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Title: The Color Line - A Brief in Behalf of the Unborn
Author: Smith, William Benjamin
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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A Brief




_Consider the End_



_Copyright, 1905, by_
_Published February, 1905, N_


John Henry Neville


_Admiration and Gratitude_

Transcriber's Note: Superscripted characters are indicated by being
preceded by a carat, such as z^r.



CHAPTER ONE                                                3

CHAPTER TWO                                               29

CHAPTER THREE                                             75

CHAPTER FOUR                                             111

CHAPTER FIVE                                             158

CHAPTER SIX                                              193


The following pages attempt a discussion of the most important question
that is likely to engage the attention of the American People for many
years and even generations to come. Compared with the vital matter of
pure Blood, all other matters, as of tariff, of currency, of subsidies,
of civil service, of labour and capital, of education, of forestry, of
science and art, and even of religion, sink into insignificance. For,
to judge by the past, there is scarcely any conceivable educational or
scientific or governmental or social or religious polity under which
the pure strain of Caucasian blood might not live and thrive and
achieve great things for History and Humanity; on the other hand, there
is no reason to believe that any kind or degree of institutional
excellence could permanently stay the race decadence that would follow
surely in the wake of any considerable contamination of that blood by
the blood of Africa.

It is this supreme and all-overshadowing importance of the interests at
stake that must justify the earnestness and the minuteness with which
the matter has been treated. The writer does not deny that he feels
profoundly and intensely on the subject; otherwise, he would certainly
never thus have turned aside from studies far more congenial and
fascinating. But he has not allowed his feelings or any sentimental
considerations whatever to warp his judgment. It has been his effort to
make the whole discussion purely scientific, an ethnological inquiry,
undisturbed by any partisan or political influence. He has had to guard
himself especially against the emotion of sympathy, of pity for the
unfortunate race, "the man of yesterday," which the unfeeling process
of Nature demands in sacrifice on the altar of the evolution of

It may be well to indicate at the outset the general movement of
thought through this volume:

Chapter One in its title strikes the keynote. In the following pages
the main issue is stated, the position of the South is defined, and her
lines of defence are indicated. But there is no attempt to justify the
fundamental assumption in the Southern argument.

In Chapter Two this shortcoming is made good. The assumed inferiority
of both the Negro and the Negroid is argued at length, and proved by a
great variety of considerations.

In Chapter Three the notion that this inferiority, now demonstrated, is
after all merely cultural and removable by Education or other
extra-organic means, is considered minutely and refuted in every detail
and under all disguises.

In Chapter Four the powerful and authoritative plea of Dr. Boas, for
the "primitives," is subjected to a searching analysis, with the
decisive result that, in spite of himself, this eminent anthropologist,
while denying everything as a whole, affirms everything in detail that
is maintained in the preceding chapters. Inasmuch as the Address of
this savant may be regarded as the _ne plus ultra_ of pro-African
pleading, both in earnestness and in learning, it has seemed that no
treatment of the subject would be complete that did not refute it
thoroughly--"so fight I as one not beating the air." To do this was not
possible without quoting extensively, which is the less to be regretted
as the Address has been too little read.

In Chapter Five the obvious and instant question is met. What then is
to become of the Black Man? The answer is rendered in general terms and
is supported by the remarkable testimony of the distinguished
statistician, Professor Willcox. But only general sociologic moments
are regarded, and the statistical argument in detail is held in

In Chapter Six this omission is fully supplied. The Growth rate, the
Birth rate, the Death rate, the Crime rate, and the Anthropometry of
the Negro are discussed minutely from every point of view, and the
positions of the preceding chapters are bulwarked and buttressed

It has been the one aim of the writer, who is perfectly convinced in
his own mind, to convince the reader. To this end no pains have been
spared and no drudgery avoided. Since it appeared necessary to regard
the matter from various nearly related points of view, under only
slightly divergent angles, it has happened that the same argumentative
materials have come to hand more than once in almost equivalent forms.
But in this there is no disadvantage; factors of such sovereign potence
do not suffer from repetition. The whole discussion is biological in
its bearing and turns about a few pivotal points; and these deserve to
be stressed by every device of emphasis. "For twice indeed, yea thrice,
they say, it is good to repeat and review the good."

There remain yet certain important political and economical and even
juridical aspects of the subject, concerning which the writer has not
neglected to gather relevant material of evidence; but any adequate
discussion would carry the reader too far afield and would mar the
unity of the work as it now stands. Accordingly these aspects are left

The writer fancies one may forecast the only reply likely to be brought
forward under even a thin guise of plausibility. It will be said, as it
is said, that the much-dreaded contamination of blood is the merest
bugaboo. But nay! it is a tremendous and instant peril, against which
eternal vigilance is the only safeguard, in whose presence it is vain
and fatuous to cry "peace, peace" when there is no peace, a peril whose
menace is sharpened by well-meant efforts at humanity and generosity,
by seemingly just demands for social equality masquerading as "equal
opportunity." The one adequate definition of this "equal opportunity"
has been bravely given by that most able and eloquent Negroid, Prof.
William H. Councill: "Will the White man permit the Negro to have an
equal part in the industrial, political, social and civil advantages of
the United States? This, as I understand it, is the problem." All this
is quite beyond question to the mind that cherishes no illusions and
insistently beholds things as they are. Neither is it less sure that
even the Southern conscience needs quickening at this vital point. The
writer has been appalled at the cool indifference with which
amalgamation is contemplated as necessary and inevitable by certain
highly intelligent philanthropists in the Southland. The matter is
delicate and difficult to argue, and in the body of the book it has
perhaps been stressed too lightly; but the danger signals are clearly
discernible, even as they were to Prof. E. D. Cope, and it is madness
not to heed them. If the race barrier be removed, and the individual
standard of personal excellence be established, the twilight of this
century will gather upon a nation hopelessly sinking in the mire of

It can hardly be hoped that any reader will be satisfied with the
glimpse here disclosed of the future. Certainly not the Negro, nor his
apologists; nor even such as sympathize most fully with the writer. The
solemn secular processes, to which the solution of the problem is
relegated, are so very leisurely in their working, closing down upon
their final result with the deliberation of a glacier, or like some
slowly convergent infinite series. But Nature is once for all thus
leaden-footed, and it is extremely difficult to quicken her pace.

We have bestowed merely a glance upon the scheme of Deportation, which
is alas! not now a question of practical statesmanship, though it may
indeed become one sooner than we think.

However, the outlook is not hopeless to him who has a sense of the
world to come, who lives in his race, who feels the solidarity of its
present with its future as well as with its past. "Of men that are
just, the true saviour is Time." Besides, it seems not at all strange
that a disease, chronic through centuries, should require centuries for
its cure, that the multiplied echoes of the curse of African slavery
should go sounding on, even to the years of many generations.

  W. B. S.
  _Tulane University,
  25th October, 1904._




    _Let not man join together
    What God hath put asunder._

In the controversy precipitated by the luncheon at the White House, and
embittered by more recent procedures, the attitude of the South
presents an element of the pathetic. The great world is apparently
hopelessly against her. Three-fourths of the virtue, culture, and
intelligence of the United States seems to view her with pitying scorn;
the old mother, England, has no word of sympathy, but applauds the
conduct that her daughter reprehends; the continent of Europe looks on
with amused perplexity, as unable even to comprehend her position, so
childish and absurd. Worst of all, she herself appears to have no
far-reaching voice. However ably or earnestly her daily journals may
plead her cause, their circle of readers rarely extends far beyond her
own borders: she seems to be talking to herself or raving in a dream.

Under such conditions, why not appeal to her generous foes, to the
Northern Press, to lend the mighty resonance of their own voice to the
proclamation of the Southern plea? "_Their_ tone has gone out through
all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." But the
demands on their space are overwhelming; they hesitate before an
article of more than fifteen pages, and they would not needlessly wound
the sensibilities of their readers. No! The Southern plea, if it is to
be made effective, must be presented in a book.

The present writer professes neither authority nor special fitness to
speak for the South. No one but himself knows that he is framing or
intends to frame this defense; but the situation appeals to him
powerfully, and it is so transparent and so easily understood of any
one here in the midst that he cannot believe he commits any sensible
error in his statement of the case.

To begin, then, it is essential to any proper conduct of the discussion
that the point at issue be clearly defined, and that all false issues
be excluded rigorously and in terms. Unless we widely err, much current
argumentation, especially at the North, is perverted by the fatal
fallacy of mistaken aim. On the other hand, we shall not be at any
pains to defend or excuse intemperance in the language of Southern
writers or speakers; on this head we have no dispute with any one but
are willing to admit, whether true or false, whatever may be charged.

What, then, is the real point at issue, and what does the South stand
for in this contention--stand alone, friendless, despised, with the
head and heart, the brain and brawn, the wealth and culture of the
civilized world arrayed almost solidly against her? The answer is
simple: She stands for _blood_, for the "_continuous germ-plasma_" _of
the Caucasian Race_.

The South cares nothing, in themselves, for the personal friendships or
appreciations of high-placed dignitaries and men of light and leading.
She must concede to such and to all Northerners' and to all Europeans
the abstract right to choose their associates and table company as they
please. What she does maintain is, that _in the South_ the colour line
must be drawn firmly, unflinchingly--without deviation or interruption
of any kind whatever.

It may be too much to affirm that in all extra-social matters--in
politics, in business, in literature, in science, in art, everywhere
but in society--even the best sentiment or practice of the South is
eager to give the Negro strict justice, or ample scope, or free
opportunity. Southerners are merely human; and there is, perhaps, no
great historical example of an inferior race or class treated with all
proper consideration by the superior. Certainly our Northern friends
will hardly maintain that recent disclosures clearly show that their
ruling corporate powers are humane, or generous, or even barely just
towards the poor and humble, in their administration of the important
industrial trusts which God has so wisely placed in their hands. They
are giants, and it is the nature of giants to press hard. At this
point, then, the South is or should be open to conviction. It is the
part of statesmanship, as well as of humanity, continuously to adjust
the relations of classes--much more so of races--so that the largest
interests involved may be sacredly conserved and at the least possible
sacrifice of any smaller interest that may conflict. More can hardly be
expected in a world whose law is strife. Tried by this standard, it is
very doubtful whether the South falls even one notch below the average
set everywhere by the example of the ruling class. If she does, then
let her bear the blame, with neither excuse nor extenuation for her
shortcomings. But in the matter of social separation we can and we will
make no concessions whatever. Neither dare we tolerate any violations
of our fundamental principle among ourselves; nor dare we sit calmly by
and behold its violation by others, when that violation imperils our
own supreme interests and renders more difficult the maintenance of our
own position. Here, then, is laid bare the nerve of the whole matter:
_Is the South justified in this absolute denial of social equality to
the Negro, no matter what his virtues or abilities or accomplishments?_

We affirm, then, that the South is entirely right in thus keeping open
at all times, at all hazards, and at all sacrifices an impassable
social chasm between Black and White. This she _must_ do in behalf of
her blood, her essence, of the stock of her Caucasian Race. To the
writer the correctness of this thesis seems as clear as the sun--so
evident as almost to forestall argument; nor can he quite comprehend
the frame of mind that can seriously dispute it. But let us look at it
closely. Is there any doubt whatever as to the alternative? If we sit
with Negroes at our tables, if we entertain them as our guests and
social equals, if we disregard the colour line in all other relations,
is it possible to maintain it fixedly in the sexual relation, in the
marriage of our sons and daughters, in the propagation of our species?
Unquestionably, No! It is certain as the rising of tomorrow's sun,
that, once the middle wall of social partition broken down, the
mingling of the tides of life would begin instantly and proceed
steadily. Of course, it would be gradual, but none the less sure, none
the less irresistible. It would make itself felt at first most strongly
in the lower strata of the white population; but it would soon invade
the middle and menace insidiously the very uppermost. Many bright
Mulattoes would ambitiously woo, and not a few would win, well-bred
women disappointed in love or goaded by impulse or weary of the stern
struggle for existence. _As a race, the Southern Caucasian would be
irreversibly doomed._ For no possible check could be given to this
process once established. Remove the barrier between two streams
flowing side by side--immediately they begin to mingle their molecules;
in vain you attempt to replace it. Not even ten legions of Clerk
Maxwell's demons could ever sift them out and restore the streams to
their original purity. The moment the bar of absolute separation is
thrown down in the South, that moment the bloom of her spirit is
blighted forever, the promise of her destiny is annulled, the proud
fabric of her future slips into dust and ashes. No other conceivable
disaster that might befall the South could, for an instant, compare
with such miscegenation within her borders. Flood and fire, fever and
famine and the sword--even ignorance, indolence, and carpet-baggery--she
may endure and conquer while her blood remains pure; but once taint the
well-spring of her life, and all is lost--even honour itself. It is
this immediate jewel of her soul that the South watches with such a
dragon eye, that she guards with more than vestal vigilance, with a
circle of perpetual fire. The blood thereof is the life thereof; he who
would defile it would stab her in her heart of heart, and she springs
to repulse him with the fiercest instinct of self-preservation. It may
not be that she is distinctly conscious of the immeasurable interests
at stake or of the real grounds of her roused antagonism; but the
instinct itself is none the less just and true and the natural bulwark
of her life.

To set forth great things by small, we may take the instinct of the
family, with its imperious and uncompromising demand for absolute
female chastity. It is not here, in any controlling measure, a question
of individual morality. We make no such absolute demand upon men. We
regret, we condemn, we may infinitely deplore sexual irregularity in
son, or brother, or husband, or father, or friend, but we do not
ostracize;--we may forgive, we may honour, we may even glorify the
offender in spite of his offense. But for the female dissolute there is
no forgiveness, however we may extra-socially pity or even admire. A
double standard--an abomination! But while none may approve, yet every
one admits and applies it--for reasons deeper than our conscious logic,
and irresistible. For the offense of the man is individual and limited,
while that of the woman is general, and strikes mortally at the
existence of the family itself.

Now the idea of the race is far more sacred than that of the family. It
is, in fact, _the most sacred thing_ on earth; and he who offends
against it is an apostate from his kind and mounts the apex of

At this point we hear some one exclaim, "Not so fast! To sit at table,
to mingle freely in society with certain persons, does not imply you
would marry them." Certainly not, in every case. We may recognize
socially those whom we personally abhor. This matters not, however; for
wherever social commingling is admitted, there _the possibility of
intermarriage must be also admitted_. It becomes a mere question of
personal preference, of like and dislike. Now, there is no accounting
for tastes. It is ridiculous to suppose that no Negroes would prove
attractive to any whites. The _possible_ would become actual--as
certainly as you will throw double-double sixes, if only you keep on
throwing. To be sure, where the number of Negroes is almost vanishingly
small, as in the North and in Europe, there the chances of such
mésalliances are proportionally divided; some may even count them
negligible. But in the South, where in many districts the Black
outnumbers the White, they would be multiplied immensely, and crosses
would follow with increasing frequency.

It is only the sense of blood superiority, the pride of race, that has
hitherto protected the white labourer. Break this down or abate it, and
he sinks swiftly to the level of the mongrel. Laugh as you will at the
haughtiness of the ignorant Southerner, at his scorn of the Negro,
perhaps his superior, it is this very race self-respect that is the
rock of his salvation. As Bernhard Moses points out, it was _because_
the Anglo-Saxon so cherished this feeling that he refused to amalgamate
with the Indians--a proud and in some ways superior race--but drove
them relentlessly, and often, it may be, unrighteously before him into
the sea. It was just _because_ the Spaniard, though otherwise proud
enough, did not cherish this feeling, that he did amalgamate with the
victims of his greed and descend into hopeless depths of hybridization.
So far, then, from doing aught to weaken this sentiment, we should do
our utmost to strengthen it; we should studiously avoid offending it.
But social equality must deadly wound it and hence drag miscegenation
and all South America in its train.

But some may deny that the mongrelization of the Southern people would
offend the race notion--would corrupt or degrade the Southern stock of
humanity. If so, then such a one has yet to learn the largest-writ
lessons of history and the most impressive doctrines of biological
science. That the Negro is markedly inferior to the Caucasian is proved
both craniologically and by six thousand years of planet-wide
experimentation; and that the commingling of inferior with superior
must lower the higher is just as certain as that the half-sum of two
and six is only four.[1]

      [1] For detailed proof of these propositions, see the following

If accepted science teaches anything at all, it teaches that the
heights of being in civilized man have been reached along one path and
one only--the path of _Selection_, of the preservation of favoured
individuals and of favoured races. The deadly enemy of the whole
process of uplifting, of the _Drang nach oben_, of the course of
history itself, is _pammixia_. Only give it play, and it would
inevitably level all life into one undistinguished heap. Now,
amalgamation of Black and White is only a special case of _pammixia_.
The hope of the human lies in the superhuman; and the possibility of
the superhuman is given in selection, in natural and rational
selection, among the children that are to be, of the parents of the men
to come. The notion of social racial equality is thus seen to be
abhorrent alike to instinct and to reason; for it flies in the face of
the process of the suns, it runs counter to the methods of the mind of

It is idle to talk of education and civilization and the like as
corrective or compensative agencies.[2] All are weak and beggarly as
over against the almightiness of heredity, the omniprepotence of the
transmitted germ-plasma. Let this be amerced of its ancient rights, let
it be shorn in some measure of its exceeding weight of ancestral glory,
let it be soiled in its millennial purity and integrity, and nothing
shall ever restore it; neither wealth, nor culture, nor science, nor
art, nor morality, nor religion--not even Christianity itself. Here and
there these may redeem some happy spontaneous variation, some lucky
freak of nature; but nothing more--they can never redeem the race. If
this be not true, then history and biology are alike false; then Darwin
and Spencer, Hæckel and Weismann, Mendel and Pearson, have lived and
laboured in vain.

      [2] For minuter treatment of this point, see the following

Equally futile is the reply, so often made by our opponents, that
miscegenation has already progressed far in the Southland, as witness
millions of Mulattoes. Certainly; but do not such objectors know in
their hearts that their reply is no answer, but is utterly irrelevant?
We admit and deplore the fact that unchastity has poured a broad stream
of white blood into black veins; but we deny, and perhaps no one will
affirm, that it has poured even the slenderest appreciable rill of
Negro blood into the veins of the Whites. We have no excuse whatever to
make for these masculine incontinences; we abhor them as disgraceful
and almost bestial. But, however degrading and even unnatural, they in
nowise, not even in the slightest conceivable degree, defile the
Southern Caucasian blood. That blood to-day is absolutely pure; and it
is the inflexible resolution of the South to preserve that purity, no
matter how dear the cost. We repeat, then, it is not a question of
individual morality, nor even of self-respect. He who commerces with a
negress debases himself and dishonours his body, the temple of the
Spirit; but he does not impair, in anywise, the dignity or integrity of
his race; he may sin against himself and others, and even against his
God, but not against the germ-plasma of his kind.

Does some one reply that some Negroes are better than some Whites,
physically, mentally, morally? We do not deny it; but this fact, again,
is without pertinence. It may very well be that some dogs are superior
to some men. It is absurd to suppose that only the elect of the Blacks
would unite with only the non-elect of the Whites. Once started, the
_pammixia_ would spread through all classes of society and contaminate
possibly or actually all. Even a little leaven may leaven the whole

Far more than this, however, even if only very superior Negroes formed
unions with non-superior Whites, the case would not be altered; for it
is a grievous error to suppose that the child is born of its proximate
parents only; it is born of all its ancestry; it is the child of its
race. The eternal past lays hand upon it and upon all its descendants.
However weak the White, behind him stands Europe; however strong the
Black, behind him lies Africa.

Preposterous, indeed, is this doctrine that _personal excellence is
the true standard_, and that only such Negroes as attain a certain
grade of merit should or would be admitted to social equality. A
favourite evasion! _The Independent_, _The Nation_, _The
Outlook_, the whole North--all point admiringly to Mr. Washington,
and exclaim: "But only see what a noble man he is--so much better than
his would-be superiors!" So, too, a distinguished clergyman, when asked
whether he would let his daughter marry a Negro, replied: "We wish our
daughters to marry Christian gentlemen." Let, then, the major premise
be, "All Christian gentlemen are to be admitted to social equality;"
and add, if you will, any desired degree of refinement or education or
intellectual prowess as a condition. Does not every one see that any
such test would be wholly impracticable and nugatory? If Mr. Washington
be the social equal of Roosevelt and Eliot and Hadley, how many others
will be the social equals of the next circle, and the next, and the
next, in the long descent from the White House and Harvard to the miner
and the rag-picker? And shall we trust the hot, unreasoning blood of
youth to lay virtues and qualities so evenly in the balance and decide
just when some "olive-coloured suitor" is enough a "Christian
gentleman" to claim the hand of some simple-hearted milk-maid or some
school-ma'am "past her bloom"? The notion is too ridiculous for
refutation. If the best Negro in the land is the social equal of the
best Caucasian, then it will be hard to prove that the lowest White is
higher than the lowest Black; the principle of division is lost, and
complete social equality is established. We seem to have read somewhere
that, when the two ends of one straight segment coincide with the two
ends of another, the segments coincide throughout their whole extent.

But even suppose that only the lower strata of Whites mingle with the
upper strata of Negroes, the result would be more slowly, but not the
less surely, fatal. The interpenetration in our democratic society is
too thorough. Here and there the Four Hundred may isolate themselves,
but only for a time and imperfectly. Who knows when the scion of a
millionaire may turn into a motorman, or the son of a peasant hew his
way to the Capitol? Let the mongrel poison assail the humbler walks of
life, and it will spread like a bubonic plague through the higher. The
standing of the South would be lost irretrievably. Though her blood
might still flow pure in myriad veins, yet who could prove it? The
world would turn away from her, and point back the finger of suspicion,
and whisper "Unclean!"

Just here we must insist that the South, in this tremendous battle for
the race, is fighting not for herself only, but for her sister North as
well. It is a great mistake to imagine that one can be smutched and the
other remain immaculate. Up from the Gulf regions the foul contagion
would let fly its germs beyond the lakes and mountains. The floods of
life mingle their waters over all our land. Generations might pass
before the darkening tinge could be seen distinctly above the Ohio, but
it would be only a question of time. The South alone would suffer total
eclipse, but the dread penumbra would deepen insensibly over all the

Well, then, the determination and attitude of the South are just and
holy and good, and we may now advance to another question. Granted the
completest social separation in the South, where the danger is instant
and fearful, is it also right or demanded in the North, where the
danger is distant or wholly unreal? Why not social separation and the
race standard in the South, but social equality and the standard of
personal merit in the North? We apprehend that such will be the
position of many fair-minded men at the North, and perhaps we may hope
for no greater concession. Such a compromise, if carried out to the
letter and its purpose and spirit everywhere boldly proclaimed and
distinctly understood, might indeed be accepted as a _modus vivendi_.
If the Northern Press and Pulpit should speak on this wise: "You
Southerners mistake us entirely. We recoil with your own horror from
the idea of a hybridized Dixie; God forbid that you should 'herd with
narrow foreheads, vacant of our glorious gains'! We too eschew the
notion of race equality. We do not practise, we do not preach it. We
applaud your inflexible resolution to keep the Caucasian blood
uncorrupt and consecrated to the highest ideals of humanity. Only, we
would generously remember high achievements and reward exceptional
merit with recognition, but always without will or desire to disturb
your social order or to debase the coin of your White civilization. We
hold out no false hopes, we encourage no vain ambitions, we flatter no
absurd conceits, we sow no seeds of discontent or discord." If such
notes rang out from the moulders and wielders of the Northern mind, the
South would rejoice with joy unspeakable. She might then pass by
unnoticed what now excites her protest. But alas! such notes are
rarely, if ever, heard. Instead, it is constantly reiterated that the
South is the victim of "unreasoning prejudice," that she is old-fogy,
antiquated, ignorant, and without liberalizing experience of the larger
world. Her plea for race integrity is thrust aside as not worth hearing
or is answered at best with fine scorn and lofty contempt. From such
Northern utterances it seems impossible to draw any conclusion but that
very many would be quite willing to see perfect equality of the races
established _in the South_, even with its inevitable corollary of
mongrelization.[3] It is this painful consciousness, that the central
dogma of her civilization finds apparently so little favour beyond the
Potomac, that so alarms the South and makes her so supersensitive as to
Northern practice. Examples, otherwise trifling, acquire deep interest
when set to illustrate some vital principle.

      [3] For documentary proof that the utmost extreme of
      miscegenation has been zealously preached, and on
      quasi-scientific grounds, see _infra_, pp. 71, 72, 126-9.

To the North, so superior in all the tokens of development, the world
looks for the pattern. Her conduct counts as the model. The Negroes
themselves cannot be expected to distinguish between the Northerner
North and the Northerner South, nor to reflect that the wise man howls
with the wolves, and very naturally feel themselves the victims of
gross injustice.

And herein lies the profound and disastrous significance of the
Washington incident and its fellows. They are open proclamations from
the housetops of society that the South is radically wrong, that no
racial distinctions are valid in social life, that only personal
qualities are to be regarded. The necessary inference is the perfect
social equality of the races, _as races_, the abolition of the colour
line in society, in the family, in the home. The unescapable result
would be the mongrelization of the South and her reduction below the
level of Mexico and Central America.[4]

      [4] As to the natural effect of such propaganda on the Negroes
      themselves, let the present epidemic of crime and lynching bear

Our opponents, however, are not yet left without rejoinder. They will
and do affirm that all such incidents are only trivial, that the noisy
protest of the South is a mere "tempest in a teapot." In a certain
sense this is true. The precedent at the White House has found and will
find no acceptance in the Southland. Not one door of equality will be
loosened in its closure, but the bolts will be fastened firmer, the
gates will be guarded more narrowly. However, it is equally true that
the South could not overlook such an incident in such a quarter. The
treasure she has to keep is beyond rubies; the watchmen on her towers
must neither slumber nor sleep. She is safe, but only because of, and
not in default of, unresting vigilance.

We congratulate our friends in the North that they can play with fire
without fear of burns; that they can wine and dine amiable and
interesting Negroes as rare birds of passage, with no thought of
ulterior consequences--at least, to themselves. Their wealth, their
power, their culture, their grandeur, but more than all else, their
excessive preponderance in numbers, preclude the thought that in many
generations their blood could be perceptibly tinged with tides from
Africa. With us of the South, alas! the whole situation is quite
another. They may safely smile at such an incident as an empty
scabbard; but to us it is a drawn dagger.

But the question still remains: Why does the South, if she be right in
this matter, find the virtue and intelligence of the world arrayed
against her? We answer, the overmass of adverse authority is indeed
immense, but it is weightless. The testimony of the North and of Europe
is hardly more relevant than would be that of the Martians. For in
neither has the race question yet presented itself as a serious
practical matter; for them the Black Peril has no existence. Hence
their treatment of the subject is merely academic and sentimental. They
have generous ethical ideas, respectable but well-worn and overworked
maxims, high humanitarian principles; and these they ride horseback.
For them the Negro is a black swan, a curious and interesting specimen
in natural history; and they have no hesitance in extending their
sympathy, their hospitality, and their coöperation. They remember that
God "hath made of one (blood) all nations of men for to dwell on the
face of the earth," but forget that the author of this noble sentiment
was not an ethnologist; they pity "the nation's ward" as the victim of
centuries of oppression, and to the eyes of their faith the mount of
his transfiguration gleams close at hand. But the practical problem
never confronts them in its unrelieved difficulties and dangers. The
possibility of blood contamination is not suggested to them, or at
least it never comes home to them; and they yield freely to their
philanthropic impulses, not thinking whither these would lead them, not
seeing the end from the beginning. Southern hearts are not less
benevolent than Northern, but Southern eyes are of necessity in this
matter wide open, while most others are shut.

But once let Northern and European eyes catch a clear glimpse of the
actual peril of the situation; once let the problem step forth before
them in a definite concrete form and call for immediate solution; once
let the sharp question pierce the national heart, "Shall I or shall I
not blend my Caucasian, world-ruling, world-conquering blood with the
servile strain of Africa?" and can there be any doubt of the answer?
The race instinct is now slumbering in the North and Europe, and not
strangely, for there is nothing to keep it awake; but it is not
extinct, it exists and is ready to spring up on occasion into fierce
and resistless activity. Of this fact our treatment of the Chinese has
already furnished a striking illustration. We tolerated and even petted
these industrious Orientals--certainly greatly the Negro's superior--so
long as they were few in number and in no way embarrassing. But at the
first suggestion that they might come in droves and derange our labour
system or alter the type of our civilization, there burst forth all
over the North a vehement protest, "in might as a flame of fire," that
swept everything before it and hurled back the Chinaman into the ocean
and barred our ports unyieldingly against him. The case against Chinese
immigration was not one-hundredth so strong as against the social
equality of the Negro; in fact, there was much to be said against our
restrictive legislation, and much was said both ably and eloquently.
But the strongest arguments could not make themselves heard; the race
instinct, that instinct preservative of all instincts, was infinitely
stronger, and easily triumphed. Let us not forget, either, the recent
incidents at Northwestern University and elsewhere, which show clearly
that the "prejudice," if you please so to call it, against the Negro is
hardly less strong, when aroused, even now in Chicago than in New

But some one may say, if all this be true, if the race instinct of the
Anglo-Saxon is really so mighty and imperious, then there is no danger
that it will not assert itself, if need be; and why all this pother
about it? We answer, there is really no danger while the instinct is
aroused, and therefore, but only therefore, the South is safe. What we
deprecate is the systematic warfare that is waged in some quarters
against this instinct as a mere unenlightened "prejudice" whereof we
should be ashamed--the attempt to battle it down or else to drug it to
sleep in the name of morality or religion or higher humanity. When our
Northern brothers, by precept and by example, throw the whole weight of
their immense authority in favour of a practice that would be ruinous
to the South, are they walking according to love?

We do not deny that there may be cases that move our sympathy; that
appeal strongly to our sense of fair play, of right between man and
man. In and of itself, it may sound strange and unjust and even foolish
to deny to Booker Washington a seat at the table of a white man, even
should he be distinctly Mr. Washington's inferior. But the matter must
not be decided in and of itself--no man either lives for himself or
dies for himself. It must be judged in its larger bearings, by its
universal interests, where it lays hold upon the ages, under the aspect
of eternity. We refuse to let the case rest in the low and narrow
category of _Duty to the Individual_; we range it where it belongs, in
the higher and broader category of _Obligation to the Race_.

And this conducts us to a final remark. Even at the risk of a _sus
Minervam_ we venture to correct a great journal, _The Outlook_, in
one of its statements. It assures its readers that the recent criticism
does not represent the real South of intelligence, generosity, and true
breeding, but is a survival in a few persons, who have not had
opportunities of large contact with the world--of an antiquated and
incomprehensible prejudice. Such words are doubtless well-meant; but
they are ill-meaning, and if we understand them at all, they invert the
facts of the case. We have some acquaintance with some of the best
elements of the Southern society, some of the best representatives in
nearly all the walks of Southern life. We believe the virtue and
intelligence of "the real South" are eminently conservative, earnestly
deprecate intemperance in language, and are sworn enemies to sectional
animosity. Perhaps, in their zeal to cultivate the friendliest
relations with their Northern brethren, they may guard their
expressions too carefully and repress their true feelings. But he who
supposes that the South will ever waver a hair's breadth from her
position of uncompromising hostility to any and every form of social
equality between the races, deceives himself only less than that other
who mistakes her race instinct, the palladium of her future, for an
ignorant prejudice and who fails to perceive that her resolution to
maintain White racial supremacy within her borders is deepest-rooted
and most immutable precisely where her civic virtue, her intelligence,
and her refinement are at their highest and best.



    _All flesh is not the same flesh;_

        *       *       *       *

    _Star differeth from star in glory._

    I. Cor. XV. 39, 41

In the foregoing discussion, it did not seem well to interrupt the
current of thought by any proof of the assumed inferiority of the
Negro, or of the degeneracy induced by the intermixture of types too
widely diverse.

Yet these assumptions are, indeed, the two hinges of the whole
controversy. Once conceded the racial inferiority of the Black and the
half-way nature of the half-breed, and the general contention of the
South is proved, her general attitude justified. It is not strange,
then, that the doughtiest champions of equality, in their very latest
deliverances, find no choice left them but to deny that the Negro is an
inferior or a backward race.

Such, by way of high example, are two world-renowned metropolitan
journals, whose general excellence and powerful influence for good in
our civic life cannot be disputed, but whose intense straining for
Justice and Equity in the present has utterly blinded them no less to
obvious facts and principles of science than to the highest and holiest
rights of humanity in the future. The one, in speaking of racial
"inferiors," incloses the word in contemptuous guillemets and declares
that when Mr. Darwin says: "Some of them--for instance, the negro and
the European--are so distinct that, if specimens had been brought to a
naturalist without any further information, they would undoubtedly have
been considered by him as good and true species," he "raises no
question of superior or inferior;" and it adds, "Nature knows no
forward or backward races, fauna or flora"--an oracle whose real
meaning can only be guessed at.

