds date their first appearance. In the year 1814 they numbered two hundred. In 1870 the Manitoba half-breeds and métis (as those of British and French origin may be distinguished) were estimated at ten thousand. Besides them, there was a population of uncertain number scattered through the Territories, and a tribe of half-breed hunters which one early explorer deemed to be six thousand strong. In 1874 Dr. G. M. Dawson, while engaged in the British North American Boundary Commission, came upon the camp of the latter body, consisting of two hundred buffalo-skin tents and two thousand horses.[7] Dr. Wilson considers the rise in this way of an independent tribe of half-breeds as "one of the most remarkable phenomena connected with the grand ethnological experiment which has been in progress on the North American Continent for the last three centuries."The half-breeds, who were given to the chase, have been credited with courage, discipline, and self-control. Those of French paternity are said to be more lively and frank, and physically stronger; those of British origin, the more stable and industrious. The Rev. Professor Bryce, of Winnipeg, says that "like all savage races, the Bois Brulés are fickle. They must be appealed to by flattery, by threats, or by working upon their animosities or well-known dislikes, if they would be led in any particular direction"[8]—and the truth of this characterization was painfully exemplified in the recent rebellion under Riel, no less than in the sanguinary conflict into which they were seduced in 1816. Now that the force of circumstances has subjected them to the restraints of civilization, the likelihood is that they will eventually become merged in the dominant race. Some of them have proved themselves well able to compete with white rivals for the prizes of life. A few of them have achieved success, not only in business and the professions, but in the more trying arena of politics; and, at the very time when the unfortunate Riel was expiating his crimes on the scaffold, a more worthy sharer in the blood which gave him his ill-omened influence was Prime Minister of Manitoba.

Is there not some reason to believe that the seemingly episodic phenomenon which we have been contemplating is exceptional in degree rather than in kind; and that, much oftener than has been vulgarly supposed, in the advance westward of the American pioneer, he has made the dusky belle of the wigwam the partner in his toils and the mother of his children? For several reasons, some of them obvious enough, records of such unions are not easily obtainable. In census returns, one origin only is given. A person may choose to be set down as of European or Indian extraction, but he can not have paternity and maternity both specified; and, as to any remoter pedigree, the inquirer is left entirely in the dark. It is only in those rare cases where a half-breed has obtained prominence or notoriety, and comes to have his biography written, that the student of ethnology is enabled to add another to his repertory of instances. But, if the inquirer had only leisure and means enough to visit the border-lands of promise, he would be almost sure to glean facts that would surprise the incredulous. Miss Theodora R. Jenness, in telling her experience of a brief stay in the Indian Territory, makes frequent mention of mixed marriages and of the offspring thence resulting. Of well-behaved whites who wandered thither in search of fortune, she writes, "If a man goes there unmarried, he is apt to find a help-meet in an Indian maiden, there being many among the Cherokees and Choctaws who, for beauty and intelligence, compare favorably with any ladies in the States."[9] She describes the upshot of a law passed in one of the Indian councils requiring all single white men to leave the colony, as "a lively skirmish after wives by bachelors and widowers whose business interests required them to remain." That the ladies who were, like Barkis, willing, were not unworthy of their suitors. Miss Jenness is quite assured. The fair Choctaw, who explained the ruse to her, she characterizes as "a sprightly lady, whose charming face and perfect grace would render her an ornament in any society of Boston or New York." In the distribution of cultivated lands among the Cherokees we find fifteen hundred acres allotted to the full-bloods, three thousand to those of mixed blood, and twelve thousand to the whites; but from these figures we can only conjecture the relative number of each category. It is evident, however, that the half-breeds are an appreciable element in the community. Among them allusion is made to the grand-niece of a commodore and niece of a senator, to whom Miss Jenness was introduced by "a blue-eyed Indian girl who taught languages, philosophy, and the higher mathematics," but had forgotten the use of her mother-tongue. The names of Ross, Adair, and Boudinot among the Cherokees, and of McIntosh, Grayson, Porter, and Stidham, among the Creeks, prepare us for the announcement that the bearers of them are of mixed lineage. They all hold positions of honor in their respective nations, and their peers among the Choctaws and Chickasaws were likewise of twofold origin. "This harmonious blending of the two races, it seems to me," comments Miss Jenness, "is the great solution of the Indian question as regards the five civilized tribes, which with the rising generation will do away with prejudice, and establish peace and good-will between the whites and Indians." That humane hope would be more reasonable if the artificial barriers which keep the races apart could only be removed; but half-breeds that remain amid Indian surroundings and influences, however cultured they may be, are sadly tempted to relapse into the habits of savage life. It is only when the bride is carried far away from her father's house and people that she and her children form lasting ties of affection with their white kindred. Then, like some of the descendants of Pocahontas, they may reflect credit on both sides of their ancestry. Miss Jenness's narrative indicates, however, in what way and to what extent the blood of both whites and Indians may have been modified in the course of forgotten generations.

