Popular Science Monthly/Volume 47/June 1895/Editor's Table
WHEN in the seventies Prof. J. H. Gilmore introduced the study of anthropology into the curriculum of the University of Rochester he was probably the only instructor in the subject in America. Since then the science has made rapid progress. Agencies for its dissemination and the aid and encouragement of its students have greatly multiplied, so that to-day the science of Man is taught by specialists, and holds a prominent place in many of our leading educational institutions. Among these are the universities at Toronto, Worcester, Chicago, Cambridge, Philadelphia, Lewiston (Bucknell), and Washington (Columbian). Besides these, as Chamberlain has recently shown, teachers, mainly occupied with some other subject, also give instruction in anthropology at Yale, Leland Stanford, Western Reserve, Indiana, Oberlin,
Dartmouth, Bowdoin, Wisconsin, Brown, Illinois, City of New York, Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Vassar, Cornell, Lake Forest, Vermont, Kansas, Tufts, Minnesota, Michigan, and Ohio. To this considerable list should certainly be added Wellesley, and probably Union and Mississippi. The list grows, and only a few days since the University of California was announced to introduce anthropology among its subjects for teaching. At most if not all of the institutions where special teachers are engaged in the work there are laboratories for research and practice, and at least beginnings of museums. This is great progress for twenty years, and much more may be expected during the next decade. A subject so important must rapidly force itself into all the prominent institutions of higher learning.
The university instruction reaches but a small part of the community, but the interest in anthropology extends far outside of the classroom. Courses of public lectures are astonishingly well attended. Prof. Putnam at Cambridge, Dr. Brinton at Philadelphia, Prof. Starr at Chautauqua, at New York, and at Chicago—have with others for some years past spoken to thousands and have helped to kindle a wide public interest in the subject. To-day the great peripatetic Associations for the Advancement of Science—American, Australian, British, French—all have their Section of Anthropology. Many know what a battle had to be fought in at least one of these associations for recognition of the newcomer. To-day it is not only present, it dominates. No other section of the American Association draws to its public meetings as does this one; nor is it surpassed in the number of important papers presented. In the popular magazines of the day a constantly increasing amount of space is given to papers in some one or other division of the science. In the various science series a full share of volumes are anthropological. Thus, it has been noticed that in the Contemporary Science Series nearly all the volumes are devoted to the science of man, and every one has observed the great number of valuable works in this field in the International Scientific Series. And just now, apparently in response to a demand, two other series have been started, the one devoted to anthropology generally, while the other deals with that importaut subdivision of the science which makes the criminal the special object of study.
Museums of ethnography and archæology increase. In no part of the world are they quite wanting. The Museum of Gizeh in Egypt is superb, for study; that at Tiflis in the Caucasus is rich; at La Plata in the Argentine Confederation is a vigorous young institution, with a good anthropological department; at many of the small capitals of Mexican States are choice series of antiquities. In this matter the United States lags somewhat; but at Boston (Cambridge), Salem, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Davenport, St. Louis, and San Francisco are collections of significance which are open to the public. The last comer in this group is the Field-Columbian Museum at Chicago, with an excellent department in anthropology under the curatorship of Prof. Holmes.
Anthropological societies are not numerous in America. Work in some direction is done in connection with State and local historical societies and State academies of science. Such local societies as the New York, Chicago, and Davenport Academies of Science have Ethnological Sections. Specific Anthropological Societies exist at Washington and New York. The Anthropological Society of Washington publishes an official organ of value. The Woman's Anthropological Society in the same city has been active. Interesting societies, including study and social features, are those at Yonkers, N. Y., and at Brookville, Ind., both of which have had regular meetings at short intervals for several seasons. Of societies which devote themselves to a single phase of work, there are many, among the most interesting of which are the folklore societies. The American Folklore Society meets annually and at various places, but its branches—at Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, New Orleans, etc.—hold regular meetings at stated times. The Chicago Folklore Society—now the International Folklore Association holds monthly meetings, and has branch societies in Minnesota and Tennessee.
The governmental work in anthropology can not he well overestimated. The National Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Army Medical Museum, and the Bureau of American Ethnology are doing much by displays, lectures, publications, and field work. Of field work by outside organizations more than ever before goes on. The Peabody Museum Exploration in Honduras, the Bandelier Expedition to South America, the Mexican work of the American Museum of Natural History and other organizations, the Armour Expedition to Yucatan, and the Hemenway Exploration in the Southwest testify a widespread interest.
There is no question, then, of interest and activity. These are world-wide, and steadily increasing. The real need now is direction of this interest to the best end. It is necessary to so organize and systematize efforts in each department, and in the whole field, that the man of ordinary intelligence may know the meaning of the movement, and come in touch with it profitably. Helps are not entirely lacking. There are journals—the American Anthropologist, American Antiquarian, Archæologist, American Journal of Folklore—these show the trend. Dr. Brinton's Current Notes in Anthropology in "Science" are helpfully directive. Dr. Fletcher's Quarterly Bibliography in the American Anthropologist, and Prof. Mason's Annual Summary of Progress in Anthropology throughout the World (published by the United States National Museum), keep readers informed of recent literature. With these aids the student has but to select his held. First of all, however, he will do well to read a few good books of a general kind. De Quatrefages's Natural History of Man, and The Human Species, Brinton's Races and Peoples, Tylor's Anthropology, Early History of Mankind, and Primitive Culture, are useful. Some of these are by no means recent works, but they will not soon be replaced.
Our readers who have followed with interest Dr. Andrew D. White's papers on the Warfare of Science—and that they are many is amply proved by the constant stream of inquiries as to the publication of the series in book form which we receive—will be pleased to learn that the last division of the subject is now completed. As already announced, The Warfare of Science is to be published as a volume. While this final division is running through the Monthly, the author will continue his careful revision of the preceding portions, already well advanced, and by the time the last installment appears the printer will probably have begun putting the first part into book form. In his earlier chapters Dr. White has shown how theologians have been forced step by step to yield the domination which they asserted in astronomy, meteorology, medicine, and other fields outside their own province. He is now about to trace the advance from fantastic errors to more rational views which the spread of the scientific mode of thinking has compelled them to make in theology itself. This advance has been brought about not so much by direct action on the part of science as by the disposition which science has aroused in men to use their reasoning powers on all matters that are presented to them. The consequence has been that dogmatism and mysticism in preaching and teaching have found fewer and fewer listeners, while the most intellectual ecclesiastics, feeling the same influence, have shrunk from the dogmatic and mystical extravagances of their predecessors.