The other is more specific. It maintains: "Physically, the negro is
equal to the Caucasian. He is as tall and as strong. He has all the
physical basis and all the brain capacity necessary for the development
of intellectual power.... No evidence has yet been adduced which proves
that the Negro is physically, intellectually, essentially, necessarily
an inferior race." ... "The assumption that the Caucasian is an
essentially superior race ... is provincial, unintelligent and

When we first meet with such denials, we are almost dumbfounded; we rub
our eyes and exclaim with Truthful James:

    _Do I sleep? Do I dream?
    Do I wonder and doubt?
    Are things what they seem?
    Or is visions about?
    Is our civilization a failure?
    Or is the Caucasian played out?_

But on recovery from the shock, the shining pageant of all the ages
begins to file interminably before the imagination. The triumphs of the
Indo-European and Semitic races, the stories of Babylon and Nineveh, of
Thebes and Memphis, of Rome and Athens and Jerusalem, of Delhi and of
Bagdad, of the Pyramids and of the Parthenon--the radiant names of
Hammurabi and Zarathustra and Moses and the Buddha and Mohammed, of
Homer and Plato and Phidias and Socrates and Pindar and Pythagoras, and
the mightiest Julius, and the imperial philosophers, and their peers
without number, the endless creations of art and science and religion
and law and literature and every other form of activity, the
full-voiced choir of all the Muses, the majestic morality, the
hundred-handed philosophy, the manifold wisdom of civilization--all of
this infinite cloud of witnesses gather swarming upon us from the whole
firmanent of the past and proclaim with pentecostal tongue the glory
and supremacy of Caucasian man. It seems impossible to represent in
human speech, or by any symbols intelligible to the human mind, the
variety and immensity of this consentient testimony of all historic
time and place. Not to be overwhelmed and overawed, much more
convinced, by such a prodigious spectacle of evidence, is to gaze at
midnoon into the heavens and cry out, "Where is the sun?" For over
against all these transcendent achievements, what has the West African
to set? What art? What science? What religion? What morality? What
philosophy? What history? What even one single aspect of civilization
or culture or higher humanity? It would seem to be an insult to the
reader's intelligence, if we should prolong the comparison.

Now can all this be accidental? Has it just happened that, in all
quarters of the world and under all climatic and topographic
conditions, East and West, North and South, beneath the tropics and
within the frozen circles, by the sea and amid the mountains, in snow,
in sand, in forest--that everywhere and everywhen the Caucasian has
manifested the same all-conquering, overmastering qualities--not always
good or kind or just, but always strong, always striving, always
victorious? And that never, and nowhere, and under no circumstances,
has the Black man displayed any such capacities as could bring him for
a moment into consideration as the White man's equal? We answer, there
can be no possibility of mistake. The achievement of the race, its
total history both in time and in space, is the best possible index to
its powers and potencies. Against this witness of history, even if
other indications did plead, they would plead in vain. Even were the
brain of the Negro as large as an elephant's, it would matter not. Says
Hegel, "Nations are what their deeds are;" and with greater justice we
may affirm that _the race is what its life is and has been_.

It is noteworthy that while the one knight-errant boldly declares that,
"Nature knows no forward or backward races," the other more cautiously
avoids the term "backward" and denies only inferiority for the Negro.
Perhaps one might admit that he is backward and demand for him time and
opportunity. However, the distinction is not really pertinent to the
issue. As well say the monkey is not inferior, but only backward. It is
only a difference of degree--a very great difference, to be sure, but
it is idle to say, "Give the Negro time." He has already had time, as
much time as the Europeans--thousands and ten thousands of years. And
what opportunity has failed him? The power that uplifted Aryan and
Semite did not come from without, but from within. No mortal civilized
him; he civilized himself. It was the wing of his own spirit that bore
him aloft. If the African has equal native might of mind, why has he
not wrought out his own civilization and peopled his continent with the
monuments of his genius? Or if the material was all there, ready to be
ignited, needing only the incensive spark, why has it never, in
hundreds of years, caught fire from the blazing torch of Europe? Why
has century-long contact with other civilizations never enkindled the
feeblest flame? For it is well known that intercourse with foreigners
has in no degree elevated or improved the West African, but on the
contrary has proved his curse and his doom. (See Ratzel, _The History
of Mankind_, III., pp. 99-100, 102-103, 120, 134.) Moreover, it
seems doubtful whether nearly forty[5] years of persistent and
consecrated efforts at education, with the expenditure of hundreds of
millions, have revealed yet in ten millions of Afro-Americans a single
example of originative ability of notably high order. (Bright
Mulattoes, like familiar instances, count little in this argument. It
is well known (Mendel's Law) that offspring[6] do not exactly divide
the qualities of parents, but often veer in this respect or in that far
over to one side or to the other. Besides, the abilities of such men
are apt to loom up unduly large in the popular imagination. We all
wonder at a dancing bear, not because he dances well, but because he
dances at all.)

      [5] Many more in Massachusetts; yet hear the reluctant admission
      of the Negro's ardent friend, Dr. Henry M. Field: "The whole race
      (in Massachusetts) has remained on one dead level of mediocrity."
      ("Sunny Skies and Dark Shadows," p. 144). Statistics, however,
      tell a story far less favourable still. See _infra_, pp. 249f.

      [6] The following example, in itself not uninteresting, has
      fallen under our own observations: At Columbia, Mo., in a
      well-known and highly reputed family, the father exemplifies the
      brunette and the mother the blonde type, each in its extremest
      form; the son repeats the father, and a daughter the mother,
      exactly; the other daughter is an exquisite châtaine, the mean of
      her parents. Compare Mendel's formula for the transmission of
      parental qualities, which DeVries has now made famous.

Perhaps one of the most unerring indications of the native capacities
and tendencies of a race is to be found in its ethnic religion, its
mythology, its childlike, untutored attitude towards the riddles of the
universe. For there can be but little or no question of outside
influence or unequal opportunity. The sun, the moon, the stars, the
firmament, the ocean, the plains, the mountains, the forests, the
rivers, the seasons, eclipses and precessions, day and night, morning
and evening, fire and frost, ice and vapour, wind and cloud, thunder
and lightning, life and death, health and disease, dreams and
shadows--all these multiform materials of construction have offered
themselves in practically equivalent quantity and quality to the
phantasy of every race and every age. The reactions have varied widely,
and have boldly characterized the genius of each people. Tell me of
their gods, and I will tell you of the worshippers. Tried by this
standard, the case seems decided, even before it reaches the threshold
of the court. For, putting aside the sublime and awful monotheism of
the Hebrew, can any one for an instant set in line the august and
imposing, if overgrown and superluxuriant, mythology of India, the
stern and severe and tremendous religions of the Nile and the
Euphrates, the sad and solemn but high-hearted and deep-thoughted
musings of Scandinavia and Teuton-land, the infinitely varied and
infinitely beautiful mythopoeia of Hellas, or even the colorless but
sharp-lined abstractions of Italy, with the degraded fetichism, the
stock-and stone-service of the Niger and the Congo?

What we may call the historical argument, just presented, finds strong
and decisive confirmation, even though it needs none, in the
craniology, the physiognomy, and the general anatomy of the Negro.[7]
Take him at his very best--does any one believe that the Olympian Zeus,
an Apollo Belvedere, a Melian Venus, a Capitoline Juno, a Hermes of
Praxiteles, or a Sistine Madonna could ever by any possibility have
emerged from the most fertile fancy of an "Old Master" of the Congo?
Perfect his type as you will, even as you perfect the type of a flower
or a bird, does not the Sudanese remain at immense remove from the
European? Of course, it is always possible to contend that beauty is
only subjective, any way, that the hair and brow and nose and lips and
jaw and ear of the West African would be just as beautiful as those of
the Greek or Anglo-American, if we only thought so. But being what we
are, we cannot think so now and still less the further we advance in
organic development. Moreover, with equal reason we might say that the
tiger-lily was as beautiful as the rose, the hippopotamus as pretty as
the squirrel; nay more, we might abolish all distinctions of quality,
and identify each pair of contradictories.

      [7] For the details of this argument, see _infra_, pp. 46f. _et

Does some one say that physical beauty is a poor, inferior thing at
best--that beauty of soul is alone sufficient and only desirable? We
deny it outright. Beauty of form and colour has its own high and
inalienable and indefectible rights, its own profound significance for
the history alike of nature and of man. Even if the intermingling of
bloods wrought no other wrong than the degradation of bodily beauty,
the coarsening of feature and blurring of coloration, it would still be
an unspeakable outrage, to be deprecated and prevented by all means in
our power. Moreover, we hold that every such degeneration of facial
type will drag along with it inevitably a corresponding declension of
spirit. Criminology is confident in its claim of some deep-seated,
however obscure, relation between aberrations from the physical and
from the mental norm. Though there may be many illustrious exceptions,
which our defective knowledge cannot explain, yet the broad general
principle may still be maintained:

    _For of the soule the bodie forme doth take;
    For soule is forme, and doth the bodie make._

Any general declination from type in the one, while it may not cause,
will yet infallibly argue a corresponding declination from type in the

It is futile to reply that our own ancestors and the ancestors of the
Greeks and all other historical peoples were once savages--were once
not even men, and hardly manlike. Very true; but why stop here? Why not
boldly urge that Plato might have traced back his lineage to an
amoeba,--yea, to star-dust and curdling ether? True, perhaps; but
what of it? We may be cousins to the worm, at the billionth remove; but
we are not brothers. We grant the abstract possibility that the bee or
the ant may harbour in itself higher potentialities for development
than even man himself. We even think it wholesome to bear this thought
in mind. Nevertheless, such may-be's lie infinitely beyond the range of
the practical vision; they cannot enter into our calculations of
futurity. So, too, we grant that, in the centuries of milleniums to
come, it is possible that the Negro's nature may receive some
surpassing uplift: he may sprout eagle pinions, and far outfly the
wildest dreams of Caucasian fancy. But such possibilities are
altogether too remote for our reckoning now; they are decimals in the
hundredth place. We may and we must neglect them, as we neglect the
likelihood of a concussion of our planet with some extinct vagrant sun.
We must act in the living present, and at present there rolls between
the historical development of the black and the white species an
impassable river of ten thousand years. Possibly the former might catch
up in the course of ages, if only the latter stood still. But will they
stand still? Can they afford to wait? Is there not every reason to hope
that they will forge steadily ahead and widen still more and more the
interval between? Is not such the obvious teaching of history? Does not
the tree of life bud and bloom and put forth new boughs at the top? For
our part, we believe in the Overman, Him who is to come--not, however,
from the lower, but from the higher, humanity. Such, at least, seems of
necessity our working hypothesis.

It would be unfair, however, to close this part of the discussion
without noticing what our adversaries have been able to produce contra.

In _The Souls of Black Folk_, Prof. W. E. B. Dubois, of Atlanta, Ga.,
tells the tale, and it could not be better told, of the contributions
made by the Negro to the civilization of our Union:

"Your country? How came it yours? Before the Pilgrims landed we were
here. Here we have brought our three gifts and mingled them with yours:
a gift of story and song--soft, stirring melody in an ill-harmonized
and unmelodious land; the gift of sweat and brawn to beat back the
wilderness, conquer the soil, and lay the foundations of this vast
economic empire two hundred years earlier that your weak hands could
have done it; the third, a gift of the Spirit" (p. 262). The second of
these "gifts" we dismiss at once; the Negro's labour was not voluntary,
and was not a "gift" in any sense.[8] As well say the mule made "gift
of sweat and brawn to beat back the wilderness." As to the "Spirit,"
Prof. Dubois means that the spectacle of African slavery aroused the
"Spirit" in the people of our land, particularly in the
Abolitionists--"out of the nation's heart we have called all that was
best to throttle and subdue all that was worst" (p. 263). Queer "gift",
indeed! By the same token, the poverty, the distress, the injustice,
the iniquity, the intemperance, even the crime--all that mar our
civilization have been making it "the gift of the Spirit;" for have
they not aroused our sense of right and duty and devotion to the good
of others? Have they not called out of the nation's heart all that was
best to throttle and subdue all that was worst? The gift of song, of
the plaintive Negro melody--we freely allow it. How much of the same
is really the product of the Negro soul seems to be a question by no
means easy to answer. But let us allow the Negroid the benefit of the
doubt and accord him the fullest credit. We are not musician enough
to appraise this "gift" properly, nor yet to reckon its possible
significance for the future of American music. But at the very most, it
seems to us that this worth and this significance cannot be very high;
especially since a whole generation has come and gone without any sign
of larger development, but instead, Dubois himself being witness, with
many signs of corruption and degradation. Even then, according to the
rating of the chief of Negroids, their contribution to our civilization
has been quite inconsiderable.

      [8] Even as a contribution, this labour was never necessary, and
      is notoriously becoming more and more dispensable, even where it
      is not already turning into an impediment.

                 *       *       *       *       *

(N.B.--It is not, however, the sociologist of Atlanta, but the seer of
Concord, who has recognized most distinctly and celebrated with
proudest pomp of mixed metaphor the clairvoyance and spiritual
superiority of the tropical.

    _Dove beneath the vulture's beak._

In the oft quoted "Voluntaries" we read:

    _He has avenues to God
      Hid from men of Northern brain,
    Far beholding, without cloud,
      What these with slowest steps attain._

Inasmuch, however, as these "avenues" of the far-sighted African are
nothing but the blind alleys of Voodooism and devil worship, it may be
just as well that they remain "hid" from the slow-paced European.)

                 *       *       *       *       *

In the _Booklovers' Magazine_ for July, 1903, the same writer returns
to this subject in an article on "_Possibilities of the Negro--The
Advance Guard of the Race._" The conspicuous position and, the full
illustrations given this paper show clearly at what a positive
advantage the Black man stands in the world of literature--simply
because he is black. We happen to know that the article has made some
impression. Ten names are presented of Negroids that have done
respectable work in various fields of intellectual labour. If Mr.
Washington is easily the Herakles in this latter-day crew of Argo, Dr.
Dubois, who has mustered them, is himself certainly Jason, the
eleventh. But of these eleven we may at once dismiss eight, for their
abundant white blood is apparent in their pictures and is not denied.
Only the other three are claimed as "black"; pure black is not said,
perhaps is not meant. These seem to be the electrician, the
mathematician, the poet. For none of these can be claimed any very high
order of merit; the light by which they shine conspicuous among their
fellows would not illustrate them very especially among the Whites.
That such abilities should occasionally show themselves, even in a
quite inferior race, ought surely to be expected and to arouse the
wonder of no one. The really significant thing is that eight out of
eleven of these champions are confessedly of mixed blood; only 27 per
cent. are "black." But these "Blacks" form 80 per cent. of the total
Negroid population. Hence, in proportion to numbers, it appears that
the Mulattoes are represented nearly eleven times as often as the
"Blacks." In the face of such a fact,[9] it seems vain to deny that the
mixed blood is notably more intelligent than the pure black; the
necessary inference is that the white blood with which it was mixed is
far more intelligent still.

      [9] Established in the most conclusive fashion by the patriotic
      and scholarly Crogman's "Progress of a Race" (1902). On glancing
      through the long gallery of notable Negroids therein assembled,
      one perceives instantly that the Mulatto is greatly predominant.

The reader may naturally ask, Why devote space to such trivial
arguments as those quoted, since they tell plainly, where they tell at
all, against and not for the cause they would support? We answer, that
our treatment must be thorough, if it be worth anything; that we desire
to represent our opponents at their very best, and as far as possible
in their own words; and that the weakness of their position is most
clearly seen in their own efforts at defence.

The details of the anatomical argument, which Darwin said would
undoubtedly lead the naturalist to classify Negro and European as
distinct species, are matters of readily accessible knowledge. They
have been presented frequently and with telling force. That in
particular the cranial, the facial, and the appendicular skeletons of
the dolichocephalic West African (the purest, the lowest, and the
prevalent type on the plantation) deviate sensibly from the highest
human towards the quadrumanal stamp, has been the common observation of
naturalists from Blumenbach to Ratzel; nor can this have escaped the
notice of intelligent and unbiased laymen.

Nevertheless, it may be well to record the authoritative statement made
by A. H. Keane, professor of Hindustani, University College, London, in
the article "Negro," in the Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. XVII.[10]

      [10] For a fuller statement of some particulars, see Chapter

"But wherever found in a comparatively pure state, as on the coast of
Guinea (here apparently is to be met the most pronounced Negro type
proper yet discovered), in the Gaboon, along the lower Zambesi, and in
the Benua and Shari basins, the African aborigines present almost a
greater uniformity of physical and moral type than any of the other
great divisions of mankind. By the nearly unanimous consent of
anthropologists this type occupies at the same time the lowest position
in the evolutionary scale, thus affording the best material for the
comparative study of the highest anthropoids and the human species. The
chief points in which the Negro either approaches the _Quadrumana_ or
differs most from his congeners are:

 (1) The abnormal length of the arm, which in the erect position
sometimes reaches the knee-pan, and which on an average exceeds that of
the Caucasian by about 2 inches.

 (2) Prognathism, or projection of the jaws (index number of facial
angle about 70, as compared with the Caucasian 82).

 (3) Weight of brain, as indicating cranial capacity, 35 ounces (highest
gorilla 20, average European 45).

 (4) Full black eye, with black iris and yellowish sclerotic coat, a
very marked feature.

 (5) Short flat snub nose, deeply depressed at the base or frontal
suture, broad at extremity, with dilated nostrils and concave ridge.

 (6) Thick protruding lips, plainly showing the inner red surface.

 (7) Very large zygomatic arches--high and prominent cheek bones.

 (8) Exceedingly thick cranium, enabling the Negro to butt with the head
and resist blows which would inevitably break any ordinary European's

 (9) Correspondingly weak lower limbs, terminating in a broad flat foot
with low instep, divergent and somewhat prehensile great toe, and heel
projecting backwards ("lark heel").

(10) Complexion deep brown or blackish, and in some cases even
distinctly black, due not to any special pigment, as is often supposed,
but merely to the greater abundance of the coloring matter in the
Malphigian mucous membrane between the inner or true skin and the
epidermis or scarf skin.

(11) Short, black hair, eccentrically elliptical or almost flat in
section, and distinctly woolly, not merely frizzly, as Prichard
supposed on insufficient evidence.

(12) Thick epidermis, cool, soft, and velvety to the touch, mostly
hairless, and emitting a peculiar rancid odor, compared by Pruner Bey
to that of the buck goat.[11]

      [11] This misfortune should, of itself, be sufficient to settle
      the question of social intercourse. The emanation is from certain
      overabundant sudorific glands.

(13) Frame of medium height, thrown somewhat out of the perpendicular
by the shape of the pelvis, the spine, the backward projection of the
head, and the whole anatomical structure.

(14) The cranial sutures, which close much earlier in the Negro than in
the other races. To this premature ossification of the skull,
preventing all further development of the brain, many pathologists have
attributed the inherent mental inferiority of the blacks, an
inferiority which is even more marked than their physical differences.
Nearly all observers admit that the Negro child is on the whole quite
as intelligent as those of other human varieties, but that on arriving
at puberty all further progress seems to be arrested. No one has more
carefully studied this point than Filippo Manetta, who, during a long
residence on the plantations of the Southern States of America noted
that 'the Negro children were sharp, intelligent, and full of vivacity,
but on approaching the adult period a gradual change set in. The
intellect seemed to become clouded, animation giving place to a sort of
lethargy, briskness yielding to indolence. We necessarily suppose that
the development of the Negro and White proceeds on different lines.
While with the latter the volume of the brain grows with the expansion
of the brain-pan, in the former the growth of the brain is on the
contrary arrested by the premature closing of the cranial sutures and
lateral pressure of the frontal bone.'" (_La Razza Negra nel suo stato
selvaggio e nella sua duplice condizione di emancipata e di schiava_,
Torino, 1864, p. 20).

This last point is one of such supreme importance that it seems well to
strengthen it by additional testimony. Says the renowned Cesare
Lombroso, in his "_L'Uomo Bianco e L'Uomo di Colore_" (1892), p. 28:
"The development of the African baby is altogether different from ours.
In its first days it does not show the dark color of the adult; the
sutures of the head, which with us close up only late in life, with it
ossify speedily, as in idiots and monkeys, and the anterior sooner than
the posterior. Also its face becomes projecting and prognathous only
after the first dentition; and only after the thirteenth year its head
is seen to grow longer and its skin to grow darker. The same may be
said of the mental (_morale_) development; for the Negro, precisely
like the monkey, shows himself very intelligent up to puberty; but at
that epoch, when our intellect spreads its wings for more daring
flights, he stops and turns backward..." This profoundly significant
arrest of development in the Negro is equally observable in school and
out of it. Among many witnesses, hear one of the most unexceptionable,
J. M. McGovern, in a symposium in the _Arena_ (Vol. 21, p. 439): "My
experience has shown me that, while at the start a negro child often
shows ability quite equal to that of a white child at the same age, yet
if the two children, one white and one coloured, each of average
intelligence, are kept in the same class, in a short period the white
child far outstrips the negro--at least in all those studies where
diligent application and depth of thought are necessary for success."
This testimony seems particularly valuable, since it is based solely on
"experience" and is plainly independent of any doctrine concerning
cranial sutures.

In the work already cited, Lombroso mentions several other minute yet
important particulars in which the Negro anatomy diverges from the
Caucasian toward the simian, but sufficient have been adduced. It may
be replied that each and every one of these divergences may be found
here and there among Caucasians. This is true, but the reply is no
answer. All sorts of reversions to lower type are to be met with in
higher species, but this by no means negatives the fact that some
species are more and some are less developed. The well-formed type
still exists in spite of the occasional malformations. Besides, it is
not the presence of any single indication on which our argument is
grounded, but the simultaneous presence of a great number of
indications. It is these in their entirety that distinguish the Negro
so notably, and remove him toward the anthropoids; and over against
this fact the occasional aberrations among the Whites have no
argumentative weight whatever.

That the Afro-Americans are by no means racially identical, though
racially related, is a fact well known, but worth recalling. Some are
racially very distinctly superior to others, even as were their
ancestors in the African fatherland. On this point we submit the highly
intelligent and unprejudiced testimony of Nathaniel Southgate Shaler,
the well-known professor of geology in Harvard University. In the
_Popular Science Monthly_ (Vol. 57), he attempts a classification of
the Southern Blacks. First come those of the "Guinea type"--the purest
Negro--who are "distinctly of a low type," and who number one-half of
all. Those of the Zulu type are much higher, and number perhaps five
per cent. of all. The Arab Negro, found in Virginia, is of a finer and
more delicate mould, and numbers (say) one per cent. The Red Negroes,
the Bongos and Mittus mentioned by Schweinfurth as "red-brown," like
their native soil (_Heart of Africa_, Vol. I., p. 261), are Albinoidal,
and number perhaps one per cent. The rest are of mixed types. The
Guinea "folk are of essentially limited intelligence;" the Zulus are
fit for anything that ordinary men of our own race can do; the Arabs
are more educable, but of a sombre disposition; the red are inferior.
The Mulattoes are of feeble vitality, rarely surviving beyond middle
age. Professor Shaler's father, an able physician, had never seen a
half-breed more than sixty years old. As the reputation of the Mulatto
is generally bad, perhaps unjustly, "we may welcome the fact that this
mixed stock is likely to disappear" (pp. 33-38). In a later article in
the same volume, Professor Shaler contributes some valuable thoughts
and estimates. Thus: "The simple yet valuable lessons of the
soil-tiller they have had. For the greater number of their race,
particularly those of the Guinea type, this grade of employment is as
high as they may be expected to attain" (p. 148). "I feel safe in
saying, from the basis of personal experience with the negroes, that
somewhere near one-third of them are fit to be trained for mechanical
employment of a fairly high grade" (p. 149). We do not see how it is
possible to call in question either the competence or the
fair-mindedness of this distinguished observer. It is worthy of special
attention that he attests both the hopeless inferiority of the (pure
Negro) Guinea type and at the same time its decisive numerical
preponderance. The real question before us, then, concerns not so much
the Negro in general, of whom there are notably superior varieties, as
the very lowest Negro that West Africa has yet produced.

Here, then, we let the anatomical argument rest for the present. A
minuter treatment will be found in a more appropriate connection in a
following chapter.

It is a favourite subterfuge of the champions of the Black man to
ascribe his unamiable characteristics of mind and temper, if not of
body, to the centuries of enslavement, debasement, and even persecution
that he has passed on this continent. Now we have no apology whatever
to offer for the "institution" of African slavery. We recoiled from it
instinctively at the dawn of consciousness, and we regard it now as an
unmitigated curse to the people that practise it. But we must not leave
unexposed the gross error in the defence just mentioned. These
centuries have indeed been centuries of enslavement, but certainly not
of debasement nor any form of retrogression. For slavery is and has
been, from time immemorial, practically universal in the fatherland of
the Negro--slavery more cruel and degrading and inhuman than is known
elsewhere on the globe. We enter into no details, unwilling to make our
pages needlessly repulsive. In fact, the training of servitude in the
South has worked mightily for the Negro's advancement--not unlike the
domestication of the lower animals. Any who will read the descriptions
of travellers, or the pages of Lombroso--_L'Uomo Bianco e L'Uomo di
Colore_--must admit that the humanizing of the African in the South has
proceeded surprisingly far. However elementary and contradictory may be
his notion and his practice of morality now, on his native heath he has
practically no morality at all. "It is more correct to say of the Negro
that he is non-moral than immoral. All the social institutions are at
the same low level, and throughout the historic period seem to have
made no perceptible advance, except under the stimulus of foreign (in
recent times notably of Mohammedan) influences.... Slavery continues
everywhere to prevail ... cannibalism is practiced ... human flesh
appears to be sold in the open marketplace" (Keane). All this talk,
then, of the Negro's degradation, wrought by his American slavery, is
the absolute inversion of the truth.

But if the Black man has advanced so remarkably in Southern slavery,
may we not expect him to advance still more remarkably, especially now
that he is a free man? At first blush, this expectation may seem
plausible; but a very little reflection and observation must show its
vanity. The first sharp breath of winter lends a keen edge to the
appetite; the continued cold does not make it keener and keener. The
fagged-out man of business or leader of society retires to some cool
and quiet health resort and reacts almost instantly. In a week he gains
ten pounds, in two weeks fifteen, in a month twenty; but it would be a
great mistake to suppose that this rate of gain could be maintained for
any considerable time. The natural effect of the changed and improved
conditions is soon exhausted, the limits set in the constitution of the
subject are soon reached. So, too, in the domestication of plants and
animals. A marvellous superficial alteration may be speedily brought
about, but the bound is close at hand and is approached with rapidly
decreasing velocity that soon becomes hardly perceptible. By no such
means is any steady progress possible.

Precisely so in the domestication, education, civilization of the lower
races. These latter do undoubtedly possess undeveloped potentialities;
they are capable of better things. The immediate result of subjecting
them to new conditions that stimulate their powers may often be highly
gratifying. But herein lies no promise whatever of any progressive
amelioration. The boundaries are near by; nor can they be overstepped
by any such extra-organic agencies. Moreover, it must not be forgotten
that, in perhaps every such case, there is some sacrifice--it may be a
fatal sacrifice--of the native vigour of the primitive stock.

This reflection is completely confirmed by the actual example of the
Negro in a state of freedom. Unless all the statistical indications be
grossly misleading, the movement of the Afro-American average in the
last generation has been down and not up, backward and not forward.[12]
Especially the physical decline has been measurable and ominous. In
Haiti the same experiment has been carried much further, and with
results proportionately more disastrous. A hundred years of internecine
strife have witnessed nothing but a slow reversion to barbarism. The
interest on the public debt remains unpaid, agriculture is most
primitive, manufactures languish, the industries for which the island
was once famous are dead or dying, the beautiful French language is
Africanized into a structureless patois.[13]

      [12] See _infra_, Chapter Six.

      [13] Thus, the proverb: Un sac qui est vide ne peut pas rester
      debout, becomes: Sac qui vide pas connait ete debout.

Here, too, is the natural place for one of the most plausible and at
the same time most sophistical arguments yet advanced for the essential
comparability, if not the perfect equality, of the White and the
Black--an argument frequent on the lips of the most conspicuous leader
of his people, namely: that the Negro, and only the Negro, has been
able to maintain himself against or in presence of the aggressive
Anglo-Saxon (we do not pretend to reproduce his words, not having them
at hand, but we do not misrepresent his idea). However, the Negro has
not maintained himself _against_, but only with and _for_, the
Anglo-Saxon. A century long the Blacks did greatly flourish, because
they were greatly cherished, in the South, despite occasional cruelty,
which rarely or never hindered development. Fatuously enough, the
Whites fancied it to their own interest to warm up the Blacks into
the most vigorous life. The ante-bellum slaves were, perhaps, the
best-nurtured labouring population to be found anywhere in the history
of mankind. Moreover, their stock was actually strengthened by
artificial selection. No wonder, then, that the Black man more than
maintained himself under conditions that were racially so extremely
favourable. Of course, little credit or none at all goes to the
humanity of the slaveholder. The best that could be said would be that
he displayed a semi-enlightened selfishness. He considered his slaves

    _Something better than his dog, a little dearer than his horse._

It is, indeed, a wide-spread paradox of civilization, that the
possessors exhibit far deeper wisdom in the treatment of their
possessions than in the treatment of themselves. They choose food for
their children less rationally than for their cows. A royal weakling
was gazing admiringly at a lordly bull, and exclaimed: "What a
magnificent specimen he is!" "Yes," replied the bull, "if your
ancestors had been selected as carefully as mine, you would be a
magnificent specimen, too."

There are yet other considerations, as the linguistic, of much weight,
but of subtile or else of delicate nature, into which at present we
forbear to enter. However, one further reflection of a very general
nature must not be omitted. The diversities of type found even among
Europeans, still more among other Caucasians, are remarkable and
universally recognized. Norwegian and Italian, Russian and Spaniard,
Cretan and Scot, can hardly be confounded, not to contrast Dane and
Hindu, Teuton and Arab, Irishman and Jew. These diversities affect not
merely or mainly the body, but still more the mind, all its products
and institutions. Moreover, they are very persistent, maintaining and
asserting themselves in scarcely diminished force from generation to
generation, sometimes even under levelling conditions of highly
composite intermixture. "We have seen how tenaciously they have clung
to the type of their ancestors throughout all the vicissitudes of ages"
(_Ripley_, Pop. Sci. Mon., March, 1898, p. 608).

The thread of national character, though interlaced and interwoven with
bewildering perplexity, is found to stretch itself unbroken through the
ages. In continuous illustration of this truth we may cite the great
work of Lapouge, _L'Aryen_, and the researches of the school he so
brilliantly represents. Furthermore, these differences are not merely
sidewise, right and left, this way and that, in the same plane of
quality. They are at least three-dimensional; they are up and down,
higher and lower. The one race is distinctly superior, the other
inferior, in some given particular. While all branches of this great
family are very highly endowed, yet they are by no means equally
endowed. Each has its points of excellence, but these points are not
the same in number or importance. Even among these members of the same
family, there is by no means equality; there are favourites of nature.
Now even the protagonist of the Black man does not controvert Mr.
Darwin, does not deny that the distinction between Negro and European
is apparently great enough to mark off two species; it merely says the
distinction is not of superior and inferior. But how can this be? Will
any one deny that the Greek was measurably superior to the Mede in a
host of important particulars? That he has excelled all other sons of
men in certain respects? That he has fallen markedly below the Jew and
the German in others? If, then, distinctions of inferior and superior
do undoubtedly obtain between stems so closely knit physiologically and
genetically, with what show of reason can it be held that varieties,
like Negro and European, distinct enough for "true and good species,"
are yet not to be distinguished as inferior and superior? In what
respect, pray then, are they distinguishable? Possibly some one may say
that black, as a color for man, is neither better nor worse than
white--we doubt it, but let it pass; that a broad, flat nose and thick,
everted lips are neither inferior nor superior to the straight,
clean-cut nose and lips curved like the bow of Phoebus. But even if
we do not dispute about such tastes, the list of such regards is a very
short one, and when we come to the profounder mental, moral, and social
differences, we can find no other terms than greater and less to
describe the relative endowments of the widely sundered races. The one
breed of dogs does not differ from the other merely in length of hair
or shape of head and face; it is superior or inferior in size,
strength, courage, agility, endurance, ferocity, fidelity, docility,
intelligence. Can we say less, must we not say more, of the varieties
of men? We should really like to know, if the Greeks were neither
superior nor inferior to the Bushmen, what was the real distinction
between them?

Once again, if millennial contact and intermingling of such near
affinities as Teuton and Alpine Kelt have not availed to efface their
distinguishing features, either of body or of mind--if the wonted
ancestral fires still live in the remote descendants--how can we hope
for aught else from the mixture of European and African? Will not the
slumberous apathy in which the Dark Continent broods away its æons
surely fall upon the people that drink its blood into their own veins?
Not to anticipate such a result is to scorn analogy, to despise
science, to defy history.

We now come to the second question: _Will intermingling with inferiors
really lower the superior stock?_ It seems very hard to believe that
any sober-minded man can long hesitate to answer, Yes. Does any breeder
of horses or cattle or dogs or pigeons, or any cultivator of grains or
flowers, or any student of heredity in either plants or animals,
entertain any doubt whatever? We trow not. We need not, however, appeal
to general principles, or to common sense, or to universal observation
of the lower planes of life. The mingling of races is no new thing on
our planet; it has been widely diffused, and the results are matters of
record. We shall content ourselves with citing a single authority, than
whom there is none higher--whom not even the most suspicious will
suspect of Southern ignorance and prejudice. We allude to the
distinguished author of "The American Commonwealth," and the
"Assimilation of Races in the United States."

In his Romanes Lecture of June 7, 1902, on "The Relations of the
Advanced and the Backward Races of Mankind," Mr. Bryce says (p. 24):
"Where two races are physiologically near to one another, the result of
intermixture is good. Where they are remote, it is less satisfactory,
by which I mean not only that it is below the level of the higher
stock, but that it is not generally and evidently better than the lower
stock.... But the mixture of whites and negroes, or of whites and
Hindus, or of the American aborigines and negroes, seldom shows good
results. The hybrid stocks, if not inferior in physical strength to
either of those whence they spring, are apparently less persistent, and
might--so at least some observers hold--die out if they did not marry
back into one or other of the parent races. Usually, of course, they
marry back into the lower." (_N.B._ Mr. Bryce, it appears, is so
"provincial, unintelligent and unchristian" as to assume that the
Whites are superior--a higher stock, and the Negroes inferior--a lower
stock!) Again, p. 26: "... the two general conclusions which the facts
so far as known suggest are these: that races of marked physical
dissimilarity do not tend to intermarry, and that when and so far as
they do, the average offspring is apt to be physically inferior to the
average of either parent stock, and probably more beneath the average
mental level of the superior than above the average mental level of the
inferior." Again, p. 35: "Should this view be correct, it dissuades any
attempt to mix races so diverse as are the white European and the
negroes." And on p. 36: "The matter ought to be regarded from the side
neither of the white nor of the black, but of the future of mankind at
large. Now for the future of mankind nothing is more vital than that
some races should be maintained at the highest level of efficiency,
because the work they can do for thought and art and letters, for
scientific discovery, and for raising the standard of conduct, will
determine the general progress of humanity. If therefore we were to
suppose the blood of the races which are now most advanced to be
diluted, so to speak, by that of the most backward, not only would more
be lost to the former than would be gained to the latter, but there
would be a loss, possibly an irreparable loss, to the world at large."
Lastly, p. 39: "The moral to be drawn from the case of the Southern
States seems to be that you must not, however excellent your intentions
and however admirable your sentiments, legislate in the teeth of
facts.... Nevertheless, the general opinion of dispassionate men has
come to deem the action taken in A.D. 1870 a mistake."