A good deal has recently been written on the negro's destiny in the United States. Slavery is of the past, but it has left its Nemesis behind, and the problem calls urgently for solution. Some of the more philanthropic of the ante-bellum abolitionists did not hesitate to counsel amalgamation as the true key to it. The late Wendell Phillips, in one of his outbursts of eloquence, spoke of that "sublime mingling of the races which is God's own method of civilizing and elevating the world." Bishop Haven felt confident that Americans would one day see "Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt." The Rev. George Rawlinson, the historian, is also in favor of race-fusion. But Bishop Dudley, who has had opportunities of looking at the question from a nearer point of view, thinks that, in their actual condition, union with the blacks would be ruinous to the whites. And yet, what he can not accept as a doctrine for the present may, he admits, be received by generations still unborn as in the natural course of things. "What may come," he writes, "in the far-distant future, when by long contact with the superior race the negro shall have been developed to a higher stage, none can tell. For my own part, believing, as I do, that 'God has made of one blood all the nations of men,' I look for the day when race peculiarities shall be terminated, when the unity of the race shall be manifested. I can find no reason to believe that the great races, into which humanity is divided, shall remain forever distinct, with their race-marks of color and of form. Centuries hence, the red man, the yellow, the white, and the black may all have ceased to exist as such, and in America be found the race combining the bloods of them all; but it must be centuries hence. Instinct and reason, philosophy, science, and revelation, all alike cry out against the degradation of the race by the free commingling of the tribe which is highest with that which is lowest in the scale of development."[10]

But such commingling seldom, if ever, takes place from deliberate choice on the part of the reciprocating races; nor, indeed, are many marriages the result of calculation regarding their issue. If, early or late, the nations of the United States are destined to coalesce, the coalition will come about not with observation, but through the gradual and almost imperceptible obsolescence of prejudices.

