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Title: Anthropophagy
Author: Darling, Charles W.
Language: English
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                           CHARLES W. DARLING,

  Cor. Sec. of The Oneida Historical Society at Utica, N. Y.; Member of
   the American Historical Association; Hon. Member of the Alabama, New
 Jersey, Iowa State, and New York State Chautauqua Historical Societies;
   Cor. Member of the Am. Numismatic and Archæological, and the Buffalo
      Historical Societies, N. Y. S.; Bangor, Maine, New Hampshire,
  Middlebury, Vt., New England Historic Genealogical, Boston, Mass.; New
     Haven Colony, Conn.; Linnæan, Numismatic and Antiquarian of Pa.;
     Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Wisconsin State, Kansas,
            Minnesota and Nebraska State Historical Societies.

                           (PRIVATELY PRINTED.)

                               UTICA, N. Y.
                  T. J. GRIFFITHS, BOOK AND JOB PRINTER.


                            PREFATORY NOTE.

In giving himself to general reading relating to the origin and history
of the human family, the writer of the following pages was impressed
with the frequent allusion to man-eating among many of the peoples of
the world; and although in itself it is an unattractive subject, and
perhaps to some repellant; for his own amusement, and it may be for the
instruction of others, he has been prompted to collate some of the
references to this unhallowed custom, in a connected form. How well he
has succeeded in his effort he will leave it to the reader to determine.
The only merit to which he might possibly lay claim is fidelity to the
facts as recorded by the historians and travelers of the age.

                                                                C. W. D.


According to classic mythology, the _Cyclops_ were giant cannibals, each
of whom had a single eye, conveniently placed in the centre of his
forehead. As the account of these Cyclops is so suggestive, let the
story concerning them be told with some variations from the history as
given by Lamb. Ulysses, after the destruction of Troy by the Grecians,
coasted with his fleet along unknown shores, until the land where these
Cyclops dwelt was reached. He immediately went on shore with a chosen
party of twelve, by whom the land was peopled. The first sign of
habitation to which they came was a giant’s cave rudely fashioned, but
of a size, however, which betokened the vast proportions of its owner.
The pillars which supported it were huge oaks, and all about showed
marks of strength. Ulysses, having entered, admired the savage
contrivances of the place, and while thus occupied, a deafened noise
like the falling of a house was heard. It proved to be the owner of the
cave, Polyphemus, the largest and most savage of the Cyclops, who had
been abroad all day in the mountains, and as he reached home he threw
down a pile of fire-wood, which occasioned the startling crash. The
Grecians, at sight of the uncouth monster, who looked more like a
mountain crag than a man, hid themselves in the remote parts of the
cave, and after he had passed in, he blocked up the entrance with a rock
so large that twenty oxen could not draw it. Having kindled a fire,
throwing his great eye around the cave, by the glimmering light he
discerned at last some of Ulysses’ men. “Ho! guests, what are you?
Merchants, or wandering thieves?” he bellowed out. Only Ulysses summoned
resolution to answer that they came neither for plunder nor traffic, but
were Grecians who had lost their way in returning from Troy, which
famous city under Agamemnon, they had sacked and laid level with the
ground. They now prostrated themselves humbly before his feet, whom they
acknowledged to be mightier than they, and besought him that he would
bestow upon them the rights of hospitality. Jove was the avenger of
wrongs done to strangers, and would fiercely resent any injury they
might suffer. “Fool!” said the Cyclop, “to come so far to preach to me
the fear of the gods. We Cyclops care not for your Jove; we are stronger
than he, and dare bid him to open battle.” He then snatched two of the
shivering wretches nearest him, dashed out their brains against the
earth, and after tearing in pieces their limbs, devoured them, still
warm and trembling, as would a lion, lapping up also their blood.

Alexander Pope, in his translation of Odyssey, thus gives Ulysses’
description of his trials:

         “He answered with his deed: his bloody hand
         Snatch’d two, unhappy! of my martial band;
         And dashed like dogs against the stony floor:
         The pavement swims with brains and mingled gore.
         Torn limb from limb, he spreads his horrid feast,
         And fierce devours it like a mountain beast;
         He sucks the marrow, and the blood he drains,
         Nor entrails, flesh, nor solid bone remains.
         We see the death from which we cannot move,
         And humbled groan beneath the hand of Jove.
         His ample maw with human carnage till’d,
         A milky deluge next the giant swill’d;
         Then stretch’d in length o er half the cavern’d rock,
         Lay senseless, and supine, amidst the flock.”

Having now made an end of his supper, he took a great draught of goat’s
milk, and sank into a deep sleep. Ulysses at once drew his sword, and
half resolved to thrust it into the sleeping monster; but desisted when
he remembered that only Polyphemus could remove the massive stone which
guarded the entrance. The night was passed in great fear.

When daylight appeared the Cyclop awoke, and kindling a fire, made his
breakfast on another brace of Greeks; then pushing aside the huge rock,
and rolling it to its place again, he stalked toward the mountains.
Toward evening he returned, smacked his lips and enjoyed another
Phrygian stew. Supper over, Ulysses offered him strong wine, which the
brute took and drank. He liked it so well that he told Ulysses he would
show him the kindness to eat him last of all his friends. Having thus
expressed his thankfulness, he sank into a dead slumber, and then
Ulysses gave proof how far manly wisdom excels brutish force.

He chose a stake from among the wood which the Cyclop had piled up for
firing, in length and thickness like a mast, which he sharpened and
hardened in the fire, and then with the assistance of his men, thrust
the sharp red hot end into the eye of the drunken cannibal. The scalded
blood gushed out, the eyeball smoked, and the strings of the eye cracked
as the burning rafter broke in it; the eye fairly hissed as hot iron
hisses when plunged into water. The giant waking, roared with the pain
so loudly that the sound seemed like heavy thunder-claps. He plucked the
burning stake from his eye, and hurled the wood madly about the cave.
Blind and groaning with pain, he groped through the darkness to find the
doorway, from which when found he removed the stone, and sat in the
threshold to prevent Ulysses and the survivors of his band from going
out. They managed, however, to elude his vigilance, and returned to
their ships, where their companions, with tears in their eyes, received
them as men escaped from death. Quickly they spread their sails, plied
their oars, and moved away from that dreadful spot. The Cyclop hearing
the noise pushed to the water’s brink, plucked a fragment of rock, and
threw it with blind fury at the ships. It narrowly escaped lighting upon
the bark in which Ulysses sat. Ulysses cried out to the Cyclop: “Cyclop,
thou shouldst not have so much abused thy monstrous strength, as to
devour thy guests. If any ask who imposed on thee that unsightly blemish
in thine eye, say it was Ulysses, son of Laertes, the King of Ithaca.”
Then crowding sail, they glided rapidly before the wind, and soon came
to Lamos, a port of the _Læstrygonians_.

