Page:Journal of American Folklore vol. 12.djvu/380

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.

48 Journal of American Folk-Lore.

found on the continent, it is not too much to ask that, in view of the deficiency of means of enlightenment, the legislatures of the States in which remnants of the aboriginal population still exist, should make special appropriations for examination into the languages, his- tory, place-names, ethnology, art, and folk-lore of these interesting peoples. If such sums were expended under the supervision of the universities, and in accordance with sound anthropological theory, it is not to be doubted that the results would not only be adequate to justify the expenditure, but would give occasion for gratitude on the part of future citizens of these States, who must of necessity find no small part of their romance and historical interest in memories of the various aboriginal stocks now fast disappearing. The Eastern States would be thankful for the opportunity still open to California, Oregon, and Colorado ; but even as regards eastern tribes, there is still the possibility of enlarging knowledge from the descendants of the original population, now far removed from their old homes. It cannot be too forcibly impressed on the people of the United States and the Dominion of Canada, that small sums of money properly applied may bring results which posterity will consider inestimable. If young students can be shown that at least a temporary support can be provided for investigators, competent persons can be found who will pursue such researches in the true spirit of scientific self- sacrifice.

With regard to the negroes of the Southern States, the Council earnestly urge that immediate means be provided to make a proper collection and study of negro music, which, to the reproach of musi- cal science in the United States, is perishing without proper record or study.

During the year 1899, the Society has added to the number of its memoirs a seventh volume, namely, "Animal and Plant Lore," by Mrs. Fanny D. Bergen, being a sequel to the collection of " Current Superstitions," already made by Mrs. Bergen, and published as the fourth volume of the Memoirs of the American Folk-Lore Society.

To accomplish the important duties, which in regard to collection as well as publication ought to devolve on a folk-lore society in America, the means at the disposal of the Society are altogether insufficient. The total membership does not exceed four hundred, while during the current year the number of withdrawals has ex- ceeded that of additions. There seems to be no way in which the comprehension of the importance of the task can be brought home to the American people, save by the formation of local societies. It is therefore recommended that some sort of organization be effected in each State, with a view of completing local record.

The Council continued the Committee, appointed at the previous

�� �