There is one point which, in dealing with the subject of miscegenation on this continent, has hitherto received meager attention—the diversity of the stocks from which the African emigration to America has been derived.[11] Some of them were more distinct from others than the Spaniard from the Norwegian or the German from the Italian. With several of them there came, no doubt, a considerable share of darkened Semitic blood, while others could claim kindz'ed with races that had won power and renown while Europe was yet in barbarism. Apart from any consideration of white admixture, there has, therefore, been an interblending of dusky tribes which must have materially modified Africa's contribution to the population. As for the more serious question of its relations to the Aryan element there is, as already intimated, difference of opinion. According to the census of 1880, the colored population of the United States was 6,577,497, that of the whites being 43,402,408. During the ten years from 1870 to 1880 the ratio of increase in the former (34•8 per cent) was larger than it had been during any decade except one, that from 180O to 1810. The fact that the ratio of increase of the white population during the period from 1870 to 1880 was only 29•2 per cent, according to the census, naturally occasioned comment and even alarm. In "The Popular Science Monthly" for February, 1883, Professor E. W. Gilliam, in an article on the subject, based on the statistics of the last two censuses, maintained that the colored people were increasing at a rate which, unless prompt measures were taken to prevent it, would result in the inhabitants of the country becoming Africanized. Mr. Henry Gannett, in a recent contribution to the same journal, disputes the data on which Professor Gilliam founded his argument, and denies that the negroes, either in the cotton States or in the country at large, are increasing so rapidly as the whites, and holds that the fear entertained of the latter being ultimately outnumbered is entirely groundless. Nevertheless, even if the colored people were pretty evenly dispersed through the States, the proportion is large enough to cause uneasiness to those who think that their absorption would not improve the nation. As it is, while, since the close of the war, the tendency has been rather to drift apart, there has, on the other hand, been no strong inclination on the part of the freedmen to abandon the South. What Mr.Cable calls the "vast, vague afrite of amalgamation," which was once a real power in the land, seems, through the repulsion born of conflict and changed relations, to have lost its potency for either good or evil. Mr.Cable accounts for its absence in the North by insisting that the Northerners were guided not by instinct, but by "the better dictates of reason and the ordinary natural preferences of like for like."[12] Has the reign of reason begun in the South also? Or, as political antipathies grow feeble, will the Caucasian fastidiousness that grew strong with them also languish and fade? At any rate, some of the best men in the South, as in the North, are standing out courageously for the removal of all degrading disabilities from the colored people, and freeing them from the bondage of restrictions that debase them in their own eyes and in the eyes of the world. If Bishop Dudley's vision of the future be prophetic, and the day be coming, though still far off, when there shall be no more, except as occasional visitants from other lands, either white or black, or red or yellow, within the enlarged confines of the world's great republic, then it is only reasonable that the fore-fathers of the race that is to be should be at liberty to make what alliances please or suit them without being called to account for doing so. There is little danger of the transformation taking place too rapidly, but no excommunications will retard it, if it is to be. As the Hon.Cassius M.Clay says on this very subject, "Here, as elsewhere, we rest upon the survival of the fittest, and we shall see what we shall see."

The presence of the Chinese on this continent adds still further to the complications of the race problem. That, where they obtain a hold in a white community, intermarriage ensues has been shown by the recent census of Victoria, Australia, where one hundred and sixty persons were returned as half-castes. In the report of the commission appointed by the Canadian Government for the purpose of inquiring into the whole subject of Chinese immigration, Dr. Stout, of San Francisco, testifies that such unions had taken place there. Whether the measures adopted for the exclusion of the Chinese will permanently arrest the incoming tide is very doubtful. That the superfluous hordes of Mongols and Tartars will once more cross the limits of race and invade, with force resistless, the strongholds of Western civilization, is the belief of men who are far from being mere dreamers. Though that deluge may not come in our day, plain fore warnings of its approach are not wanting. China has already entered on the path of railway enterprise, and, when the extension of means of communication shall have shortened the overland route to Europe, the drama of Attila may be re-enacted in a new form.

M. de Quatrefages sets down the proportion of mixed blood in Mexico and South America at one fifth of the whole population. The "Statesman's Year-Book" for 1886 makes it much larger. In Mexico, with a population of over ten million, it is calculated that not more than twenty per cent are of pure European descent, while those classified as Indian number above three million and three quarters. In Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, San Salvador, and Costa Rica, the vast majority of the people are Indians and mestizos, so that, if the scheme of Barrios had succeeded, he would have practically ruled over a federation of half-breeds. In the society of the cities only a mere sprinkling pretends to pure Spanish descent. In South America the mixed races are still more numerous in comparison with the rest of the population. In Brazil the colored slave or freedman element has mixed with both Creoles and Indians. In Hayti and San Domingo the blacks are the ruling race. In Venezuela whites and blacks have coalesced with Indians to such an extent that, with the exception of about a thirtieth part of the population made up of savage aborigines, the great bulk of the nation is mixed. In Peru it is expected that before long the country will have reverted to the aboriginal condition, only about two per cent of the inhabitants remaining unaffected by Indian or negro admixture. Though in some South American states, such as Chili and the Argentine Confederation, immigration tends to keep up the supply of European blood, in no case is it in the ascendant.