          “Six days and nights a doubtful course we steer,
          The next proud Lamos’ stately towers appear,
          And Læstrygonia’s gates arise distinct in air.
          Within a long recess a bay there lies,
          Edged round with cliffs high pointing to the skies;
          The jutting shores that swell on either side
          Contract its mouth, and break the rushing tide.
          Our eager sailors seize the fair retreat,
          And bound within the port their crowded fleet:
          For here retired the sinking billows sleep,
          And smiling calmness silver’d o er the deep.
          I only in the bay refused to moor,
          And fix’d, without, my haisers to the shore.
          From thence we climb’d a point, whose airy brow
          Commands the prospect of the plains below:
          Two with our herald thither we command.
          With speed to learn what men possess’d the land.
          They went, and kept the wheel’s smooth-beated road
          Which to the city drew the mountain wood;
          When lo! they met, beside a crystal spring,
          The daughter of Antiphates the king;
          The damsel they approach, and ask’d what race
          The people were? who monarch of the place?
          With joy the maid the unwary strangers heard,
          And show’d them where the royal dome appear’d.
          They went; but as they entering saw the queen
          Of size enormous, and terrific mien
          Swift at her call her husband scour’d away
          To wreck his hunger on the destined prey;
          One for his food the raging glutton slew,
          But two rush’d out, and to the navy flew.
          Balk’d of his prey, the yelling monster flies,
          And fills the city with his hideous cries:
          A ghastly band of giants hear the roar,
          And, pouring down the mountains, crowd the shore.
          Fragments they rend from off the craggy brow
          And dash the ruins on the ships below:
          The crackling vessels burst; hoarse groans arise,
          And mingled horrors echo to the skies;
          The men like fish, they struck upon the flood.
          And crammed their filthy throats with human food.”

Following the old classic story a little further, Ulysses and his
followers pass onward to the abode of the _Sirens_, where Pope has
brought together their experience in the following rhyme:

            “Unblest the man, whom music wins to stay
            Nigh the cursed shore, and listen to the lay.
            No more that wretch shall view the joys of life,
            His blooming offspring, or his beaut’ous wife!
            In verdant meads they sport; and wide around
            Lie human bones that whiten all the ground:
            The ground polluted floats with human gore,
            And human carnage taints the dreadful shore.
            Fly swift the dangerous coast; let every ear
            Be stopped against the song! ’tis death to hear!
            Firm to the mast with chains thyself be bound,
            Nor trust thy virtue to the enchanting sound.”

Continuing his journey, Ulysses and his men reach the whirlpools in
which _Scylla_ and _Charybdis_ lurked, and their experience here is thus
given in the Odyssey:

          “Now, through the rocks, appall’d with deep dismay,
          We bend our course, and stem the desperate way;
          Dire Scylla there a scene of horror forms,
          And here Charybdis fills the deep with storms.
          The rock re-bellows with a thundering sound;
          Deep, wondrous deep, below appears the ground.
          Struck with despair, with trembling hearts we view’d
          The yawning dungeon, and the tumbling flood;
          When lo! fierce Scylla stoop’d to seize her prey,
          Stretch’d her dire jaws and swept six men away,
          Chiefs of renown! loud echoing shrieks arise:
          I turn, and view them quivering in the skies;
          They call, and aid with outstretch’d arms implore:
          In vain they call! those arms are stretched no more.
          In the wide dungeon she devours her food,
          And the flesh trembles while she churns the blood.”

It would appear that even the old cynic philosopher _Diogenes_ was
somewhat given, theoretically at least, to anthropophagy, for we read of
him as saying that the flesh of man was good, and might as well be an
article of food as the flesh of any of the lower animals. Whether this
remarkable sage ever put his theory to the test is not known, for no
such confession appears among his precepts or teachings.

Referring now to accounts far less legendary, it is safe to admit that
beyond all successful dispute man’s earliest home was in Asia. History
plainly points to this land as the cradle of the human family. In
looking over this vast continent, among the earliest people who
practiced cannibalism were the Chinese. Their mode of preparing a human
body previous to eating the same was as repulsive as any of the peoples
who never rose to the dignity of an organized government. Having
previously boiled the parts designed to be consumed, especially the
heart, they made soup of the same and partook of it with no little
relish. This was called by them drinking the heart’s blood of the enemy,
and favored perhaps as much of bravado as a desire to satisfy appetite.

In _Shanghai_, during the Taeping siege, Wilson describes an English
merchant, who met his native servant carrying the heart of a rebel, and
on enquiring the disposition which he proposed to make of it, replied
“that he was taking it home to eat for the purpose of making him brave.”

The _Battaks_ or _Battas_, a race of people at Batta, in the north of
Sumatra, and an offshoot of the Malay stock, are cannibals. They are
heathen, very superstitious, and in courage surpass all the other tribes
of Sumatra. Anthropophagy, it is said, still exists among them; nor has
the distant Dutch government on the west coast as yet succeeded in
eradicating the great moral blemish ascribed to these natives. Marsden
describes them as being so fond of their aged kinsfolk, that they seldom
lose a chance to _eat_ them.

Rev. Henry Lyman was one of the first missionaries sent to the East
Indian Archipelago, by the American Board of Foreign Missions, in 1834.
As he was departing for his field of labor, a friend humorously ventured
to express the hope that he would not “_disagree_ with those savages.”
Whether he did or not, can never be told, as this martyr was eaten by
the natives soon after his arrival at Sumatra.

Another authority fully as reliable, Mr. Anderson, relates that these
Battaks not only eat their dead victims, but begin their consumption
before they have been deprived of life; and the causes that provoke this
disposition are midnight robbery, treacherous attacks, and

Junghuhn declares that warlike ferocity prompted these people to eat
their enemies; he also describes them as regarding human flesh a great
delicacy. In fact, they devoured not only war-captives, but even
criminals, slaves, and their aged relations. They speak a peculiar
language, have an original alphabet or character, and write on pieces of
bamboo. They commence at the bottom of the page, write from right to
left, and make books of the inner bark of a species of palm.

Herodotus in the course of his history describes some of the funeral
feasts in _Central Asia_. It would appear that at the time of which he
was speaking the people there ate the bodies of the deceased, and the
skulls were set in gold and carefully preserved. This act was
interpreted as a sacred rite, and religious ceremonies were connected
with it in honor of the dead.

The _Thibetans_, who belong ethnographically, to the Mongolian race, had
the like custom of regaling themselves upon their defunct ancestors; and
Rubruquis adds that they used also skulls as cups from which they drank.
With these people tradition reaches back to the first century before
Christ, at which time the country was divided into numerous small
kingdoms. In the first century after Christ, fifty-three of these
kingdoms became tributary to the dragon throne of China; a prince of
India united the others on the Yarlung River into one state, and Thibet
became a Chinese province.

The _Paramahausans_ of Hindostan, says Bucke, ate the putrid bodies
which they found floating down the Ganges, and that they esteemed the
brain the most exquisite of all food; many of them have been seen near
Benares, repellant as is the language, feasting upon dead bodies.

Solinus relates that the _Derbices_ so far forgot their filial relation
that, having slain their fathers ate them, and regarded the act in the
light of a solemn duty. When a certain monarch of India enquired of the
Greeks what reward would induce them to follow such an unnatural
example, replied, “No recompense under heaven.” The bare suggestion was
not only an impiety, but it fairly sickened them to think of consuming
those to whom they were indebted for life. Later, when the Indian king
was advised by the more humane Greek to cinerate their dead, he in turn
rebelled against such an unholy suggestion.

The religious doctrine that the soul outlives the body, continuing in
ghostly shape to visit the living, and retaining a certain connection
with the mortal remains it once inhabited, has evidently led many to
propitiate an honored and dreaded spirit by respectful disposal of the
corpse. Taking this combination of causes into consideration, it is
readily understood why aversion to cannibalism as a rule must have been
established at a very early period, and it is well to consider what
causes have from time to time led to its adoption. The principal of
these have been the pressure of famine, the fury of hatred, and
sometimes even a morbid kindness, with certain motives of magic and
religion; to which must be added the strong tendency to cannibalism,
when once started in any of these ways, to develop a confirmed appetite
which subsequently is indulged for its own sake.

Pass we now to Europe and other countries where the same customs have
existed as were practiced by the peoples named.