Now, we are quite willing to concede that possibly, even probably,
there are exceptions to the general conclusions of this eminently
fair-minded investigator. We feel sure there are many cases in which
the Mulatto is raised distinctly above his coal-black parent; we
believe there are some cases, relatively rare, absolutely frequent, in
which he rises measurably above the median line, towards his white
parent. The law of Mendel, or any other plausible law of inheritance,
would lead us to expect such a result. And yet, the extreme difficulty
of organic ascent, whether of the individual or of the race, as
compared with the fatal facility of descent, prepares us to expect, in
general terms, precisely what Mr. Bryce affirms. It is so easy to fall
ill! It is so hard to get well! In any case, that the average of
cross-breeding between widely separate races, like Black and White,
rises above the mid-line or approaches the superior, is a proposition
that runs squarely against all evidence and all reason, nor will
anything but invincible prepossession maintain it.

True it is, that a great authority, a stalwart champion of the Black
man, whose attention we had called to these extracts, declares in reply
that he is "not at all affected by Mr. Bryce's statements." He thinks
we have here, in the United States, a much broader basis of induction
than the Englishman has (as if Mr. Bryce, the author of "Assimilation
of Races in the United States" [1892], of all men, could neglect or
ignore this important example!); he has in mind a case of triple
mixture, reaching back several generations, yet the family are vigorous
and of excellent character; and he refers to thousands of Mulattoes
that are perfect physically--all of which may be true and yet not
enlightening. We sometimes meet with not uncultured persons who are
firmly persuaded that the moon controls the weather. Tell them that the
most minute and accurate observations, extending through half a century
and designed to test the matter, have failed to reveal any connection
between the weather and the moon's phases; point out to them the
insuperable obstacles in the way of their opinion--and they reply that
they are "not at all affected by your statements", that they and their
ancestors have observed for generations that changes in the weather
coincide accurately with changes in the moon, that the broadest
induction in their own neighbourhood shows clearly that beans will not
flourish if planted in the dark of the moon, and that it would be
madness to plant potatoes in the light. If any other facts or
observations seem not to conform to this theory--why, so much the worse
for them!

The general inferiority of the mixed stock has passed into a proverb
even in Africa, where it is said: "A god created the whites; I know not
who created the blacks; certainly a devil created the mongrels." So
reports Livingstone (quoted by Lombroso), and adds that he had seen but
one Portuguese Mestizo of robust health. In Brazil it is held that the
mingling of Indian with Latin blood has not produced evil results,[14]
but everywhere else such remote crossings have been more or less
disastrous. Strikingly is this the case with the Zambos--the mixture of
Indian and Negro; they are mainly degenerates and degraded. Thus E. G.
Squier, writing of Honduras in the Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. XII.,
says: "A small part of the coast, above Cape Gracias, is occupied by
the Sambos, a mixed race of Indians and Negroes, which, however, is
fast disappearing." In Mexico, Central and South America, the
half-breeds are everywhere stationary or declining. In India the
Eurasians (20,000 in Calcutta) "touch a level of degradation which is
far lower than any reached by the pure heathen about them. They inherit
defects more conspicuously than virtues from both races from which they
spring" (Pop. Sci. Mon., Nov., 1892). In Japan the inferior Ainos are
passing away before the superior Japanese. The hybrids are never
healthy or vigorous, and vanish with the third or fourth generation.
Here, in the United States, the testimony is all against the Mulatto.
In a report of the Provost-Marshal General, the opinions of physicians
stand eleven to one against the Mulatto as "scrofulous and
consumptive," "degenerated physically," and the one favourable
judgement reposes on only two instances. The anthropometry of the
Mulatto is decidedly against him. His average lung capacity, the most
significant of measurements, was found by Gould to be only 158.9 cubic
inches against 163.5 for the pure Black, and 184.7 for the White. His
respiration rate was equally unfavourable, being 19 per minute against
17.7 for the pure Black, and 16.4 for the White. We refer, also, to the
testimony of Dr. Shaler (p. 52), that he had never known a Mulatto to
pass threescore. The writer remembers the first use he ever heard of
the word "cachectic;" his father spoke of it as a term generally
applicable to Mulattoes.

      [14] But Lapouge (_L'Aryen_): "That immense realm reverting
      to barbarism."

From the convergence of all such testimony, which may be multiplied
indefinitely, there seems no escape whatever. We must concede, with
Lombroso: "It is impossible to contemplate these facts without
admitting that marriages between some human races are much less fertile
and happy than between others;" and especially unfortunate are those
between such extremes as Whites and Negroes. When such anthropologists
as Waitz, Serres, Deschamps, Bodichon, anticipate a millennium from
universal miscegenation, it is only sentimentalism or else
forgetfulness of the distinction drawn so properly by Topinard
(Eléments d'Anthropologie générale, 1885) between the intermingling of
nearly related and of distantly related races. In the first case the
result is, in general, certainly good; in the latter, it is quite as
certainly bad.

But let us now, merely for the moment and for the sake of argument,
admit that both our premises are in doubt; that, perhaps, after all the
Negro is not inferior organically--mentally, morally, or physically--to
the Caucasian, and that interfertility might, perhaps, work no
deterioration; would the case be essentially altered? Assuredly not.
For even then the most extreme negrophilist must still admit that there
is, at least, a reasonable doubt; even if the Negro be not proved
inferior, yet he is certainly not proved equal, and there is a large
body of at least apparent evidence against him; even if it be not
certain that miscegenation would work deterioration, it is at least
very possible and seemingly probable. Who, then, would have the
foolhardihood to make this experiment of race amalgamation--an
experiment which, once made, is made forever; whose consequences could
never be undone--when there is at least and at the very lowest an
undeniable possibility, not to say certainty, that those consequences
would be disastrous in the extreme? Can we imagine a more wanton folly?
Would such an experiment beseem any other place so well as the

But some one will say that we are fighting "bogies"; that no one in the
North, much less in the South, desires any such amalgamation. Do not
believe it! The intense, the supreme yearning of large bodies of
Negroes is for social recognition among the Whites--more especially for
intermarriage with their haughty, old-time despisers. Who does not know
this, simply does not understand the dominant facts of Southern
life.[15] True, there may be no longer anyone in the North that openly
advocates miscegenation--no one that would welcome or even tolerate it
in his family, though we remember to have read years ago a distinct
declaration, by no mean authority, that it might be a positive
advantage to pour the strong, rich blood of the Black man into the
languid veins of the Southern Whites! However, granted that all would
NOW[16] disavow such a sentiment--and let us accept the disavowal
unreservedly--the fact remains that the highest authorities in the
North, the factors that form public opinion and guide legislation, have
never yet to our knowledge raised their voices against miscegenation in
the South. What means this expressive silence? In this momentous,
all-overshadowing controversy, there is no middle ground. He that is
not against amalgamation is for it. Who so does not oppose must _ipso
facto_ favour it. Only ciphers are neither plus nor minus.

      [15] Nor do we see how any one can blame them. Especially the
      intelligent Mulatto recognizes, and justly, that social equality,
      with its necessary corollary, intermarriage, is the key of the
      whole position. Without it, he sees clearly that his race is
      doomed. From his point of view, the denial of such equality
      appears as a colossal injustice, an immeasurable wrong. And
      unless he be racially inferior, he is incontrovertibly right.

      [16] We are not willing to deface these pages with passages
      quoted in proof of the fact that miscegenation has been advocated
      openly and repeatedly in the highest quarters, and doubtless in
      all good faith and good will. But he who has any doubt on this
      point may consult the _Edinburgh Review_ of 1827, pp. 390-394;
      Lyell's "Second Visit to the United States," 1849, Vol. II., p.
      216; The Fourth of July Speech of Mr. Wendell Phillips (1863);
      the speeches of Mr. Theodore Tilton, sometime editor of _The
      Independent_; but especially the collection of pamphlets entitled
      "Miscegenation," by D. G. Croly and others (1864), wherein "not
      only the propriety, but the necessity, of the marriage of Black
      and White" is argued passionately. Abominable as such doctrines
      may sound, they flow inevitably from the principles even at this
      date commonly accepted in both Englands, and they can be proved
      _wrong_ only by proving that our present contentions are _right_.

Moreover, we affirm that he who denies our two cardinal theses, who
denies the racial inferiority of the Negro, and the racial
deterioration of the Mulatto, must consistently hold that
mongrelization of the South is positively desirable; and we should
esteem him not the less, but the more, for boldly defending it.[17] For
if such miscegenation involves no declination from the Caucasian
standard, then there is no reason whatever against it. On the other
hand, there are strong reasons that favour it (as Bryce himself admits,
p. 27, it "has two great merits"); in particular, it would bring about
speedily and permanently a settlement of the race question, and a
settlement far more amicable than is otherwise possible. There is no
escape from this conclusion; and no disclaimer, however honest, can be
adequate. The inference of approval, from non-hostility to
miscegenation, is immediate and unavoidable; and we may justly hold our
opponents to the logical consequence of their teachings, however
earnestly they may reject it.

      [17] Mongrelization of the world has, in fact, been ably and
      honestly, however mistakenly, championed on quasi-scientific
      grounds by distinguished ethnologists--a grave error in science,
      but no moral reproach. With such must be ranged the mighty
      journal that "stands alone in its field," exponent of the highest
      civic life yet unfolded on this continent. In the edition of Dec.
      26th, 1895, in commenting upon a conservative letter from
      Clinton, Iowa, the Editor remarks: "The laws forbidding honorable
      intermarriage between the two races are the guarantee of the
      perpetuation of this savage atrocity [lynching]; their abolition,
      the first step on the part of the whites towards its
      disappearance." Language could hardly be more explicit. Of
      course, such "abolition" would be tantamount to official
      invitation to such "honorable intermarriage"; otherwise it would
      be nugatory: he who throws wide open his gates, thereby bids come

Herewith, then, for the present, we sheathe the sword for lack of
argument; for it seems scarcely worth while to point out that when we
demonstrate the racial inferiority of the Negroids, and insist upon the
necessity of an impassable social chasm, we by no means excuse or
extenuate any form of cruelty or injustice or oppression or
inconsideration, political or other. Replies to our arguments are not
pertinent when they fail to note this distinction, even though they may
quote passages from the "Apostle of Heredity," written nearly a
generation before his call to that apostolate. The humane man resents
the maltreatment of inferiors no less quickly because he recognizes
their inferiority; it is they that especially move his compassion. The
ancient Hindu knew and felt this when he wrote: "He who needlessly
tramples upon a worm in his path, that soul is darkly alienate from

This remark conducts us very near to certain semi-political phases of
the matter; which, however, we leave to the politician, the pulpit, and
the press. These are careful and troubled about many things; but there
is one thing needful--that the rights of the generations unborn be
guarded, that the Caucasian race integrity be preserved.



    _The que still hangs behind him._


In the foregoing chapter we have propounded and answered the question
as to the native inferiority of the Black race; and now the query
arises, What more? Have we not already said that such is the end of the
matter? But the subject is of transcendent importance, and we must not
disguise from the reader that the considerations thus far adduced may
not yet be admitted as perfectly conclusive by a certain highly
intelligent class of thinkers. There is, namely, a very respectable
school of anthropologists who will take nothing for granted and are
disposed to call in question the most plausible assumptions and leave
us no ground to stand on but what has been won by the severest logic.
We can the less afford to pass by the contentions of these savants,
since we think their principles are in the main correct, and we are in
active sympathy with their general methods. In the present case, to be
sure, we hold that they have not proved faithful to the pure reason,
and that their skepticism will be found destitute of any sufficient

What, then, are the scruples of these critics? What niceties of
demonstration, may they still insist, have passed unobserved? We shall
use their own words as nearly as may be--the words of a "specially
competent anthropologist."

(1) It is denied that any inference lies, in any particular case, from
the brain to the mind. "No principle applicable to individuals can be
laid down. Inspection of a brain, no matter how minute, will not permit
a legitimate inference as to the intellectual status of the owner."
This must be granted without reserve.

(2) Even in dealing with large groups, as of a thousand men, with
brains averaging fifty-three and forty-six ounces, respectively, with
corresponding physical proportions, "it is possible, but by no means
certain, that the average mental capacity of the former would surpass
that of the latter. But even such an inference would be based upon very
scanty evidence." It seems plain that the word "possible" is here put
incautiously for "probable." Otherwise the sentence is empty of
meaning. As so corrected, it must stand. The only difference of opinion
that could arise would concern the degree of probability. If we have
read the evidence nearly aright, that degree would be very high, but it
could not rise to certainty. To this extremely important matter we
shall return at the proper place.

(3) With respect to "complexity of structure," which is supposed to
condition or to indicate mental development, there is declared to be a
"lack of any definite and certain knowledge as to the fundamental
facts." This, also, seems true.

Quantitative information is wanting, but qualitative is at hand. We
have no definite and certain knowledge as to the significance of the
gyri and sulci in the brain; but this does not invalidate the general
proposition that relates them _in some way_ with mental power. The
brain of a Helmholtz would almost certainly be deeply carved; the brain
of an imbecile would almost certainly be uncommonly smooth. Between
these extremes there lie relations infinite in variety and impossible
to grade, so crossed and intercrossed are they with other elements.
Nevertheless, the two opposite poles remain fixed, and the general
indications of convolutions and of smoothness, other things being
equal, cannot be mistaken.

(4) As to skull capacity, there are many difficulties in the way, and
"the value of this evidence has come to be regarded as less than it was
once considered to be, but still to a certain extent significant. In a
general way it may be said to bear out the observations on the actual
brains." We do not see how it could well be expected to do much more.
Here, then, are three indicia--weight of brain, complexity of its
structure, capacity of skull--each related directly, though
indeterminately, to power of mind. If we call them _x_, _y_, _z_, then
we may say, with some approach to truth, that mental strength depends
upon their product, each taken with an unknown exponent, thus: _x^p
y^q z^r_. This expression, to be sure, is not adequate; there are
yet other factors, it may be many, as the post-pubertal extension of
structural elements, and therewith of physiological connections, which
we have no means of measuring or observing. But the real significance
of these three is not, indeed cannot be, doubted. Thus, Manouvrier
determined the skull capacity of thirty-two distinguished men to
average 1663 cc., or 103 cc. above the general mean of 1560 cc.--an
excess of nearly 7 per cent. Again, the mean weight of brain of
thirty-four such men reached 1533 grammes--an excess of 163 over the
average (1370), or almost exactly 12 per cent. No amount of reasonable
allowance can rob these results of their import. It is no answer to say
that the cranial capacity of forty-one murderers averaged 1593 cc., or
33 cc. (about two per cent.) above the mean. We see no reason why a
murderer might not have more than ordinary intelligence, though many be
degenerates; it is not at all unlikely that his central nervous system
or some part of it should be highly developed. Unless we err widely,
not a few of the greatest characters of history have been great

(5) What conclusions are recommended by "all these facts and factors"?
"Truly, the results are meager. We are probably justified in saying
that, anatomically, the brains of negroid races are somewhat less
developed than those of Europeans." But it is held that "a little
reflection shows the comparative insignificance of the distinction....
The most that can be said is that the European series will show more
very large brains than the negroid, and the negroid series more very
small brains than the Europeans." Precisely! And it is just this excess
of "very large brains," or at least of its general correlate, very
large minds, that has the profoundest "significance" for civilization,
for all that is great and glorious in history and in humanity. Not only
must we, in accordance with the law of Deviation from the Average,
interpret this excess of "very large brains" as implying a higher
general level, but the meaning and value of these exceptions are
incalculable.[18] Who can estimate the import of the one brain in a
million, when it is the brain of Moses or Mohammed, of Aristotle or
Archimedes, of Vergil or Galilei, of Leibnitz or Voltaire, of Darwin or
Washington? Such brains are the foci of the orbits of history; such men
blaze out the pathways for the feet of their kind. Without them we
wander round and round, lost in the erroneous wood. The race that can
produce such "very large brains" is the race of advancement and
culture; they shine like stars in the firmament of history, and the
multitudes steer their courses thereby. It is these exceptions that
mark out the line between progress and stagnation, between civilization
and barbarism; a race that is deficient in such exceptions is a race
already condemned.

      [18] See _infra_, p. 100.

It is altogether vain to interpose that this acknowledged anatomical
defect is, after all, only slight. The difference between the brains of
a fish-monger and of a Socrates may be only slight--an ounce or so in
the scale, a line or so in depth of convolution; yet it corresponds to
the interval between mediety and the vertex of genius. Such differences
are vanishingly small, or inexpressibly great, according to the origin
of reckoning. And herewith we uncover the fallacy that lies so snugly
hidden away in the phrase "comparative insignificance." Undoubtedly! If
we reckon from the amoeba, the witling seems scarcely distinguishable
from the wit; but if we reckon from the average of humanity, they start
asunder like the poles. The summits of the Himalayas are only some four
or five miles above the valley of the Ganges; estimated from the centre
of the earth, this difference is little more than one-thousandth of the
whole--a difference hardly appreciable to the eye, even when armed with
a microscope; and yet it means the difference between the impenetrable
jungle and the inaccessible minarets of the roof of the world. The
difference between some "Rafael" and some imitation may be very slight
and escape the uncritical eye, and yet make out the distinction between
a masterpiece and a daub. Illustrations abound. It is a multitude of
trifles that constitutes perfection; but perfection is not a trifle.
That the recognized and constated superiority of the European brain is
slight, by no means implies that the "mental expression" of this
superiority may not be illimitably grand.

Since the question of brain-weights is extremely important, it does not
seem fair to the reader to furnish him only vague, general statements.
Accordingly, we here submit something more definite, even though it
appear like a long parenthesis inserted in the body of our discourse.

From the autopsies of 405 Whites, Blacks, and intermediates, made by
Surgeon Ira Russell, the following conclusions have been drawn by Dr.
Sanford B. Hunt, surgeon of United States Volunteers in the Civil War:
"(1) The standard weight of the negro brain is over five ounces less
than that of the white. (2) Slight intermixture of white blood
diminishes the negro brain from its normal standard, but when the
infusion of white blood amounts to one-half (mulatto), it determines a
positive increase in the negro brain, which, in the quadroon, is only
three ounces below the white standard. (3) The percentage of
exceptionally small brains is largest among negroes having but a small
proportion of white blood." Of these 405, there were 141 Blacks, and
only twenty-four Whites; the others were mixed. We may omit these
latter, and may substitute the results of 278 other autopsies of
Whites, and form this table:

                                          55-  50-  45-  40-  35-
         Average   Max.   Min.   60 oz.   60   55   50   45   40   35

  141 B.  46.96     56  35-3/4    0        5   42   51   38    3   --
   24 W.  52.06     64  44-1/2    1        4   11    7   --   --   --
  278 W.  49.05     65  34        7       28   99   97   39    7    1

Here we observe: Dr. Hunt's (1) does not seem warranted; the number
(24) of White brains weighed seems too small. But the weights of the
278 Whites show that the smaller weight of the Negro brain is a fact.
More extensive observation shows that the Black average is about four
ounces below the White. The absence of very large brains among the
Blacks comes out most distinctly. There were no Black brains weighing
over fifty-six ounces, only five weighing so much as fifty-five;
whereas, eight White brains weighed over sixty ounces, and forty
weighed over fifty-five. Likewise of the twenty-four Whites, only one
fell under forty-five ounces, but forty-one of the 141 Blacks; also,
only forty-seven of the 278 Whites; it is plain, then, that large
brains predominate among the Whites and small ones among the Blacks.

This, however, is not nearly all the evidence on this question. In the
course of an elaborate article in the _Philosophical Transactions_
for 1868, pp. 505 sqq., Dr. J. Barnard Davis makes this remark: "As a
general conclusion, without analyzing the results of Tiedemann's
gaugings of negro skulls, it may be unhesitatingly asserted that the
brain-weight of negroes is positively below that of Europeans" (p.
522). "The general mean of our African races, as deduced from 113
skulls, 53 of men and 60 of women, a tolerably equal proportion, is
43.89 ounces, or 1244 grams. This is 3.23 ounces, or ninety-one grams,
less than our European general mean" (p. 523). He also finds the mean
internal capacity of 393 European skulls to be 92.3 cubic inches, and
113 African skulls to be 86.9 cubic inches--a defect of nearly 7 per
cent. Morton found the average capacity of 62 native African skulls to
be 83 cubic inches, and of 12 Afro-American skulls to be 82 cubic

More recently (1880), Dr. Bischoff has published at Bonn a very
thorough work on "Das Hirngewicht des Menschen," in which the present
subject is handled minutely and very temperately. We translate some of
his remarkably sane and judicial conclusions: "From all of this it
follows that we are by no means justified in affirming outright the
proposition that brain-weight and spiritual capacity and achievement
keep equal pace and that a large and heavy brain of itself betokens a
man highly endowed in both respects, a small and light brain a man
niggardly equipped. But just as little justified would be the
conclusions that size and weight of brain stand in no connection with
spiritual gifts and accomplishments. Rather must we be convinced that
both factors, brain-weight and spiritual capacity and achievement, are
magnitudes too complex for their parallelism to appear to be proved so
simply, although the same (parallelism) is none the less present" (p.

The following seems to have been written with some foreboding of the
more recent anthropology that "minimizes this difference" between
European and Negroid, and regards "the mental gap as more apparent than
real, and due rather to experience and training than to innate

"The capacity for spiritual achievement is, I believe, as regards both
magnitude and variety, always innate, a gift of Nature, and expressed
in the magnitude and weight of the brain and the development of the
convolutions, either in the whole or in the single parts. In it, aside
from morbid alterations, the individual can bring about no change,
neither by addition nor by subtraction. But the degree and the kind of
the development of this endowment (_Ausbildung dieser Anlage_) depends
on a thousand other conditions, partly quite beyond the insight and
will of the individual--partly, however, subject thereto. All that we
call education, culture, social position, example, and, on the part of
the individual, good-will, industry, zeal, etc., work for the
development of the endowment, and the achievement depends thereon.
Endowment, as already said, is unalterable; but the degree of the
development and achievement may vary a thousandfold" (p. 165).

On p. 169, Bischoff starts the interesting query, whether any
enhancement of the endowment (_Steigerung der Anlage_) in general or in
particular directions, through increase of the brain, in general or in
particular parts, be actual or possible in the course of time, along
the path of culture (_auf dem Wege der Zuchtung_). Broca thought that
he had observed a change in the skull capacity of Parisians, in the
lapse of centuries; but his results (thinks Bischoff) are very far from
being sure. Thus far there is no proof of any such possibility. But
even if this latter were conceded, Bischoff adds, the actuality of such
a change would by no means follow. So great is the present endowment
that all progress that can thus far be proved, may be explained through
the development of this endowment, and such will, doubtless, for a
long time yet, be the case as regards both the individual and the
generations (p. 170). We may add that Bischoff has no doubt whatever
either of the lesser brain-weight or of the lower mental capacity of
the African Negro.

When, now, we ask what is the real significance of these weights, we
are fortunately able to refer to the tables of Dr. H. Matiegka, given
in Part I. of his researches "_Ueber das Hirngewicht, die Schädelkapacität
und die Kopfform, sowie deren Beziehungen zur psychischen Thätigkeit
des Menschen_" (_Sitzb. d. kön. böhm. Ges. d. Wiss. 1902_). He has
arranged 235 brain-weights in six groups, according to occupation,
proceeding from the lowest labourers at odd jobs, who could not learn a
trade or find steady employment, up to men of notable intellectual
power. Here is the table, showing the number in each group and the
average weight of brain:

   14 Day-labourers                                    1410.0 grams
   34 Labourers                                        1433.5  "
   14 Porters, watchmen, etc.                          1435.7  "
  123 Mechanics, workers at trades, etc.               1449.6  "
   28 Business men, teachers, clerks, professional
        musicians, photographers, etc.                 1468.5  "
   22 College-bred scholars, physicians, etc.          1500.0  "
  235 Average of all                                   1451.5 grams
                                                      or 51.20 oz.

Here we observe that the excess of this average over that of the 141
Blacks is 4.24 ounces. Also we remark that the average of the lowest of
Matiegka's groups, the shiftless and incompetent, is nearly 48.61
ounces, which is much above the average (46.96) yielded by Dr.
Russell's 141 measurements of pure Blacks. Look at it another way. The
defect of the day-labourer's brain, as compared with the scholar's, in
Matiegka's groups, is precisely six per cent. Even if the average white
brain weighed only fifty ounces, a defect of six per cent. would reduce
it only to forty-seven ounces, which is still above the average of the
Blacks. This latter, then, falls appreciably below the lowest white

Once more, we now come to see clearly the immense significance of the
admittedly "somewhat less developed Negroid brain." The famous lines of
Browning seem to have been written especially for this occasion:

    _Oh, the little more, and how much it is!
    And the little less, and what worlds away!_

The difference between the averages of the highest and the lowest of
the Matiegka groups is only six per cent.; and yet how infinite its
moment for humanity and civilization! The difference meanwhile between
the general averages of the White and the Black is little if any less
than eight per cent. (52-48 = 4, that is, 1-13 or 7.7 per cent.). Who,
then, can compute its import for the history of the race?

To be sure, it is easy to pooh-pooh the Bohemian's measurements and to
scout his averages as reckoned from too scanty material. Nor would we
attach to them any undue importance. We have never denied that there
are many disturbing factors. Nevertheless, the general indication seems
altogether unmistakable. Nothing can disguise or deeply obscure the
broad patent fact that all the meridians of evidence converge towards
one and the same pole, namely: _The average Negroid brain is sensibly
inferior to the average Caucasian; and even a slight defect or excess
in average is correlated with the profoundest meaning for culture and
for civilization._

What must be said, then, of such as proclaim: "This fable [of Negroid
inferiority] has been repeated and gladly believed.... But there is
absolutely no physiological basis for it so far as the best studies of
brain structure go.... The arrogance of Anglo-Saxon and Caucasian
supremacy must find its justification, if anywhere, in the bare will
and brute power to have it so, rather than in any conclusions of
science"? 'The Apostle' has already shaped the answer: "I bear them
witness that they have a zeal for _man_, but not according to

(6) As "minimizing this difference still further," it is observed that
"the Eskimo even shows a brain weight and development well above the
average of whites. Here again, however, the material is too scanty to
permit of generalization." Altogether "too scanty," it would seem.
Hardly half a dozen such brains (we speak under correction) have been
weighed or examined. Besides, no one would maintain that weight alone
is sufficient. That large brains generally go with great minds by no
means implies the converse, that great minds generally go with large
brains. If the Eskimo brain be really heavier than the European, which
is by no means proved, and yet the Eskimo mind inferior, the meaning is
that in some other unknown respect of organization the Eskimo brain
falls so far behind the European as more than to overbalance its excess
of weight. Such a state of case is no way improbable.

(7) "If we admit a real difference between the brains of Europeans and
negroes," it is still impossible to grade the intermediate races
satisfactorily. But this means nothing more than that numerous factors,
known and unknown, enter into the final product in some complex fashion
not yet understood. It is very far from meaning that the obvious
factors, constated and admitted, have not the general significance
commonly claimed.

Such are the anatomical concessions that this school of anthropologists
feel themselves called upon to make. The reader must observe that,
however much one may "minimize," it remains at the last impossible to
evaporate the solid central fact that the "Negroid brain is somewhat
less developed than the European." In this fundamental indication all
the facts, so far as known, concur. But this is the very core of the
whole controversy. What more do we ask? What more do we need? We have
never been unduly prodigal of intensive adverbs; we have never asserted
that "other races are so naturally and essentially inferior in their
brain structure that they can never be expected to equal the white race
nor to be competent for self-government." For "who can so forecast the
years?" Not we, certainly, who are neither a prophet nor the son of a
prophet, nor a dealer in any such indefinitely remote futures. Our
contention was and is and will be that now and here, nay more, that
everywhere on the face of the earth and everywhen within recorded time,
the Negro has shown himself in every definable respect incomparably
inferior culturally to the Caucasian; hence it is concluded _prima
facie_, since culture is "mental expression," that the Negro is
mentally inferior to the Caucasian, and always has been so within
historic, and even far back prehistoric, time. It is this
historico-cultural argument that has been advanced to the forefront;
and against it, where is there found, in the preceding hostile summary
of anatomical facts, even the feeblest countervail? Indeed, the harmony
of history and anatomy seems perfect; if neither proves or necessitates
the other, yet indubitably each is about what might be expected from
the other. Not one scientific fact has ever yet been adduced to weaken
their mutual support.

It is precisely here, however, that another most important phase of the
matter comes to light. The ingenious humanitarian fancies that he can
turn the edge of the foregoing arguments completely. It was Theodor
Waitz who, in his "Anthropology" (London, 1863), suggested that the
relation between human culture and human faculty might be the inverse
of what was commonly conceived. Instead of the culture resulting from
the faculty, it might be the faculty that resulted from the culture.
Accordingly, we should not say that the Greek civilization with its
language, its art, its science, its philosophy, its eloquence, its
literature, its civil and military life, was the outgrowth of the Greek
genius, the native faculty of the Hellenic race, but rather that this
genius, this spiritual faculty, this unrivalled intellectual-artistic
endowment of the Greeks, was the continuous resultant at each moment in
the history of the race of the collective culture-experiences through
which, up to that moment, it had passed. We have tried conscientiously
to state this doctrine, that race endowment is the reaction from race
culture-experience, as forcibly and as plausibly as possible; but we
cannot hope to have redeemed it from patent absurdity. Surely there was
never a plainer case of the cart before the horse. No one denies or
forgets that training and discipline do quicken and sharpen the
intellectual faculties; they enable a man to make the most of himself,
to realize his possibilities, to develop himself to the utmost. The
power to solve a problem in algebra or geometry is the result, in part,
of the previous training in those subjects. Here is the very partial
and most familiar truth that lies hid away in Waitz's stupendous error.
But was the ability to understand algebra and geometry given by the
actual study of the same, given step by step? By no means. The
knowledge necessary to understand the successive propositions does
indeed grow thus step by step, but not the power. Open the book at the
middle; there you may find a theorem whose proof you readily
understand, because it implies very little previous knowledge. Newton
at first thought Euclid's Elements a "light book," because it offered
him no difficulty. But if you meet with some unfamiliar affirmation,
then comes the question, why? The answer is found in some theorem
already proved. Turn back to it; perhaps the proof involves some still
more fundamental property, and again you ask, why? Again you must recur
to some earlier theorem; and so on, until all your "whys" are answered
with all possible clearness in irreducible axioms or postulates. He who
has the mental ability will find this method of learning a theorem
entirely practicable, and it may sometimes be found highly instructive.
But it excludes all question of gradual growth of mental power through
the successive "stages of culture" itself.

Consider, again, this most frequent observation. A boy will distinguish
himself greatly in the high school, and perhaps in the first half of
his college course. He seizes with avidity upon the elementary notions
of mathematics, for instance; he revels in problems and "originals."
But on approaching the steeper ascents, he finds his steps falter and
his senses reel. The subtler theories and processes more and more elude
his grasp; the more highly developed concepts become more and more
unmanageable. Let him be never so thoroughly familiar with the
mid-regions, the heights remain forever inaccessible. In such a case
the honest teacher and the honest student will both admit that further
pursuit would be well-nigh profitless; while something may still be
learned in a way, yet real mastery is out of the question, and original
work as impossible as flight to the moon. The limits of native power
have been reached, and all attempts to transcend them are idle.

In music, in plastic art, in literature, in all higher forms of mental
activity, even in the professions and in business, the same state of
case is present. The mere technique may indeed be learned step by step,
and it is by no means profitless or unimportant. But not all the
"stages of culture" conceivable could ever arm the most persistent
student with "faculty" to produce the Appassionata, or the Last
Judgement, or Hamlet, or even a Wall Street corner in stocks. On the
other hand, the inborn "faculty" speeds swiftly and easily through all
such preparatory "stages of culture," or even flanks them altogether,
boldly breaking new paths through unexplored regions. Nor needs it that
these preliminaries should have been traversed by the ancestors of the
richly endowed, who may have had no artistic or scientific experience
whatever. At every point, then, this Waitzian notion of "faculty," as
the efflux of culture, is seen to be an extreme distortion of the

The later disciples have slightly modified the earlier view, but retain
the essence. Thus it is said that "the mind of man manifests itself in
different ways in different groups." Psychologically and sociologically
the racial problem rests upon the explanation of these differences of
mental manifestation. Two lines of reasoning are open. The differences
depend either upon inherent differences of mental capacity or are due
to influences of environment, using the word in its broadest sense.
Either the savage represents a lower stage of mental development than
his civilized relative or he does not. The answer to the question
presented is not easy ... it is interesting to note that the trend of
authoritative opinion is distinctly in the direction of minimizing the
degree of difference of mental capacity between savage and civilized
man and regarding the mental gap as more apparent than real and due
rather to experience and training than to innate factors. To paraphrase
a recent writer, "it is rather a question of mental contents than of
mental capacities." Such is the latest statement of this school.