M. d'Omalius has reckoned the number of half-breeds in the world at eighteen million, his computation taking account only of the products of crossing of the European and colored races. But, if what has been said of the proportion of half-breeds to the entire inhabitants of the New "World alone be correct, it comes far short of the reality. For obvious reasons it would be difficult to obtain trustworthy statistics concerning the distribution of pure and mixed blood in a community where mixture is a mark of inferiority. Half-breeds, fair enough to pass for whites, would not be likely to volunteer the correction of misconception as to their origin. The degree of dark admixture is, therefore, more likely to be understated than overstated.

While this continent offers to the inquirer the most interesting and numerous examples of new ethnic varieties created by intercourse between different races, others to be found elsewhere are well worthy of attention. In the Sandwich Islands there are the offspring of natives and foreigners of almost every nationality from English to Chinese. Some of the Hawaiian-British half-castes are intelligent, well-conducted, and industrious. The ruler of the kingdom, who recently traveled through Europe, is an accomplished gentleman, as well as a statesman-like and progressive prince. When it is recalled that little more than half a century ago the Hawaiian group was peopled by savages, meet descendants of Captain Cook's murderers, the present condition of the kingdom, with its educated and law-abiding citizens, is one of the most striking testimonies that modern history affords to the benefits which the dark places of the world have derived from well-directed missionary labor. Tahiti, the capital of which is described as a miniature Polynesian Paris, is another instance of successful missionary and colonizing enterprise, and equally remarkable has been the transformation which the establishment of British rule has effected in Feejee. Unhappily, the contact of even the best civilization with aboriginal races is not always a boon to the latter. The Maoris, one of the finest of the dark-skinned occupants of Polynesia, have dwindled away in the hopeless struggle with an aggression which they were not strong enough to resist and were too proud to conciliate. Neither in their native New Zealand, nor in the lost heritage of the far inferior Australians, has a half-breed population sufficiently large to affect the destiny of the colonies as yet sprung up. To what extent the presence of convicts in New Caledonia has affected the half-breed problem, a writer in "L'Expansion Coloniale" gives us some means of judging. M. P. Joppicourt, in a clever contribution to that journal, presents a striking though melancholy picture of the popinées, or native companions of the French settlers or pardoned criminals. While the rare Frenchwomen, who have ventured to share the discomforts and perils of such an exile, are petted and courted in Noumea (the capital of New Caledonia), away off in the bush the poor, faithful popinée hugs with rapture the white man's child of which she is the proud and loving mother. She looks upon her husband as her master, and does homage to her offspring as of a superior race. For their sake she has severed herself from her tribe, and refrains from the use of her own language, lest her little ones should be thereby degraded. Her kindred have turned against her as a renegade, but she minds not their reproaches. Alas! a day comes when they have their revenge, when the white man closes his door against her and bids her begone. She has served his purpose, and he needs her no longer. He is paying suit to a countrywoman of his own, and the popinée must get out of the way. And so, with misery in her heart, she betakes herself with her children back to the tribe, where for a long time she must put up with taunts and every humiliation. But she, too, has her revenge. By-and-by love changes to bitterness, and his children learn to hate the name and race of the father who has disowned them. When the cry of war is raised, they are the most eager to sink their battle-axes in the white man's skull, to burn his farm, to massacre his wife and children. And thus the innocent and good pay with their lives for the craven treachery of a heartless wretch. Let us hope that the picture is not representative, but exceptional. The same writer seems to see in the half-breed some ground of hope for the future of a colony avoided by the luxurious ladies of France. "Has not South America," he asks, "been entirely peopled by the crossing of Spaniards and Indians? Yes: those mestizos have formed powerful and respectable nations. And in North America, too, it was by allying themselves with the willing daughters of the Abenakis that the sons of France created that vigorous Acadian stock whose patriotic spirit has more than once kept at bay the proud rulers of Old and New England.