The records of shipwrecks and sieges prove that famine will sometimes
overcome the horrors of cannibalism among men of the higher nations.
During the great famine which smote the city of Moscow with such
severity, it was estimated that no less than half a million of human
beings died from hunger. Along the most public of the streets as well as
in the narrow lanes-where lived the poor, multitudes fell down dying
with no friendly person near them, and others too much exhausted to take
the few crumbs proffered. Children sold their aged parents for such food
as they could purchase, and as in many prolonged sieges parents were
compelled to partake of their own children after famine had wrought in
them its dreadful work.

Josephus records the fact that during the siege of Jerusalem, women
snatched the bread out of the mouths of their husbands, and in every
house where there appeared any semblance of food, a battle ensued and
the dearest friends fought with one another to secure the scanty
provisions. An instance is recorded where two women are described as
agreeing to eat their two sons, during the famine in Lamoine.

At the siege of Antioch during the crusades in 1097, a famine, says
Bucke, existed in the Christian camp, and human flesh was eagerly
devoured. At the siege of Marra the crusaders ate bodies taken from the
graves of their adversaries, and the historian (Albert) who records the
fact, expresses surprise that they should prefer the flesh of dogs to
that of Saracens.

In comparatively modern times during the reign of Shah Husseyn in 1716,
Ispahan in Persia was besieged by Mahmud, Chief of the Afghans, when the
besieged having consumed their horses, mules, camels, the leaves and
bark of trees, and even cloth and leather, finished—so great was the
famine—with not only eating their neighbors and fellow citizens, but
their own offspring. It has been alleged that more human beings were
devoured when this investment took place, than ever was known in any
previous struggle.

                          CANNIBALISM AT SEA.

A sad and recent experience under equally distressing circumstances, is
here told of four sailors, who were adrift for eight days in a dory; one
of whom was partly eaten by a shipmate:

“LOUISBURG, Cape Breton, April 8, 1886—James McDonald of Eastpoint, P.
E. I.; S. McDonald of Broadcove, C. B.; Colon Chisholm of Harbor Bouch,
N. S., and Angus McEchern of Long Point Cape, of the American fishing
schooner Elsie M. Low; March 30 left their vessel in two dories to look
after trawls on the western banks, but a fog set in, and when they were
pulling back for their vessel they got astray. Subsequently calls for
help from one brought the two together again. There being no prospect of
the fog lifting or reply to their oft repeated shouts, they decided to
all get in one dory and make their way toward land. They had neither
food nor water, as they had not expected to be gone long. The second day
the sun came out bright and clear, but no sail was in sight, save the
smoke of one or two steamers on the horizon, the sufferings of the
castaways from thirst were now becoming intense. The succeeding night
was extremely cold and rough and the dory iced up badly, taking all the
exertions of the now weakened men to keep her head to the sea. Some of
them held pieces of ice to their mouths and so endeavored to relieve
their parched throats to a slight extent. Of the succeeding six days’
history it is almost impossible to obtain a correct account, for all
were dazed. The light house keeper at Guyon Island, off Cape Breton,
near Louisburg, observed the dory being feebly pulled toward the light
and assisted the men ashore. His eyes met a ghastly sight. In the bow of
the dory was a lifeless, naked body, that of James McDonald, much
lacerated. One of his arms was hacked off at the elbow, his throat much
torn and pieces cut out of each thigh, while scattered remains of his
arm and flesh and bones, telling the horrible tale of cannibalism, were
in other parts of the boat. The body of the other McDonald was under the
thwarts in the bottom of the boat. The latter was the chief cannibal. He
clamored for his dead comrade’s blood, tore his throat and sucked it,
while the others, worn out, slept, and when they awoke offered them some
of the flesh, which they refused. He then cried for more blood, saying
it tasted like cream, but was unable to extract it from the lifeless
carcass. The next day he became insane, and was with difficulty
restrained from violence by the two remaining comrades until he himself
died on the seventh day. He is a brother of a prominent lawyer of
Halifax. The men rowed in their dory about 90 miles with only the sun
and stars to guide them. One of the two survivors Chisholm is very sick
and may not recover, while McEchern is extremely weak and very reticent.
The light house keeper took the bodies to Louisburg, where a tremendous
sensation was caused among the people of the old French fishing village.
A jury was empaneled and the inquest brought out the above story.”

The earliest references to this subject among the English, are certain
accusations brought against the Saxon conquerors of that country in the
chronicles called the Welsh Triads. In these historical documents it is
alleged that _Ethelfrith_, King of England, encouraged cannibalism at
his court; and that _Gwri_, a truant Welshman, became so enamored of
human flesh that he would eat no other food. It was his custom to have a
male and female “Kymry” killed for his own eating every day, except
Saturday, when he slaughtered two of each, in order to be spared the sin
of breaking the Sabbath.

St. Jerome has the following passage in one of his works: “Cum ipse
adolescentulus in Gallia viderim Attacottos gentem Britannicam, humanis
vesci carnibus; et cum per sylvas porcorum greges, et armentorum
pecudumque reperiant, pastorum nates et feminarum papillas solere
abscindere; et has solas ciborum delicias arbitrari.” The quotation
appears in “Gibbons’ Decline and Fall,” and may be rendered: He learned
that the _Attacotti_, the people of the country now called Scotland,
when hunting in the woods, preferred the shepherd to his flocks, and
chose only the most fleshy and delicate parts for eating.

Gibbon, in comparing the people of Scotland with the natives of the
gorilla country, makes what may be considered rather an equivocal
compliment. “If,” says he, “in the neighborhood of the commercial and
literary town of Glasgow, a race of cannibals has already existed, we
may contemplate in the period of Scottish history, the opposite extremes
of savage and civilized life.” There is reason to fear that cannibalism
was not quite extinct in Scotland, even in an age which must be called

Andrew Wyntoun has a grisly passage in his Rhyming Chronicle, regarding
a man who lived so brief a time before his own day, that he might easily
have heard of him from surviving contemporaries. It was about the year
1339, when a large part of Scotland, even the best and most fertile, had
been desolated by the armies of Edward III.

                “About Perth, there was a countrie
                Sae waste, that wonder wes to see;
                For intill well-great space thereby,
                Wes nother house left, nor herb’ry.
                Of deer there was then sic foison[1]
                That they wold near come to the town.
                Sae great default was near that stead.
                That many were in hunger dead.
                A carle they said was near ther by,
                That wold set settis[2] commonly,
                Children and women for to slay,
                And swains that he might over-ta:
                And ate them all that he get might:
                _Chrysten Cleek_ till name be hight.
                That sa’ry life continued he,
                While waste but folk was the countrie.”

Footnote 1:


Footnote 2:


Lindsay of Pitscottie tells a dismal story of a man who lived during the
reign of James II., (about 1460), at a time also within the recollection
of people alive during the epoch of the historian. He says: “About this
time there was are brigand ta’en, with his haill family, who haunted a
place in Angus. This mischievous man had ane execrable fashion, to tak
all young men and children he could steal away quietly, or tak away
without knowledge, and eat them; and the younger they were, esteemed
them the maer tender and delicious. For the whilk cause and dreadful
abuse, he with his wife and bairns were all burned, except ane young
wench of a year old, wha was saved and brought to Dundee, where she was
brought up and fostered; and when she came to woman’s years, she was
condemned and burnt quick for that crime. It is said that when she was
coming to the place of execution, there gathered are huge multitude of
people, and especially women, cursing her that she was so unhappy to
commit so infamous deeds; to whom she turned about with an ireful
countenance, saying, ‘Wherefore chide ye me, as if I had committed ane
unworthy act? Give me credence, and trow me, if ye had experience of
eating men and women’s flesh, ye would think it so delicious that ye
would never forbear it again.’ So, without any sign of repentance, this
unhappy creature died in the sight of the people.”