The most dangerous errors are those that contain a certain element of
truth. The present is a case in point. Let it be noted, then, that the
alternatives mentioned above are not alternatives at all; they are not
mutually exclusive, but quite consistent and perhaps always
co-existent. The "two lines of reasoning" do not intersect, but are
parallel. The "differences depend," not "either ... or," but _both_
"upon inherent differences of mental capacity" _and_ "are due to
influences of environment." The twain have undoubtedly acted and
reacted upon each other. The divine law, to him that hath shall be
given, from him that hath not shall be taken away, has found here the
widest application. The process of evolving a civilization or a human
type is a most complex one, and we by no means exclude or "minimize"
the objective factors when we frankly recognize the subjective ones.
Here lies the primal error of the prevalent humanitarianism. It
perceives that education is much; it rashly concludes that education
is all. But the homeliest wisdom knows far better.

    _It is not all in training up
    A child against its will:
    To silver scour a pewter cup,--
    It will be pewter still._

No, a thousand times no! Environment is not all nor nearly all--nay,
not nearly half. Says Lombroso: "The action of climate and circumstance
is very slight by the side of heredity" (_op. cit._, p. 88). Saith
Heraclitus, "Much learning does not teach to have mind"; saith Pindar,
"His art is true who by nature hath knowledge," and he scorns the crows
that have but learned. Let the outer impact be what it will, it is the
"inherent" qualities that determine the response. Sing out the natural
C; among a score of tuning-forks only one will reply. Nay more;
different constitutions may make exactly opposite replies: "the roar of
the lion scatters the sheep, but gathers the jackals"; the prayer of
Clarence but hardens the heart of the first murderer, though it softens
the soul of the second. All this, one would think, a child might
understand. Nature blazons it on every leaf and every star, and
proclaims it with a million tongues; but overhumane doctrinaires will
neither see nor hear anything that impugns their sacrosanct dogma, that
"all men are created equal". "The trend of authoritative opinion"
insists on "minimizing the degree of difference of mental capacity" and
regarding the mental gap as more apparent than real and due rather to
experience and training than to innate factors--whereat the current
philanthropy claps its hands and cries, "Eureka! Come, now! Let us
train and experience the Negro and close up the mental gap in a jiffy"!
But will some manufacturer or wholesale importer of "authoritative
opinions" kindly inform us what "mental gap" has ever been closed up by
"experience and training"?

Great, indeed, is the potence of "environment"; greater, by far, the
potence of heredity. Fortunately we are not left quite in the dark as
to their relative importance. In discussing "race suicide" an eminent
scholar, who is always sage and sagacious, save only when _celeri
saucius Africo_, declares: "That those who are intellectually the
best in each generation should leave the fewest descendants is a
serious thing; for all the recent work in anthropology teaches the
importance of heredity, and tends to prove Galton's theory that genius
is inherited." From a study of the one thousand most eminent men of
history, but for whom "the world would have made little progress in
learning, invention or wealth," Processor Cattell concludes that
"heredity, including in that term both stability and variability of
stock, is more potent than social tradition or physical environment."
From a study of European royal genealogies, it is deduced by Dr. F. A.
Woods, of Harvard, that "heredity has exercised in mental life a factor
not far from nine-tenths, while from the moral side something over

Without placing implicit faith in such numerical estimates, and without
pausing to inquire how one might best "exercise a factor", the reader
will note the admitted dominance of heredity over all other forces. It
will be observed that the deductions of Dr. Woods refer to the "mental
life" and the "moral side" in general, and not merely to extraordinary
manifestations or "genius," as in "Galton's theory". Surely there is
little enough of the latter to be found in "all the royal families of
Europe", and quite sufficient of something else. Besides, it seems
clear that if genius be inherited, if marked deviations from the
average in this direction or in that be transmitted, then _a
fortiori_ must also the general average character be itself in
detail determined by inheritance. For every example of "inherited
genius" there lie close at hand, under common and immediate
observation, a thousand examples of inheritance of qualities physical,
mental, and moral that fall within the bounds of the normal. Such
qualities have beneath them a far solider substructure of age, a far
more settled and less mutable organic habit of centuries, than do the
new growths, the spontaneous mutations, that we call genius, or any
marked eccentricity. If, then, the latter be inherited, far more so the
former. And such is precisely the foundation on which the whole fabric
of the foregoing argument has been reared.

Let the reader observe that the question, the only real question,
regards the "mental gap" between the Negro and the Caucasian, for which
we dare not substitute "between savage and civilized man". This matter
is entirely another and entirely irrelevant. The "difference of mental
capacity" between the savage Greek and the civilized Egyptian was
indeed great, but was in favour of the savage youth and against the
civilized ancient. So, too, the savage Teuton fully equalled or
excelled in mental capacity his civilized Italian foeman. The defects
of these savages were cultural, not mental proper, and culture was
enough speedily to supply them. But where, we ask again, have real
"mental gaps" been filled up by culture? Where have racial
characteristics been transformed or abolished? Have equal opportunities
raised the 150,000 Negroes in Pennsylvania to the white level? Or the
100,000 in New York? Or those in New England? Or in Chatham, Ontario?
Or in Paris? When Greek culture led captive the Roman captor, did it
arm him with Greek genius? Did it close up the "mental gap"? When the
bow of Hellenic science fell into the hands of the Arab, was he quite
able to bend it?

We recall our anthropologic and ethnologic disputants to the ridge of
war, and ask, Do they really believe that the difference between the
Niger and the Euphrates was one of "experience and training"? If so,
pray tell us how many more years had the Sumerians lived seventy
centuries ago than the citizens of Dahomey up to now? Did the former
enjoy, like the latter, a contact for centuries with American
missionaries and European civilization? And whence came the "experience
and training" of Hammurabi and Sin-mubalit and their ancestors? Who
trained their trainers? If indeed "it is a question of mental contents
rather than of mental capacities," whence, we insist, came those
"mental contents"? Did they fall out of the sky into the empty skulls
of Nineveh? Why, then, did this meteoric shower powder Mesopotamia so
densely and sprinkle a dust so impalpable over the Sudan? "Mental
contents rather than mental capacities"? True, the word "capacities" is
unluckily chosen; "faculties" would have been better, but, even as it
stands, there was never a more manifest inversion of the truth. We have
taught for a score of years and every year we see more clearly that the
teacher is helpful mainly to the favoured few that do not need him. We
appeal to the whole tribe of teachers, from Dan to Beersheba--what one
has ever supplied "mental contents" in the absence of "mental
capacities"? This is preëminently the age of education. Its agencies
are all-embracing and bewildering in their complexity and universality.
Everything is taught and everything is studied in the most
thoroughgoing fashion, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop on the
wall. If it be merely or mainly a question of "experience and training"
and "mental contents," surely we have distanced our ancestors
immensely;--we are altogether "out of sight". Genius should run riot on
our streets. Homers, Platos and Euclids, Cæsars, Shakesperes and
Newtons, Goethes and Kants, Pascals, Dantes and Titians, should be as
plenty as blackberries. And yet such is not very notably the case.
There is still some room at the top. The supply of abilities of the
very highest order is nowhere markedly in excess of the demand.

Will anyone contend that "experience and training" and subcranial
injection of "mental contents" have ever been able to close up the
"mental gap" between individuals of the same race, or even of the same
family? Why, then, imagine that they may close up the far wider gap
between individuals of different races--between the races themselves?
This doctrine of the all-sufficiency of "experience and training" and
"mental contents" assumes, in fact, the proportions of an overgrown
ironical joke and would grace the vacuous columns of _Judge_ far better
than the sober-minded pages of Anthropology. As a child we have
sometimes wondered why the eagle should so far outfly the
turkey-gobbler; it seems the mystery is now clearly resolved--the
eagle has doubtless had more "experience and training".

We sometimes see it attempted to strengthen the plea for the essential
equality of the Negro by reference to the Japanese, who are declared
not inferior, though "they would have been called an inferior, a
hopelessly submerged race, half a century ago. But they have made a
sudden change. This has been no slow Darwinian development, but a _per
saltum_ evolution of a new intellectual type--if we may not rather call
it a spring blossoming out of ages of winter. There is now every
appearance that a similar efflorescence is coming with the negro
race--only they have begun with utter ignorance and slavery, and have
more to learn, and find less encouragement". Now, in this notion of
"efflorescence" there is an element of truth. There _are_ bloom-periods
in the life of the race, as of trees and of men. We speak of the
Periclean, the Augustan, the Elizabethan age. "For greater dooms do
greater doles obtain,"[19] was said in the ancient mystery. "Spirits
are not finely touch'd but to fine issues". Extraordinary junctures and
crises in the life of the individual and of the race may rouse
slumbering powers into vehement activity. But that such admitted facts
will bear the weight of inference thrown upon them, we must stoutly
deny. The thorn and the thistle may indeed bloom and fructify, but they
will not bear grapes or figs. They will bring forth fruit after their
kind. Greeks were Greeks before Marathon or Salamis, before even Homer
or Agamemnon. Witness the outburst of Arabic genius after Mohammed! Yet
Bagdad and Granada could never become like unto Athens or Alexandria.
But why multiply illustrations? Efflorescence is one thing,
transmutation is another. "We seem to see such a paroxysmal impulse now
taking possession of the negro race in this country"! We gravely doubt
this "sudden start upward"; we strongly suspect things are not what
they seem. We label all such statements "important, _if true_".[20]

      [19] Hippolytus, _Philosophoumena_, V. 8.

      [20] That they are a total inversion of the truth is proved
      elaborately in Chapter Five.

The illustration from the Orient will not serve its purpose. We by no
means admit that Japan does yet "take a front rank among the strong and
intellectual nations of the world". One swallow does not make it
spring. We are used to parallels between Sophocles and Ibsen. A Harvard
junior declared Demosthenes to be the Edward Everett of Greece. But in
any case it is not true that "they have made a sudden change". It was
only gross ignorance that would have called them "hopelessly submerged
half a century ago". They were then, even as they are now and as they
were hundreds of years before, an artistic, ingenious, enterprising
people, with a well-developed culture--language, literature, religion,
social and civic and military life.[21] Contact with Western
civilization has indeed aroused them and spurred their ambition, and
turned their ancient powers into modern channels; but we can by no
means say it has really augmented those powers or begotten any new
ones. It is far from clear that this contact will prove ultimately
beneficial. The Oriental grain is not improved to every eye by a cheap
veneering of Occidental science and commercialism. We have read of a
boy who was gilded from head to foot, to represent an angel at a church
festival. The experiment was eminently successful: it turned him not
only into an apparent angel, but also into a real one. A similar result
may be anticipated as the ultimate issue of all attempts, however
well-meant, to engraft alien civilization upon the really backward
races of mankind. They will finally be civilized off the face of the
earth, or at least from all regions habitable and healthful for the
civilizing race.

      [21] Day teaches day. Until very recently our meagre information
      touching Japanese brain weight did not extend beyond the 130
      examples reported by Doenitz (1874), Taguchi (1881), Suzuki
      (1892), of which the average was about 1,350 grams. Now, however,
      in the _Medical Journal_, Tokio, XXII, Nos. 1, 2, 8, 1903, and
      in_ Neurologia_, I, No. 5, 1903, Prof. K. Taguchi publishes
      measurements of 597 subjects; 421 males, 176 females. Of these,
      374 adult males yielded an average of 1,367 grams, between the
      extremes 1,063 and 1,790; 150 adult females, an average of 1,214
      grams, ranging from 961 to 1,432. Per centimetre of stature the
      brain weight of the Japanese is almost exactly the same as that
      of the Germans (Bischoff, Marchand), Russians (Giltscnenko),
      Czechs (Matiegka), of the same height. "To recapitulate, the
      brain of the Japanese grows more slowly during infancy and early
      youth than it does in the European. In the adult the brain-weight
      compares favorably with that of Europeans of similar stature, and
      it may be shown to be superior in this respect to other races of
      the same general stature." (E. A. Spitzka in _Science_, Sept. 18,
      1903, p. 371-373).

      Even then if the Japanese should outstrip all rivals, it would in
      no degree shake the arguments or conclusions of this volume, nor
      ground the least hope for the African; for neither historically
      nor (still less) anatomically is there any parallelism between
      the two races.

It seems to be of interest, however, and the dictate of fairness, to
recall that, according to a very high and recent, though perhaps not
infallible, authority (Professor Ripley), the roots of the great
European race-tree are two:[22] the broad-headed Kelt from Asia and the
long-headed Teuton from Africa. If so, then this latter stock, though
now the fairest among the sons of men,

    _Then, sad relief, from the bleak shore that hears
    The German Ocean roar, deep blooming, strong,
    And yellow-haired the blue-eyed Saxon came--_

was once the very darkest! What combined agencies, as of climate and
selection, have wrought out this marvellous depigmentation, we need not
here inquire. Suffice it that, on the one hand, this fact, if it be a
fact,--_non nobis est componere tantas lites_--would seem to ground the
bare possibility that even now such combined agencies might in the same
lapse of time bring about a similar transfiguration of the West
African. And this we readily grant--if the physiologic nature of the
Negro be as plastic now as it was a hundred thousand years ago--which
we cannot disprove, but which we have no right to assume. Be this as it
may, we have never denied this or any other abstract possibility of
negritic evolution. We merely maintain that probability is the guide of
life, and that there is no appreciable probability of any such

      [22] To be sure, Prof. Ripley speaks repeatedly of three races
      (see Pop. Sc. Mon. LI, p. 202): Teutonic, Alpine, Mediterranean;
      but both the first and the last are long-faced and long-headed,
      and he regards the two as having a common origin, "a dolichocephalic
      Africanoid type in the stone age" (LII, p. 314). "It is highly
      probable that the Teutonic race of northern Europe is merely a
      variety of this primitive, long-headed type of the stone age,
      both its distinctive blondness and its remarkable stature having
      been acquired in the relative isolation of Scandinavia through
      the modifying influences of environment, and of natural
      selection" (LII, p. 312), "The European races" are thought, "as
      intermediate between the extreme primary types of the Asiatic and
      the negro races respectively" (LII, p. 306).--But the Chinese are
      long-heads.--Sharply opposed to Ripley's and commanding wider
      scientific assent, is the view of Lapouge, set forth in

On the other hand, if the bright-haired children of the snow and foam
be really sprung from such sable prognathous ancestors, then their
divergence from the ancestral type most certainly began untold
millenniums ago, and the present organic departure from that type is
measured, as it were, by the measureless chasm of years that divides
them from their African forebears. Now, if nature and the tide of time
have spent such centuries of centuries in chiseling out this chasm, how
infinitely preposterous to suppose that man can close it up in a
generation with the filmy webs of common culture and social equality
and civil rights and partisan legislation and caricatured religion and
the political spoils of the country post-office! As well expect to rise
from the floor to the roof without ever traversing the intervening



    _Who aught adjudges ere both sides are heard,
    Just though his judgement, is himself unjust._


By far the ablest plea yet made for the "backward races" is to be found
in the address of Dr. Franz Boas on Human Faculty as Determined by
Race, published (at least, printed) in the Proceedings of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, 1894. This distinguished
anthropologist, now of Columbia University, New York City, speaks from
the pinnacles of science, and his words must not go unregarded. We
shall notice every salient point in his twenty-six pages, and shall
quote him verbatim as far as possible. Such a formal defence seems to
call for an equally formal rejoinder.

He objects to the argument from the superiority of the White
civilization to the superiority of the White race as involving two
errors: (_a_) "the achievement and the aptitude for an achievement have
been confounded", (_b_) "every deviation from the white type is
considered a characteristic feature of a lower type" (p. 302). It is
declared that "these two errors underlie our judgments of races;" but
why and whether they are really errors, or in what measure, here at
least no attempt is made to show. This will not do. Such plausible
assumptions are neither disproved nor discredited by merely labeling
them "errors." However, there follows: "It might be objected that
although achievement is not necessarily a measure of aptitude, it seems
admissible to judge the one by the other" (pp. 302-3). But why
"objected"? Has any reason been opposed against which one could
"object"? None whatever. We do object very seriously to the implication
that already there has been advanced some argument. The word "objected"
should be changed to "argued."

Hear now the answer to this "objection." "It seems desirable to enter
into these questions somewhat fully. Let our mind go back a few
thousand years until it reaches the time when the civilizations of
eastern and of western Asia were in their infancy. As time passed on,
these civilizations were transferred from one people to another, some
of those who had represented the highest type of culture sinking back
into obscurity, while others took their places. During the dawn of
history, we see civilization clinging to certain districts, in which it
is taken up now by one people, now by the other. In the numerous
conflicts of these times the more civilized people were often
vanquished. The conqueror, however, learned the arts of life from the
conquered and carried on the work of civilization. Thus the centres of
civilization were shifting to and fro over a limited area and progress
was slow and often interrupted. At the same period the ancestors of the
races, who are now among the most highly civilized, were in no [?] way
superior to primitive man as we find him now in regions that have not
come into contact with modern civilization.

Was the culture attained by the ancient civilized people of such
character as to allow us to claim for them a genius superior to that of
any other race?"

Such is not the question; it is not about "any other race," but about
the present backward races--African especially and Australian. It
should have been said, "Was Greek civilization such as to indicate that
the Athenian was superior to the Senegambian or the Hottentot?" Will
any one hesitate for an answer?

"First of all, we must bear in mind that none of these civilizations
was the product of the genius of a single people."

Here the cards are conveniently shuffled and the terms changed from
"race" to "people." The question, however, is not about "peoples"
proper, but about "races." While notable differences hold among
"peoples" of the same "race," yet the one race it is, the Caucasian,
that is held to be superior. This one race has produced all the
civilizations in question; the Mongol comes next, at a far remove. And
of Caucasians, the Aryan shines like the moon amid the stars.

"Ideas and inventions were carried from one to the other; and, although
intercommunication was slow, each people which participated in the
ancient civilization added to the culture of the others. Proofs without
number have been forth-coming which show that ideas have been
disseminated as long as people have come into contact with each other
and that neither race nor language nor distance limits their diffusion.
As all have worked together in the development of the ancient
civilizations, we must bow to the genius of all, whatever race they may
represent: Hamitic, Semitic, Aryan or Mongol."

But to all in equal measure? Or to some in far higher measure? That is
the question. We must not think of the Senate, where all states vote
alike; but of the House of Representatives, where "Little Rhody"
vanishes by the side of New York or Texas. Even if all races did
contribute to the sum total, which is far from true, there is an
immense difference between contributions that may vary from a penny to
a pound. The English language "bows to the genius" of all, from the
Teuton to the Mongol; but the former element is vital, the latter is

We have quoted these paragraphs in full and for several reasons: We
would represent our opponent as correctly as possible; they are a fair
sample of his argumentation; and, especially, as argument they are to
us incomprehensible--hence we would not attempt to condense them.
Possibly our readers may understand them better. So far as we can make
out, the savant has deceived himself by conjuring with the words
"people" and "race." The question was, whether the Caucasian, "the
white race," the great civilization-building race, in any or in all of
its "peoples," is superior to the "races" African, Australian, and the
like, that have produced no civilizations? If not, "why, then, did the
white race alone develop a civilization which is sweeping the whole
world, etc.?" To this, his own question, these paragraphs contain no
element of answer, much less answer itself. They seem to forget all
about "races," and turn aside to slightly varying "peoples" of the same
"white race." They ask (in effect): Does the civilization of the Greek
indicate that he was superior to the West African? And they reply (in
effect) that the Hellenic culture was very composite--part Doric, part
Æolic, part Ionian, with a sprinkling from the Nile and the Euphrates.
Surely this is not argument; it is hardly the simulacrum of argument.
Such a mingling of bloods of varying virtues and tendencies is now
actually going on in our midst; but they are all of the same "white
race," neither physiologically nor psychologically very far apart; and
such a mingling may very well make for higher evolution. When it is
affirmed that our "ancestors" "were in no way superior to Hottentots
and Guinea Negroes" (the long phrase is a mere euphemism) "at the same
period," "during the dawn of history," we protest earnestly. The
affirmation assumes everything in dispute. The evidence is all against
it. Their language, their mythology, the fact that they were of the
White race which "did alone develop a civilization," the fact that they
took fire immediately when touched by the torch of culture, their
bodies and particularly their skulls--all cry aloud against this
complacent assumption. More than a "few thousand years" ago the
Sumerians had observed the precession of the equinoxes; at "the dawn of
history" in Germany, Augustus cried vainly to Varus, "Give me back my
legions." Arminius in no way superior to a Sudanese! The Babylonian
legislators and astronomers "in no way superior" to the cannibals of
the Niger!

"Did no other races develop a culture of equal value?" (p. 304). He
shrinks from a positive yea or nay, but holds "that the civilizations
of ancient Peru and of Central America may well be compared with the
ancient civilization of the Old World," "that the general status of
their culture was nearly equally high." Herewith this great savant
seems to place himself beyond the pale of argument. Does any one
believe that Greek or Roman civilization would have gone down without a
blow at the mere breath of Pizarro or Cortés? And where are the
Peruvian or Aztec Homer and Thales, Apelles and Euclid, Cicero, Vergil,
and Trajan? On this there is no need to dwell longer.

"What then is the difference between the civilization of the Old World
and that of the New World? It is only a difference in time. The one
reached a certain stage three thousand or four thousand years sooner
than the other" (p. 304).

This is mere assertion. There is not the shadow of evidence that the
Peruvian or Mexican would ever have approached the Greco-Roman
civilization, either in four thousand or in forty thousand years. What
has been done in the last four hundred years, under the stimulus of
Spanish contact? We cannot have the slightest interest, logical,
sentimental, or other, in depreciating or in anywise underrating the
New World civilizations. For how could it possibly affect the question
of Caucasian and Negro, even if it were found that the bud of Cuzco and
Anahuac was fairer than the flower of Rome or Athens? And why might it
not have been? We are very far from regarding either Aristides or
Marcus Aurelius as perfect. It is only as a mere matter of fact that we
call the American superiority or equality so seriously in question.
Admire as you will, appraise as high as you will, the art and the
astronomy of Tezcuco, the social organization, the agriculture, and the
engineering of the _amautas_, it seems impossible even for the
enthusiasm of a Carli, combined with the race pride of an Ixtlilxochitl
and a Garcilaso, to discover in the culture of the Yncas or of the
Aztecs or even of the Toltecs any principle or augury of progress. To
us it is difficult in the extreme to detect any hope of higher
development where despotism was absolute, where free agency was
outlawed, and where the object of war was to procure human sacrifices.
We hold that by every token these civilizations had culminated, that
they were already as elaborated and petrified as the Chinese, and that
the centuries to come would have witnessed no marked advance, but
rather a retrogression. It should be added that the physical
inferiority of these peoples was notable. The Peruvian and Aztec
stature ranged from five feet to five and one-half feet. Now this is
very close to the border line of the Dwarfs--who, according to Sir
William Flower, include such races as do not exceed five feet three
inches. The Ynca skull is better than others of South America, yet it
has but a low facial angle.

Dr. Boas thinks four thousand years but a trifle in the history of a
race--but a watch in the night. Perhaps it is. He thinks the mere fact
that a race is forty centuries behind does not argue that it is less
gifted. May be not. We have often wondered whether the bee might not
yet overtake the man. Theoretically all forms of life are still in the
race, which cannot end while the planet is habitable. Practically,
however, four thousand years is eternity. A race that is more than a
hundred generations behind is not worth considering. The reflections in
the paragraph under consideration all strike wide of the mark.

It is next urged (p. 304) "that civilization originated among few of
its [the White race's] members," and "that the cognate tribes" might
not have developed so swiftly but for help from the others. True, the
Germans (_e.g._) profited greatly from contact with Greco-Romans,
but for whom they might now be savages. But they profited because they
were of the same stock; they were of nature to profit. The Greek
applied the torch, but the German material was inflammable; else it
would never have burned. When the same torch has been applied to other
materials, they have not caught fire.

The next paragraph (p. 305) itself raises these questions: "But why did
these tribes so easily assimilate the culture that was offered them,
while at present we see primitive people dwindle away and become
degraded before the approach of civilization, instead of being elevated
by it? Is not this a proof of a higher organization of the inhabitants
of Europe?" We have just rendered answer simple, natural, satisfactory.
But none such can be accepted! "I believe the reasons for this fact are
not far to seek and do not necessarily lie in a greater ability of the
races of Europe and Asia. First of all, these people were alike in
appearance to civilized man of their times."

What perverse ingenuity! Likeness in _appearance_ was a reason, but
likeness in _reality_--in blood, in brain, in nature, in origin--this
was no reason! Penny wise, pound foolish. Now the fact is that the
likeness in reality was far stronger than in appearance.

"Therefore the fundamental difficulty for the rise of primitive people,
namely, that an individual which has risen to the level of the higher
civilization is still looked upon as belonging to an inferior race, did
not prevail."

Here again there is quietly assumed everything in dispute. We deny
outright that such is "the fundamental difficulty." In a measure it has
no existence at all, annulled by the prevalent doctrine of the equality
of all men. In wide circles these superior "primitives" (_i.e._,
Negroes) are petted and flattered and extraordinarily favoured. No
proof of the assertion in question is so much as hinted.

"Thus it was possible that, in the colonies of ancient times, society
could grow by accretion from among the more primitive people.
Furthermore, the devastating influences of diseases which nowadays
begin to ravage the inhabitants of territories newly opened to the
whites were not so strong on account of the permanent contiguity of the
people of the Old World who were always in contact with each other and
therefore subject to the same influences. The invasion of America and
Polynesia, on the other hand, was accompanied by the introduction of
new diseases among the natives of these countries. The suffering and
devastation wrought by epidemics which followed the discovery are too
well known to be described in full."

True, but most inadequate; for why did not the contact with the new
peoples affect the invaders as well as the invaded with new diseases?
Especially, why did these invaders not yield to the new local or
climatic distempers to which the invaded had long since become
measurably immune? The near-lying fact that the invaders were stronger,
more viable, more resistant to disease, in every way more vigorous--the
very fact that made them invaders--this all-important fact has been
entirely overlooked.

"In addition to this it may be said that the contrast between the
culture represented by the modern white and that of primitive man is
far more fundamental than that between the ancients and the people with
whom they come in contact. Particularly, the methods of manufacture
have developed so enormously that the industries of the primitive
peoples of our times are exterminated by the cheapness and large
quantity of the products imported by the white trader; because
primitive man is unable to compete with the power of production of the
machines of the whites, while in olden times the superior hand product
rivalled with a hand product of a lower type."

To what uses may not the doctrine of Protection be turned! For a
generation we were taught that it was necessary to protect by a high
tariff the machine products of the United States against the
competition of the hand products of the Old World; now we are told that
not only has the competition of the machine products "exterminated" the
hand industries, but it has even prevented the "primitive" from
learning the new "methods of manufacture" and so becoming civilized and
saving himself from extermination! The reader may be safely left to
perceive the irrelevance and the emptiness of such "may-be-saids." Let
him further reflect that the great bulk of this extermination, begun in
America nearly four hundred years ago, was accomplished in three
hundred years, before the modern era of machine products. To attribute
the disappearance of the Indian to the overthrow of his industries by
the competition of cheap calicoes and wooden nutmegs sounds more like
jest than earnest. Why, the curiosity of the "invaders" actually
supplied and still supplies a new market for the aboriginal wares.

The next remark, "that in several regions, particularly in America and
in parts of Siberia, the primitive tribes are swamped by the numbers of
the immigrating race," seems hardly worth quoting in full. But from all
of this it is concluded (p. 306) "that the conditions for assimilation
in ancient Europe were much more favorable" than where modern
civilization has overtaken the "primitives," and that therefore there
is no "need to assume that the ancient Europeans were more gifted than
other races" that disappear before modern civilization. The reader must
see that, even if there were granted everything claimed for these
reasons, the question as to the _fact_ of European superiority would
not be touched.

For corroboration, appeal is made (p. 306) to the Arabs and the
Sudanese. In the second half of the eighth century, the Sudan was
invaded by "Hamitic tribes" and "Mohammedanism." "Large empires" came
and went "in struggles with neighboring states," and "a relatively high
degree of culture has been attained." The invaders intermarried with
the natives, and the mixed races, some of which are almost purely
negro, have risen high above the level of other African negroes." We
submit that such "corroboration" is little stronger than weakness
itself. "Relatively high culture" is too vague a term to argue with,
and a thousand years of such history "of north Africa" is not worth a
brief generation of European history. If the infusion of "Hamitic"
blood and civilization has appreciably helped the Sudanese, we are not
surprised; but who will infer from that fact that these infusers are
_not_ superior?

"Why, then, have the Mohammedans been able to civilize these tribes and
to raise them to nearly the same standard which they had attained,
while the whites have not been capable of influencing the negro in
Africa to any considerable extent?" Mark you, the word "nearly"--a
bridge broad enough to span the straits of Gibraltar, the chasm between
Bagdad or Granada and Dahomey, between Averroës and the Mad Mullah.
Some would, perhaps, hold that in the United States the Negro has
attained "nearly" to the Caucasian level. But since it was at best only
"nearly" and not quite, it follows that the mixture of Hamite and Negro
did, after all, work a debasement of the former. And how was this
possible, if the latter was not inferior?

"Evidently, on account of the different method of introduction of
culture. While the Mohammedans influence the people in the same manner
in which the ancients civilized the tribes of Europe, the whites send
only the products of their manufactures and a few of their
representatives into the negro country. A real amalgamation between the
higher types of the whites and the negroes has never taken place. The
amalgamation of the negroes by the Mohammedans is facilitated
particularly by the institution of polygamy, the conquerors taking
native wives and raising their children as members of their own

Such is the programme for "influencing" the Negro! Such is the way to
introduce "culture," whereby, in a thousand years, the "mixed race" may
"nearly" attain the present Caucasian standard! That is, the only
successful "method of introduction of culture" is to introduce blood,
to introduce a new stock, a new germinal principle. Then comes a race
of mongrels, of average mental powers higher than the lower breed, with
exceptions little lower than the higher. Since the _forms_ of
civilization are easily imposed on inferior breeds, the resulting
mongrels do what one may be pleased to call "nearly attaining" to the
standard of the higher. Bear witness the West Indies, and Mexico, and
Central and South America. What interest has any one in contesting such
statements? To our mind they give away the case entirely; out of their
own mouths such speakers are unappealably condemned. Bornu[23] and
Haiti may have attractions for some; but for us, none whatever.

      [23] The semi-civilization of this "empire," which never gave any
      promise of history, culminated centuries ago; in more recent
      years its descent has been rapid. Concerning Haiti, see _supra_,
      p. 57. In a recent number of _The Ethical Record_, Dr. B. returns
      with ardour to this subject, repeating his earlier statements,
      without, however, any significant additions.

"When, finally, we consider the inferior position held by the negro
race of the United States, who are in the closest contact with modern
civilization, we must not forget that the old race-feeling of the
inferiority of the colored race is as potent as ever and is a
formidable obstacle to its advance and progress, notwithstanding that
schools and universities are open to them. We might rather wonder how
much has been accomplished in a short period against heavy odds. It is
hardly possible to say what would become of the negro if he were able
to live with the whites on absolutely equal terms" (p. 307).

Such is the pathetic plea for the ABSOLUTE EQUALITY in our American
life of Black and White. We do not deny that there is a certain force
in such words. To us the Negro seems handicapped with an undeniable
inferiority, which, particularly in the commercial world, accumulates
rapidly against him, as it were, at compound interest. And this is the
seventh seal of his doom. But in science, in literature, in art, he
receives all encouragement; his work is at an absurd premium. Take one
illustration, _instar omnium_. In the advertisement of "Volumes by Paul
Lawrence Dunbar," in "The Uncalled," his own publishers speak thus: "A
poet who starts out by being handicapped by excessive praise suffers
from it for a long time.... Just because he [Dunbar] happened to be a
Negro, a vast amount of adulation was heaped upon him." Precisely the
opposite of the picture drawn above! Compare, also, the history of the
Negroes of Chatham, Ontario, and of other such early colonies. That
they no longer meet with such extraordinary favour in the North is
largely due to the fact that they have uniformly, when in numbers,
sadly disappointed the hopes of their benefactors and well-wishers. It
seems plain, moreover, that a really strong and highly endowed blood
would triumph with equal ease over excessive favour and over unjust
disfavour. Would any such discrimination keep down the Anglo-Saxon?
Would he not "make by force his merit known"? And have twenty centuries
of race prejudice and outrageous persecution availed to repress or
depress the all-victorious sons of Israel? The generous explanation
just offered must be rejected as utterly inadequate.

Hence it is concluded (p. 307) that "no great weight can be attributed
to the earlier rise of civilization in the Old World which is
satisfactorily explained as a chance. In short, historical events
appear to have been much more potent in leading races to civilization
than their faculty, and it follows that achievements of races do not
warrant us to assume that one race is more highly gifted than the

We submit that there has not been offered, for these conclusions, any
semblance of proof whatever. Let our readers judge;--we have quoted
very fully. Notice, moreover, the phrase "earlier rise of civilization
in the Old World." But who knows that it rose earlier in the Old World?
Or who cares? Who argues therefrom? The point is, that it rose higher,
immeasurably higher, in the Old World; but this, the kernel, is not
mentioned. All this was mere "chance"! Yes, perhaps; in the same sense
that the higher rise of the Himalayas than of the Andes was mere
"chance"; that the richer fauna and flora of the Old World were mere
"chance"; that the greater energy and stature and cranial capacity of
the Aryan were mere "chance"; in the same sense that everything in
Euclidean space is a mere "chance". In order to justify any assertion,
it will suffice to enlarge sufficiently the meaning of your terms. But
we do not think that the cause of truth is prospered by such methods.

