Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/199

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ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF AMERICA.

ing to past census reports, crime has more than doubled every ten years for the past half-century, the importance of this subject becomes manifest. The most practical and successful trial of the advanced method in this country is seen at the Elmira Reformatory. Here the prisoner goes to school and receives the needed bodily and mental training, by which it is endeavored to form a stable base for moral improvement.

In conclusion, we must repeat that, in our consideration of the defective and delinquent classes, more attention should be given to prevention. Let our greatest energies be devoted to combating the conditions that are at work in society producing the unfit, rather than so industriously providing for their survival. When such a class is formed, it should be permanently isolated from the rest of society. Recent legislation in Ohio adjudges a person an habitual criminal when convicted of a third offense, under which he may be held for life. This law is based upon sound physiology and psychology. Such a permanent quarantine should be applied to all tramps, cranks, and generally worthless beings. Society must do this for protection, not punishment; to avoid their contamination; and, above all, to prevent the propagation of their kind. Advanced sociology will devote its principal energies to avoiding the production of the unfit, and then see to it that they do not survive beyond one generation. Here lies the only solution of this difficult problem—first prevention, next permanent isolation.

 

THE ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF AMERICA.
By Prof. JOHN S. NEWBERRY.

WHEN the white man landed on these shores he found them covered with a dense forest, the home of the bear, the elk, the lynx, and the other wild animals indigenous to this country. The only human inhabitants were the red Indians, who roved the forest, "the children of the shade"—the chase their occupation, and their amusement war. From Maine to Florida the country was overrun by various tribes of these untutored savages, and for many years it was believed that the whole of North America was what it was called—the New World—and that its animals and savage men were part of the first wild stock with which it was peopled.

As the wave of civilization moved westward the forest was mowed down before it, and step by step the native tribes—with many a hard-fought battle and bloody tragedy—were driven deeper into their forest recesses.

Behind the advance guard of the whites the country was soon