In the sunny land of Italy, in the year 1519, at the beautiful city of
Milan, a record appears in its annals that a Milanese woman named
Elizabeth had an invincible inclination to human flesh. She enticed
children to her house, where she killed, salted and ate them. Being
discovered, she was broken on the wheel and burnt.

During one of the earlier revolutions in Southern Italy the _Neapolitan
lazaroni_ (whether from hunger or to manifest intense hatred towards
their rulers, as well as to exhibit the wretchedness to which they had
been reduced,) roasted their fellow men in the public streets, and gave
to all who were willing to partake.

At the time when Belisarius was engaged in the Gothic war, a horrible
famine afflicted Italy, and it is the testimony of Procopius that on
this occasion multitudes in the agony of their want sustained life by
eating human flesh.

When Rome was captured by the Goths in the year 410 and the ports
blockaded, there was such a distress among the _Romans_ that human flesh
was publicly sold in the markets; and many mothers were forced to
consume their own children.

It is recorded also that the _Jews_ (having destroyed upwards of two
hundred thousand Romans in the time of Trajan) glutted their rage by
feeding on the bodies of some of the slain.

Glaber chronicles that during the famine of 1033 in France, guests were
sacrificed by _Frenchmen_ who had welcomed them to their hospitality;
children were enticed into secret places and slain, and frequently human
flesh was exposed for sale in the markets. At the same period, a woman
who lived by letting lodgings murdered and ate seventeen strangers who
had made their home beneath her roof. The fact of these enormities
accidentally came to the knowledge of the eighteenth lodger; having
entered her house and anticipating her purpose, to save his own life he
took that of his hostess.


                (Boulogne Dispatch to the London Times.)

“Excavations in the Chancelade quarries, where it will be remembered a
landslip occurred last October burying a number of workmen, have been
carried on ever since for the purpose of unearthing the bodies. For many
days after the slip was believed to have been smothered, the workers
smoke was seen to issue from the ruins. Soldiers and quarrymen, directed
by a party of engineers, worked day and night in hopes of taking the men
out alive. Ever since the work has proceeded, but of late the endeavors
were not so vigorously plied. The diggers have now reached the actual
spot where the men were engaged at the time of the accident, and on
penetrating into a gallery cut in the stone the explorers discovered the
body of a young man lying on the ground. Photographs taken of the
position show that a dreadful state of affairs must have come about when
the men uncrushed found themselves entombed. It appears undoubted that
some of the men tried to prolong their lives by killing and eating their
companions in misfortune. A few solitary arms and limbs have been picked
up in their prison, and everything points to the fact that cannibalism
was resorted to. The young man whose body was unmutilated seems to have
survived the others, and to have died of hunger.”

Schweinfurth, in a work entitled “Heart of Africa,” assures his readers
that tribes in _Africa_ even now wage war with neighboring tribes, for
the avowed purpose of obtaining human flesh to dry for provisions.

On the authority of Dr. Schweinfurth the _Niam-Niams_, also of Central
Africa, devour the bodies of their dead enemies, and when any one of
their people is old, feeble or so near dying, to use the sailor’s simile
in Charles Dickens’ famous story, “he needn’t be so very partick’ler
about a few minutes,” he is killed and eaten. Runaway slaves when
recaptured always meet this fate, though as a rule the slaves in this
tribe rarely attempt to escape.

The _Wambembe_ also of Central Africa ate human flesh to such an extent
that, when they could not obtain it otherwise, they traded their animals
to secure the coveted article.

A Negro race called the _Babooke_ living near the Niam-Niams is even
more notoriously cannibalistic than that people; and Baker tells of the
_Makkarika_ tribe, dwelling about two hundred miles west of Gondokoro,
who consumed the flesh of man with great avidity. When the slave-traders
made a “razzia,” these natives accompanied them for the sake of eating
the slain. The traders complained that they were bad associates, as they
insisted upon killing and eating the children. Their method was to catch
a child by its ankles, dash its head against the ground, and thus
deprived of life, it was boiled and eaten.

A horrible act of cannibalism at Gondokoro is thus described by N’Yanza:
“The traders had arrived with their ivory from the west, together with a
large number of slaves; the carriers of the ivory being Makkarikas. One
of the slave girls attempted to escape, when a slave dealer fired at her
with his musket. The ball struck her in the side, wounded her and she
fell to the ground. No sooner had the poor creature fallen than the
Makkarikas rushed upon her in a crowd, killed her with their lances and
at once divided her by cutting off the head, and separating the body
into as many pieces as were required. The slave women and their children
who witnessed this scene rushed panic-stricken from the spot and took
refuge in trees. The Makkarikas seeing them in flight were excited to
give chase, and pulling the children from their refuge among the
branches killed several, and a great feast was prepared for the whole

Paul De Chillu, with whom the writer has conversed, says that the
natives of the gorilla country in Western Africa manifest no repugnance
toward human flesh as food, but take it with a relish. The _Fans_, one
of the West African tribes, are known to have indulged in this depraved
taste for human food, and they purchase dead slaves for culinary
purposes from other tribes, at the high rate of an elephant’s tooth
apiece. In polite Fan society, it is accounted a very courteous act to
exchange bodies for table use with the neighboring tribes with whom at
the time the Fans happen to be at peace. It is narrated that, on one
occasion a war party of this tribe while on the march, finding a
newly-buried body in a grave, dug it up, cooked it in the pot buried
with it, and ate the flesh for breakfast as an especial dainty.

                  *       *       *       *       *

War reports on record in England show that when Gen. Sir Charles
Macarthy was killed in the first Ashantic battle, the Fantis, known as
one of the most cruel and vindictive of the negroloid races, ate the
heart of this brave officer to give them a share of his courage. With
them superstition and all the absurdities and abominations of the fetich
still remain in force. Their religion is accompanied with so much noise
that white-faced strangers are driven almost mad by their pandemonia.
Drums are beaten, horns are blown, and all the population unite in
producing the greatest possible din as well as confusion.

The Kamrasi cement friendship by making an incision in the bodies of
their friends, having taken out some of the blood, mixing it with
farinaceous food. This act is supposed to perpetuate a friendship coeval
with life.

The people of _Maneana_ south of the Gambia and Senegal’ Mollien states
are man-eaters; but their preference is for elderly persons; nor are
they particular as to whether the vital spark of life has been

According to Abdallatiphus, during the famine which desolated Egypt, A.
D. 1199, in consequence of the Nile not overflowing its banks, many of
the _Nubians_ living on the river were forced by the pangs of hunger to
kill and eat their own children.

In the interior of New Guinea (the great link by which the Molucca
Islands are connected with New Holland on the one hand and the
Polynesian Archipelago on the other) is a race of _Haraforas_ who live
in the hollows of trees, which they ascend by means of long notched
pieces of timber. The agility of the youth of this race among the
branches of trees is wonderful; they will climb and spring from one
branch to another almost with the ease of monkeys, and like those
animals when attacked all take to the trees as refuges, where they can
defend themselves with great chance of success. Their habits are
essentially the same as those of other tribes already named. Beccari
bears testimony to the fact of having seen some of them wearing
bracelets of human jaw-bones, and necklaces made of the spinal vertebræ
which had evidently been subjected to the action of heat. Their
habitations in the tree-tops were also decked with human skulls, which
led to the belief that the taste of human flesh was not unknown to them.

The _Papuans_ were considered great adepts at cooking their fellow-men,
and with them man-eating, plain, unmistakable and vile, existed up to a
very late period. It is intimated that some of these natives have not
yet lost their relish for human food. The Papuans who live inland are
described as frightful and hideous in appearance, making themselves more
so by the peculiar manner of arranging their hair, which they form into
enormous bunches. This startling head gear is about three feet in
circumference, and adorned with the feathers of birds. New Guinea
contains several varieties of the Papuan race. The black men of the
south-east coast, from Cape Valsche to Cape Possession are different
from the Arfaks inhabiting the mountainous northwest coast inland.