"What a pity," said the Indians after the capitulation of Quebec, 'that the French were conquered ! Their young men used to marry our daughters.' Those mixed marriages gave us faithful allies, and enabled our colonists, abandoned by the mother-country, to make head for a century against the inexhaustible forces of Great Britain."[13] In like manner may the popinée, he thinks, prove the main-stay of France in the Pacific.

There is no more romantic and extraordinary instance of a new human variety starting into life, and, in spite of deplorable beginnings, taking on the better characteristics of the wild and the civilized race, than that of the Pitcairn-Islanders. The story is well known, and I need scarcely repeat it. It may suffice to say that, after the tragedy of the Bounty, the refugee mutineers, nine English sailors, accompanied by six men and fifteen women of Tahiti, settled on that little secluded islet. By feuds of race the colony was reduced in four years to four white men and ten Tahitian women. A few years later, Adams, the pious patriarch of the community, was the sole survivor of the repentant mutineers. But, meanwhile, children had been born, who grew up and married and had families, and in 1830 the population of the island was eighty-seven. Some of them were then transferred, at their own desire, to Otaheite, but they had been religiously trained, and the loose morals prevalent there disgusted them. So most of them returned home within the year. In 1856 a second experiment at emigration was made, Pitcairn proving too small to support the rapidly growing population. But Norfolk Island was nearly as distasteful to the half-breeds as Otaheite had been, and in a few years they had almost all come back. When Admiral de Horsey visited the colony in 1878, he found sixteen men, nineteen women, twenty-five boys, and thirty girls — in about sixteen families. At that time the elected governor was James Russell McCay, steersman of the island whale-boat, of which he was also the builder. The law of the land was the simple, but morally rigorous, code drawn up by Adams. The colony, as the admiral described it, was a community of contented, friendly, gentle, pious people, poor but happy, strict in attending to their religious duties, and taking their recreation mainly in the form of music, most of them being good singers. A later visit to Pitcairn of an English vessel was some time ago described in the London "Daily Telegraph."

The communities of half-breeds to which I have been directing attention are mainly composed of English, French, or Spanish, blended with some colored race. The Portuguese, like their neo-Latin kinsmen, have ever been known to mingle their blood with that of aliens in all parts of the world. In Brazil, on this continent, they are largely represented in combination with both the Indian and the negro, while instances are not wanting in which the blood of the three is blended in various proportions. In Africa the same people has mixed with the natives of both the east and west coasts. In Asia, though none of their colonies are large, compared with those of England, their position was one of influence before the stream of exploration had drawn other nationalities eastward. The Malay word mandarin, so associated in our minds with the despotic system of the extreme Orient, was one of the prizes of early Portuguese exploration, and it is one of several terms and phrases which the daring countrymen of Camoëns have, by origination or adaptation, caused to pass current in the whole world of commerce and diplomacy. Even in lands where their influence has waned, the vestiges of their former power remain in the language of the people. On landing at Batavia in the autumn of 1878, Mr. H. O. Forbes heard here and there, amid the Babel of foreign tongues that assailed his ears, "a Portuguese word still recognizable, even after the changes of many centuries, veritable fossils imbedded in the language of a race, where now no recollection or knowledge of the peoples who left them exists." And at a later date, while visiting the shops and offices of Dilley, in Timor, he was astonished "to find all business conducted, not as in the Dutch possessions, in the lingua franca of the Archipelago, Malay, but in Portuguese."[14] Where the Portuguese have imposed their language, it is only to be expected that they have to some extent mingled their blood with that of the people who speak it. In Goa, Hindostan, Macao, China, famous from its association with Camoëns, and in the scattered insular possessions of Portugal, as well as in other parts of the East, there is a considerable population of Portuguese half-castes. Among the six millions of the Philippines, Spanish mestizos are also numerous. In Manila, the capital, they form a considerable proportion of its population of one hundred and eighty thousand. Of people of Dutch mixed with native blood there must be a good many in the Dutch East Indies. The Griquas of South Africa form, however, the most interesting example of a Dutch half-breed community. In Japan there is also a population of partially Dutch descent. Intermarriage between the ruling and the subject race in Hindostan, though not so frequent as it would be in like circumstances if any of the neo-Latin races held the position of the English, is by no means unknown, nor, where the social conditions are on a par, is there any degradation attached to it. Ceylon furnishes many examples of mixed blood, the European element being Dutch, Portuguese, or English. The extent to which the East and West have amalgamated west of the Arabian Sea it is impossible to say, but, if the truth were known, it would, perhaps, surprise the sticklers for Caucasian exclusiveness. Travelers are constantly meeting with Europeans of almost every nation in out-of-the-way corners of the world, where they have made themselves homes and taken them wives of the daughters of the land. When in 1836 the late Charles Darwin and Captain (afterward Vice-Admiral) Fitz-Roy visited the Cocos-Keeling group in the Indian Ocean, they were surprised to find that Mr. J. C. Ross, with a familia of Orientals, had taken up his abode in those lonely islets. Yet Mr. Ross himself had been no less surprised to discover that another adventurer, Mr. Alexander Hare, had anticipated him. When Mr. H. O. Forbes visited the islands in 1878, he found Mr. Ross's grandson still in possession and quite happy in his self-imposed exile from civilization. The inhabitants on the last occasion were found to be nearly all of mixed blood, the proprietor himself having married a Cocos-born wife.[15]

