American Egyptomania Search

Constitution of the Indian Mind

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

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Art & Architecture


ances. But, after all, when we come to compare a bark canoe, perfect as it is in its way, with one of the ocean steam-ships of the Caucasian race, or the best made stone-tipped arrow ever shot at a moose or a buffalo, with the double-barreled rifled carbines carrying an explosive bullet, with which a French hunter lies in wait for an African lion, we learn the immense distance which separates the powers and attainments of the two races from each other. We must remember, too; that the contriv- ances which we find Indians now using, and which we think so ingenious, are not the inventions of the individuals that we see using them, nor even of the generation now upon the stage. They are the results of the combined ingenuity of a hundred generations ! It is somewhat the same, it is true, with our inventions ; but with us, not only are the results infinitely greater, but the work is still going on with a steadiness and rapidity of progress almost inconceivable. There is doubtless more real invention exercised, and a greater number of new and ingenious contrivances originated and per- fected every single year, in any one of ten thousand machine shops and manufactories now in operation in America, than the Indians can produce as the result of the accumulated efforts of all the genera-

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