The inhabitants of the Isle of Pines, on the south of New Caledonia,
where the sea abounds with coral reefs, are also known to have been
tinctured with a gastronomic liking for their own species. Among the New
Caledonians the priests claimed the hands of the slain as their special
perquisites; and as those parts of the human body are said by
anthropophagous connoisseurs to be the best, war was frequently
fermented by the priests, in order that their larders might be the more
abundantly supplied. D’Entrecasteaux thus recounts the skill displayed
by the women in their methods of serving up the human body for food:
“Sometimes it was placed before their lords and masters completely
roasted but in a sitting posture, fully equipped in war costume, to
represent the pièce de résistance; then again it would be served up as a
side dish, skillfully cut in slices to tempt the appetite.” He states
also that on their arrival the natives felt the calves and brawny arms
of his men, and manifested much pleasure at the prospect of a feast,
which might possibly be in store for them. This race did not confine
itself to bipedal diet, perhaps for the reason that the supply was not
equal to the demand; but like many other of the Oceanic people depended
for the main portion of their sustenance on cocoa-nuts, roots,
shell-fish, spiders, etc. When all other things failed they have been
known to stay the pangs of hunger by filling their insatiable stomachs
with clay, which though it affords no nutriment, yet for a time allays
the cravings of the appetite.

In _Australia_ where large animals are scarce, certain tribes of an
extremely degraded type have been known to feed on flesh. There is a
story of an Englishman who several years ago went to New Caledonia to
raise cattle for the market of Noumea. While journeying from one ranch
to another, by reason of the bushes and low shrubbery he lost his way,
and after wandering about till near nightfall, finally came upon a large
village of natives. He was hospitably entertained, well fed and by the
great chief Atai was treated with much attention. Atai was very
courteous to his white guest, and when night had fully come conducted
him in state to the hut set apart for his repose. Fortunately the
visitor was acquainted with the customs of the country, and knew the
common method for putting an end to travelers preparatory to feasting
upon them. It is as follows: The guest is kindly received and allotted a
cabin by himself for rest and sleep. The native huts have visually but
one opening, which serves as a door and window. When the guest is
supposed to be well settled in his cabin, this single entrance is fired;
and as it is constructed of light twigs it not only burns very rapidly
but the occupant within is killed and roasted; now the feast begins. As
the Englishman was familiar with this custom of New Caledonian life, and
feeling that the cabin which the venerable Atai had so courteously
provided might become for him perhaps a tomb as well as a cooking stove,
unless he were very watchful, manifested however no distrust.
Accordingly he entered the cabin of the chief, meeting courtesy with
courtesy, until both were fairly housed. As he was in the prime of life
and quite an athlete, he regarded himself more than a match for the aged
cannibal, should he now be disposed to exhibit violence. Closing,
therefore, the door and planting his back firmly against it, laying his
hand on his revolver and displaying at the same time other weapons, he
determined to remain in his chosen position the entire night. It was a
terrible night for the traveler; but none the less for the cunning chief
who again and again from his detainer requested permission to withdraw.
He was made to understand, however, that his company could not be
dispensed with, and that they must not think of parting until morning.
When daylight was fully come, the Englishman now felt assured that Atai
would not venture to allow his people openly to attack him, as he was
well known in the settlement, and both issuing forth together from the
hut, he gladly accepted the escort of a native guide, and was safely
conducted to the borders of the same.

Among the _Maoris_ or aborigines of _New Zealand_ cannibalism prevailed
to an alarming extent, also among the natives of the Sandwich Islands,
Tahiti, and neighboring groups. Ellis in his “Polynesian Researches”
shows that the Polynesians evinced a strong disposition to devour the
flesh and drink the blood of their slain enemies; and the motive which
governed them seemed to be the arousing of terror and obtaining a
satisfactory revenge. A New Zealand warrior having killed his foe, would
sever the head from the body, scoop up the warm life-blood flowing from
the mutilated trunk, and facing his enemies with fiendish triumph would
drink it in presence of other captors. Perhaps if there is one feature
in the history of these islanders better known than another, it is the
reputation they had of preferring the human subject as an article of
diet to any inferior mammalia. In song and story this omnivorous
weakness of the “King of the Cannibal Islands” and his dusky subjects
has been celebrated.

Dr. Brown of Edinburgh in writing concerning the habits and customs of
this people observes with a certain degree of grim humor, “If the
Polynesian did eat his brother instead of loving him, he loved him
(gastronomically) not only wisely but well; for the custom was conducive
of great good, kept down the price of pork, yams and fowls, saved
funeral expenses, thinned the population of an insular country, etc.;
moreover, was it not in part a religious observance only allowed to
certain individuals of high piety and stout digestion, and therefore to
be encouraged and praised instead of being condemned in a chorus of
seamen’s oaths and missionary hymns?” And yet in face of this and
numerous other facts, some positively assert that cannibalism never
existed among the islands in the South Pacific. Time has wrought however
among these peoples great changes, and when as now some of these
pristine savages are seen clothed in the usual attire prevalent in the
western world, it is very humiliating to be asked whether their
respected fathers perhaps ever partook of “cold missionary.” It is but
just to these distant people, however, to say that never was cannibalism
rampant among them, as was true of the occupants of the neighboring
isles; and it is equally pleasant to know that, ornaments of the human
person, either as charms or necklaces, made of human teeth, have lost
their former popularity.

The experience of Captain Marion, a French officer who visited New
Zealand June, 1772, with a party of sixteen men and four lieutenants,
confirms beyond all question the truthfulness of the statement, that the
natives in former times were strongly addicted to this repugnant habit;
for no sooner had the Frenchmen landed than they were attacked, murdered
and soon after eaten. Next morning when another boat’s crew went ashore,
a great swarm of these savages immediately surrounded them, captured and
put to death no less than eleven of the twelve constituting the party.
The survivor witnessed the dead bodies of his companions cut up and
divided among the actors in the scene, each of whom having eaten what he
needed, carried away such portions as were left, to be consumed by his
absent friends. A similar misfortune overtook Captain Furneaux of the
ship Adventure in the year 1773, on Cook’s second voyage. The record is
that a boat was sent to the land under the care of a midshipman and a
crew consisting of ten men, all of whom were killed and eaten.

Hawkesworth verifies the accounts made by other writers, and declares
unequivocally that the New Zealanders ate the bodies of their enemies;
but he remarks apologetically that their cannibalism originated from an
irresistible necessity, occasioned by the pangs of hunger rather than
from any natural desire for this form of food.

_Kotzebue_, in 1824, directed his course for the _Navigators’ Islands_,
and on the second day of April observed the most easterly of the number
rising like a high mountain from the ocean. His testimony concerning
these people is, that “the inhabitants are the most ferocious people to
be met with in the South Sea.” He visited also the scene where De Langle
and his comrades fell, now known as Massacre Bay. On the arrival of his
ship “La Perouse” it was surrounded by several hundred canoes filled
with furious savages, who evidently were disposed to take the vessel by
violence. To prevent any assault, however, the sailors were placed at
proper stations, fully armed, and with orders to check any attempt at
advance. Even with this precaution and in defiance of repeated blows,
some of the more resolute succeeded in clambering aboard. Impelled by
that covetous emotion which no savage has ever been able to repress,
every object within their reach was grasped with both hands, and they
held to it so pertinaciously as to require the united efforts of the
strongest seamen to remove their grip and throw them overboard. A few
who were permitted to remain on deck behaved like wild beasts of the
desert, and showed in their movements the most disgusting propensities.
Indeed one of them was so much tempted by the accidental display of a
young sailor’s bare arm, that unable to control his horrible appetite,
he snapped at the same with his teeth, indicating by the most
unequivocal signs, that such food was to him both acceptable and
palatable. Kotzebue, after other references to the existence of
cannibalism in the islands of the South Sea, warns all voyagers not to
venture among the tribes who have this taste for human food, without the
utmost precaution, as they are more artful and treacherous than any of
the other Polynesians.

