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Constitution of the Indian Mind

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


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268 CONSTITUTION AND CHARACTER

any human community, even if there were no natural instincts in the heart to war against it. There. was no law among the Indians restricting men to a single wife, and prominent personages, such as great warriors and chieftains, often accordingly possessed themselves of more than one. The motive which influenced them, however, in these cases was riot, as it would seem, a sensual one, but rather a desire to extend their influence by connecting themselves with powerful families, and to aggrandize themselves in the estimation of the community by enlarging their domestic establishment. The practice, however, being in violation of the natural instincts of man and the essential laws of his constitution, led generally to domestic disquiet and suffering, and sometimes to catastrophes which would have comported well with the strength of the sentiment of jealousy in the heart of the most civilized woman.

INTELLECTUAL SUPERIORITY OF THE CAUCASIAN RACE.

We are surprised sometimes, it is true, at the ingenuity which the Indians exhibited in some of their inventions, and it is, indeed, in some sense wonderful that with materials and implements so imperfect they could manufacture such efficient weapons and carry out such curious contriv-



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