Some one may ask, however, is there not some grain of correctness in
this contention that capacity cannot always be measured by achievement?
We grant it cheerfully, and we applaud our opponent and his school for
calling this connection in question, and bidding the current assumption
answer for itself. We, too, would "test all things," but we would also
"hold fast the good." The savant has been unscientific in his
procedure; he has gone too far; he has thrown out the baby with the
bath. He has neglected the central principles of the doctrine of
probability. If there be two members of two families, and one succeeds
greatly in life, along this path and that, while the other fails here,
there, everywhere, we are strongly tempted to ascribe higher faculty to
the one than to the other. Yet we may very well be wrong. The latter
might put up a plausible defence. He might reason as this school has
done. He might say that the game was called too soon, that various
circumstances continually favoured his rival, that in a perfectly fair
field he would have shown himself at least equal. All, then, that we
could say would be, that the Inverse Probability was somewhat against
him. His failure is a fact: it may have been due to lower faculty, it
may have been due to something else; but it stands against him, and it
raises a certain probability of inferiority. No such failure stands
against the other. No such probability of inferior faculty is
suggested, though it remains barely possible that he was really

But now, suppose there are a million or a trillion in each of the two
families; and of these the one trillion attain varying but splendid
success along every line of endeavour, while the other trillion fail,
more or less completely, along the same lines. What, then, shall we
say? What, then, must we say? Unhesitatingly, that there must have been
a very decided difference of average faculty. While we might admit the
measurable possibility that chance and time and circumstance played a
conspicuous and even a determining part in the fortunes of the one
pair, yet we could by no means admit the like for any great number of
pairs; and when the number of pairs becomes enormously great, the
possibility in question becomes vanishingly small--too small to be
dealt with in any system of our thought. Here is the given effect:
success of the one class, failure of the other. What the cause? Is it
mainly, at least, an (average) uniform difference of faculty? This
cause is simple and intelligible and self-repeating; if it worked in
one case, it would work in all cases and explain everything as easily
as any one thing. But the other cause, the conspiracy of chance and
time and circumstance, is not self-repeating, and however great the
likelihood of a single such chance combination, the likelihood of
innumerable such repetitions is inexpressibly small--on the same
principle that the chance of throwing heads once is one-half, but the
chance of throwing them consecutively twice is only one-fourth, and
thrice is only one-eighth, and so on. We need not parade here the
mathematical formulæ for the reckoning of the so-called inverse
probability of each of these two hypotheses. Common sense tells us at
once that the difference of faculty is practically certain, the
chance-effect or coincidence-effect is practically impossible.

Now, such is the case really presented. On the one side, the
generations of generations of Caucasians; all have distinguished
themselves by high and varied achievements along every line of activity
yet opened up to man. On the other hand, the primitives--the backward
races of Australia, particularly of Africa; they seem scarcely yet
quite conscious. Not one has done anything historical. The failure is
complete and universal. That this uniform and immense diversity is a
mere accident, the age-long result of a fortuitous concourse of
circumstances, or ascriptible to any such trivialities as those
enumerated, is almost incalculably improbable, except we expand the
term accident to include the laws of gravitation and the conservation
of energy. We might as well say that the different behaviours of two
bodies of oxygen and hydrogen were to be "explained as a chance," and
did not argue any greater mass in the average molecule of the former.

This conclusion would hold, even if the higher faculty of the Caucasian
were antecedently extremely improbable; the _a priori_ unlikelihood
would become _a posteriori_, in view of the facts of history, a
practical certainty. However, the case is immeasurably stronger. For a
difference in faculty, not merely in kind, but also in degree of
faculty, is not only not improbable _a priori_--it is probable almost
to certainty. All nature around us is one endless spectacle of such
diversities. Equality is absolutely unknown. This observation is
altogether too trite to dwell on. Will any one deny that the degrees of
faculty are often inexpressibly apart in members of the same family?
Did any amount of opportunity serve to raise any other member of the
Bonaparte family quite to the level of the first Napoleon? If, then,
such inherent disparities in individuals be undeniable, is parity among
tribes or races to be expected? Is it not, in fact, antecedently
incredible? To us it seems no more unlikely that one race should be
superior to another than that one man should be taller, or one mountain
range higher, or one ocean deeper, than another. The question of
equality or inequality between two races of men is a mere question of
present facts, to be settled without any bias, now and here, precisely
as you would settle the like question between the Numidian lion and the
Colorado cougar. And when some one pleads for the backward "primitives"
that they need only a little more time, a few millenniums, we answer
once more: Very possibly; but time may be all that the jaguar needs to
surpass the tiger, or the ant to rival the eagle.

So much, then, for the historical argument. As already brought forward
in our Chapter Two, it is shaken by the scruples presented even as an
oak is shaken by a zephyr.

Let us now pass to the anatomical argument (p. 308). "There is no doubt
that great differences exist in the physical characteristics of the
races of man." But these cannot, of themselves, decide the question of
superiority. While skin, hair, lips, and nose "distinguish the African
negro clearly," yet Americans (aboriginal) have occasionally skin,
lips, nose, but not hair, mistakable "for those of a negro." In
general, variations in any race over-lap variations in another, showing
that "existing differences are not fundamental" (whatever that may
mean). It is held that the varying proportions of the body may be
rather cultural than racial, like the differences between wild and
domesticated animals (Fritsch). "The differences which cannot be
explained by functional causes are few in number and they are not of
such a character as to stamp one race as lower than the other."
Conceded. But notice here the logical process. Whatever _can_ be
explained functionally "must" be explained functionally; a functional
cause that is _possible_ is held to be _ipso facto_ certain; racial
causes are antecedently so extremely improbable as to be admissible
only under extreme compulsion. Now this is altogether vicious. The case
is just the reverse. It is the functional causes that are pressed into
service, that remain mere possibilities. Even at the utmost they refuse
to explain all the differences. Some "few" are admitted to be racial.
But, as some are certainly racial, then all or at least most may be
racial, the invocation of supposed functional causes becomes
unnecessary, and the cultural explanation improbable. We may apply the
razor of Occam: _Entia non multiplicanda sunt præter necessitatem._

We pass now to theromorphisms among the lower races (p. 310). For
example, in man the temporal and frontal bones are separated by the
sphenoid and parietal, but in the ape the temporal encroaches on the
second pair and meets the frontal. This simian formation is found
occasionally among all races, but "more frequently among primitive
people." However, it is thought "probably" due to "malnutrition in
early infancy," and to be no indication of closer kinship to the ape.

There follow (p. 310) some half dozen other variations, long thought to
be characteristic, that "occur all over the world,"--"but the degree of
variability is not everywhere the same." "Presumably such variations"
"have not yet" "become stable," but are "still in process of
evolution." "It might seem," then, that the races in which they "are
more stable" are "more highly organized." It is said that "this would
refer, however, only to such features as are not caused by the
influence of environment." Moreover, "it may be that the greater
variability of certain races, in regard to these phenomena, is not an
expression of a lower degree of development of the whole group, but of
the presence of a great number of members of a family which possessed
the peculiar character".

It is needless to contest or criticise such ingenious maybes. It is
enough to note, once again, the logic. It is not denied that _prima
facie_ all these phenomena suggest and indicate lower development;
it is merely sought to avert the indication by devising an hypothesis
to account for each fact some other way. In place of the one
supposition of lower development, there is put a whole series of
independent suppositions. In order to avail for the purpose, all of
these must hit true at the same time; if each were as likely as not,
having a probability of one-half, the chance that five such shall hit
true simultaneously is only the fifth power of one-half--that is, one
thirty-second. This rapid diminution of the chance of all being correct
is wholly overlooked in such argumentation.

Regard is now turned (p. 311) upon the cranial features: "While the
consideration of the characters treated heretofore has not given any
conclusive evidence of the superiority of certain races, the study of
the form and size of the head seems to promise better results."

Note here the word "conclusive"; clearly, it is admitted that these
characters furnish some evidence of the "superiority" claimed, but
denied that it is "conclusive." But who ever held that such evidence
was "conclusive"? There is no single variety of evidence in the case
that is or can be "conclusive." The evidence is cumulative its
conclusiveness is found in its mass, in the concurrence of all its
disconnected indications. This is the decisive aspect of the whole
matter, and of this there is betrayed no consciousness.

Relatively "to the skull, the face of the negro is larger than that of
the American, whose face is, in turn, larger than that of the white.
The lower portion of the face assumes larger dimensions. The alveolar
arch is pushed forward and thus gains an appearance which reminds us of
the higher apes. There is no denying that this feature is a most
constant character of the black races and that it represents a type
slightly nearer the animal than the European type. The same may be said
of the broadness and flatness of the nose of the negro and of the
Mongol; but here again we must call to mind that prognathism and low,
broad noses are not entirely absent among the white races [neither are
idiots and all sorts of reversions to older types], although the more
strongly developed forms which are found among the negroes do not
occur. The variations belonging to both races overlap. We find here at
least a few indications which tend to show that the white race differs
more from the higher apes than [does] the negro. But does this
anatomical difference prove that their mental capacity is lower than
that of the white? The probability that this may be the case is
suggested by the anatomical facts, but they by themselves are no proof
that this is the case."

True; but they are not "by themselves." They are in goodly company with
a long series of facts already mentioned, with a still longer series
immediately to come, and with a wholly overwhelming confirmative
history of ten thousand years. It is idle, then, to say "they by
themselves are no proof." The question is, Are they, in their own
anatomical and historical connection, any proof? It is impossible not
to answer, Yes. They are the very strongest proof.

Promising "to revert to this subject later on," the savant passes over
(p. 312) to the important matter of arrested development. Among such
phenomena may be noted that the noses of children are more alike than
those of adults. The Mongol nose changes less during adolescence than
the White. According to Quatrefages, the Negro basin differs less from
foetal forms and resembles more the ape form than that of other races.
All of which points to relative lowness of developmental type. "On the
other hand, the face of the negro child is less prognathous than that
of the adult. In this case we find that the more energetic development
tends to produce a type which is apparently lower than that of the
white. We may even go a step farther and say that the ontogenetic
development of the higher apes and of man is such that the young forms
are more alike than the old ones. While in man the face develops
moderately only, it grows considerably among the apes. The earlier
arrest in this case is, therefore, an indication of higher type. Thus
it will be seen that it is not the earlier arrest alone which
determines the place of a race, but the direction of this development."
Hence he refuses to draw a conclusion against the Mongol, but says
nothing more of the Negro. The argument of Dr. Boas, at this point,
seems strangely vague and irresolute. It seems hardly possible to join
direct issue. But this fact appears noteworthy: The ape face grows more
than the human; also the Negro face grows decidedly more than the
White--at least relatively to the head, since the adult is more
prognathous than the child; this "more energetic development" relates,
then, the Negro to the ape more nearly than the White man.

The general reply that is made (p. 313) to the argument from arrested
development is that the female sex is in all proportions more like the
child than the male, "but who would explain this earlier arrest of
development of women as mark of a lower type?" We let this go for what
it is worth, merely remarking that it is thoroughly invalidated by the
remark on page 315 (quoted at p. 144).

With page 313 we pass to the question of the length of time during
which certain organs grow, especially the brain. "If we could prove
that the brain of certain races ceases to develop at an earlier period
than that of others, the inference of the inferiority of race would
seem highly probable." Now, this is precisely what many naturalists of
the first rank affirm is the case with the Negro. But it is here
declared, "At the present time no satisfactory basis for such
comparisons exists." Possibly;--we recognize the difficulties of the
case: still, the returns thus far received, so far as they indicate
anything at all, do indicate a much shorter period of development for
the Negro (see p. 147).

The next question (p. 314) is the crucial one of brain-weights--"the
one anatomical feature which bears directly upon the question at issue.
It would seem that the greater the central nervous system, the higher
the faculty of the race and the greater its aptitude to mental
achievements.... There are sufficient data available to establish
beyond a doubt the fact that the brain-weight of the whites is larger
than of most other races, particularly larger than that of the negroes.
That of the white male is about 1370 grammes. The investigations of
cranial capacities are quite in accord with these results. According to
Topinard, the capacity of the skull of males of the neolithic period of
Europe is about 1560 cc.; that of modern Europeans is the same; of the
Mongoloid race 1510 cc.; of African negroes 1405 cc., and of negroes of
the Pacific ocean 1460 cc. Here we have, therefore, a decided
difference in favor of the white race. These differences cannot be
explained as the effect of difference in stature, the negroes being at
least as tall as the Europeans."

"In interpreting these facts, we must ask, Does the increase in the
size of the brain prove an increase in faculty? This would seem highly
probable and facts may be adduced which speak in favor of this
assumption." A number of these, familiar enough, are mentioned, and
there follows: "While the force of these arguments must be admitted, a
number of restricting facts must be enumerated. The most important
among these is the difference in the brain-weight between men and
women. When men and women of the same stature are compared it is found
that the brain of the woman is much lighter than that of the man.
Nevertheless, the faculty of woman is undoubtedly just as high as that
of man. This is therefore a case in which smaller brain-weight is
accompanied throughout by equal faculty. We conclude from this fact
that it is not impossible that the smaller brains of males of other
races should not (_sic_) do the same work that is done by the larger
brain of the white race. But this comparison is not quite on equal
terms, as we may assume that there is a certain structural difference
between male and female which causes the difference in size between the
sexes, so that comparison between male and female is not the same as a
comparison between male and male. We will also remember that, although
the brains of eminent men are, on the average, larger than those of the
average individual, there are some small brains included in their
number." We observe that, the sentence "But this comparison ..." (p.
315) so restricts the foregoing "most important restriction" as to
deprive it of all the force it might otherwise have with some. As to
eminent men having small brains, to be sure; but eminent men may have
small minds also; very extraordinary special endowment does not by any
means imply general endowment; not every genius is a good "all-around"
man; even as physically some are strong in arm but weak in legs, strong
in the chest but weak in the back, and so on. Besides, no one has ever
held that mind-power is merely a matter of brain-weight. We hold only
that, other things being equal, brain-weight is a fair index of
mind-power. Perhaps in no two cases are the other things equal; but in
the average of a large number of cases these inequalities are smoothed
out; hence it is that we may rely upon the average with no little

"Notwithstanding these restrictions, the increase of the size of the
brain in the higher animals, and the lack of development in
microcephalic individuals are fundamental facts which make it more than
probable that increased size of the brain causes increased faculty,
although the relation is not quite as immediate as is often assumed."

We ask no greater concession.

It is next contended (p. 316) "that the average sizes of the brain of
the White are numerously represented among other races". Middle-sized
capacities (1450 to 1650 cc.) are found in 55 per cent. of Europeans,
and in 58 per cent. of Africans and Melanesians; also 50 per cent. of
Whites rise above 1550 (the mid-line), 27 per cent. of Africans, 32 per
cent. of Melanesians. "We might, therefore, anticipate a lack of men of
high genius, but should not anticipate any great lack of faculty among
the great mass of negroes living among whites and enjoying the
advantages of the leadership of the best men of that race."

These words seem to surrender everything. They admit a sensible
inferiority of the Negro. This defect may be slight as expressed in
ounces, and yet, as measured by achievement, it may be inexpressibly
great. Nay, more! The admission goes much further still. The
"anticipation" of no "great lack of faculty" is wholly unwarranted. We
have no right to assume that medium skull-capacities among Africans
imply the same medium faculties as would the same capacities among
Europeans. By no means! Not unless the average brain-texture of the
former be as fine-grained and highly organized as of the latter. But
this is very improbable. With the difference in quantity will most
likely be linked a far more significant difference in quality. So much
is, in fact, admitted in the next paragraph, which merits special
attention. This, however, is hardly the correct standpoint, as mental
ability certainly does not depend upon the size of the brain alone. The
proper point of view of the question is brought out most clearly by Dr.
H. H. Donaldson whose opinion I will quote. He says, "I consider the
significance of the encephalon to depend upon the number and size of
the cells composing it. In the negroes and lower races generally, the
number of cells is probably less than in the white. This is mainly an
inference from the total weight of the encephalon. Equally important
are the final stages in the enlargement of the structural elements,
stages which apparently have the result of bringing a larger number of
elements into physiological connections by means of a very slight
quantitative extension of their branches. Changes, which moreover can
be followed, say in the cortex of the brain of the white in individuals
thirty or more years of age (_sic_). When we compare the capacity
for education between the lower and higher races, we find that the
great point of divergence is at adolescence and the inference is fairly
good that we shall not find in the brains of the lower races the
post-pubertal growth in the cortex to which I have just alluded. As to
the sculpturing of the brain surface by gyri and sulci we still lack
any good racial characters."

We have no occasion to take the slightest exception to this statement
of Professor Donaldson's. But we are at a loss to perceive any support
it gives to the general contention of this address, which, indeed, it
seems to overturn completely. Observe especially that Donaldson
recognizes unequivocally "the great point of divergence at adolescence"
"in the capacity for education, between the lower and higher races." We
may be allowed to add some later remarks of the Chicago authority,
culled from his "The Growth of the Brain" (1895), which also fully
sustain, incidentally, the theses of our earlier chapters.

"Statistically the results are satisfactory" (p. 114), being said of a
table showing the inferior brain-weights of inferior races, indicates
that Professor Donaldson recognizes that inferiority unreservedly.

"On neurological grounds, therefore, nurture is to be considered of
much less importance than nature, and in that sense the capacities we
most admire in persons worthy of remark are certainly inborn rather
than made" (p. 344).

"Size, therefore, has a meaning; but it is by no means entitled to
dominate the whole interpretation of the central system" (p. 352).

"No amount of education will cause enlargement or organization where
the rough materials, the cells, are wanting; and, on the other hand,
where these materials are present, they will in some degree become
evident, whether purposely educated or not" (p. 355).

"Races which have progressed farthest in civilization are also those
which possess a large brain-weight; but the converse of this
proposition is by no means true, for the tables also show that there
are races possessed of a large brain-weight and yet uncivilized" (p.

Having now reviewed all pertinent anatomical differences, Dr. Boas
declares (p. 317): "Our conclusion is, that there are differences
between the physical characters of races which make it probable that
there may be differences in faculty. No unquestionable fact, however,
has been found yet which would prove beyond a doubt that it will be
impossible for certain races to attain a higher civilization."

This conclusion is drawn so mildly that it seems hard to quarrel with
it. But we must observe that it is not exactly a question of "higher
civilization," but of the highest, as high as the Caucasian has
attained or can attain: no one doubts that the Guinea Negro may be
improved--he has been improved right here in the United States; the
question is, can he keep pace with the White man? and everything thus
far suggests, and almost compels, the answer, No! Again, it is not
precisely a question of "impossibility" but of "improbability." All
things are possible with God and even to the thought of man; but for
the practical reason, the improbability here admitted is controlling.
Once more, it is not by any means a matter of one "unquestionable
fact;" such a single decisive indicium is nowhere easy to find and can
seldom be demanded; it is the consensus of all the indications that is
practically conclusive, and it is this consensus that has been so
unfortunately disregarded.

The remaining ten pages of this address are devoted to "the
psychological characteristics of primitive people." "This investigation
is extremely difficult and unpromising"; nor do we think there can be
much profit in following it up closely, since hardly anywhere is the
ground traversed solid beneath the feet. The method employed is a
continuation of that with which we are already familiar. One by one are
taken up the counts of the indictment brought against the primitive
mind by ethnologists, such as Wuttke, Klemm, Eichthal, De Gobineau,
Nott and Gliddon. Thus, Wuttke and Klemm characterize the civilized
races as active, all others as passive, and refer even American
civilization to contact with some earlier form. Eichthal thinks of
society as an organism, the White race representing the male, the Black
the female, principle. De Gobineau designates the Yellow as the male,
the Black as the female element, and admits only the White as noble and
gifted. Nott and Gliddon ascribe only animal instincts to the lower
races, but the civilizing instinct to the White only. All such
schematism seems to us highly unscientific and is justly rejected.
Tylor and Spencer analyze the primitive mind ingeniously, but do not
assume that it is racially determined, though something of the kind
seems implied in evolution. Waitz alone meets with sanction in
declaring: "According to the current opinion the stage of culture of a
people or of an individual is largely or exclusively a product of his
faculty. We maintain that the reverse is at least just as true. The
faculty of man does not designate anything but how much and what he is
able to achieve in the immediate future and depends upon the stages of
culture through which he has passed and the one he has reached." This
is declared to be "the true point of view" and to be "expressed most
happily." To us it seems far out of focus and expressed about as
emptily and unhappily as possible. Certainly it is not the clearest
thinking that regards a proposition and its "reverse" as "at least just
as true." Remembering that _faculty_ is related to _facio_, we accept
the statement as to what it "designates;" but to say that it "depends
upon the stages of culture through which he has passed and the one he
has reached," is like saying that a youth's mathematical faculty
depends upon the fact that he "has passed through" the Freshman,
Sophomore, and Junior "stages of culture" and "has reached" the Senior.
He may do this with the genius of Gauss, or he may do it in a
perfunctory manner, without the ability to grasp and master such
elementary notions as derivative and integral. If Waitz should now
reply that such a youth has not really "passed through these stages,"
then we answer that he thereby assigns a new meaning to the phrase and
evacuates his words of all definite import. In common parlance, the
mathematical faculty of Gauss, his power to do in the immediate future,
was amazing in his childhood, before he reached any notable "stages of
culture" in mathematics. Still more striking is the case of Pascal. We
do not deny that there may be some occult sense in which Waitz's words
are true; but it is scarcely worth guessing at and, when divined, it
will hardly add much to the clear deliverances of Bischoff, Donaldson,
and others.[24]

      [24] See _supra_ pp. 92-96.

The address before us now examines (p. 319) some of the "mental
qualities" held to be "racial characteristics" of the "primitives," and
rejects them one by one as "not proven." Such are "impulsiveness,"
"inability of concentration," "lack of originality." In our judgement,
the most important of all instincts of civilization is the speculative,
the pure-scientific, the impulse to know simply for the sake of
knowing--most splendidly present in the Greek and the Teuton. It seems
hard to believe, and certainly there is not a scintilla of evidence,
that any such is a native quality of the Negro or Australian mind. But
in these pages we find no firm basis for contention; the facts are not
yet definitely ascertained. Enough that, if along these lines no case
is made out against the primitive--and we have carefully refrained from
trying to make out any--yet avowedly no case is made out for him; and
the evidence, as far as it goes, is certainly not in his favour.

In conclusion, page 324 raises the important question whether "the
faculty of man has been improved by civilization, and particularly, if
that of primitive races may be improved by this agency." Civilization
and domestication cause analogous anatomical changes, and it is likely
that "mental changes" "go hand in hand with them." But no more.

No "progressive changes of the human organism," "particularly no
advance in the size or complexity of the structure of the central
nervous system caused by the cumulative influences of civilization can
be proved." There are considerable psychic changes consequent on
domestication and civilization; but these are due to environment. Any
changes progressive or transmissible by heredity seem doubtful. None of
this do we contest. On "relapses," we need not pause.

Hear, then, the conclusion of the whole matter (p. 326): "The
anatomical evidence is such, that we may expect to find the races not
equally gifted. While we have no right to consider one more ape-like
than the other, the differences are such that some have probably
greater mental vigour than others. The variations are, however, such
that we may expect many individuals of all races to be equally gifted,
while the number of men and women of higher ability will differ."

This states the case as favourably as possible for the "primitives,"
and, as we think for reasons already assigned (p. 146), far too
favourably. Nevertheless, we accept it precisely as presented; for the
logical purposes of this book, the concession of Negro inferiority here
made is absolutely sufficient.

"We did not find proof of cumulative increase of faculty caused by

Accordingly, the Negro being concededly inferior to the White, there is
no hope of raising him to the White level by education or
civilization--precisely our fundamental contention.

Finally, "the average faculty of the white race is found to the same
degree in a large proportion of individuals of all other races, and
although it is probable that some of these races may not produce as
large a proportion of great men as our own race, there is no reason to
suppose that they are unable to reach the level of civilization
represented by the bulk of our own people" (p. 327).

To us, these closing words read very much like a plea of confession and
avoidance. It is admitted that the Negro is inferior to the Caucasian,
that the summits of genius he will rarely, if ever, reach; but from the
fact that many Negro brains equal many Caucasian brains in weight (p.
146), the same is inferred of "the average faculty." Hereby, as already
pointed out, there is overlooked the all-important qualification that
it is not a mere matter of weight, as well as the highly approved
quotation from Donaldson, as to post-adolescent development (p. 147).
The inference, then, is illegitimate that "they," _i.e._, "the large
proportion" with "the average faculty" (or rather, average
brain-weight) of the Caucasian, may "reach the level of civilization
represented by the bulk of our own people." Moreover, it takes no
account of those not included in this "large proportion," who are not a
few. But the language is too vague to combat. We do not know what
significance, relative or absolute, is attached to the group of great
men, nor what is thought of the civilization of the bulk of our own
people. Perhaps it is held, with D'Annunzio, that the hands of the
peasant are "fit to clean out a stable, but not to raise in a
legislative assembly." In any case, it is enough to remember that even
the admittedly higher Caucasian average is none too high, that it needs
heightening, that it cannot stand the least lowering, and to recall the
lines of Browning already quoted (p. 88). Moreover, this is an age of
intense competition daily intensified. The margin is so small that the
least difference becomes important and even decisive. A very slight
discrimination in freight rates may turn the tides of commerce this way
or that and make or unmake a metropolis. Is it not clear, then, that in
the keen competition of races the conceded inferiority of the Black
must turn the scale against him more and more and doom him finally to
defeat and disappearance beyond the reach of even the longest-armed

While then we greatly admire the testing, probing spirit of Dr. Boas,
and thank him heartily for his broad-minded plea for the "primitives,"
we are unable to find in any of his pages anything but strong
confirmations of the theses of our earlier chapters.



    _And the individual withers,
    And the world is more and more._


The reader may find the foregoing discussion convincing; we think the
unprejudiced reader will almost surely find it so, and yet he may not
find it satisfactory. For he may urge that no solution has been
propounded or foreshadowed for the problem, and that it is by no means
enough merely to know what the problem is--its dangers, its
difficulties, and its terrible threat. This objection is perfectly
just. Up to this moment our sole concern has been to establish
unshakably firm the central position, of the supreme and
all-overshadowing importance of preserving the American-Caucasian blood
pure and untainted and dedicated to the development of the highest
humanity. But this accomplished, we have no disposition to shirk
another task, to avoid another question, however delicate,
disagreeable, or depressing. This question is: What has the future in
store for the Negro? If social equality must be resolutely denied him
forever, if he is to be treated as an outcast and a pariah because of
his race and the weight of inheritance which he can never shake off
from his shoulders, what hope remains? Where are the blessings of
freedom? Is, then, emancipation but an apple of Sodom, turning to ashes
on his lips? These are fearful questions, but we must not quail before
them; we must confront them firmly, calmly, with eyes wide open to all
the facts in the case, and with ears unclosed to all the teachings of

In the light of the foregoing, it is vain to appeal to Education. We
know that many noble and excellent spirits expect wonders from this
potent agency. As an educator ourself, we can have no interest or
motive in unduly distrusting or minimizing its capabilities. The work
that education may accomplish is undoubtedly great; and in spite of
many discouraging disappointments, the task of educating the Negro will
assuredly be bravely performed, in larger and larger measure, for all
generations to come.

But it is a colossal error to suppose that race improvement, in the
strictest sense of the term, can be wrought by education.[25] The reason
is simple and easily understood: Race-improvement is organic; education
is extraorganic. Any change or amelioration that affects the race, the
stock, the blood, must be inherited; but education is not inherited, it
is not inheritable. It must be renewed generation after generation in
each individual. The Sisyphus-stone of culture is rolled with infinite
toil up the steep ascent by the fathers; it thunders instantly back,
and must be rolled up again with equal agony and bloody sweat by their
children. All must start at the same centre of ignorance, and beat out
a long and arduous path to the ever-widening circumference of the
farthest knowledge. The son of the learned and the son of the unlearned
have equal chance side by side in the race for learning. If the
children of the cultured acquire more readily than their fellows, it is
not because they have inherited parental culture, but only the
inherited parental capacity for culture; not because their parents knew
more, but because they had more inborn power to know. Had circumstances
doomed the savant to ignorance, his children would not have suffered in
their ability to learn. Nay more, if devotion to intellectual pursuits
has any influence at all on the native quality of offspring, as it may
possibly have in extreme cases, it would seem to be more probably
hurtful than helpful; for, by impairing nutrition of the germinal
cells, excessive intellectual activity may induce impotence and
sterility; and the fecundity of the very highly cultured seems to have
suffered measurably in Europe, if not in the United States.[26]

      [25] To this truth, see various testimonies, pp. 149, 154, _et

      [26] "The tendency of human multiplication is such that the most
      highly cultured families tend to disappear ... Educational
      influences ... are superficial as compared to Hereditary causes."

      Franz Boas, Pro. Am. Ass. for the Adv. of Science, 1894, p. 325.

These propositions lie beyond possible contradiction. We need not raise
the question of the general Weismannian theory of heredity; but we must
recognize, as wholly undeniable, that the characters and qualities
acquired by education are not in any degree inherited. The testimony
of every-day observation is, on this point, so unanimous and so
overwhelming that further insistence would seem superfluous. We may
refer however, to the broad, patent, universally recognized fact that
centuries of culture and most careful training have never been known
to improve the breed, the stock, the inherent quality of any race of
men or plants or domestic animals. Wherever any of these have been
organically modified, it has been by other agencies, more especially by
some form of natural or artificial selection. While the extra-organic
development of civilization has gone on and still goes on, and
apparently will go on apace indefinitely, under the guidance of science
and invention, there is no evidence of any organic improvement in man
in thousands of years, since the working of natural selection ceased to
be progressive. The Mesopotamian of to-day is surely not the superior
of his sculptured ancestors who observed and measured the precession of
the equinoxes nearly 6,000 years ago. The Jew of to-day can boast
nothing above the authors of the Psalms, and of Job, and of the
prophecies of Isaiah. The modern Greek may or may not have _descended_
from Homer or Pericles; but, surely, he has not _ascended_ very far. It
is needless to multiply illustrations. We believe firmly in the
mutability of species; but the phenomenon of the permanence, even of
sub-species and varieties, is far more universal and impressive.

Education, then, can do much; but its mission is to the present--it
cannot stamp itself upon the future. The limits of its efficiency,
though absolutely wide, are relatively narrow and are speedily reached.
It plays with man the function of care and training, of cultivation and
domestication, with the lower animals and with the products of the
soil. By diligent tillage, by the spade, the hoe, the plough, by
irrigation and fertilization, the planter may greatly increase the
yield of his field or his orchard and even refine, in a measure, the
quality of his fruit or his grain. By feeding, grooming, and the like,
the horse-dealer may much improve the appearance and serviceability of
his horses and may even add no little to their health, vigour, and
value. It would be insanity in these men to neglect or despise such
artificial helps and to trust their crops and their stock to grow and
to take care of themselves. The farmer and the stockman know very well
that only by the highest cultivation and the most watchful attention
can they secure the best results in field or fold and maintain
themselves in competition with wide-awake neighbours.

But they also know, not less certainly, that the maximal results of
such instrumentalities are not far away but are hemmed within a very
finite circle. Care and culture soon do their best and attain at least
practically their _ne plus ultra_. For any progressive improvement,
whether in animal or in plant, the agriculturist knows that he must
look to the seed. This he must select with the utmost skill and
caution--if he would even maintain the level of excellence already
reached, if he would not have the "stock" lapse back to an ancient
inferior average.

All this doctrine, which every one admits so instantly and unhesitatingly
in its application to wheat, corn, and cotton; potatoes, apples, and
oranges; grapes and melons; sheep, cattle, swine, and horses; bees,
birds, and fishes--all holds with full force and with inconceivable
significance when applied to men. Education is of exceeding importance.
People that neglect it thereby doom themselves to hopeless
subordination; they drop out of the race for the prizes of life; they
surrender unconditionally to their rivals and commercial foes. Training
and culture of the highest type are necessary to secure the realization
of potentialities, to make the very best of the material offered at
hand; necessary, not only now and here, but everywhere and all the
time. Any neglect or indifference at this point must prove fatal. The
husbandman dares not deprive his corn of a single "ploughing," or leave
his herd one night unprotected from the wolf and the cold.

But it is the sheerest folly to expect of education the impossible--to
dream that it can affect the blood, or transmute racial qualities, or
smooth down the inequalities between individuals of the same breed,
much less between the breeds themselves. Why, if education could lift
the Negro to the Caucasian level, to what, pray, in the meantime would
it lift the Caucasian himself? We repeat, and the repetition cannot be
made too emphatic, there is no hope whatever of any organic
improvement, of any race betterment of the Negro, from any or from all
extra-organic agencies of education or religion or civilization. Let
us, then, educate the negro, to make him a more useful and productive,
a law-abiding and happier member of the community; but let us not hope
too much from this education, if we would not be bitterly disappointed.

Immediately after the Civil War, in the halcyon days of reconstruction,
the higher education was administered copiously to the Negro, in the
honest belief that it was the catholicon for his ills; and universities
for the Coloured man sprang up thick about us. Here, in New Orleans,
there are at least three. A sadder and at the same time a more
ludicrous sight we have never beheld than on the occasion of a call
upon the President of one of these _soi-disant_ universities. We waited
in the ante-room for the dismissal of his class in psychology. At last
the bell tapped, and half a dozen Mulatto women, the whole class,
emerged from the lecture-room of this distinguished scholar, whose name
was not unknown in Europe. With a look of infinite despair, which not
even his mistaken enthusiasm for humanity could quite chase away, the
heavy-hearted lecturer followed and proceeded to conduct us through the
building to his own residence. We passed through but one room where
class exercises were in progress. An olive-coloured young man was at
the board, trying to explain to a Mulatto woman, the only member of the
class, the mysterious nature of a perpendicular. He appeared very
earnest in his exposition, but unable to awaken any answering
intelligence. To us, it seemed that the force of folly could no further
go; and our commiseration for the highly cultured theologian, since
released from his labours, who had so utterly forgotten the famous
prohibition near the close of the Sermon on the Mount, was and remains
even to this day painfully intense.