Walon, a shipwrecked mariner, narrates his experience in connection with
that of several shipmates, in the following almost ghastly words:

“We had scarcely reached dry land before a swarm of natives surrounded
and made prisoners our little band, now numbering but four men. Too weak
to make any resistance the capture was very easy. Noticing our
condition, fruits were given us to eat and a chance to rest, before we
were marched off to their village. After a while we were tied with
thongs of a wiry grass, and the clothing stripped from our backs. As the
march to the village began, the savages would approach us, feel of our
flesh, pinch our arms and with approving nods and grunts smack their
lips and jabber away in their gibberish. Then the mate says to me: ‘Sam,
these savages are cannibals, I believe;’ his sentiments echoed our
minds. Well we tramped along for an hour or so until we reached the
native village. We were at once taken before the head chiefs of the
tribe. Each of us was again pinched, sounded and inspected as carefully
as a butcher would inspect a calf before buying. The prospects of a
feast on four baked white men caused great rejoicing in the town and as
we were led away to our prison the hungry eyes of the savages looked
longingly upon us. We were provided with a superabundance of food—bread,
fruit, plantains, guavas, and many vegetables that we had never before
seen. Fish and game of all sorts were placed before us, and we were
compelled to eat almost to suffocation. I was grieving myself slowly to
death. My three companions had grown fat and healthy looking as a man
could wish to be. One day a guard appeared and conducted us before the
chief. While on our way, we passed what seemed to be a shallow grave,
scooped out of the sand, which natives were lining with flat stones.
After reaching the chief’s hut we were placed in line, and again pinched
and sounded. Finally, the mate was selected and seized by two savages,
who placed a green bamboo pole behind his back, to which he was bound
securely, cords of grass being tied around his ankles, thighs and
shoulders. He was then laid at full length on the ground and a layer of
green leaves placed on his body, when he was soon completely enveloped
in the leaves. With great ceremony he was now lifted to the shoulders of
four men, and amid a din of native drums was borne to the shallow grave.
An immense fire had been built on the stones during the time in which we
had been before the chief. A ceremony and incantation, followed by
sprinkling the mate from head to foot with a fine powder of some sort,
then took place. The executioner at once stepped forward, and with a
sharp-pointed stone smashed the skull of the mate, whereupon the bearers
immediately placed the body on the heated stones and covered it to a
depth of several feet with green leaves and grasses. We were then led
back to our prison. The fate of the mate completely unnerved us, and all
the afternoon and evening yells and confusion without told us that the
wild orgies of cannibalism were being enacted. Escape from a similar
fate seemed impossible; but we determined to make the attempt on the
occasion of our next daily walk. But before an opportunity presented
itself, my two companions had been sacrificed and had followed the mate.
In many ways I had contrived to keep myself lean, and, in fact, seemed
almost a living skeleton, and the natives had relaxed their watchfulness
to a great extent. Liberty to go about the island at will was accorded
to me, and I soon began preparations for escape.”

Admiral Krusenstern of the Russian Navy, who visited the _Marquesas_,
gives substantial reasons pointing to the belief that cannibalism
prevailed here before the arrival of any missionaries. It is related
that a captive child almost famished with hunger, on begging some food
of the savages received a piece of her own father’s flesh.

Another visitor, whose name does not appear in his book, mentions that
he saw a human head with the eyes scooped out, presented on a bread
fruit leaf to the king, who held his mouth open the moment this
factitious dish was offered.

As the inhabitants of the lone waters of the Pacific have lately
discovered the error of their ways, and ascertained that a coat of
tattoo and a cotton umbrella are scarcely wardrobe sufficient to satisfy
the wants of trans-pacific civilization, there should be no desire to
rake up their old failings. Still there is no escaping the fact
repeatedly vouched for by natives of other islands, and voyagers who
have visited them, that in times of famine the men butchered their
wives, children and aged parents, stewed their flesh and devoured it
seemingly with no little satisfaction.

The religious belief of the Fijii apportioned merely the souls of their
human victims to the gods, who were thought to be enormous eaters; while
the fleshy parts were consumed by the worshipers. In verity cannibalism
was a part of the Fijiian religion, and although their gods were
supposed to delight in human flesh, still the horrors of Fijiian
anthropophagy were attributable more to sensual gratification than to
any devout motive. The Fijiians were of the opinion that many of the
gods resided in or are personified by particular animals, such as rats,
sharks, dogs, and even the human person. Accordingly, he whose
particular guardian-god dwelt in any one of these animals, refrained
from eating the flesh of the same, lest he might offend his divinity.
Again, from some motive—selfish or superstitious—no female children were
allowed to eat human flesh. Every significant event among them was
celebrated by a feast of human flesh, and this diet was considered so
important that a wooden fork was used to convey it to the mouth, instead
of the fingers, as in partaking of other kinds of food.

Williams, who visited these islands and wrote a volume referring to the
habits and practices of these natives, observes that these savages
gratified their cannibalistic appetites to an enormous extent, and they
were particularly careful that no sailor lucklessly cast upon their
shores should escape their attention and final disposition.

Human bones constituted part of the furniture of their houses, and human
hair was used as an ornament in most of their implements of war. The
European missionaries who have lived on the islands declare that these
people devoured most of the bodies of the slain; and though implicit
dependence cannot always be placed on the tales of seamen, it is well to
remember that Longsdorf was told by a Frenchman who had resided on one
of the islands, that the priests often regaled themselves on human flesh
simply from the pleasure derived from its use. At this hour they act as
if under the influence of inspiration, and after various contortions of
the body, appear to fall asleep. On awakening they relate what the
spirit has declared to them in their dreams. The communication made
known sometimes is that a woman or a man, a tattooed or an untattooed
man, a fat or lean man, an old man or a young man from the next valley
or border of the next stream, must be seized and brought to them. Those
to whom this revelation comes immediately conceal themselves near a
footpath or river, and the first passer-by bearing any resemblance to
the description given, is taken and eaten by the priests.

An account of the principal islands of the South Sea left by a
missionary named Russell, relates that the charge of cannibalism brought
against these remote islanders is not without foundation. A war broke
out between two of the islands of the group; the _Chichias_, who were
the victors, resolved to signalize their triumph by a great feast. After
the usual dancing, the chief gave orders to bring forward the supplies.
Immediately the natives advanced two and two, each couple bearing on
their shoulders a man barbecued like a pig. As the chief sat on the
ground, surrounded by his warriors, the bodies in regular order were
deposited before him. They numbered more than two hundred; and when the
actual count was publicly announced the assembly gave expression to the
greatest satisfaction. Skillful carvers at once cut up the parts
dedicated to a particular god, which were reserved for the sacred
ceremonies; the remainder was duly apportioned to the anxious and hungry
attendants. Although these many captives were offered as sacrifices, in
conformity with the ancient religious customs of the tribe; still it is
to be remembered that chiefs, warriors, and even the less ferocious
members of the company, regaled themselves in royal style on this
unnatural food.