If it would not tend to prolong this essay indefinitely, many more instances might be recorded. There is hardly a portion of the East in which abundant evidence is not obtainable of the mixture of race already accomplished or now going on. The Malay Peninsula, Burmah, Siam, Cochin-China, Hong-Kong, the seaport cities of China and Japan, besides the countries already mentioned or alluded to, furnish testimony to the fact enough to satisfy all who seek information on the subject. The following picture of the racial variety to be met with in an Eastern city shows, at least, what opportunities exist for intermixture: "The city is all ablaze with color. I can hardly recall the pallid race which lives in our dim, pale islands, and is costumed in our hideous clothes. Every costume from Arabia to China floats through the streets: robes of silk, satin, broadcloth, and muslin; and Parsees in spotless white, Jews and Arabs in dark, rich colors — Klings (natives of Southern India) in crimson and white, Bombay merchants in turbans of large size — and crimson cummerbunds. Malays in red sarongs, Sikhs in pure white, their great height rendered almost colossal by the classic arrangement of their draperies, and Chinamen from the coolie, in his blue or brown cotton, to the wealthy merchant in his frothy silk crêpe and rich, brocaded silk — made up a medley irresistibly fascinating to the stranger."[16] Such is Singapore, and not far off is Malacca, one of the oldest European towns in the East, originally Portuguese, then Dutch, and now, though nominally under English rule, practically a Chinese colony. Not less striking is Mr. Forbes's sketch of a street-scene in the capital of Portuguese Timor: "Tall, erect indigenes mingle with negroes from the Portuguese possession of Mozambique and the coasts of Africa, most of them here in the capacity of soldiers or condemned criminals; tall, lithe East Indians from Goa and its neighborhood; Chinese and Bugis of Macassar, with Arabs and Malays and natives from Allor, Savu, Roti, and Flores; besides a crowd in whose veins the degree of commingledness of blood of all these races would defy the acutest computation."[17] The Timorese themselves represent the Malay, the Papuan, and the Polynesian races. But they also offer exceptions which can not fail to strike the beholder with wonder. For instance, the same author writes: "While in the act of turning from watching this human hunt to continue my journey, my eye lighted on an object that riveted my interest more than all else among those savage marketers — a red-haired youth, first one, then a few others, some with straight, some with curly hair, with red eyelashes, blue eyes, and the hair over their body also reddish. I found, on inquiry, that a little colony of them, well known for their peculiar color of hair and eyes, lived at Aitûha, at no great distance off. Though they lived in a colony together, they were not shunned by their neighbors, who even intermarried with them. The offspring of these unions took sometimes after the one, sometimes after the other parent. In looking eagerly at their faces, I saw more than their features only; their presence there was an excerpt out of a long history. In imagination I saw past them down the dim avenues of Time — a far, far cry — to their early progenitors, and pictured their weary retreat, full of strange and romantic vicissitudes from a more northern clime, till forced off the mainland by superior might into exile in this remote isle, where, as a surviving remnant amid its central heights, they are living united, but not incorporated with the surrounding race whose pedigree has no link in common with their own."[18]