We hear less nowadays of the saving efficacy of Greek, Latin, and the
Calculus,[27] but all the more of the imperative necessity for
industrial training--the idea which Mr. Washington has championed so
vigorously and to which Mr. Carnegie has lent the sanction of his
munificence. Undoubtedly this notion, if not far wiser, is at least far
more practicable. While the higher culture at "coloured universities,"
in the vast majority of cases, merely spoils a plough-hand or
house-maid, industrial training, like that given at Tuskegee, may very
reasonably be expected to raise sensibly the productive efficiency of
the Negro, and to elevate the general standard of his life through the
formation of valuable habits of manual dexterity, of accuracy, of
conscientiousness, and of thrift--not to mention occasional great gain
in scientific equipment, or even some artistic awakening. One cannot
deny, then, that Mr. Washington has undertaken a great and beneficent
work for his race--one in which some measurable success may reasonably
be hoped for.

      [27] But the Boston Negroid still swears by the classics and
      logarithms, and regards the recent change of front as little less
      than a betrayal and surrender. Similarly, but with recognition of
      the merits of Mr. Washington's idea, Dubois, in his _The Souls of
      Black Folk_, and the sympathetic reviewer in _The Nation_. In
      this controversy we think that Dubois and Washington are both
      right and both wrong; but the higher and deeper right, as well as
      wrong, belongs to the former.

But our sympathy with such rational and well-directed efforts must not
blind us to near-lying limitations, which no might of man can possibly
remove. Let it be said, then, boldly that the Negro will not enter
generally or in great numbers into the field of skilled labour--neither
in the North nor in the South. It is, of course, not unattended with
danger to venture into the realm of prophecy, but in this case the
bases of prediction seem particularly broad and solid. We all know that
skilled labour is daily growing more and more thoroughly organized.
Rightly or wrongly, for weal or for woe, it regards capital, especially
combined and organized capital, if not as its enemy, at least as its
exploiter, prepared at every instant to make the very most of it--to
assail it at any and every exposed point, to throttle it by any and
every means, and to reduce it to serfdom. As over against the might of
accumulated millions, the labourer cannot fail to perceive his utter
impotence--he is not even a drop of a bucket. It is only in great
numbers, in compact and readily wielded organizations, that the
individual workman can count for anything whatever--can find any hope
of escape from the veriest servitude. It is idle to suppose that, in
many years to come, capital will not continue to mass itself into
formidable aggregations, or that labour will cease to array itself in
firmer and firmer unions and associations for self-protection and for
maintenance or elevation of the standard of life, the minimum of

Now, to such federations of labour, to such combinations for the
commonweal, involving, as they so often do, the most determined
self-renunciation, the most heroic self-sacrifice, even the Caucasian
nature is by no means full-grown, and the Negroid is altogether
unequal. There is not the slightest probability that the great labour
organizations would, in general, think of admitting to their membership
an element of such notable weakness as the Negro would certainly be.
Such would be the case, even if other considerations were absent. But
they are present. As inferiors, accustomed to a lower standard of life
and more pliant to the demands of employers, the Negroes would present
the same problem and the same menace as the Chinese--only in a more
aggravated form. In their admission in large numbers to the ranks of
skilled labour, this latter could not fail to see a terrible and
instant threat of reduced wages, of lowered life, of baser thraldom.
Race prejudice, if you call it so, would blaze out immediately, and
with irresistible violence. It makes not the slightest difference
whether labour would be right or wrong, justified or unjustified; it
would be the instinct of self-preservation fanned suddenly into
vehement flame, and nothing could withstand it. As an example in point,
take the violent opposition offered a few years ago by the miners of
Illinois to the importation of Negro labourers; take the recent
practically total expulsion of Negroes, many of them peaceable and
unoffending, from various towns, districts, and counties in
Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, and elsewhere.
Consider all this as unreasonable, as outrageous--it matters not; it
shows the temper of the American-Caucasian labourer, which will hardly
tolerate the competition of his equals, and certainly not of any form
of labour lower than his own. And in defence of what he regards as the
most important and most sacred of all his rights, he will not hesitate
for an instant at the adoption of means.[28]

      [28] Hear the testimony of the ablest of Negroids, Professor W.
      E. B. Dubois, in his admirable sociologic study, "The
      Philadelphia Negro":

      "How now has this exclusion been maintained? In some cases by the
      actual inclusion of the word 'white' among qualifications for
      entrance into certain trade unions. More often, however, by
      leaving the matter of color entirely to local bodies, who make no
      general rule, but invariably fail to admit a colored applicant
      except under pressing circumstances. This is the most workable
      system and is adopted by nearly all trade unions" (p. 128). "To
      repeat, then, the real motives back of this exclusion are plain:
      A large part is simple race prejudice, always strong in working
      classes and intensified by the peculiar history of the Negro in
      this country. Another part, and possibly a more potent part, is
      the natural spirit of monopoly and the desire to keep up wages
      ... Moreover, in this there is one thoroughly justifiable
      consideration that plays a great part: namely, the Negroes are
      used to low wages--can live on them, and consequently would fight
      less fiercely than most whites against reduction" (p. 129)....
      "The Negroes of the city who have trades either give them up and
      hire out as waiters and laborers, or they become job workmen and
      floating hands, catching a bit of carpentering here or a little
      brickwork or plastering there at reduced wages" (p. 130). It is
      needless to accumulate such depositions.

Accordingly, we may confidently affirm that the experiment of Mr.
Washington and his Northern multi-millionaire admirers, to solve the
race problem by making of the Negro a skilled labourer, may indeed be
magnificent, but, in any large measure, it cannot succeed. If at any
time it seemed to promise any very wide success, it would rouse a race
animosity, North and South, the like of which we have not yet beheld.

What fields of employment, then, remain open to the Negroid? We answer:
Those he has thus far occupied, where there is no great organized
competition of the Whites. The plantation and the countless forms of
personal and occasional service are undoubtedly the regions where his
abilities may be most naturally and most profitably employed. There,
too, his better qualities, his endowments both of mind and of body,
find fullest and most useful play. Small farming and retail dealing he
may also do successfully; he may teach his kind, he may preach and
plead and prescribe and publish for them. Superior artisans will show
themselves here and there, and occasionally abilities of still higher
order will crop out, especially among Mulattoes. If they will, these
can find ample scope for their powers within the ranks of their own
people. _Spartam tuam exorna_ will, in all such cases, be the
counsel of friendly wisdom. Vain and foolish for even the superior
Negroid to try to take the kingdom of heaven by force, to conquer a
position among the Whites commensurate with his abilities as a Black.
Better a big frog in a small puddle than a small frog in a big puddle.
In general, whatever tends towards the sharp demarcation of the two
races, towards the accurate delimitation of their spheres of activity
and influence, will unquestionably make for peace, for prosperity, for
mutual understanding, and for general contentment. On the other hand,
every attempt to blur these boundaries, to wipe out natural
distinctions, to mix immiscibles, must always issue in confusion,
discord, failure, reciprocal injury, and final ruin.

We think that universal history attests the correctness of this
observation. Wherever border lines have been closely drawn and
distinctly recognized, whether between species or races, nations or
tribes, castes, classes, or individuals, there have been found at least
comparative quiet, harmony, mutual regard, and even happiness. But
ill-defined borders have been everywhere and everywhen the fruitful
source of strife, destruction, and misery. It was with a just feeling
for this great truth that the profound Gnostic, Basilides, declared
that in "the restoration of all things," at "the consummation of the
æons," every element would seek its own place and there abide forever,
and not as if fishes were trying to pasture with sheep upon the
mountains. A kindred sense of the fitness of things is revealed here in
the South (and also in the North), where one will often hear it said
that "I like a Negro--in his place." This does not mean, at least it
need not mean, any harshness or over-haughtiness on the part of the
speaker. We have often heard it on the lips of the kindest-hearted, the
most humane in their treatment of the Negro. It is a just recognition
of a patent, unmistakable, and incontrovertible fact, which no humanity
can amend and no sophistry can disguise. The same feeling is frequently
met with among sober-minded Blacks, who, much to one's surprise
sometimes, are found to resent the ambitious attempts of their fellows,
generally Mulattoes, to rise above their own race and align themselves
with the Whites. We affirm then that drawing the colour line, firm and
fast, between the races, first of all in social relations, and then by
degrees in occupations also, is a natural process and a rational
procedure, which makes equally for the welfare of both.

That this process will actually go on, though with many interruptions
and much opposition, we cannot doubt. The latter will be due in the
main to aspiring Mulattoes, to purblind philanthropists, and to
designing politicians--all three the real enemies of the Negro and the
disturbers of his peace.

In spite of them, however, the process will go on, and we shall see
whether the Negro be able to maintain himself in the presence of the
Caucasian, though in an inferior place, playing a subordinate rôle,
within a protected but contracted sphere of activity. Certainly not a
brilliant future that opens before him, at the very best. Even the
highest success might seem humble enough, but is it sure that even such
a lowly victory awaits him?

Here, again, prophecy would seem to be hazardous, but we cannot fail to
notice and to record some significant tokens. Of these, one of the most
notable is the marked tendency of the Negroes to herd together in the
cities. It is well known that the problem of securing labour in the
country is becoming increasingly difficult. Many plantations have, in
fact, been abandoned for no other reason than that labourers could not
be found to cultivate them. Italians and other Europeans are
immigrating thither, and the question is eagerly debated whether they
will fill acceptably the gap left by the departing Negroes. Whether
this tide cityward, which is actually decimating some sections of the
Black Belt, will turn and roll back, we may not guess; but it seems
unlikely. To all appearances the Negroes will stream steadily towards
the towns, and gather more and more densely in certain localities.[29]

      [29] "Fully ninety-four per cent. have struggled for land and
      failed, and half of them sit in hopeless serfdom. For these there
      is one other avenue of escape towards which they have turned in
      increasing numbers, namely, migration to town ... this is a part
      of the rush to town." Dubois, _The Souls of Black Folk_, p. 162.
      "The crop-lien system which is depopulating the fields of the
      South is not simply the result of shiftlessness on the part of
      Negroes" (p. 170). Here, again, evidence may be supplied in any
      measure desired. From the census reports it appears that in the
      North the same tendency is quite as strong, if not even stronger.

But this tendency deals them _death_. The mortality among the coloured
population of our cities is frightful. The gravest maladies establish
themselves among these unsanitated throngs and rage with ruinous
virulence. In ante-bellum days pulmonary tuberculosis was infrequent
among the plantation Blacks of the South; now it lashes them with a
scourge of desolation, and pneumonia even more ruthlessly. Typhoid
fever also ravages their ranks with fury. Still worse, contagious
diseases are fearfully prevalent. Among a populace to which chastity
and continence are terms almost unknown and meaningless, these must
diffuse and propagate themselves like an epidemic, they must lower the
general vitality, and still more directly the virility and fecundity.
Hitherto, the rate of multiplication has been in a measure maintained
by a high birth rate in the face of a fearful mortality. But this
cannot last. The plain indications now are that the birth rate is
falling and must fall, while the death rate rises with the steady
influx into the towns, the abandonment of the simple and healthful
modes of country life for the vice and diseases of the village.[30]
Even at best, the city is an ulcer on the face of the earth, a
maelstrom, a minotaur devouring the yearly tribute of the strength and
beauty of the land.[31] But for the Negro, it stands ready with
two-handed engine of death.

      [30] For a minute study of birth and death rates, see _infra_,
      pp. 225-49.

      [31] To be sure, this charge holds in only very modified degree
      of the modern sanitated city.

Moreover, the gloomy hopelessness of the situation must become apparent
as the decades glide by. The Negro must feel that competition is
becoming sharper, that his territory is becoming narrower and narrower,
that twentieth-century citizenship is, like the Gospel commandment,
made for those who can receive it, that he is unequal to the load cast
upon him, that he is sinking beneath the burden of an honour unto which
he was not born. Herewith the joyousness of life must depart, the
old-time buoyancy of the race give place to a deepening despond.[32] As
the generations pass on, the Negro will be hemmed every way within
straiter and straiter limits, his numbers will decrease, his digit will
move further to the right in the great sum of humanity--slowly,
silently, steadily he will be driven to the wall. Possibly he may
emigrate in large numbers to some tropical clime which nature has
forbidden to the Caucasian. This would indeed be the happiest possible
solution for the South, and he would be a courageous seer who would
declare that this century will not see a large exodus of Negroes from
the Gulf region. But we do not believe that such emigration will go
northward. Our Northern friends have no more affection or use for the
Negro than have we. They love to pet him and let their benevolence play
about him--this so long as they can patronize him, can "offer him
financial assistance," and "stick a diamond pin in his coat," and lay
at his feet "the Presidency of Haiti as soon as it is conquered by an
expedition now under preparation." Besides, his vote is a very
important weight to throw into the scale in cases of doubtful
elections. But once let the Blacks turn their faces northward in great
numbers, let them begin to swarm by myriads, and derange the labour
conditions, and drag down the scale of wages, and oust the Whites from
their places--then philanthropy will be thrown to the winds, and the
arm of the government at Washington will not be strong enough or long
enough to guard these wards of the nation from violence and persecution
and outrage.[33]

      [32] What a note of infinite melancholy sounds through "The Souls
      of Black Folk," the finest product of the Mulatto mind. In his
      "The College-bred Negro," the same author, Dubois, has put the
      question as to the future of his race to hundreds of these
      representative Negroes and recorded their answers. It is easy to
      perceive that the hopefulness of the majority is quite
      artificial, based on some religious faith or moral trust, and
      that the really weighty answers are given by the hopeless

      [33] Events in the North, still fresh in the mind of the reader,
      illustrate these statements profusely. That the Negro is steadily
      losing ground industrially as well as otherwise, is witnessed
      unequivocally in the most diverse quarters. Thus Dubois, "The
      Philadelphia Negro," p. 43: "It cannot be denied that the main
      results of the development of the Philadelphia Negro since the
      war have on the whole disappointed his well-wishers.... Not only
      do they feel that there is a lack of positive results, but the
      relative advance compared with the period just before the war is
      slow, if not an actual retrogression; an abnormal and growing
      amount of crime and poverty can justly be charged to the Negro;
      he is not a large taxpayer, holds no conspicuous place in the
      business world or the world of letters, and _even as a workingman
      seems to be losing ground_." So, too, in Chicago: "There are a
      few in the trades, as carpenters, painters, etc., _but these are
      decreasing_.... There is a large class of unemployed Negroes in
      the city, numbering several hundreds. Could a careful census of
      this class be taken, it would no doubt be found to reach into
      thousands." Monro N. Work, in _American Journal of Sociol._, Vol.
      6, p. 206. Everywhere throughout the South this expulsive process
      has already proceeded far and stiff proceeds apace. In the
      foregoing, the italics are ours.

If the Blacks should occupy and settle, should colonize, some outlying
tropical region,[34] and should there start out on their own path of
development, it is interesting, though not so important, to ask, What
would be their probable future? We answer, though we build no argument
whatever on this answer, that the experiment would most likely be a
repetition of Haiti; removed from the sustaining atmosphere of European
civilization, the Negro would most probably sink back into barbarism.
If there be anything in the history either of man or of nature that
would lead us to anticipate some other result, we know not what it is.

      [34] The late Professor E. D. Cope recommended the deportation of
      the Negro.

At this point our forecast has become so sombre that the optimistic
reader may grow impatient with such pessimism, and may at least demand
some confirmation of our vaticinations. The fact is that we have long
hesitated to make public our convictions, since the rôle of Cassandra
has few attractions, and it is only an after-thought to print them in
this volume, though they were indicated, many months ago, in _The
Nation_ of March 5, 1903. However, to enhearten us, within the last
week we have lighted upon the corroborative testimony of perhaps the
highest authority in the United States--a scholar whose opportunities
for forming a judgement are certainly unsurpassed, if indeed
equaled--whose abilities are not questioned, and whose freedom from
prejudice is absolute. In a notable address delivered May 10, 1900, at
the First Annual Conference held at Montgomery, Ala., under the
auspices of the Southern Society for the promotion of the study of race
conditions and problems in the South, Professor W. F. Willcox, of
Cornell University, Chief Statistician of the United States Census
Office at Washington, a "New Englander by birth and ancestry," declared
that he could "not read the evidence as Dr. Curry apparently does,"
"Races, like nations, exist to serve humanity, and come and go in the
long run according as they meet or fail to meet this test." "These
diverse races of men may be roughly graded according to their value to
humanity and their ability to improve. In any effort so to arrange
them, the least serviceable and least progressive people are found to
be those whose habitat secured the greatest isolation, freedom from
competition and lack of incentive to improvement. Such peoples were
found especially in the islands of the ocean, in the continent of
Australia, in America, and in Africa." Nevertheless, Africa seems to
have been the scene of most extraordinary mingling of bloods--a battle
ground of widely diverse tribes;[35] in spite of this the African still
belongs to "the least serviceable and least progressive people." "Those
two backward races, viz., the Negro and the Malay." "When higher and
lower races meet and interpenetrate, only two permanent solutions have
thus far been recorded in history. Either the lower race has
disappeared, or the two have fused, and in the case of especial moment
to us all, and to the future of this country, I cannot believe that
looking down through the centuries any other permanent solution than
one of these two can be found. During the period of slavery the Negro
race in the United States was protected from competition with the
Whites, somewhat as it would have been by local isolation, or somewhat
as domesticated animals are protected from the dangers nature throws
about them. Only since emancipation has genuine competition between the
races in this country existed, and during the early years after the
Civil War the conditions were such as to favor the Negro race and to
handicap the whites." "Notwithstanding the fact that the Negroes were
aided and the whites downcast during these dark years, the white
population has grown with great and increasing rapidity." "The
conditions to which the white race is subject will probably never again
be so unfortunate, the conditions to which the Negro race is subject
will not soon, if ever, be so favorable as during the years after the
Civil War." Yet notice some of the changes that have occurred during the
thirty years from 1860 to 1890, brief span as this is in the life of a

      [35] Witness Schweinfurth, one of the carefulest observers and
      highest authorities: "If we could at once grasp and set before
      our minds facts that are known (whether as regards language,
      race, culture, history, or development) of that vast region of
      the world which is comprehended in the name of Africa, we should
      have before us the witness of an intermingling of races which is
      beyond all precedent. And yet, bewildering as the prospect would
      appear, it remains a fact not to be gainsaid, that it is
      impossible for any one to survey the country as a whole without
      perceiving that, high above the multiplication of individual
      differences, there is throned a principle of unity (he refers to
      the autochthonous black stock), which embraces well-nigh all the
      population" (_Heart of Africa_, Vol. I., p. 313).

"The black belt may be defined as those counties in which the Negro
population outnumbered the white. In Maryland in 1860 there were five
such counties, and in 1890 only two. In Virginia there were forty-three
and in 1890 only thirty-three. In North Carolina there were nineteen
and in 1890 only sixteen. The group of adjoining counties in
southeastern Maryland, eastern Virginia and northeast North Carolina,
which formed the most northerly outpost of the black belt in 1860, has
decreased in thirty years from sixty-two counties to forty-six, or
almost exactly one-fourth. In 1860 Kentucky had one county belonging to
the black belt, while in 1890 it had none. In 1860 northern Alabama had
two counties belonging to the black belt, but in 1890 both of these had
disappeared from the map. In the cotton-growing regions of the more
southerly States there has been an increase of the counties belonging
to the black belt, but not enough entirely to offset these changes. It
seems that locally the Negroes have begun to yield ground to the whites
in the regions most favorable to the latter, and that such a change is
likely to continue.

"I have no time to go into the complex statistical evidence bearing
upon the vitality of the Negro race, and its power to meet successfully
the increasing industrial competition, to which it must be exposed, as
these States fill with people, as cities spring up and prosper, and as
industry, trade and agriculture become diversified and more complex.
The balance of the evidence, however, seems to me to indicate for the
future a continuance of changes already begun, viz., a decrease in the
Negro birth-rate decidedly more rapid than the actual present or
probable future decrease in the death-rate. This would result obviously
in a slackening rate of increase, and then in a stationary condition,
followed by slow numerical retrogression. If this anticipation should
be realized, the Negroes will continue to become, as they are now
becoming, a steadily smaller proportion of the population.

"The final outcome, though its realization may be postponed for
centuries, will be, I believe, that the race will follow the fate of
the Indians, that the great majority will disappear before the whites,
and that the remnant found capable of elevation to the level of the
white man's civilization will ultimately be merged and lost in the
lower classes of the whites, leaving almost no trace to mark their
former existence.

"Where such a lower people has disappeared, the causes of their death
have been mainly disease, vice and profound discouragement. It seems to
me clear that each one of these causes is affecting the Negro race far
more deeply and unfavorably at the present time than it was at the date
of their emancipation. The medical evidence available points to the
conclusion that they are more than ever afflicted with the scourges of
disease, such as typhoid fever and consumption, and with the physical
ills entailed by sexual vice. I have argued elsewhere to show that both
in the North and in the South crime among the Negroes is rapidly
increasing. Whether the race as a whole is as happy, as joyous, as
confident of the future, or thoughtless of it, as it was before the
war, you, my hearers, know far better than I. I can only say that in my
studies I have found not one expression of dissent from the opinion
that the joyous buoyancy of the race is passing away; that they feel
upon them a burden of responsibility to which they are unequal; that
the lower classes of Negroes are resentful, and that the better classes
[are] not certain or sanguine of the outcome. If this judgment be true,
I can only say that it is perhaps the most fatal source of race as of
national decay and death."

The foregoing excerpts seem to us to be the weightiest words of
authority on this subject that have fallen under our notice. They
deserve to be stamped in letters of gold on the walls of the Public
Library in Boston and over the pulpit of Plymouth Church in Brooklyn,
on the lintels of the White House, and on the title-page of all future
editions of _The Independent_ and _The Nation_. Of course, the superior
culture and intelligence of our opponents may easily snuff out all
_our_ arguments with a sneer at our straitened and archaic
provincialism;--so be it: we deserve no better fate, having been born
South of Mason and Dixon's line, most imprudently. But what, pray, if
they deign to flutter through this volume, what will they do with this
utterance of the Puritan _pur sang_, the Chief Statistician? Can they
afford to dismiss it as that of "another good man gone wrong."

If then the Afro-American race stands even now at the entrance of the
Valley of the Shadow of Death, what shall we say, what shall we do?
Shall we weep and wail and gnash our teeth? Shall we lift up the trump
of indignation against such red-handed iniquity? Shall we cry out to
Heaven and to Congress against the crime of the centuries? We think
that a much calmer and milder mood may well become us before such a
thanatopsis. Why should the spectacle of a racial diminuendo so arouse
or revolt us? Surely it is something neither unique nor uncommon. All
that breathe will share their destiny. It is appointed unto men once to
die. If it were the highest form of human life, we might be concerned
or even confounded. But such it is not; on the contrary, it is one of
the very lowest, that has hitherto enacted and promises hereafter to
enact only unhistorical history. "The old order changeth, yielding
place to new." The recession, the evanescence, of the Negro before the
Caucasian is only one example among millions of the process of nature.
The ministry of death is not maleficent; says the Cabbala, "The Lord
said unto the Angel of Death, Behold I have made thee cosmocrator." In
the upward mounting of the forms of life, there are no other
stepping-stones than their own dead selves. The vision, then, of a race
vanishing before its superior is not at all dispiriting, but inspiring
rather. It is but a part of the increasing purpose of the ages, a
forward creeping of the eternal dawn.

The doom that awaits the Negro has been prepared in like measure for
all inferior races. Except where they are bulwarked by the climate,
they must be drowned by the mounting wave of their superior rivals. To
the clear, cold eye of science, the plight of these backward peoples
appears practically hopeless. They have neither part nor parcel in the
future history of man; they are rejected as dross from its
thrice-heated furnace.

This may sound harsh and unfeeling, but in reality it is not so. We do
not mean that the inferior should be treated unjustly, unkindly,
inhumanly. Far from it. Let equity be dealt with an even hand. We have
never given either voice or vote for any form of injustice, however
specious, or plausible, or grandfatherly. The processes we have in view
lie deeper than any legislation; they are inwoven in the living garment
of the Godhead.

But may we not check or arrest them? May not the strong Caucasian lend
a helping hand to his weaker African brother and lift him up, and the
two walk along hand in hand through the centuries? This is a very
idyllic picture. "Behold, how good and how pleasant for brethren to
dwell together in unity." But a moment's reflection must show how
inadequate and unreal this dew of Hermon. It is not hard for altruism
to run suicidally mad, if one lets go the check-rein of egoism. The
first and highest and unescapable duty of a race is to its self--to
realize its own personality, to put forth all its powers and potencies,
to unfold the full flower of its own being. It must neither be unjust
nor ungenerous in its treatment of others, but neither must it attempt
self-immolation--especially, as that sacrifice would be idle and
unanswered. The most, the best that one race can effect for another is
merely some extra-organic amelioration of condition. The organic
destiny of that other, written in blood and bone and cell and plasma,
lies beyond the reach of the helping hand. We must dismiss, then, this
vision of a higher race stooping down with arms of love and lifting up
the lower to its altitude, as merely a pious imagination. The higher
race may indeed stoop down; it has often done so; but never to rise
again; instantly there falls upon it the Davidic curse: "Bow down their
back alway."

The fate that awaits the backward race in the presence of the advanced
should appear more vividly, one would think, to no other eyes than to
those of New England. "Across the ocean came a pilgrim bark, bearing
the seeds of life and of death. The former were sown for you; the
latter sprang up in the path of the simple native." Nor in this process
of extermination, in these "centuries of dishonour," has it really been
a question of fairness or unfairness, of righteousness or
unrighteousness. No kind or degree of gentleness or justice could have
long delayed the departure of the Indian. When North-Europeans landed
on his shores, for him the clock of destiny had struck. While we may
properly applaud or condemn individual and communal acts by standards
of individual or communal ethics, it is not possible to judge the race
by any such feeble sense. Nature is neither moral nor immoral, but
supermoral. Her æonian processes are not to be measured by our rules
nor defined by our categories; they tower above good and bad; they
reach beyond right and wrong. Should Roman legions have conquered
Greece and girdled the Mediterranean with her civilization? Ought
Babylonian empire to have lifted up its lion wings over Western Asia?
We perceive at once the emptiness of such questions.

But even if it were possible for us to turn back the tide of time, to
stay or slacken the rolling of the wheel of birth, would it be well or
wise to do so? We venture to question it most seriously. There is a
personal and even a social morality that may easily become racially
immoral. There are diseases whose evolutionary function is to weed out
the weak, and so preserve the future for the strong. The sufferers
cannot be treated with too careful attention, too loving gentleness,
too tender sympathy. It is the glory of our humanity to cherish these
frail flowers, to water them with dew, to shield them from the sun, and
not to suffer even the winds of summer to visit them too roughly. But
not to gather from them the seed for generations to come! Let theirs be
the present, but not the future. He who should discover some serum and
apply it greatly to prolong their lives and give them equal chance with
the vigorous in the matter of offspring, whatever thanks he might win
from individuals or the community, would deserve and receive the
execration of his race as its deadliest and most insidious foe. So,
too, we hold it to be certain that all forms of humanitarianism that
tend to give the organically inferior an equal chance with the superior
in the propagation of the species, are radically mistaken; to the
individual and to society they would sacrifice the race. Their error
may be very amiable, but it is none the less mortal. The hope of
humanity lies not in strengthening the weak, but in perfecting the

Herewith, then, we close this discussion. The mistake of our opponents
is here exposed in its deepest root, its inmost core. It is seen to be
a mistake in philosophy, in cosmology, in the scientific interpretation
of the process of nature. But what a weird light is now cast upon the
War between the States, its cause, and its ultimate result! Aside from
questions of political theory, the North sought to free the Negro, the
South to hold him in bondage. As a slave he had led a protected, indeed
a hothouse, existence and had flourished marvellously. His high-hearted
champions shed torrents of blood and treasure to shatter the walls of
his prison-house, to dispel the pent-up, stifling gloom of his dungeon,
and to pour in upon him the free air and light of heaven. But the sun
of liberty is no sooner arisen with burning breath than, lo! smitten by
the breeze and the beam, he withers and dies!



    _Of all these things the judge is Time._


In the foregoing chapters it is only by way of exception that there has
been made any formal use of statistical data, or any reference to
scientific authorities;--in fact, there has been a studied avoidance of
the sympathetic literature of the subject. But it seems wise and, above
all, just to the reader, to guard well every salient position, to throw
round every argumentative assertion a bulwark of mathematical
evidence--a task that presents little difficulty, since in general the
facts in the case are well ascertained and the testimony unanimous. At
only a few points, and those of rather minor importance, do the
depositions go wide apart. In casting up these circumvallations, we
shall be at pains to cite only witnesses against whom no exceptions can
lie; many very valuable ones shall be excluded, merely for geographical
reasons; we do not ask the reader to heed even a scientific word that
might be tinged with prejudice.

Next to the United States Census Reports, which must of course be our
main source, we shall use, in discussing anthropometry, the great work
of Frederick L. Hoffman, F. S. S., statistician to the Prudential
Insurance Company of America, entitled "Race Traits and Tendencies of
the American Negro," published as Vol. XI., Nos. 1, 2, and 3, of the
publications of the American Economic Association, by the Macmillan
Company, August, 1896,--the result of ten years' careful
investigation--a book almost beyond praise. Among his more recent
supplementary studies may be mentioned his "Race and Mortality,"
October, 1902.

The author is a German and without race prejudice. For him the problem
of race pathology exists as a purely practical one: At what rates can
the Negro be insured? No emotion can enter here; it is a mere question
of dollars and cents, and for insurance companies a vital one. To our
opponents, his judgements may sometimes sound harsh; but they are
scarcely harsher than the facts, which he seldom forces, but interprets
fairly. His conclusions have, of course, been passionately assailed, as
by Professor Kelly Miller; but in no important particulars have they
been seriously shaken.

In the following statistical tables, we shall frequently use the
_myriad_ as the unit. Thereby the data are made easier to understand
and to remember; there is a great economy of space and of attention,
and no appreciable sacrifice of accuracy. For in case of such immense
numbers it is idle to hope for correctness in the fourth figure; errors
will almost surely reach up into the thousands, if not above. Besides,
we shall use these data for purely argumentative purposes, and no
argument is in the least affected by a change in the thousands. Thus,
the population of New Orleans is given at 287,104. No one can deny that
it may have been nearer 286,000 or 288,000. We shall indicate it by
twenty-nine (myriads), by which we mean merely that it is between
285,000 and 295,000. So, when we speak of a mortality of 234, we mean
234 yearly per myriad. So we shall put a recent death-rate of Chicago
at 145 (per 10,000) rather than at 14.49 (per 1,000). The last digit
can lay no claim to correctness.


The grand totals of the population in the Continental United States, as
given by the census reports, are:

            W.      N.      W.      N.      W.      N.

  1900    6,681    883           (Gains, per 1000)
                          1,171    135     212     180

  1890    5,510    749
                          1,170     91     267     138

  1880    4,340    658
                            981    170     292     349

  1870    3,359    488
                            667     44     248      99

  1860    2,693    444
                            737     80     377     221

  1850    1,955    364

It needs no ghost from the tomb to tell us that some of these census
returns are wrong, and widely wrong. An increase of 221 per thousand
during a decade (1850-60) of universal and extraordinary prosperity,
under singularly favourable conditions, seems every way likely and
calls for no remark. But the following decade (1860-70), while it
wrought ruin upon the Whites, brought freedom to the Blacks and in no
way worked them any hardship. That their rate of increase should have
fallen off from 221 to ninety-nine seems, then, quite incredible.
Again, the next decade (1870-80) marked the end of the riot of
Africanism in the South, and its second half saw white supremacy
restored and the Blacks forcibly repressed. On the whole, then, it
could hardly have been so favourable to the Negroes as the preceding,
and yet their numbers leap up nearly two millions, at the astounding
rate of 349 per thousand. Their conditions were certainly no worse
during the next decade (1880-90), yet they grow only half as much, and
at a rate little over one-third as fast--only 138 per thousand. There
is no visible sign of improvement in conditions during the next decade,
yet they multiply measurably faster--at the rate of 180 per thousand.
When the results for 1880 were announced, it was felt that the game was
lost for the white man. Accordingly, in 1883, Professor C. A. Gardiner,
of Brooklyn, N.Y., could forecast that in thirty years the Southern
Negro would outstrip the Southern White in wealth, intelligence, and
numbers, and within a century would absorb that White completely!--a
prediction only less buoyant and highly coloured than Gen. Pope's of
July 14, 1867, that "five years will have transferred intelligence and
education, so far as the masses are concerned, to the colored people of
this district" (Alabama, Georgia, Florida). At such a rate the Negroes
in 1900 would have numbered about fourteen millions, and in 1910 about
twenty millions, in 1920 nearly thirty millions; in 1950 they would
have surpassed eighty millions, the present population of our Union,
and in 1990 they would have reached 320 millions. So that the
practically complete Africanization of the United States would be only
a question of this century. The census of 1890 showed an immense
falling off in this rate (from 349 to 138) and so allayed such fears.
The last census shows, apparently, a slight rise in the Negro increase
(from 138 to 180)--which, however, remains notably behind that of the
Whites (212), by about 15 per cent.

However, since these returns involve manifest absurdities, it is hard
to ground any argument upon them. Presumably, the last census is more
nearly correct. It is generally admitted that the census of 1870 was
grossly defective. In our judgement, both those of 1880 and especially
of 1890 were far below the mark; but it would be hard to prove this
rigorously. It seems that the rate from 1850 to 1860 is, on its face,
the most reasonable. As the Negroes were then slaves, their numbers
were very probably returned correctly by the owners. As there was no
motive against and every motive for their rapid multiplication, and as
their death rate was certainly much lower than after emancipation, it
seems certain that 221 per thousand (say 22 per cent.) represents their
maximum natural increase per decade. This would have given about 542
myriads for 1870, about 661 for 1880, about 806 for 1890, about 980 for
1900. This would indicate, then, that the census of 1880 is also nearly
correct, while that of 1870 is most sadly defective, and that of 1890
seriously so. Still, this latter can hardly have erred by fifty
myriads--perhaps by twenty or thirty; so that the number in 1890 should
possibly be 770 myriads. In that case, the numbers since 1850 would be
given, nearly enough for memory, by the _hundred thousand_, thus:

  1860  1870  1880  1890  1900

   44    55    66    77    88, instead of
   44    49    66    75    88

Of course, these numbers are not exact; but they are, on the average,
more nearly so than those of the census reports given in the line
below, which disprove themselves.

