Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/516

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500

THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

before Adam, though some of them are so distant that their light has been a hundred thousand years in reaching us!"

Prof. Winchell, of course, takes the ground that the older or black race is of an inferior type to the subsequent or, as he calls them, the Adamic races; and to the objection that the negro is not inferior to the white man he makes the following reply:

"1. If, when the sun is shining brightly, a man tells me it is dark, I can only pronounce him blind. The inferiority of the negro is a fact everywhere patent. I imply here only inferiority of intelligence, the instrument of self-helpfulness and of all civilization. I need not argue the fact; circumspice. But when this inferiority is conceded, we always hear the appeal to unfavorable conditions.' This leads me to note, 2. The African Continent has always been favorably conditioned. In the first place, it had a land connection with Asia and the seats of ancient civilization. It even had a remote civilization planted within its own borders; and the fires of Egyptian civilization have never been extinct; while for two thousand years the enlightenment of Europe has been within accessible distance. In the second place, the salubrity of the climate, the fertility of the soil, the vast hydrographic system of lakes and rivers, have all conspired to give the interior of the continent natural conditions unsurpassed by those of the site of any civilization which ever existed. Thirdly, the indigenous productions of Africa have supplied other conditions of human advancement. There exist two native cereals, negro millet and Caffre corn, which supply material for bread. There are the edible 'breadroots' and also 'earth-nuts,' which are adequate to supply the daily food of whole villages. As to fruit-trees, there are the doom-palm, the oil-palm, and the 'butter-tree.' Moreover, for thousands of years the way has been open, as wide as the continent, for the introduction of the cereals of Asia. In fact, they have long been known to the natives; and maize, the manioc-root, and sugar-cane, as well as wheat and barley, have spread far toward the interior. There, too, have been domesticated animals, received, probably, from the Egyptians in a domesticated state; but no native animal has ever been domesticated. The Aryans of India employed the elephant as a beast of burden; but the African elephant was never utilized. These are not the conditions under which a whole race could be crushed into a process of degeneracy. 3. Comparison with other races shows the negroes inferiority. The Egyptian civilization was reared on the African Continent by the side of the barbarous negro, and under the same conditions. If the materials of civilization were introduced from Asia, it was certainly easier for the negro to introduce them from Egypt. America is not naturally superior in its physical conditions to Africa. Its only cereal is maize. Its principal edible roots are the mandioca and the potato; and the feeble llama and vicuna are the only native animals capable of domestication as beasts of burden. Yet the civilization of the Nahuatl nations of Mexico, the Quiches of Central America, the Mayas of Yucatan, and the Aymaras and Quichuas of Peru, had become, both in respect to intellectual and industrial advances, and judicial, moral, and religious conceptions, almost a stage of true enlightenment. The glaring fact of negro inferiority in respect to social conditions cannot be explained by any appeal to adverse conditions. Such are the ethnological facts and the coördinated circumstances. But in proof of my position I make another point: 4. The anatomical structure of the negro is inferior. The lean shanks, the prognathous profile, the long arms (which do not always exist), the black skin, the elongated and oblique pelvis—these are all characteristics in which, so far as the negro diverges from the white man, he approximates the African apes. The skull also is inferior in structure and in capacity, and in the relative expansion of its different regions. Among whites, the relative abundance of 'crossheads' (having permanently unclosed the longitudinal and transverse suture on the top of the head) is one in seven; among Mongolians, it is one in thirteen; among negroes, it is one in fifty-two. This peculiarity is supposed by some to favor the prolonged development of the brain. In any event, it is most frequent in the highest races. Again, the prevailing form of the negro head is dolichocephalous; that of civilized races is mesocephalous and brachycephalous. That is, it lacks the breadth which we find associated with executive ability. The broadest negro skull does not reach the average of the Germans, nor does the best Australian skull, let me add, reach the average of the negro. Finally, the capacity of the negro cranium is inferior. Assuming 100 as the average capacity of the Australian skull, that of the negro is 111.6, and that of the Teuton 124.8. Now, no fact is better established than the general relation of intellect to weight of brain. Welker has shown that the brains of twenty-six men of high intellectual rank surpassed the average weight by fourteen per cent. Of course, quality of brain is an equally important factor; and hence not a few men with brains even below the average have distinguished themselves for scholarship. But this does not abolish the rule; nor does it prove that the racial inferiority of the negro brain, in respect to size, is not to be taken as an index of racial inferiority in respect to intelligence and the capacity for civilization; and this all the more, since the quality of the negro brain is also inferior.

"I am not responsible for the inferiority of the negro. I am responsible if I ignore the facts. I am culpable if I hold him to the same standard as the white man. My appeals to him must be of a widely-different character from my appeals to the Aryan Hindoo, or the Mongoloid American savage. The ethnological facts have their application in all missionary efforts."

Of the subsequent discussion on "Pri-