« IndietroContinua »
of a brown color, shoots up northward, and sweeps over, all northern Europe and North America, symbolizing the great brown Mongoloid race. Finally a briefer line, ascends to western Asia, called the Dravidian; but as it begins to turn its course from north to west, it changes its color from dark brown to bright red, indicating that the Dravidian had become Caucasian, and is now curving his beautiful lines over the lands of modern Christendom. Our Adamic race is, therefore, traceable back to Lemuria through the Dravidian, and the change from dark to red, marks when and where by an upward development the Adamic race begins. Now in Genesis the word Adam in the Hebrew has really two meanings. It is a race name, designating a people, and a personal, designating an individual. As a race name, Adam begins with the reddening of the Dravidians into Adamites: as a personal name, Adam designates the earliest ancestor known to the Jews.
The process by which the transition is made from Dravidian to Adamite is a purely natural one, and is suggested to be by an albinosis. We are told, (p. 349:) "Dr. John Davy, after describing a fine Albino girl of Ceylon, adds: 'It is easy to conceive that an accidental variety of this kind might propagate, and that the white race of mankind is sprung from such an accidental variety. The East Indians are of this opinion; and there is a tradition or story among them in which this origin is assigned to us.'" But if a white race thus suddenly springs up by an albinosis, why not a black race by a melanosis f
Let us now suppose that a Dr. Rawlinson, assuming the literal biblical Genesis narrative with the Septuagint chronology, and a degeneracy of the race from its origin, should construct a counter ideal racial map. Assuming, not with Dr. W., that "man is a tropical animal," but that he is a semi-tropical being, created at the center, most suited to his highest nature, he finds that as the race diverges from that center it deteriorates under various depressing conditions, physical and moral, external and internal. He shows, from Peschel perhaps, how rapidly immigrations can take place in early ages when men are hardy and adventurous, and yet how large a share of the earth is found unoccupied even in late prehistoric times. He shows how much more plastic the race was in filling out its programme of possible divergences in the rapidly incurred conditions, and how permanent the traits acquired by the divergent varieties of race often become. He may find no great difficulty in showing how, after the flood, the three sons of Noah may, within the thousand or two years from the flood permitted by the Septuagint, have sent the Mongol, the Negro, and the Australian, with all their present characteristics, to about their present abodes. Guided by that wonderful chart of ethnology, the tenth chapter of Genesis down to its date, he justly presumes that it must be supplemented by later history. The projecting lines of that chart are pointers, and Dr. R. finds it easy by simply developing them in their indicated directions to bring his pencil to every point of present human habitation.
Two points, especially, will Dr. W. make against this rival map. First, evolution, whether by genetic derivation, or by divine fiat, is always ascending, so that we must find the earliest race in the lowest; and, second, the rate of change in races is immensely slow, so that ages on ages are necessary for the production of the present divergences of races. On both these points, with our present light, we are disposed to concur with Rawlinson.
On the first of these two points Dr. W. has written an able chapter, which, after our repeated reading, seems to us to miss the real point. Species, we admit, do as a general law, both by the Mosaic and Darwinian evolution, ascend; but certainly varieties of species do abundantly degenerate. Now Rawlinson may affirm that man is a species, and all his degenerations are varieties, and varieties, even in the animal world, are largely degenerate. Says Professor Cabell, of the University of Virginia, (" Unity of Mankind," Carters, 1859,) " Swine in some countries have degenerated into races, which in singularity far exceed any thing that has been found strange in bodily variety in the human race." That seems a pregnant sentence. Here is a vast animal species whose Adam comes first, whose varieties degenerate down an inclined plane to the lowest extreme. Professor Winchell's law seems to be reversed. The highest is first, the lowest is last. Adam we find at the summit, degenerating through the Mongoloid and the Negro to the Australian.
Our second point is a query whether the formation of a new variety requires a long period of time. And here, first, we can easily conceive a superior plasticity to variation in a young species. Endowed within itself with a certain range of possible variations, the human species quickly, by emigration ranging through the various conditions of the earth, may early fill out its programme of possible variations, and then the varieties may by continuance acquire almost the fixedness of species. A new variety may start in a single individual. Seth Wright's celebrated new breed of sheep, whose legs were too short to leap fences, commenced with a single birth. And the following late and well-authenticated fact raises a grave suspicion that in the human species a variation of the extremest kind may commence with a sfngle individual. We adduce it from the "Philadelphia Press" of May 2, J 880.