In the southern extremity of South America on the shores of the island
which form Cape Horn are the Terra del Fuegians, and although they
occupy this remote extremity of the American continent, in some
respects, particularly in stature, they are like the hyperboreans of the
distant north. In form the Fuegians are dwarfish or stunted. Their lower
jaws project, the long, straight, black hair hangs down their backs, and
in general appearance are repulsive and brutish. Experience has shown
them to be savage and deceitful in the extreme. They have been known to
have killed the crews of several vessels wrecked on their coasts.
Cannibalism prevails also among them, and in times of great scarcity
they will feed upon their aged relations, rather than sacrifice and
consume their fish-hunting dogs. Though their method of reasoning may be
logical, still it is extremely coldblooded, as they say that while the
one is merely an incumbrance the other can at worst provide for his own
maintenance. As a rule these people eat only the extremity of their
friends or foes, and unless pressed for food, owing to certain
superstitions among them, will throw the trunk into the sea.

Fitzroy remarks concerning the natives in Terra del Fuego that when they
are threatened with starvation, as they sometimes are in the winter
season, they will throttle and devour the oldest woman into whose body
they can get their teeth. When asked why, when want visited them, they
did not kill their dogs, they replied, “Dog catch otter.”

Hakluyt gives Verazzanos’ own account of an expedition made by him to
America in 1524. He sailed in a vessel called the Dauphin to the new
world, and discovered upwards of 700 leagues of the North American
coast. The next year, Hinton says, he made a second voyage, the records
of which are equally brief and fatal. Landing on an unfriendly shore
with some of the crew, he was seized by the savages, killed and devoured
in the presence of their companions on board, who sought in vain to
render assistance.

Maffacius and Molina bear testimony to the fact that the _Brazilian
Indians_ were cannibals, and they often declared that the flesh of the
higher caste had a better flavor than had the flesh of plebeians. The
races on the Amazon known under the name of Tapuyos have been
represented as devouring every prisoner they could capture, as a sacred
duty, and a sacrifice acceptable to the manes of their fallen brethren.
Indeed, they practiced a refined cruelty in cherishing and fattening
their victims until an appointed day, when they were put to death by a
single blow inflicted by a club viewed as sacred. The remote tribes,
though leading a more independent life, still retain however much of
their former ferocity; they defend their territories, and allow no
strangers to enter them under pain of being made a meal of; cannibalism
existing among them in all its pristine rigor.

In _Mexico_, a country as old in its geologic formation as any known to
science, with mountains higher than any peaks of the Alps, with a
climate always equable, and a sky in which the southern cross shines
resplendently; even in this land the man-eater has been found. According
to Prescott, the Mexicans were not cannibals in a certain acceptation of
the term, as they did not feed on human flesh to gratify the appetite.
Cannibalism with them in its origin and professed purpose was distinctly
religious. That the primary meaning of human sacrifice among them was to
present victims to their deities is shown, by the manner in which the
sacrificing priest, having torn out the heart, offered it to the sun,
and afterwards went through the ceremonies of feeding the idol with the
heart and blood. According to the Aztec worship one of their war gods
demanded the sacrifice of such prisoners as came into the hands of their
captors. In order therefore to meet the needed supplies for the required
service, war was frequently engaged in.

Thwing states that within a comparatively recent period, a tribe of
Indians inhabiting Texas has indulged in man-eating.

The _Carronkowas_ on Mattagorda Bay greatly harrassed early American
settlers by their keen relish for human flesh. There was also a cognate
tribe, a remnant of which still exists under the name of _Tonkowas_,
which practiced cannibalism as late as 1854. It is affirmed also by a
competent authority, Mr. Walker, a resident of this State and formerly
an officer in the United States Army, that he had recently seen a
returning party of the tribe bring in the remains of a Comanche whom
they had slain, and the night was made hideous by the orgies that
followed. Ere they separated, the entire remains of the Comanche were

Knight is said to have found “man-eaters” on the coast of Labrador,
where the natives are reported to be mild and inoffensive; they offered
to the crews of vessels stopping there human skulls, hands and feet with
the flesh hanging upon them, by way of barter, with the same
indifference that they would have proffered the flesh of birds or

Mr. Duncan (who has spent much time on the northern coast of British
Columbia) thus describes a scene witnessed by him among a tribe of
Indians bearing the name of _Tsimpsheans_: “An old chief had killed a
female, and the body was thrown into the sea. Crowds of people were seen
to run where the corpse was thrown, when presently two bands of furious
wretches appeared and gave vent to the most unearthly sounds. When they
came where the body lay, they rushed at it like so many angry wolves.
Finally they seized it, dragged it out of the water, laid it on the
beach and a couple of the fiends commenced to tear it in pieces with
their teeth. The two bands of men surrounded them and hid their
frightful work. In a few minutes the crowd dispersed, when each of the
naked cannibals appeared with half of the body in his hands. Separating
a few steps from each other, the two men finished amid horrid yells
their still more horrid feast.”

It is common history that the North American Indians frequently
banqueted on the hapless human being who came within the reach of their
scalping knives; yet it is well understood that they did not rely wholly
upon this kind of food.

Hon. G. W. Schuyler, in his “Colonial New York, (Philip Schuyler and His
Family)” makes mention of the following incident related by Colden:
“Major (Peter) Schuyler going among the Indians was invited to eat broth
with them, which he did with much enjoyment, until he saw one of them
draw out from the kettle with a ladle the hand of a dead Frenchman.”

Parkman, in his admirable narratives of the Indians, describes an island
on the St. Lawrence which, when visited by Samuel de Champlain in 1610,
was swarming with clamorous savages. On the main land the _Algonquins_
of the north and Iroquois of the region now called New York State were
engaged in a fierce and deadly conflict, and their yells could plainly
be heard in the distance. Heading a band of friendly redskins, composed
of the Hurons and a neighboring tribe, Champlain with his brave
followers crossed the river to the rescue. The mysterious and terrible
assailants, clad in steel and armed with portable thunderbolts, dealt
death and destruction around them. The firearms of the whites gave them
great advantage, and the defeat of the Iroquois was soon accomplished.
As they fled they were shot down by French riflemen; and the only
survivors, fifteen in number, were made prisoners. That night
scalp-locks were abundant, and torture fires blazed along the shore. The
same night the Algonquins had a feast, and the bodies of their defunct
enemies furnished food for the banquet. A belief existed among these
savages that by devouring the flesh and blood of fallen foes, the eaters
became possessed of their bravery. Sometimes the practice was indulged
in by reason of religious superstition, but in the opinion of Bancroft
it is difficult to determine what religious ideas were connected with
this almost universal custom among the Indians of North America.

The _Iroquois_, as all testimony seems to prove, were also cannibals,
but they were quite discriminating, and only gratified their appetites
with certain qualities of the “genus homo.” Young and tender children,
whom they used to geld and fatten, were chosen in preference to tough
old pioneers; the most delicate portions were considered to be the
hands, feet, arms, neck, and head.

Rev. W. M. Beauchamp in a paper recently read before The Oneida
Historical Society, on “The Central New York Indians,” remarked that the
Mohawks were hardly habitual cannibals, and yet they came very near it.
They feasted on the bodies of braves, hoping to acquire their bravery.

Horatio Hale, in his “Book of Rites,” also confirms the statement that
the Mohawks, though not regular cannibals, sometimes regaled themselves
on human flesh. Mr. Hale adds that as these Indians became more and more
a terror to the surrounding nations, the feelings of aversion and dread
awakened by their habits found vent in an opprobrious epithet which the
Algonquins applied. They were styled “Mowak,” a word which has been
corrupted to Mohawk. It is an Algonquin word, meaning to eat, and
applied to food that has had life. Literally it means those who eat men,
or in other words, “the cannibals.”