At any rate, the Negro numbers have been nearly doubled in forty years.
This is an average rate of almost exactly 20 per cent. per decade.
Since the earlier rate was certainly more than twenty, the latter must
have been certainly less; in fact, even according to the census, there
is a falling off from 221 to 180, and this latter figure should
probably be reduced to 160. It _must_ be reduced, unless the census of
1890 was as perfect as that of 1900, which is most unlikely. While we
consider positively necessary some such amendment of the census returns
as we have suggested, yet we ground no argument thereon; we rest on the
certainty that the rate of increase of the Negro has fallen off at
least 16 per cent. since the days of his slavery. His absolute increase
has been about maintained, so that the next census (1910) will give
him, perhaps, slightly under ten millions.

Meantime the total white population has advanced from 1,955 to 6,681
myriads; or, since 1860, from 2,692 to 6,681--not quite two and
one-half times. But we must remember the desolating war that ravaged
the North, and particularly the South, of its Caucasian bloom for four
years, and left the latter utterly prostrate. This is shown in the
fearful descent in gain from 377 to 248. The gain in that decade should
have been about 900 instead of 667, which would have given the Whites
about 8,100 myriads in 1900--almost exactly tripling the return of
1860. By natural increase, then, the white population about triples
itself in forty years, while the black about doubles. Hence, the latter
must form an ever-diminishing fraction of the whole population. In
fact, the number of Negroes per thousand of the whole population, since
1790, is as follows:

  1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900

   193  189  190  184  182  168  157  141  127  131  119  116

We have seen that the estimate for 1870 is certainly much too low, as
also extremely probably that for 1890. In any case, it is hereby proved
that the black is rapidly falling in ratio to the white population.
Such a descent, pursued for a few centuries, would bring it to
comparative insignificance.

To be sure, it must not be forgotten that the White increase is due
largely to immigration. But there seems to be no reason why this
immigration should not be continued indefinitely; at present it is
particularly heavy and will weigh very perceptibly in the census of

Again, it must not be disguised that the birth rate among the older New
England stock of native white Americans has fallen lamentably low--even
beneath the point of bare race maintenance. A thousand such couples
rear only about 950 couples. This race decay seems, surely, the most
alarming symptom in our national life--a tendency which it seems
exceedingly hard to combat. However, there are yet vigorous and
prolific Caucasian tribes in great abundance on the face of the earth;
and if the native white American prefers to die out, why, let him
die--no one can help it. The white foreigner will certainly step in and
fill his place more virilely, if not more worthily. There is nothing,
then, in this phenomenon, humiliating though it is, to shake the
conclusions already stated.

But an even more interesting matter than the relation of the Negro to
the Union at large is his relation to special sections. The grand
divisions in the census reports are North Atlantic, South Atlantic,
North Central, South Central, and Western. In only two of these, the
South Atlantic and the South Central, is the Negro really a problem. In
the others, he is a vanishing quantity. Thus, in the North Atlantic and
the North Central, his myriads are only:

                   1850    1860    1870    1880    1890    1900

  North Atlantic    15      16      18      23      27      39
  North Central     14      18      27      39      43      50

This increase has been rapid--much more rapid than elsewhere; but he
remains, and must always remain, insignificant. The increase has been
due to immigration, for it is conceded that his natural rate of
increase in the North will not even maintain his numbers. Left to
himself there, he would certainly die out. This immigration will
certainly continue and will actually contribute to the destruction of
the race, as it were by steadily lopping off the extreme boughs of the

Of the West, nothing need be said. For the South Atlantic and South
Central, the record is as follows:

             1850   1860   1870     1880   1890    1900

  S. A., W.   282    331    364      466    560     671
         N.   186    206    222      294    326     373

  S. C., W.   281    373    423      590    749     982
         N.   149    204    220[36]  301    350[37] 419

      [36] More probably 260.

      [37] More probably 365.

Here we perceive, at once, that the situation on the Atlantic is
unequivocal. The Black tinge is fading away; that population has
exactly doubled itself only in fifty years, while in the South Central
it has doubled in forty years. Compare now the White record in the same
(South Atlantic) regions. Owing to the Civil War, the growth during the
decade 1860-70 was under thirty-five myriads--less than half of the
normal growth; nevertheless, the White population has more than doubled
itself in thirty-five years, from 1865 to 1900. In 1850 there were 397
Blacks to every thousand, in 1900 only 356. The next half century will
see a still further reduction. The White increase, in the last decade,
was 20 per cent.; the Black was only 14.

Coming to the South Central, we find the case equally clear. Here
again, the civil strife amerced the Whites of at least half a decade;
the increase from 1860 to 1870 was only fifty myriads, whereas it
should have been over 100, since it was ninety-two from 1850 to 1860.
Nevertheless, we find that the White number has doubled in twenty-five
years (from 1875 to 1900), but the black in forty (from 1860 to 1900).
From 1850 to 1860 the Black gain was over 40 per cent., the White was
under 34 per cent.; but, for the last decade (1890 to 1900), the Black
gain was 20 per cent., the White about 30 per cent. In the whole half
century, the Blacks have gained 181 per cent.; but the Whites, in spite
of their numerous losses in four years' war, have gained over 249 per
cent. In 1850, of every thousand, 347 were Black; but, in 1900, only

It is demonstrated, then, that in these two focal regions of African
strength not only is that strength relatively decreasing, but it is
decreasing faster and faster. The hour cometh when neither by the ocean
nor by the gulf will it signify more than it does now in Philadelphia
or New York.

If now we turn to the statistics of the states, we shall, of course,
find this general average result unevenly distributed. Only the states
included in the following table can have any interest for us:

                        1850   1860   1870   1880   1890   1900

  Alabama           {W.   43     53     52     66     83    100
                    {N.   35     44     48     60     69     83

  Arkansas          {W.   16     32     36     59     82     94
                    {N.    5     11     12     21     31     37

  Dist. of Columbia {W.  3.8    6.1    8.8     12     15     19
                    {N.  1.4    1.4    4.3      6      8      9

  Florida           {W.  4.7    7.8    9.6     14     22     30
                    {N.  4.0    6.3    9.2     13     17     23

  Georgia           {W.   52     59     64     82     98    118
                    {N.   38     47     55     73     86    103

  Kentucky          {W.   76     92    110    138    159    186
                    {N.   22     24     22     27     27     28

  Louisiana         {W.   26     36     36     45     56     73
                    {N.   26     35     36     48     56     65

  Maryland          {W.   42     52     61     72     83     95
                    {N.   17     17     18     21     22     24

  Mississippi       {W.   30     36     38     48     54     64
                    {N.   31     44     44     65     74     91

  Missouri          {W.   59    106    160    202    253    294
                    {N.    9     12     12     15     15     16

  North Carolina    {W.   55     63     68     87    106    126
                    {N.   32     36     39     53     56     62

  South Carolina    {W.   27     29     29     39     46     56
                    {N.   39     41     42     60     69     78

  Tennessee         {W.   76     83     94    114    134    154
                    {N.   25     28     32     40     43     48

  Texas             {W.   15     42     56    120    175    243
                    {N.    6     18     25     39     49     62

  Virginia          {W.   89    105    114    147    175    211
                    {N.   53     55     53     66     67     70

In spite of the fact that the gross defects of the ninth enumeration
(1870), and in less degree of the eleventh (1890), greatly obscure
these figures, their import and their implications are entirely
unmistakable. Three movements deserve especial notice: the movement in
the first decade, in the last decade, and during the whole half
century. Looking then at Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, and Virginia, we
see that the Negro has increased in numbers in fifty years by only 29
per cent., 42 per cent., 79 per cent., 34 per cent. The general
conditions have been certainly not unfavourable, and there has been no
immigration that could appreciably affect these percentages. Meantime
the Whites have risen in numbers by 145 per cent., 128 per cent., 397
per cent., 136 per cent.--aided, except in Missouri, not very greatly
by immigration. That they are crowding out the Blacks very rapidly, is
too plain for argument.

But not only is the Negro yielding--he is yielding faster and faster.
In the first decade (1850-60) his gains were 7 per cent. (not quite), 4
per cent., 32 per cent., 4 per cent.; whereas in twenty years
(1880-1900), the gains have been only 5 per cent., 12 per cent., 11 per
cent., 7 per cent. The total percentage of gain has been actually less
in the two decades than in the one. In these states, then, the doom of
the Black is sealed.

In Louisiana, the course of fate is not less sure. In 1850 the Blacks
were slightly preponderant--262,271 against 255,491; in 1870, "by
reason of slaughterous war," they had increased their lead decidedly,
and very greatly in 1880 (483,655 against 454,954); but in 1900 they
have fallen far behind--only 650,804 against 729,612. Of this state,
then, the redemption is sure and in rapid progress.

Not less manifest is the bleaching of North Carolina. There the
coloured population has not doubled itself in fifty years, whereas the
White has far more than doubled and, but for the plague of war, would
certainly have trebled itself. In the first decade (1850-1860), the
Whites and Blacks increased each by not quite 15 per cent.; but in the
double decade (1880-1900) the Whites increased by 46 per cent., the
Blacks by not quite 18 per cent.

There is quite a similar tale to be told of Tennessee. The great empire
of Texas shows a much better record; there the Negro has, indeed,
ten-folded himself--largely, of course, by immigration; but the Whites
have been multiplied by nearly sixteen. In the first decade the Whites
increased by 173 per cent., the Blacks by 312 per cent.; in the last
decade the former increased by 39 per cent., the latter by little over
27 per cent. Surely, ambiguity here is quite out of the question.

South Carolina has long had the unenviable distinction of being by far
the darkest state in the Union. In 1850 the ratio was twenty-seven to
thirty-nine. She suffered ruinously for her secession folly, and for
nearly twenty years her White population was practically stationary; in
1870 she had only twenty-nine myriads, and even in 1880 only
thirty-nine against sixty of Blacks. But, at last, the tide has begun
to turn. The introduction of manufactures promises redemption to the
Palmetto State. From 1880 to 1900 the Negroes increased by nearly 30
per cent., but the Whites by 43 per cent. The hue of the state is now
almost precisely the same as at the firing on Fort Sumter; she has at
last made good the losses of the war.

Georgia is the watermelon paradise of the Black folk. In the first
decade they gained greatly on the Whites, advancing their ratio from
thirty-eight to fifty-two up to forty-seven to fifty-nine; they still
further increased their gain in the next twenty years, till in 1880 the
ratio stood seventy-three to eighty-two. But this was the high-water
mark; since then it has sunk back slightly to 103 to 118; the Whites
are now gaining slowly. This \example is very instructive and very
encouraging; for it shows that even a steady gain of the Black over the
White continued through a whole generation may yet be turned into a
loss in the next generation.

A similar case is presented by Alabama. Here the Negro's increase in
the first decade was 27 per cent., the Caucasian's only 23 per cent.
The state suffered frightfully during the war, and in 1870 the White
population had actually fallen from 526,271 (in 1860) back to 521,384.
The Black population was then returned at 475,510, but it was almost
certainly over 500,000; for in the preceding decade it rose from
345,109 to 437,770; it must (in 1870) have exceeded or at least
equalled the White. But now the Caucasian begins once more to
demonstrate his superior life-powers; in the next three decades he
nearly doubles his numbers (521,384 to 1,001,152), while the Negro
rises only to 827,307. With the establishment of industries in iron,
the triumph of the White in Alabama has been assured.

There remain only Arkansas, Florida, and Mississippi. In the hot and
moist alluvial lands of these states, the Negro seems likely to make
his most stubborn stand against the encroachment of the Caucasian. In
these three, he is still multiplying faster than his competitors; in
one he is already far ahead in numbers. Must he not, then, ultimately
make them completely his own? At first sight it would seem we should
answer yes, but closer inspection reveals tendencies that must finally
reverse the present conditions. In Arkansas, the White rate has gained
rapidly on the Black. In 1850-60 these rates were: White 100 per cent.,
Black 133 per cent.--one-third more; but in 1890-1900, White 15.4,
Negro 18.7, and for the double decade, 1880-1900, they were: White 59,
Negro 74. From having been one-third greater, the Negro rate has become
about one-fifth greater.

In Florida and Mississippi, the complexion, though still very dusky, is
lighter than half a century ago. In the former, the white excess in
1880 was hardly thirteen per hundred Negroes; in 1900 it had risen to
twenty-nine. In the great cotton state, the darkest spot on the
continent, the Blacks have long been in a seemingly hopeless majority.
This amounted to 15,000 in 1850; in 1860 it had risen to 84,000; in
1900 to 266,000. During the last decade the Black increase per thousand
was 222, the White only 177. So the situation would seem to be growing
steadily worse. However, there is still a ray of hope. The Blacks are
still gaining, but at a decreasing rate. From 1850 to 1860 their gain
per thousand was 408, but from 1880 to 1900 it was hardly 396; they
gained not nearly half so fast. Meantime, the White gain from 1850 to
1860 was only 196 per thousand, whereas from 1880 to 1900 it was 337;
while the Black gain fell from 408 to 396, the White rose from 196 to
337. At this rate the White must surely overtake and pass the Black,
and another half century will almost certainly see the white numbers
greatly preponderant.

The case of Mississippi is especially interesting as showing the
prospect of the Blacks at its brightest and of the Whites at its
darkest. This state has no large city, but few towns of moderate size,
and no manufactures. It is almost exclusively agricultural. Here, then,
the conditions that make for the Whites are at their worst; those that
make for the Blacks are at their best. Here, if anywhere on our
continent, the odds are all for the Negro; and yet, even here, he makes
a losing fight--he still has the advantage, but it is slipping from his

We can think of only one objection likely to be raised against the
foregoing statistical argument. Some one may say that we have made too
little use of the decade 1890-1900, but have preferred the score of
years 1880-1900. It is true that the last decade (1890-1900) shows
better for the Negro than the preceding (1880-90)--which, indeed,
indicated his over-rapid decadence throughout the South. But it seems
hardly possible that this showing should not be deceptive. For there is
not a single known circumstance that favoured him in his last decade
rather than in the preceding. The explanation seems very simple; the
coloured returns of the eleventh census were incomplete--not nearly so
incomplete as those of the ninth, yet enough so in comparison with the
tenth and the twelfth to make the showing for 1880 to 1890 too bad, and
for 1890 to 1900 too good. The census reports of the Black population
for 1850 and 1860 seem to have been substantially correct; for 1870,
extremely incomplete; for 1880, greatly better; for 1890, not nearly so
good; for 1900, much better again. For 1870 this is now conceded. Thus,
in Mississippi the coloured population increased from 1850 to 1860 by
126,000; from 1870 to 1880 by 206,090; but from 1860 to 1870 by only
6,797 (impossible!). In Kentucky it actually lost (1860-70) 13,957, but
gained (1870-80) 49,241; and once more lost (1880-90) 3,380. So, in
South Carolina, the Negro gain was (1870-80) nearly 190,000, but
(1860-70) only 3,500. So, in Missouri, a gain of 28,463 (1850-60) and
of 27,279 (1870-80), but (1860-70) a loss of 432.

The indications of imperfection in the census of 1890 seem clear,
though not so glaring as in that of 1870. Such, for instance, are the
actual decreases in the Negro population of Kentucky and Missouri, and
the extremely small gains (1880-90) of 5,500 (Maryland), 5,000
(Missouri), 4,000 (Virginia), against gains (1890-1900) of 19,500
(Maryland), 11,000 (Missouri), 25,000 (Virginia). Other imperfections,
not so glaring, but quite as unmistakable, a careful eye may detect
only too frequently. Thus, consider the following returns per 1,000,000
for the census years--

                        1860    1870    1880    1890

  Insane                 765     971   1,833   1,697
  Feeble-minded          602     636   1,533   1,526
  Deaf and Dumb          408     420     675     659
  Blind                  403     527     976     805

In all these classes a steady increase up to 1880, then a sudden
falling off in 1890.

Once more, the death rate in the non-registration area in 1880 was
13.42 per thousand; in 1880 it was only 10.79. Such an improvement in
health, especially in districts mainly rural, is quite incredible. The
fact is that for many purposes of comparison the eleventh census is
unavailable--a fact that greatly strengthens many of our contentions.

On its face, it is quite too improbable that the Blacks should gain
only 138 per thousand in the decennium 1880-90 and then, without any
assignable cause, leap to 180 per thousand for the next decennium
(1890-1900). Only two things could bring this about--increase of birth
rate, decrease of death rate. The former is quite inexplicable and
incredible; the latter is contradicted by the facts of the case. It
would mean a fall of four in the annual mortality per thousand, and
there has been nothing of the kind.

The defect in enumeration, certainly so great in 1870 and almost
certainly present in less degree in 1890, is very easy to understand
and antecedently probable. For the prejudice against "numbering the
people" has been strong since the days of David and of Judas of
Galilee, and the Negro flees from the census-taker as from a
tax-gatherer, or vaccinator, or even a kodak fiend.

Be this as it may, it is generally admitted that, in all arguments from
statistics, the larger the numbers and the longer the space of time,
the more trustworthy the indications; in any case then we are more than
justified in taking the double decennium (1880-1900) in comparison with
the first decade (1850-60); since the census of 1870 is admittedly
grossly in error, no other basis of comparison nearly so trustworthy is

Herewith then we close the argument. It seems hardly necessary to add
that the higher percentage of Negro gain in the North Atlantic and
North Central States signifies nothing except that small numbers have
been greatly swollen by immigration. It is well known that in these
regions the Negro, unfed by immigration, tends swiftly to extinction.
Viewed thus from what point of the compass you will, the general
movement of the life of the continent is towards the elimination of the
African element. We admit that figures may be made to lie, but we have
subjected them to no captious cross-examination; we have let them speak
for themselves; we have neither forcibly repressed nor forcibly
extorted any testimony; their voluntary witness is singularly
consistent and unequivocal and wholly irresistible.


It has been proved by the foregoing statistical study, varied in every
way and taking every significant fact into consideration, that the
Negro is everywhere in the United States yielding and making place for
the Caucasian. We might, indeed, have anticipated that such a result
would follow infallibly upon exposing the two races to open
competition. For the Negro has never voluntarily extended himself
beyond his African home; he has never eagerly sought out new habitats,
nor readily adapted himself to new environments; whereas the Caucasian
has traversed and colonized the earth from the equator to either pole;
he has plumbed every abyss; he has scaled every height; he has spied
out every secret place: for him no sea has been too wide, no plains too
broad, no mountains too high, no sands too hot, no snow too cold, no
jungles too dark and deadly. He pits himself against Nature, he forges
for himself Achillean armour, he grasps the shield, he shakes the
spear, and rushes joyfully to the encounter. Nothing of all this,
nothing in any way like aught of this, has the Negro ever done; naught,
in our judgement, will he ever do. The massive facts, then, of the
geographical distribution of the races give token unmistakable that, in
any collision within any but the tropical regions, the Negro must go
down before the Caucasian.

This superior vigour, this aggressive vitality need not reveal itself
to any mass-measurements; it might hide away in the cells and the
finest tissue; it might be not anatomic, but histotomic only. The
distinguished surgeon, Dr. Rudolph Matas, as the result of wide
observation and careful inquiry, declares that pathological-anatomical
peculiarities of the Negro are not recognizable chirurgically; Black
and White are sensibly the same.

Nevertheless, broad distinctions are actually present and come to light
wherever extensive observations have been made. It is jauntily declared
by a great protagonist of the Black man that "physically, he is the
equal of the white man; he is as tall and as strong," and such is
perhaps the general opinion. There is a fine irony, however, in the
fact that precisely these moments in which his equality is so
incautiously affirmed are the ones in which he is distinctly inferior.
He is in truth neither so tall nor so strong, though vertical inch for
inch he is somewhat heavier. It seems needless to copy down table after
table to prove these statements. We quote the words of Hoffman, summing
up extensive comparisons: "The average stature of the negro is less
than that of the white, and the difference, though slight, prevails at
all ages." From Gould's "Military Statistics," pp. 461-465, we learn as
distinctly as we can learn any such facts, that the Negro is not so
strong as the Caucasian; that the mean lifting strength of the Black is
very markedly below that of the White at all ages above seventeen, with
the exceptions of thirty-one to thirty-four, where the Black excess is
nearly five pounds, and of forty-five to forty-nine, where the Black
average is 328.7, the White only 325.7--a Black excess of three pounds.
Under seventeen the White average is only 250.4, the Black
258.9--another Black excess of 8.5, very considerable and noteworthy,
and for seventeen the Black excess is 295-292.8 = 3.2. For all other
ages, the White excesses are as follows:

   18     19    20    21    22    23    24    25    26

  26.8   23.6   15    10   13.7  23.6  8.6   15.6  24.1

   27     28     29    30    35-39    40-44     50-

   6.9   13.5     9   1.4     26.8     10.4    24.2

Hence, it appears that up to seventeen the Negro is on the average
stronger than the White; he is also stronger in the cases measured from
thirty-one to thirty-four and from forty-five to forty-nine, though his
advantage is not great; but everywhere else he is markedly not so
strong. Of course, it is easy to except to such statistics--to say that
the averages are untrustworthy; but it would be very strange if so many
distinct and independent indications were all wrong. As the lowest age
for soldiers is hardly below sixteen, we see that the Black excels, and
only slightly, in only twelve years, the White in twenty-three years up
to fifty and in all above, and on the whole very considerably, his
excess rising twice to 26.8. The indication, then, is of a more
tropical nature in the Black; he attains his maximum sooner, but he
maintains it not so long nor so high; and this might certainly have
been expected.

Similar is the indication of the respiration. In full vigour the
average respiration per minute of Whites, Blacks, Mulattoes are 16.44,
17.75, 19.01; while with impaired vigour the average rates are for
Whites 16.84, for Blacks and Mulattoes 20.71. Here this excessive
frequency is found at every age, both in health and still more in
disease, both for Blacks and still more for Mulattoes. It seems
impossible, then, that the indications should be erroneous. On the
other hand, the pulse of the White, in vigour and in ailment, is faster
than the full Black's, but slower than the Mulatto's; Whites 74.84,
77.21; Blacks 74.02, 76.91; Mulattoes 76.97, 83.12. Here the
differences are too slight for emphasis, and we do not know that there
is any advantage in a somewhat slower pulse. But what is the meaning of
the quicker respiration? It means the decidedly lower lung capacity of
the Black. Since the Black weighs more per inch of height than the
White, we are prepared to find his chest measurements greater after
respiration. These measurements confirm each other. Of 315,620 White
soldiers the average girth of chest was 33.42 inches, but of 25,828
coloured soldiers it was 33.69; and this difference in favour of the
Blacks maintained itself for all statures. However, the lung capacity
or mobility of chest (_i.e._ the difference between the girth at forced
inspiration and forced expiration) is greater in the Whites; in 6,359
Whites the average was 3.24; in 377 Negroes it was 3.23. This
difference is too small to be worth noting, but mark you! in the
under-weights (100 to 120 pounds) the mobility was far greater in the
Blacks (3.33 against 3.15), also in the overweights (180 and more)
(3.38 against 3.27); but in the normal weights (120 to 180) it
everywhere favoured the Whites. Moreover, these Whites were about an
inch taller than the Blacks (67.30 against 66.39) at all ages; their
chest girth was nearly half an inch less (32.49 against 32.84), and yet
their lung capacity was greater. The indication of stronger lungs seems

At this point it seems necessary to point out that in this extremely
important matter of chest mobility, the Negro is not maintaining
himself but is perceptibly declining. In 1861-65 the excess favoured
the Whites for the ages thirty to thirty-nine, and under twenty; for
all other ages it favoured the Blacks, who fell behind only .01 on the
general average (3.24 and 3.23). But in 1892-94 it favours the Whites
at all ages; and the White excess has increased to .35 (2.93 and 2.58).
(Reports of Provost-Marshal General, Vol. I., and of Surgeon General of
U.S.A., 1893-95.) The indication is not in itself infallible, but it
has great significance in connection with other corroborative evidence.

Lung capacity is not chest mobility, but the two are closely related.
Gould's measurements indicate a very decidedly smaller number of cubic
inches of air in case of the Negro, and this for all heights and
weights. The White excess increases steadily from eight cubic inches
(for under-heights, sixty inches) up to fifteen and one-half cubic
inches for over-heights (seventy-one inches), but falls back to
fourteen and one-half for six-footers. On the other hand, this White
excess falls from twenty-five and one-half cubic inches for narrow
chests (30 inches) down to two cubic inches for large girths (40
inches); but its uniform presence shows that the excess is a fact,
whatever may be the varying size of the fact. Here again the indication
is unambiguous that the Negro is short-winded, weak-lunged as compared
with his White rival.

This indication is immensely strengthened by combination with another
exceedingly important fact. It has been said that the Negro is stouter
than the White, at all ages and all statures, weighing more per inch of
height. Now this extra weight per vertical inch is considered of all
outward signs the best for lung strength and lung soundness. "Are you
gaining in weight?" is the all-important question that the physician
asks of his tuberculotic patient. The Negro has (or had) here very much
outwardly in his favour; the lower height, the heavier build, the
greater girth of chest; so important is the single item of weight that
it is held on the basis of the broadest induction that even a very
slight overplus in heaviness may suffice to counteract effectively a
hereditary disposition towards tubercle, while actuaries are agreed
that slightness in proportion to age and height greatly determines
susceptibility to consumption.

And yet, in spite of all, he is the peculiar victim of tuberculosis,
which attacks him not only with great and increasing frequency, but
with especial malignance. Of his enormous death rate from lung
affections, we have yet to speak. Here we would merely point out the
obvious conclusion, that histologically the Negro thus appears inferior
to the White man; not only do his tissues offer ready lodgement to the
invading bacillus, but they offer far less stubborn and protracted
resistance to such inroads when once in progress.

At this point, it seems well to quote the conclusions of Hoffman (pp.

"First. The average weight of the colored male of military age, and of
colored male and female children, is greater than that of whites of the
same classes. This excess in weight prevails irrespective of age,
stature, or circumference of the chest.

"Second. Already quoted. (p 217).

"Third. The greater weight and smaller stature of the negro as compared
with the white are found to prevail practically the same to-day as
thirty years ago. The race has therefore undergone no decided change in
respect to these conditions of bodily structure.

"Fourth. The average girth of chest of the negro male of thirty years
ago was slightly greater than that of the white, but at the present
time the chest expansion of the colored male is less than that of the
white. This decrease in the size of the living thorax in part explains
the increase in the mortality from consumption and respiratory

"Fifth. The capacity of the lungs of the negro is considerably below
that of the white. This fact coupled with the smaller weight of the
lungs (4 oz.) is without question another powerful factor in the great
mortality from diseases of the lungs.

"Sixth. The mean frequency of respiration is greater in the negro than
in the white. As accelerated respiration indicates a tendency towards
disease, the fact just stated fully supports those regarding inferior
vital capacity and lesser degree of mobility of the chest.

"Seventh. The mean lifting strength of the white is in excess of that
of the negro. The prevailing opinion that the negro is on the whole
more capable of enduring physical exercise is therefore disproved."
[H.'s "therefore" is quite unwarranted. There is no such necessary
connection between strength to lift and strength to endure. However,
his conclusion, although illogical, is nevertheless correct, as appears
plainly from a large body of other evidence.] "This fully agrees with
the facts regarding excessive mortality, which in itself is proof" [or
at least indication] "of a lesser degree of physical strength.

"Eighth. The power of vision of the negro is inferior to that of the
white, but he is less liable to diseases of the eye, especially color

In the light of these "conclusions," which accord so perfectly with the
great facts of geographical distribution, how is it possible to speak
of the Negro as physically equal to the Caucasian?

But not only is this comparative structural weakness clearly indicated,
but it is becoming more and more apparent. The marked apparent decline
in the chest expansion between 1863 and 1894 (from 3.23 to 2.58), the
increasing mortality, the decreasing immunity, the vague but unvarying
testimony of general observation--all tell one and the same unambiguous


It has been well said by Professor Willcox that the three great causes
of race extinction are disease, vice, and profound discouragement. Are
these formidable three at work against the American Negroid? It is
mainly a matter of statistical evidence. We have indeed few statistics
of discouragement, but of vice and disease they greatly abound. Of all
statistics those of mortality and vitality are perhaps the most
important, the most trustworthy, the most significant, the most
suggestive, and the most weirdly fascinating. They fill two gigantic
volumes of the twelfth census report, and to them we appeal in the
prosecution of our inquiry.

Unfortunately these reports, as wholly trustworthy, do not cover the
whole of the United States, but only a very wide registration area,
including about 38 per cent. of the total population and about 86.7 per
cent. of the urban population. For the rest only an inference, checked
on this side and on that, is allowed. However, the general result is
affected very little by this undetermined element; and our arguments
and conclusions, since they deal with only the large features in the
case, are not affected at all.

The first great fact that meets us, is this: The average death-rate of
the Negro is not far from double that of the White. For the year 1890
the rates per myriad were: White 196, Coloured 299--a coloured excess
of 55 per cent.; for the year 1900 they were: Whites 178, Coloured
296[38]--a coloured excess of 66 per cent. The rates were almost exactly
as five to three! Not only then is the Black dying faster than the
White, but his rate exceeds the White rate more and more, having gained
14 per cent. in ten years. The White rate has fallen very
markedly--eighteen per myriad in these ten years; the Negro, only three
per myriad. Were the whole population considered, it is doubtful
whether his rate has fallen at all. Indeed, in cities not in the
registration states his rate has actually risen perceptibly, from 309
to 313, whereas the White rate has meanwhile fallen from 189 to 175.

      [38] These are the "uncorrected rates" in the registration area.
      The rates corrected--on the basis of age distribution--are still
      far more ominous for the Negro. They are, in the entire
      registration area: for native Whites having one or both parents
      foreign, 187; for native Whites having both parents native, 166;
      for Negroids, 347.

      "One is warranted, then, in saying that according to the best
      evidence obtainable the death rate of the negroes in the
      registration area is nearly double that of the whites in the same

      "On these assumptions the computed death rate of the non-Caucasians
       in 1890 was 34.4 and in 1900, 34.2; of the whites in 1890, 19.5,
       and in 1900, 17.4. It seems not improbable that these figures
       may be trusted so far as they indicate that there has been a
       decline in the death rate of each race during the last ten
       years, that the decline among the negroes has been less rapid
       than that among the whites, and that the death rate of the
       negroes at the present time is about, but not quite, twice that
       of the white race." Census _Bulletin 8, Negroes in the United
       States_, p. 66a.

      But as the death rate of the Negroes in 1890 was reckoned on a
      return of population almost certainly considerably too low, that
      rate was itself too high; the proper correction would probably
      bring the rate in 1890 even below that of 1900.

When now we consider the causes of this astonishing mortality, its
significance seems greatly enhanced. It was long believed, with more or
less reason, that the Negro enjoyed a certain at least partial immunity
from some of the most formidable diseases that assail the Caucasian. He
was thought less exposed to consumption and malaria, far less to cancer
and nervous disorders. But now listen to the tale of the census! In
scarlet fever and diphtheria and cancer, the Caucasian still asserts
his sad preëminence; his rates per myriad are 120, 459, 667, against
the Negro's 26, 320, 480. But in all the others, he is far outstripped.
Thus, the rates per million, for Whites and Blacks, are: consumption,
1735 and 4854; pneumonia, 1848 and 3553; diseases of the nervous
system, 2137 and 3080; of the urinary system, 998 and 1573; heart
diseases and dropsy, 1374 and 2211; typhoid fever, 324 and 675;
malarial fever, 65 and 632! We note here especially the fearful
prevalence of consumption, an almost infallible index of failing
vitality. Still more astonishing is the mortality from nerve-diseases,
where we should least expect them--a most interesting side-light on the
question of "discouragement." Equally instructive are the numbers 998
and 1573; the sad tale they tell is confirmed by such facts as these:
the deaths (in 1900) from diseases affecting female organs of
generation were: Whites 2661, Coloured 592. From affections concerned
with pregnancy they were: Whites 7816, Coloured 1883. Remember that the
former outnumber the latter nearly eight to one; and you perceive that
the Coloured death-rate is nearly double the White. Add to the
foregoing that the deaths from venereal diseases were: Whites 1030,
Coloured 561. At the White rate, this latter should have been 135
only--an excess of 316 per cent.; the Black death rate is over four
times as great as the White. All this indicates the destructive
prevalence, among the Blacks, of these race-ruining maladies from which
they were so long supposed to be comparatively exempt. We observe also
that cancer is rapidly marching to the front among the plagues of the
Negro--indeed, it already attacks the womb of the Black more frequently
than that of the White. Any one of these indications, or any two, or
perhaps three, might be misleading; but not the general consensus of
all. If evidence has any value at all, there can be no doubt whatever
that these figures indicate both a low viability in the Black man and
the appalling prevalence of the most race-destructive disorders.

We would not disguise the fact that the last census, while in general
so exceedingly gloomy in its omens for the Negro, is yet traversed here
and there by some brighter ray. Thus, the city death rate from
consumption fell from 6,001 in 1890 to 4,710 in 1900, and the rural
from 3,652 to 3,227; especially the first comparison seems very
encouraging. But we must remember that in that decade science and art
vied in desperate struggle against that disease, which could hardly
fail to produce at least temporary notable results, especially in the
earlier years of life, where the principal gain was made. During the
same period the White urban rate fell from 2,851 to 1,978, or 31 per
cent. against the Negro 21.5 per cent.; and the White rural rate from
1,777 to 1,316 or 26 per cent. against the Negro loss of 12 per cent.
Meanwhile, also, the White rate for pneumonia has perceptibly fallen
everywhere, while the Negro rate has scarcely changed in town (3,469
against 3,480) and has actually risen decidedly in the country (1,767
against 1,583), and in the registration area from 279 to 349!