In the year 1879 there was born to Mary Salter, the Irishdescended wife of John Salter, an Englishman by descent, residing in number 1307 Lemon-street, Philadelphia, a beautiful boy with ruddy face and profuse silky-brown hair, who was baptized two weeks later. In a few days his face began to darken, bis hair grew stiff and crisp and his eyes black. "At last he became as black as a full-blooded negro," and was attacked with spasms. Dr. Reynolds, of Eighteenth and Poplar streets, was called, and pronounced it a case of entire melanosis. On being visited by a "Press" reporter, Dr. Reynolds "said the case was a difficult one to explain, as there is so little medical literature on the subject. It was, he said, a case of what he would call melanosis, or over-production of pigment. Melanin, as the pigment giving color to the hair and eyes, and which gives the boy's skin its dark color, is called, is thought to be produced in the brain, the nerve center of the body. In this case there is a great over-prodtiction. The opposite state of affairs is where a negro turns white, or where portions of a white person turn even whiter. This is caused by a lack of production of pigment, and is termed kiicoderma. It is produced by nerve affection. Colored persons with white spots upon them are not rare, neither are cases of white people having parts of their body whiter than the rest. The doctor said that the case under consideration was the first known where the whole body had become black." "I first saw the boy," said he, " when he was thirteen months' old. He was then as black as any negro, but he is now growing lighter, and when he relapsed in general health he grew darker again; but, on the whole, he has gradually lost his dark color, and will eventually be white." Future research may show that such sudden change from one extreme of race to another, at first perhaps as a disease, is no impossibility. Dr. Winchell suggests that the Caucasian came from the Dravidian by an albinosis. We prefer to suspect that the negro may have degenerated from the Caucasian, in accordance with the law of variety, by a melanosis. Dr. W. believes it incredible that the negro type could have arisen within
five hundred and nine years from Noah. "We can easily be made to believe that the surplus pigmentation may have taken place in the family of Noah and in the person of Ham, the black.
Dr. W. distinguishes race inferiority into structural and cultural; and he pronounces the negro inferiority to be structural. But does not the cultural often, and we may say always, become structural? To show how suddenly such degeneration could take place, we quoted an instance from Brace of its occurrence in fifty years. This Dr. W. subjected to a criticism too extended for our brief room for reply, and we take another instance. In 1611 a body of Ulster Irish were driven by war into a mountainous region, and exposed to the worst effects of hunger and ignorance, the two great brutalizers of the human race. "The descendants of these exiles are now distmguished physically by great degradation. They are remarkable for open, projecting mouths, with prominent teeth and exposed gums; and their advancing cheek bones and depressed noses bear barbarism on their very front. In Sligo and Northern Mayo the consequences of the two centuries of degradation and hardship exhibit themselves in the whole physical condition of the people, affecting not only the features but the frame. Five feet two inches, on an average—pot-bellied, bowlegged, abortively featured, their clothing a wisp of rags—these spectefs of a people that were once well-grown, able-bodied, and comely, stalk abroad into the daylight of civilization, the annual apparition of Irish ugliness and Irish want." Here observe how cultural deterioration became structural, how truly negroid some of these traits were, and in how brief a time it was accomplished on one of the most florid types of the Caucasian race.
Dr. W., however, admits deteriorations, but affirms that they are always only local. But how do we know that? We see continentwide inferiorities to the highest type. How do we know that those inferiorities are not deteriorations? We have carefully read and re-read his able chapter in which this affirmation occurs and find an entire omission of answer. Looking over the surface of mankind, we find constant elevations and deteriorations; and when we ask for the proof that the deteriorations precede the elevations we get no response. Why may not Rawlinson be right in taking loftiest position with Adam, and looking down the vast inclined plane of the race, varied by hills and vales, to the lowest Australian level, conceive that the highest is first, the last lowest?
Dr. Winchell gives us an admirable analysis of the dispersion of the sons of Noah, as furnished by the Hebrew record, and does his best to build a solid fence between the Hamite, Cnshites, or Ethiopians, and the negroes. Yet he is obliged to confess "that it is difficult to tell where the Hamite ends and the Negro begins." What a fair basis for the conclusion that the Negro is but a more deeply African Cushite! That the Cushite was pretty much a Negro is clear from the query, "Can an Ethiopian [Cushite] change his skin?" And there seems just excuse for assuming that the Negro of the slave-trade is the extreme result of the local miasms of Africa, mostly south of Sahara, working upon susceptible Cushite constitutions, rendered greatly permanent by long continuance. Brace says: "All travelers agree that the color of the Africans, to a certain degree, changes according to the heat and dampness, the same tribe (as the Batoka,.for instance) being black or lighter colored as they are exposed in a greater or less degree to these two influences. The lines of language, as, for instance, those of the Kaffir family, cut across the distinctions of color, and one undoubted race may embrace persons of jet black and others with unmixed blood of a light copper color. . . . What is called the 'negro type'—that is, the low type of the coast of Guinea— is comparatively the exception." He quotes an eminent savant, Abbadie, a resident for eleven years in Eastern Africa, as saying, "It would be impossible to say where the negro begins and the red man ends." And Peschel puts it still more pointedly: "In some tribes the nose is pointed, straight, or hooked; even 'Grecian profiles' are spoken of, and travelers say with surprise that they cannot perceive any thing of the so-called negro type among the negroes." May we not also wonder that Dr. W. lays so much stress on the "structural" inferiority of the negro, inferred from the slaver's "natural selection" of 'the most depressed of the race? The first Negro, then, if he did not come immediately from the family of Noah, was the first Cushite upon whose internal predispositions, the malarial and other necessary conditions were so superinduced as to complete the melanosis. Cabell tells us that the Nubians of the White Nile were once negroes, transported by the Emperor Diocletian from a western oasis to their present locality, where they have by reversion become virtual Egyptians in a few centuries. The Magyars, or Hungarians of Europe, the countrymen of Kossuth, were originally a tribe of low Mongoloids, and it has taken but one thousand years for them, boasting of their pure blood, to become about the finest race of Europe. They have required but that brief period to bridge the chasm between the Mongoloid and the virtual Cauca