Denonville in his journal makes mention of the cannibalistic
propensities of the Mohawks in no very flattering terms. He describes
them as opening dead bodies while still warm, and having cut them into
quarters like butchers’ meat, placed the pieces in their kettles to

Frontenac, in one of his characteristic documents to his rebellious
children of Mi-chillimack-mac, asks, “Will you let the English brandy
that has killed you in your wigwams lure you into the kettles of the

This same renowned representative of Louis XIV., on one occasion even
invoked a band of _Ottawas_ to roast an Iroquois newly caught by his
soldiers; but as they had hamstrung him to prevent his escape, he bled
to death before he could be served up. The Ottawas had a strong craving
for human food, and sometimes a tender-hearted Jesuit priest would be
missing from his field of labor.

Lonvigny reverts to a spectacle which he witnessed where a number of
this tribe fastened a prisoner to a stake and began to torture him; but
as the poor wretch did not show sufficient courage, they refused to boil

The French missionary Brebeuf gives an account of the fate of certain
prisoners captured by the _Hurons_. He states that when the victims
showed courage, their hearts were taken out, cut into small pieces,
roasted and given to the braves to increase their courage.

The Jesuit fathers, who labored in Canada in the early part of the
seventeenth century, give the most explicit testimony to the existence
of cannibal tribes in that dominion, and they admit in many cases they
were eye-witnesses of their orgies.

Lagard, in his “Voyage des Hurons,” shows that among the _Miamis_ there
existed a religious tribe of man-eaters who devoured the hearts of their
brave enemies, not from revenge or ferocity, but with the old idea that
it inspired the eater with fortitude.

La Potherie observes that in one instance the Ottawas drank broth
concocted from the remains of an Iroquois chief who fell into the hands
of his enemies. The victim was made fast to a stake, and a Frenchman who
was with the Indians gave him a sort of preliminary preparation for the
pot by burning him with a red-hot gun barrel.

According to Nadenltoc, Sitting Bull’s band of Sioux Indians opened the
breasts and devoured the hearts of the soldiers slain by them. The Creek
and Blackfeet tribes are also said by Farrand, a missionary for fifteen
years among them, to have eaten their prisoners on the field of battle.

The charge of cannibalism against the members of the Greeley expedition,
and the horrors of Cape Sabine are yet fresh in our memory, and the
sufferings of the men during that long, bitter winter of 1884 have not
half been told. A leading journal in its graphic description of their
privations, makes use of this language: “After the game gave out early
in February, we have good reason to believe the men were kept alive on
human flesh. When the rescuing party discovered the half-starved
survivors, their first duty was to look to the two men who were
insensible from cold and privation even to the point of death. One of
them, a German, was wild in his delirium. ‘Oh!’ he shrieked, as the
sailors took hold of him to lift him tenderly, ‘don’t let them shoot me
as they did poor Henry! Must I be killed and eaten as poor Henry was?
Don’t let them do it! Don’t! Don’t!’ The sailors were horrified, but at
once reported the man’s words to Commander Schley. After a brief
investigation he felt satisfied that the poor fellow was speaking the
truth, and that some of the men who perished had been stripped of their
flesh to keep their starving companions alive. When the horrible reality
was brought out before an investigating committee, it was not allowed to
rest solely on this poor sufferer’s oral testimony. A critical
investigation was made by Dr. Ames, the surgeon of the Bear, and others,
who made reports in writing, which are now in the Navy Department at
Washington. Lieut. Greeley was adverse to having the bodies of the
buried dead disturbed, but Commander Schley had a different opinion. The
bodies were dug from their graves in the little hill just back of the
permanent camp, established in 1883. Most of the blankets contained
nothing but heaps of white bones, many of them _picked clean_. The
remains could be identified only by the marks on the blankets.

From inquiries it is said that Commander Schley discovered that many of
the seventeen men who perished from starvation had been eaten by their
famishing comrades. It is reported that the only men who escaped the
knife were those who died of scurvy. The amputated limbs of men who
afterwards perished were eagerly devoured as food. The death of Charles
B. Henry was particularly tragic. As he was a young German without any
relatives in this country, he joined Company E, Fifth Cavalry, at
Cincinnati. His friends, however, tried to dissuade him from enlisting
in this expedition, but as his spirit of adventure was aroused by tales
of arctic exploits, he determined to go. Driven to despair by his
frightful hunger, Henry saw an opportunity to steal a little more than
his share of rations, and he succeeded; but he was found out and shot
for his guilt. When the body was discovered, his hands and face though
shrunken were intact and recognizable; but nearly everywhere else the
skin had been removed and the flesh picked from his bones. Even his
heart and lungs were eaten by his comrades. One rib was found shattered
by a bullet, and to another small fragments of lead were attached. A
bullet hole was also found in the skin.”

We have now come to the end of the story which we have been endeavoring
to trace. It is very ghastly, containing nothing specially inviting,
with little or no credit to our common nature. Tradition and history,
ancient and modern, record in substance the same truth, and show what
man early engaged in has been practiced up indeed to the present period.
In fact, there are indications whose trend is to make it apparent that
the same unholy and unnatural food was indulged in by prehistoric man.

It is not the purpose of the writer, however, here to enter into any
discussion concerning the age or origin of the human race. This question
will form a subject for a separate paper now being prepared, the title
of which will be

                            PREHISTORIC MAN.

Whewell calls the problems involved in the study of man the
palætiological sciences, in which we reason from effect to cause,
seeking from phenomena actually existing, to ascertain their origin and
causes. Early investigators, like Buffon and Blumenbach, first devoted
themselves to a survey of the elements which distinguish him. They laid
a basis in carefully classified facts, and their method of study has
been fruitful in the science of geology. The subject is truly said to be
one of the broadest which can engage the human mind, and man, by his
intellectual and moral being, stands above every other form of animal
nature, dwelling in a world apart from them all.

With some naturalists the moral and intellectual are sunk into the
physical, and those elements which so widely separate man from beast are
considered as simply developments of the animal instincts. Many
psychologists and linguists, while confining themselves to their own
specialties as bearing on man’s nature and origin, have undervalued the
labors of their compeers, and neglected the results of each other’s
inquiries in drawing their conclusions.

Light is shed on the early history of man, from his relation to the
glacial period by Lyell, who contends that there were two ice-ages, with
a milder interval between them, covering a period of not less than many
thousands of years; while Professor Braun gives to the first ice-age a
period of about ten thousand years.

            “We measure life by years, but not so God.
            A thousand ages are as one short day
            With Him. He counts by deeds not fleeting hours,
            And he who speaks a gentle word, or gives
            A cup of water to a fainting one,
            Will count more birthdays in Heaven’s register
            Than if he lived a million centuries
            Unto himself alone.
            Here all our countless actions touch the springs
            That send a thrill throughout infinity;
            On earth our erring fingers strike the keys
            That shall resound in endless cadences
            Of harmony or discord evermore.”

But it is a difficult task to review the work of those writers who, by
virtue of their greater familiarity with this subject, are more
competent to express opinions; and the only justification for the
proposed paper lies in the fact that the writer desires to bring
together, in as few periods as possible, materials which others have
furnished, together with such reports of investigations as have been
made by eminent men of science, bearing upon this topic. It may also be
suggested that many facts will be added heretofore unpublished, the same
having been obtained by means of direct correspondence with various
geologists and historians whose names command no little weight in
character, original investigation and scientific attainments in Europe
and America. It is hoped therefore that these personal labors will not
be a recasting of simply old material, but a contribution of new facts
and inferences not before given to the public. As the patronage afforded
to such a paper would probably be too scanty to make it attractive to
publishers, it may be added that it is contemplated to put these results
beyond the reach of ordinary dangers, by embodying them in a publication
privately printed.


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected typographical errors.
 2. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
 3. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

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