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"General Remarks on Types of Mankind"

Types of Mankind: or, Ethnological Researches, Based Upon the Ancient Monuments, Paintings, Sculptures, and Crania of Races, and Upon Their Natural, Geographical, Philological, and Biblical History (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1854), Chapter II


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82 GENERAL REMARKS

It may then be truly said, that tin reams no data by which science can, at all approximate to the epoch of man's first appearance upon earth: for, an shown in our chronological essay, even the Jewish history, whose fabulous chronology is so perserveringly relied on by many, does not reach back to the early history of nations. It cannot now reasonably be doubted that Egypt and China, at least, existed as nations. 8000 years before Christ; and there is monumental evidence of the simultaneous existence or various Types of Mankind quite as far back. lnasmuch as these types are more or less fertile inter se, and as they have, for the last 5000 years, been subjected to successions. of wars, migrations, captivities, intermixtures, &c., it would be a vain task at the present day to attempt the unravelling of this tangled thread, and to make anything like a just classification of types; or to determine how many wore primitive, of which one of them has arisen from intermixture of types. This difficulty holds not alone with regard to man kind, but also with romped to dogs, horses., cattle, sheep, and other domestic animals, as we take occasion to show. All that ethnography can now hope to accomplish is, to select some or the morn prominent types, or rather groups of proximate types, compare them with each other, and demonstrate that they are, and have always been, distinct.

A vulgar error has been sedulously impressed, upon the public. mind, of which it is very hula to divest it, viz., that all the races of the globe set out originally from a single point in Asia. Science now knows that no houndation in fact exists for such a conclusion. The embarassment in treating of types of races is constantly increased by false classifications imposted upon us by prejudiced naturalists. It is argyed, for example, that all the Mongols, all the African Negroes, all the American Indians, have been derived from ton e common Asiatic pair or unique source; whereas, on the other hand, there is no evidence that human beings were not sown broadcast over the whole face of the earth, like animals and plants; and we incline to the opinion of M. AFASSIZ that men were creatied in nations and not in a single pair.

Since the time of Linnaeus, who first placed man at the head of the Animal kingdon and in the same series with monkeys, numerous classifications of human races have been proplsed; and it may be well to give a rapid sketch of a few of them, in order to show the difficulties which encompass the subject, and how hopelessly vague every definitve attempt of this kind must be, in the present state of our knowledge.

BUFFON divides the human race into six varieties--viz., Polar, Tartar, Austral-Asiatic, European, Negro, and American.

KANT divides man into four varieties-White, Black, Copper and Olive.



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