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Constitution of the Indian Mind

American History, Volume I: Aboriginal America (New York: Sheldon, 1860)

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mechanism was with him, at birth, the same in respect to these faculties as in the Caucasian race, but that, on account of the mode of life which the Indian leads, it remained undeveloped. This is, doubtless, to some extent, true. But it would seem that the Indian children manifest from their earliest infancy the same low degree of sensibility, giving them the power of bearing without inconvenience, or at least without pain, what would be intolerable to the children of another race, which characterizes their fathers and mothers. The children seldom cry. They remain patient, strapped upon their board, looking quietly about, and content apparently with existence alone; while a white child of the same age is endowed with powers of observation and with mental instincts and propen- sities so sensitive and active that it craves the incessant occupation of its faculties, and scarcely ever intermits his restless activity.

Where we find peculiarities of temperament thus showing themselves at the earliest age, and continuing to mark the character and conduct under all circumstances to the end of life, it would seem that we are entitled to conclude that they are innate, and, in the individual at least, are not the result of climate or of education, or of any other outward causes.

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