Space will not permit me to more than allude to the race-mixtures of Hindostan and its border-lands, of the Afghan frontier uplands, where Mongoloid and Caucasian still contend for the mastery,[19] of the important region once swayed by the scepter of Darius, of the lands of the Sultan, of the many-tongued realm of the Czar, and the long, deep range of Arab conquest in Africa.

Of what blood-fusion did for that part of the world, the broad seat of successive empires in the distant past, I have already briefly spoken. And the transformation is still going on. The sons of Joktan and Ishmael, with the Koran in their hands, have been trying for ages to convert the dark tribes of Africa to the creed of the Moslem, and, in preaching their gospel, they have not disdained to share their ancient lineage with their dusky disciples. Arabic scholars have, by the cruel fortunes of the slave-hunt, found themselves enthralled to Brazilian half-breeds, their protests availing nothing against the evidence of their skins.[20] Whether the crusade inaugurated and sanctioned by the powers that constituted the Congo Free State will prove a more successful civilizer than the Arab's mission remains to be seen. If it fails to blanch the negro's skin, it may, and it is to be hoped that it will, liberate his mind from superstition and prejudice by its higher teaching and example.


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  1. "Who was Primitive Man?" in "The Fortnightly Review," and "The Popular Science Monthly," November, 1882.
  2. "The Human Species" ("International Scientific Series"), pp.273, 274.
  3. "Acclimatization," in "The Popular Science Monthly," February, 1886.
  4. "Prehistoric Man," vol.ii, pp.250-253.
  5. "Histoire des Canadiens-Français," vol.i,p.154.
  6. "Les Families Canadiennes," in "Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada," vol i, section i, p.43.
  7. "Report of the Geology and Resources of the Region in the Vicinity of the Forty-ninth Parallel, from the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains," etc. (British North American Boundary Commission.) By G. M. Dawson, pp.295, 296.
  8. "Manitoba: its Infancy, Growth, and Present Condition," p.204.
  9. "Atlantic Monthly," April, 1879.
  10. "How shall we help the Negro?" in "The Century," June, 1885.
  11. On this point see "The Dance in Place Congo," by George W. Cable, in "The Century," February, 1886; and "Race and the Solid South," by Cassius M. Clay, in the "North American Review," same month.
  12. "The Silent South" in "The Century," September, 1885.
  13. I would like to know where M. Joppicourt obtained his information concerning the frequency of mixed marriages in Canada under the old régime.
  14. "A Naturalist's Wanderings in the Eastern Archipelago," pp. 6, 417.
  15. "A Naturalist's Wanderings," etc., pp. 13-20.
  16. Isabella Bird, in the "Leisure Hour."
  17. "A Naturalist's Wanderings," etc., p. 418.
  18. Ibid., pp. 464, 465.
  19. Mr. A. H. Keane ("Nature," January 8, 1885) divides the Nortli-Afglian tribes into Caucasic and Mongolic; and, again, the former into Galchas and Iranians, and the latter into Mongols and Tartars. The Galchas are subdivided into Siah-Posh, Badakshi, Wakhi, and Shugnaris; the Iranians into Kohistani, Firuz-Khoi, Jemshidi, Tajiks, and Afghans. The Mongols are composed of Hazarahs and Airnaks, and the Tartars of Salor-Turkomans and Kataghani Uzbecks. The Caucasians number something over a million, and the Mongols over a million and a quarter.
  20. "Life in Brazil," by Thomas Ewbank, p. 439.