There is no escape, then, from our conclusion. It is vain to allege
excessive infant mortality, unhygienic conditions, and the like as
explanations. The huge death rate faces the observer along the whole
line and under all circumstances. Thus in the registration area, for
1900, the Negro rate for the various ages showed the following excesses
over the White rate:

  Ages                0-4   5-14  15-24  25-34  35-44  45-64  65-

  Excess (per cent.)  137   139    164    96      89     71   26

While these excesses are greatest up to manhood, they remain very great
even up to old age. The relative importance of infant mortality among
the Negroes is commonly much exaggerated. In 1900 the number of deaths
under five years, per 10,000 deaths at all ages, was: Whites, 3,022;
Negroes, 3,422--a comparative excess of only about 13 per cent. It is
from 10 to 25 that the Negro offers relatively the richest field to
disease and death. The lowered death-rate observed in the cities is
referable almost wholly to the earliest years. Thus, in New Orleans,
the rates for White and Black for the triennium 1899-1901, as compared
with 1889-1891, showed the following gains (unmarked) and losses
(marked -) per myriad:

  Ages      0-4   5-9   10-19   20-29   30-49   50-69   70-

  White    -172    -9     -1      -9     -26     -48    -69
  Coloured -109     2     26      62      22      57   -635

Here the mortality (per 10,000 Whites) has decreased slightly along the
whole line; among the Blacks it has decreased at the ends, but has
increased everywhere else--a result extremely significant. Similarly
for Washington and Charleston. Once more, the statistics of hospitals,
as the Johns Hopkins (Baltimore) and the Charity (New Orleans), show an
average death rate of the Blacks nearly double that of the Whites,
except in surgical cases. Here the general conditions are practically
the same for both races, the duration of treatment averages the same,
and the far greater mortality is virtually decisive for the far less
vitality of the Negro race.

The very strongest corroboration of our contention is furnished by
Surgeon-General O'Reilly in his recent report for the fiscal year,
ending June 30, 1903. The death rates of White and Coloured soldiers
were 144 and 241 per myriad, respectively, almost exactly in the ratio
of three to five--a coloured excess of over 67 per cent. Here the life
conditions were sensibly the same; the far higher vitality of the
Caucasian appears in the boldest relief.

The question of increase, already discussed, is very intimately
connected with the death rate, but equally so with the far less
accurately known birth rate; in fact, the rate of growth in numbers is
the difference of these two. Evidently, a very high death rate may
consist with a rapid increase in numbers, if only the birth rate be
high enough; on the other hand, even a high birth rate would bring
about little increase, if the death rate should be inordinately high.
No one seriously questions the great mortality among the Negroes; but
their champions think and hope that this may be made good by extreme
fertility. Let us see what this latter would have to be. Since the
former is nearly 300 per myriad, in order to maintain the very low rate
of growth of 100 per myriad, the latter would have to reach 400. Is
this rate a fact? And, if so, is it likely to continue to be a fact? We
shall summon all the evidence accessible, both direct and indirect.
While nothing like minute exactness is at present attainable, the
general purport of the testimony can not, it seems, be mistaken.

The birth and death rates for certain European countries, for the last
decade, are as follows (per myriad):

               England Scotland Ireland Denmark Norway Sweden
                and W.

  Births         301      307     230     303      304      272
  Deaths         184      188     181     177      165      164
  Increase       117      119      49     126      139      108

               Austria  Hungary   Ger.   Prussia Netherl'd. Belgium

  Births         372      405     362     368      327       289
  Deaths         271      303     225     221      186       192
  Increase       101      102     137     147      141        97

               France    Italy  Switzerland

  Births         222      355     277
  Deaths         216      246     190
  Increase         6      109      87

In Eastern Europe, says Rubin, the birth rate varied from 450 to 470
for a century (1800 to 1900); but in Western Europe, since 1870, it
fell from 342 to 313 (1900).

The determination of this rate in the United States cannot be made with
certainty or confidence, owing to the imperfection of the data. Our
census reports yield such results as these for the last decade, for the
whole United States, according to the analyses of the census:

Average annual excess of births per myriad, 177; average annual number
of deaths per myriad, 174; hence, average annual number of births per
myriad, 351.

On this result we may perhaps rely so far as to say that the rate lies
somewhere between 330 and 370.

Similar analysis yields the following average annual excess of births
for native Whites, foreign Whites, and the Coloured (_i.e._ practically
Negroes) in the United States, and in the four grand divisions:
Northeastern, Central and Northern, Southern, and Western.

                            N.W.  F W.   C.

  United States             195   365   178
  Northeastern               38   396   101
  Central and Northern      200   360   102
  Southern                  241   274   191
  Western                   259   403     2

Here the more rapid multiplication of the Caucasian is indicated under
all conditions, with the single startling exception of New England. In
the West, the Coloured are mostly Indians.

Not less impressive are these same excesses arranged by States:

       Ala. Ark. Del. D.C. Fla. Ga.  Ky.  La.  Md.  Miss. N.C. S.C.

  N.W. 276  297  103  132  288  234  209  358  168  258   193  178
  F.W. 306  317  310  194  497  240  152  112  175  225   104  110
  C.   249  233   73  107  245  225   83  215   92  264   138  167

       Tenn. Tex. Va. W.Va. Ill. Ind. Ia. Kan. Mich. Minn. Mo. Neb.

  N.W. 173   387  75  339   228  163  298 216  193   400   263 222
  F.W. 230   532 106  252   439  194  310 300  401   534   171 437
  C.   136   310  74  196   168  142   62 202  150    26    90 -43

       N.J. N.D. O.  Pa.  S.D. Wis. Conn. Me. Mass. N.H. N.Y. R.I. Vt.

  N.W. 139  353  129 140  299  412   -18  -42  38  -104    89  ...  -88
  F.W. 398  921  219 368  528  345   425  474 456   585   366  462  232
  C.   136 -230  120 138 -241 -146   89   125 174  -150    88   60  184

To be sure, these results are greatly complicated and deeply obscured
by immigration and emigration. None of them state the case correctly;
but they can not all err the same way, and collectively they exhibit
clearly that the Negro is losing ground everywhere in the race for
numbers. But these rates furnish us no independent evidence concerning
the birth rate. Such, however, we find in the number of births in the
census years 1890 and 1900. The returns are certainly incorrect,
certainly incomplete; they yield a mean birth rate of only 272--surely
too small, leaving a deficiency of 79 or of 28-1/2 per cent. That the
enumeration of births should be defective is not at all surprising; but
there is no reason to suppose the returns for 1890 less imperfect, and
a comparison of the two cannot fail to be instructive:

       U.S. N.E. C.& N. S.W. Conn. Me. Mass. N.H. N.Y. R.I.
  1900 272  238  259    315  240   211 240   213  242  243
  1890 269  221  268    301  213   176 215   180  233  223

       Vt. Ind. Ill. Ia. Kan. Mich. Minn. Mo. Neb. N.J.
  1900 213 249  255  258 258  243   287   260 272  258
  1890 183 254  278  263 285  249   302   290 299  253

       N.D.  O.  Pa. S.D. Wis. Al. Ark. Del. D.C. Fla.
  1900 336  231  269 308  274  321 324  247  203  309
  1890 365  242  258 318  271  306 343  250  233  287

       Ga.  Ky. La. Md. Miss. N.C. Okl. S.C. Tenn. Tex.
  1900 321 306 305 263  312   337  337  343  307   329
  1890 306 296 298 260  303   301  221  313  308   316

       Va. W.Va. Ariz. Cal. Col. Ida. Mt. Nev. N.M. Or.
  1900 303 332   269   183  239  304  244 189  336  204
  1890 272 307   172   196  256  266  218 155  330  226

        Ut. Wash. Wy.
  1900 352  220   242
  1890 312  238   217

These data are inexact; they are bound up with the errors of
enumeration, particularly in 1890, but they confirm in general the high
fecundity of the American Caucasian everywhere, save in the Northeast.
The high rate indicated in the South cannot be due to the Negro. In
West Virginia the coloured element is insignificant, yet the return is
very large--332; in Kentucky the Negro hardly holds his own in numbers,
yet the whole birth rate is 306. In the Carolinas the native Whites
have far outrun the Blacks in increase, and the birth numbers are
337,343; whence it seems clear that nothing points to a Negro rate
higher than 351--higher than the general average for the Union. But is
the Black rate really so high? Despite the prevailing crude opinion, we
feel sure that it is sensibly lower and is steadily falling. There is
nothing in the history of the Negro to suggest great fecundity. He has
never populated his fatherland densely and poured over into the
territory of his neighbours. In the West Indies, where birth tables
have been kept with some care, there is no token of great fertility. In
Alabama, the records since 1888 point to a birth rate among Whites
thrice as high, among Blacks only twice as high, as the death rate. In
1890 the births recorded were: Whites 13,631; Blacks 9,955--the highest
in six years but one (9,961 in 1893). In this year the populations were
as 100 to 83, but the births as 100 to 73. You say that the Black
births were not all recorded. Very true, but neither were the White.
The excess of deficiency in the Blacks must have been 14 per cent. of
the whole, in order to make their rate equal to the Whites'. Maybe
these records are not worth the paper they were written on; but can the
same be said of the New England records? In Rhode Island, from 1861 to
1893, the _excess_ of _deaths_ over _births_, among the Negroes, was
18; in Connecticut from 1881 to 1893 the same excess was 272; in
Massachusetts in 1888 it was 68. "... we must conclude, however
reluctantly (sic!), that the race is not self-sustaining in this
latitude" (Dr. Fisher, Registrar of Vital Statistics, Rhode Island,
quoted by Hoffman). Similarly Dr. Snow, Registrar of Providence;
similarly Appolino, Registrar of Boston (both quoted by Hoffman). We
could go on massing such evidence, but it may all be scouted as
irrelevant, since the question is not about the Negro in the North, but
in the South. However, it is precisely in the North, especially the
Northeast, that his numbers are increasing, of course by immigration,
faster and faster; if, then, he "is doomed to extinction" there, his
numbers elsewhere must suffer corresponding depletion.

There is yet another and more satisfactory way of attacking this
problem of the birth rate--not a direct, but an indirect one. Says the
great statistician, Marcus Rubin, in his paper on "Population and Birth
Rate," read before the British Association at Bradford, September,
1900: "Quite generally it may be remarked that a large birth rate will
crowd the age-groups corresponding to childhood comparatively to what
would result from a small birth rate. It is also clear that, when the
adults produce a numerous offspring, the latter will, other things
being equal, constitute a larger proportion of the whole population
than if it were less numerous."

Rubin has Denmark in mind, and western Europe;--he is not dreaming of
the Gulf States. Let us apply this common-sense principle to the case
in hand. Here is a table of the per thousands of the population at
various ages, native White and Black. We take the native White, since
immigrants are generally of full age, and we are now concerned with the
general fertility of Caucasian natives and not of foreigners; of the
latter, it is confessedly very high.

                               1880    1890    1900

  Under 1 year           N.W.    33      30      30
                         N.      34      23      28

  From 1 to 4 years      N.W.   123     112     110
                         N.     131     111     109

  From 5 to 9 years      N.W.   144     136     133
                         N.     154     145     136

  Total under 10 years   N.W.   300     278     273
                         N.     319     284     273

Here the situation is revealed with great clearness. We see that both
in White and in Black the race is aging; extreme youth is becoming less
and less conspicuous. But the diversities are broadly marked. In babes,
the Blacks fall behind by two per thousand of their total; in children
from one to four years, they again fall behind, but only one per
thousand; in children from five to nine they excel by three per
thousand; in the grand total of children under ten, they exactly equal
the native Whites. This record of itself clearly indicates a failing
fecundity in the Blacks; the younger, the fewer, comparatively.

Still more clearly is this seen, on comparing the earlier record of
1880. Then the Black youth surpassed the White relatively at all
ages--by one, by eight, by ten, and in the grand total by nineteen. All
this superiority has been lost in twenty years. It seems hard to
imagine a more impressive record. High mortality among infants will not
explain this, especially it will not explain the loss in the score of
years, nor the relative scarcity of the very young.[39]

      [39] "The number of negro, Indian, and Mongolian children under 5
      years of age to each 1,000 women 15 to 44 years of age was 759 in
      1880 and 585 in 1900, showing a decrease of 174 [23 per cent.!]
      in twenty years. The number in 1880 was 173 greater, and in 1900,
      77 greater than the corresponding number for the whites." Census
      _Bulletin 8, Negroes in the United States_, p. 14a.

But another fact is illuminative. The chief statistician, William C.
Hunt, remarks (Population, Part II., p. lviii.): "The decrease in the
relative proportion of children among the negro element is due for the
most part to the greater infant mortality of the negro race as compared
with the native white population, although it may be due in part to
_the decrease in the proportion of negro women who are or have been
married, for each age-group_ except that from 15 to 19 years, as shown
by the statistics of conjugal condition for 1890 and 1900." We have
just observed that the first explanation does not explain. "Greater
infant mortality" might cause a smaller "relative proportion of
children among the Negro element," both in 1880 and in 1900; but it
could not cause a "decrease in the relative proportion" from 1890 to
1900, unless that mortality was not only great, but actually becoming
greater. But such is not the fact; if it were, it would mean ruin to
the Negro race. On the contrary, it is precisely in these years of
infancy that the mortality has been reduced. Nor could even a huge
mortality, extending up to the tenth year, of itself bring about the
relatively small number of babes under one year. It is the second fact,
which we have italicized, that throws light on the situation. Except
very young girls, whose marriages are largely transient or nominal, the
Negro women are beginning to shun marriage. This is a part of the
general moral and social declension, which no unbiased observer of the
race can fail to notice. Here are the numbers per thousand, male and
female, of the single and married and widowed, of those over fifteen
years of age, in 1890 and 1900:

                1900    1890                   1900    1890

  Single  (M)    392     398       Single  (F)  299     300
  Married (M)    540     555       Married (F)  537     546
  Widowed (M)     58      43       Widowed (F)  154     147

And for native Whites:

  Single  (M)    397     401       Single  (F)  310     306
  Married (M)    549     554       Married (F)  577     582
  Widowed (M)     45      40       Widowed (F)  106     107

The fall from 546 to 537 is not large--only 9; but it must be increased
by the increase 7 of those returning themselves as "widows," of which
the number, 154, is excessive, and by the excess (3) of divorcees,
making altogether an increase of about 2 per cent. of the female
population, who decline to produce their kind legitimately. It is
impossible to interpret this otherwise than as a sign of moral and
social deterioration, which Nature cannot fail to punish promptly by a
diminishing birth rate.

It is also seen that the White ratio of the married women has fallen
slightly, from 582 to 577--about half as fast as the Black, the number
of the single increasing from 306 to 310. Undoubtedly, the growing
determination of the White woman to be a man--to compete with a man in
all forms of activity--has sensibly reduced the marriage rate, and
therewith the birth rate of the Caucasian, and will yet further reduce
it--a result we must deplore; but there is here no sign of deterioration,
as in case of the Black woman. In her case it _is_ attested freely by
the more respectable Negroes themselves. Ask such a one to recommend
some "nice coloured girl" as a domestic, and she will probably reply
frankly that she knows of none, that they are altogether become
unprofitable, that they are scandalously and outrageously unchaste,
that there is none that doeth good--no, not one. At this point we speak
from personal knowledge. In such statements, there is no doubt
considerable exaggeration; but they are largely and increasingly
correct. Even Professor Dubois, the ablest of Afro-Americans, confesses
that about one-fifth of the Negro families belong to the lowest
class--"below the line of respectability, living in loose sexual
relationship," and so on. "Laziness and promiscuous sexual intercourse
are their besetting sins." He is reporting on the Negroes of Farmville,
Va. (Department of Labour Bulletin, January, 1898, p. 37.)

Much somberer colours must be used in depicting the conditions in
larger towns. He found about 15 per cent. belonging to the higher
class--a percentage that wider investigation would hardly maintain. In
another connection the same stern prophet declares: "Unless we conquer
our present vices, they will conquer us. We are diseased; we are
developing criminal tendencies, and an alarmingly large percentage of
our men and women are sexually impure."

Entirely confirmatory of our contentions are the results of the
intensive studies of Professor Dubois. Thus he finds that the average
Negro family in Philadelphia numbers 3.18, but little more than one
child to the couple. The Mongrel record is even worse. Of thirty-three
families (four White husbands, twenty-nine White wives), the average
size was 2.9; there seem to have been thirty-five children in all. This
painstaking sociologist admits: (1) "That a tendency to much later
marriage than under the slave system is revolutionizing the Negro
family and incidentally leading to much irregularity." (2) "There is,
nevertheless, still the temptation for young men and women under forty
to enter into matrimony before their economical condition warrants it."
(3) "Among persons over forty, there is a marked tendency towards
single life." (4) "The very large number of widowed and separated
points to grave physical, economical, and moral disorder" (_op. cit._,
p. 70).

Among college-bred Negroes, presumably by far the best class, Dubois
finds 491 couples represented by 1,081 children, of whom 877 survive,
982 by 887. This number may yet be increased somewhat by more births;
but it will also be decreased by deaths of the young, so that the total
of the next propagative generation will very improbably reach the
number of the parents, 982.

Once more, consider this table of the percentages in families of one,
two to six, seven to ten, eleven and more in the United States in
general, and in the Negro population of a number of cities, as Atlanta,
Nashville, Cambridge:

             1         2 to 6        7 to 10      11 and more

  U.S.     3.63        73.33          20.97           2.07
  N.       4.75        79.85          15.22            .18

It is seen that the small families (Negro) greatly preponderate. Of the
79.85 per cent., nearly one-fourth (19.17 per cent.) were families of
only two (_op. cit._, p. 167).

"_For several decades to come, the average size of the Negro family
will decrease until economic well-being can keep pace with the demands
of a rising standard of living_" (_op. cit._, p. 166). We have
italicized this sentence, for it pronounces the doom of the Negro.

As the standard of living rises, as competition sharpens, his economic
"well-being" will find it harder and harder to "keep pace," his family
will shrink more and more, his race will dwindle faster and faster into

A striking corroboration of our results surprises the reader of
Professor C. H. Crogman's work, "The Remarkable Advancement of the
Afro-American," at Chapter XIII, on "Mortality." Therein Professor
Harris, of Fisk University, reports an intensive study of the Nashville
Negro, whose circumstances are at least comparatively favourable. In
145 families he found 649 persons, an average of not quite 4-1/2;
hence, he yields the contention that the Negro is "prolific." "The
excessive mortality" he found "due largely and perhaps altogether, to
constitutional diseases." "Pulmonary consumption is the 'destroying
angel.'" "Thirteen suffer from scrofula." "More white people die from
contagious diseases and local diseases than colored; while more colored
people die from constitutional diseases than white." The "crimes of
mothers," he found "also a fruitful reason of the slow rate of increase
in the colored population. This state of affairs is not confined to
Nashville. It is true of nearly all our large Southern cities; and
whether we like it or not, the hard fact remains that the enormous
death rate among us, together with our small birth rate, is one of the
signs of the times that, unless our home life be radically changed, the
Negro problem in America may be ultimately solved by the extinction of
the Negro." And more to the same effect.

Such is the state of case, as attested by a professor in the best-known
coloured university, among a populace that have dwelt for a whole
generation in the shadow of this noted seminary. House-to-house
investigation tells everywhere the same story. Thus, in 1901, as
appears from the "concrete study" embodied in the Master's Dissertation
of William Wilson Elwang, there were 34 births in a Negro population of
1,916 (Columbia, Mo.)--17 per thousand against a death rate of 24 per
thousand. The small family average was almost precisely the same as in
Nashville. There were only 161 children under 6 years of age, and 60
married couples were childless! The interpretation has already been
suggested in the foregoing quotations.

From all of this it is clear, not only that the coloured birth rate is
low and is falling, but why it is low, and why it is falling. It is
almost impossible that it should long remain so much as thirty-five per
thousand per annum, or even thirty-four or thirty-three. It seems
certainly descending towards thirty--that is, 300 births per myriad
yearly. But the present death rate is 296 per myriad; it fell only
three, from 299 to 296, in the decade from 1890 to 1900; it actually
rose from 308 to 313 in the cities of the non-registration area. Thus
it appears certain that the birth and death rates of the Negro cannot
continue very far apart, that they are steadily approaching, and that
without some strange reversal of present tendencies, the birth rate
must ere long fall below the death rate in all but a very few
districts, and at no distant period even in them. In all likelihood
these tendencies will be rather strengthened than weakened with
advancing years, and there are those now living who will actually see
the Afro-American moving rapidly towards extinction. But even at the
present rate, he must shrink swiftly in importance; for the census
analyst admits that even in the registration area the death rate of the
Negro is about ten per thousand greater than that of the foreign White,
and about thirteen per thousand greater than that of the native White.
Since his birth rate can hardly, in the extremest cases, exceed the
native White's, much less the foreigner's, it follows that both must
gain and are gaining on him, at least ten per thousand yearly. Regard
it, then, as you will, there is no escape from our general conclusion,
which faces us from the whole circle of statistical fact.


We pass now, formally, to the second grand cause of the Negro's race
declension--namely, his vice. The general fact is a matter of the most
common observation, but it is also witnessed unimpeachably by the
records of the courts. Here is how the case stands in the census of
1890. The White population was then almost exactly seven and one-half
times the Black. The prisoners in the United States, June 1, 1890 were:
Whites 57,310, Blacks 24,277. In proportion to numbers, the Black
prisoners should have been 7,642, but they were more than thrice as
many; the Black appears more than thrice as criminal as the White.
This, however, is not nearly the whole truth. The list of Caucasian
crimes swells chiefly in the Northeast, where foreigners most and
Negroes least abound. In the various grand divisions of the country,
the record comes out far more clearly. Thus, in the North Atlantic,
there were in prison: Whites 26,182, Blacks 2,037. Out of every myriad
of population there were 155 Blacks; out of every myriad of prisoners
there were 722 Blacks; his prison rate was nearly five times as high as
the Caucasian--this, too, in a region of urban population, largely
immigrant. In the North Central there were 2,738 Black prisoners and
17,027 White; the Negro furnished not 2 per cent. of the population,
but nearly 14 per cent. of the crime; he was more than seven times as
criminal as the White.

In the South Atlantic States, he furnished 8,863 prisoners against
2,544 Whites; not 37 per cent. of the population, but over 77 per cent.
of the trespass; proportionally, he offended almost six times as often
as the Whites. In the South Central the prison record stood: Whites
5,604, Blacks 10,381; the populations are as 6,828 to 3,171; the Black
appears nearly four times as criminal as the White.

It is often urged that the comparative criminality of the Negro in the
South is exaggerated. The White transgressor has friends, money, and
social position and manages to evade the law; the Negro is poor,
friendless, and outcast and falls an easy victim. In a measure, this
may be true--we are ashamed to confess; but it cannot alter the general
fact, only its degree. On the other hand, very many offences of Black
against Black must go unchallenged by the law, both from apathy and
from fear. These two considerations, very likely, about balance each
other. It is thoroughly decisive, however, that the Negro appears a
greater criminal in the North and East, where there is no prejudice
against him than in the South, where the prejudice is supposed to be so
strong. If we compare the states, we may see this even more clearly. In
Massachusetts, the prisoners were: Whites 5,157, Blacks 161. Since the
latter formed not 1 per cent. of the population, their criminality
appears over three times as great as the White; yet they are,
presumably, the very elect of the race--the best Negroes in the world.
In New York, there were 10,745 White prisoners and 723 Black; but the
latter numbered only 117 per myriad; hence, their criminality was six
times as great as the White. In Pennsylvania there were 5,749 White
prisoners and 738 Black; but the latter formed little over 2 per cent.
of the population; hence, again, their criminality was six times that
of the White. In West Virginia there were 320 Whites in prisons and 130
Blacks; these latter formed not 5 per cent. of the population; they
were seven times as criminal as the White. Washington City is the Mecca
of the Negro; there, if anywhere on earth, he should show himself at
his best. What is the prison record? Whites 138, Blacks 358; yet he
numbers only 328 per thousand--he is more than five times as criminal
as the Whites. In Ohio there were 481 Black prisoners, representing
only 247 per myriad of the population, and 2,415 Whites; again, an
eightfold criminality. In Michigan there is no prejudice against the
Negro, but rather for him, and how stands the court record? He numbers
only 73 per myriad of the population, yet he furnishes 141 prisoners
against 1,998 Whites--this time a criminality tenfold! In the South his
record is seemingly better. In Louisiana the Blacks numbered one-half,
but the population of the prisons was 367 Whites, 1,238 Blacks; the
latter were not quite fourfold criminal. In Alabama the
population-ratio was 5,516 to 4,484, but the prison-ratio was 422 to
2,096. On dividing the former by the latter, we find the crime-ratio of
six to one. In Mississippi, the population-ratio was 4,342 to 5,658;
the prison-ratio was 119 to 1,058; their quotient, the crime-ratio, was
over six to one.

In Virginia the ratio is over six, in South Carolina under six, in
Indiana nearly five, in Georgia over eight, in Illinois nearly nine.

Thus it appears that the Negro everywhere, many times oftener than the
White man, falls into prison; but in the North still oftener than in
the South, and not only is he relatively more frequently criminal in
the North--he is absolutely so. For, to judge from the court records,
the South is in general more law-abiding than the North.

It may be useful here to give a table of the criminality of the five
grand divisions in the census years 1880 and 1890, giving the number of
prisoners per million of population, with the increase of each division
in ten years;

                             1890     1880    Increase

  United States             1,315    1,169       146
  North Atlantic            1,624    1,425       199
  South Atlantic            1,288    1,043       245
  North Central               888      862        26
  South Central             1,466    1,250       216
  Western                   2,221    2,199        22

Here the great North Central appears by far most law-abiding. The
reason is, the criminality is raised by foreigners in the East, by the
Negro in the South, by the adventurer in the West. On comparing the
total number of prisoners North and South with the total populations,
we find that there were in the South about six prisoners per myriad of
Whites, and twenty-nine prisoners per myriad of Blacks; whereas in the
North were twelve prisoners per myriad Whites, and sixty-nine prisoners
per myriad Blacks. On going from South to North, we find the prison
numbers exactly doubled among the Whites, but much more than doubled
among the Blacks.

But our tables can teach us still more. The increase from 1880 to 1890
is worth attention. In the West and the North Central region, it was
only slight--twenty-two and twenty-six per million; but both in the
South Central and the South Atlantic, it was very great--216 and 245
per million. To whom was it due? To the Black, or to the White? In part
to both, but far more to the former. The White increase was only seven
per cent., the Black was twenty-seven per cent. Worse than this,
however, in the North the White increase was hardly five per cent., but
the Black increase was thirty-five per cent.--whence it appears that in
criminality the Negro, especially the educated Northern Negro, is
striding forward in seven-league boots.

Closely akin to this latter fact is still another--the still higher
criminality of the Mulatto. In the whole United States, the pure Blacks
outnumber the mixed breeds about six to one; in the North Atlantic
division, about twenty to six, or three to one; in the South Atlantic,
nearly seven to one; in the North Central, over two to one; in the
South Central, about six to one; in the West, under two to one. Now we
have already seen that precisely where the Mulattoes most abound, the
Negro is most criminal. Still more definitely, we have these facts of
the eleventh census (1890). Of Blacks there were in city prisons 898
pure, 170 mixed--five to one; in workhouses, 1,004 pure, 333
mixed--three to one; in juvenile reformatories, 1,418 pure, 512
mixed--three to one; leased out (not in penitentiaries), 1,700 pure,
295 mixed--five to one; altogether, in penitentiaries 10,884 pure,
3,383 mixed--only three to one; whence, it appears, that the pure Black
exceeds the Mulatto more in numbers than in criminals--that is, the
Mulatto is the greater offender. This result accords with the African
proverb quoted by Livingstone: "A god made the white; who made the
black I know not; but surely the devil made the mongrel."

The champions of the oppressed will have much to say in avoidance of
the foregoing--nothing, however, that is both forceful and relevant.
They may urge that the offences of the Negro are mainly trivial, that
he is not to be judged too harshly for his penchant towards henroosts;
that such a little thing as a chicken must not be allowed to separate
him from civilization and Christianity. But the facts look the other
way. The great crimes are the ones that swell his list; his slight
offences are mainly against his own kith and kin, and very frequently
go unpunished. The court records, as in Alabama,[40] show that he
aspires to the heights of felony. He is murderous, he excels in arson,
he forges with a will. Of the crime of all crimes he enjoys almost the
proud monopoly, and he plies it in spite of the swiftest, surest,
savagest of all possible penalties. His defenders have here excogitated
a most ingenious plea. This crime against woman is not a reversion to
barbarism; it is not a yielding to ungovernable and brutal lust--oh,
no! It is, they say, a deep-studied revenge; it is an attack by the
oppressed on the race of the oppressor. In the person of his victim,
the Black avenger would hurl defiance and desecration at the whole
tribe of his persecutors. We are not concerned to refute such nonsense.
He that can find satisfaction in thus swapping off bestiality for
diabolism, let him find it. We merely note, in passing, that the North
has recently shown itself as little tolerant as the South of such
assaults on the integrity of the race. To be sure, there are many
crimes, and many of appalling proportions, from which the Negro does
greatly abstain. He does not corrupt legislatures, he does not thwart
justice, he does not evade the Constitution, he does not defy the acts
of Congress, he does not frame tariff schedules, he does not assume
divine vice-gerency, he does not water stock and crush competition and
servilize millions, he does not even buy and sell franchises, nor
divide rake-offs, nor stuff ballot boxes, nor muzzle the press, nor
indulge in other such venialities. But is there any one that does not
know the reason? The Negro is not equal to these iniquities. There fail
him both ability and opportunity. But if any one doubts for an instant
that, according to the measure of his might, he has improved and will
improve whatever stray chance may fall in his way, in fashion that
would even make St. Louis blush, we would respectfully recommend to
such a Nathanael a study of Presidential nominating conventions or any
faithful history of Reconstruction.

      [40] Here is the penitentiary record for 1900:

                                      Whites.   Negroes.

               Convicts                 253      2,147
                                      -----      -----
           For Homicide                  59        366
            "  Rape                       3         41
            "  Arson                      3         38
            "  Forgery                    7         42
            "  Burglary                  34        432
                                      -----      -----
            "  Major offences           106        919
                                      -----      -----
               Population per felon   3,270        317

But has not the last decade abated the "criminal tendencies" which
Professor Dubois so deplores? _On the contrary._ Complete reports have
not yet been issued, but the general facts lie open to view. The annual
summaries of the Chicago _Tribune_ show that the Negro maintains his
lead easily. In 1902, there were judicial hangings 144: Negroes 85,
Whites 56, Indians 2, Chinaman 1; for murder 133, for rape 9; South
101, North 43. There were lynchings, 96: Negroes 86, Whites 9, Indian
1; for murder 41, rape 30; South 87, North 9. The number of lynchings
has, indeed, steadily decreased from 235 in 1892 to 96 in 1902--and not
strangely. Atrocious as such forms of rudimentary justice undoubtedly
are, and severely reprehensible, to be condemned always and without any
reserve, it cannot be denied that they have a certain rough and
horrible virtue. Great is the insult they wreak on the majesty of the
law and brutalizing must be their effect upon human nature, yet they do
strike a salutary terror into hearts which the slow and uncertain steps
of the courts could hardly daunt. In witness stands the fact that
lynch-lightning seldom strikes twice in the same district or community.
Such frightful incidents tend to repeat themselves at wide intervals,
both of time and of place.

Finally, the whole family of facts here assembled, especially those
that establish the greater and faster growing criminality of the
Northern Negro, show clearly that education is not the cure for his
ills. Generation after generation of coddling and sympathy in the North
has not effaced a single racial trait nor raised by a single notch the
average character, moral or mental or physical, of hundreds of
thousands of the pick of their race. Nearly forty years of devoted and
enthusiastic effort to elevate and educate the Southern Negro lie
stretched out behind us in a dead level of failure. We grant freely and
gladly that there are exceptions, rare and remarkable enough. But that
the average of the Negro, both moral and physical, has fallen and is
falling measurably under all endeavours to lift him up, is a fact that
shines out clear in the light of the foregoing statistics.

But not only is it a fact--it is precisely what might have been
expected. A culture, a civilization, to be helpful and healthful, must
proceed from within and not from without. It must be an internal
evolution, not an external imposition. The impulse may, indeed, be
given by contact; it may proceed from another; but it must strike upon
a nature prepared, responsive, and kindred. It must release energies
and potencies already present and in high tension--it cannot create
them; it may be an occasion, it cannot be a cause. You may ignite a
match by friction, but not a piece of chalk.

The civilization of any people is the slow and toilsome growth of
centuries, an unfolding of the people's spirit itself. Its virtue, its
essence lies in this very fact. How then shall such a product be
imposed upon an alien and inferior race? They cannot receive it; they
can put it on only as an outer garment; it can never become truly
theirs, the efflorescence of their own souls. Moreover, in such foreign
vesture they are clumsy and constrained; they cut but a sorry and even
ridiculous figure, like David in the armour of Saul. Well for them if
it prove not to be a shirt of Nessus.

These propositions we make no attempt to argue formally, for that would
be remote from our present purpose. We rest our case on the facts and
figures already submitted. But we must observe, in conclusion, that the
doctrine just enounced is by no means a novelty. Nearly two thousand
years ago, "The Apostle" addressing the Corinthians declared: "Even so
the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God.... Now a man of
soul receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him; and he can not know them, because they are
spiritually discerned."



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