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Another chief characteristic of the American is the length of the neck; not that it is absolutely longer than amongst us, but appears longer on account of leanness. The Americans again soon recognize the European by the opposite characters. “He is a stranger, look at his neck, an American has no such neck."
The physical difference between the American and European is not only manifest in the muscular system, but also in the glandular system, which especially deserves the attention of the physiologist, as it concerns the future of the American race,
The most intelligent Americans clearly perceive that the increasing delicacy of form (specially in the women) ought, if possible, to be arrested. Despite of their instinctive aversion against the Irish (forming the largest contingent of immigrants), they are aware that the development of the glandual system of that race is well calculated to neutralize the influences of the climate for a considerable time. It has been observed that the finest women are descended from European parents.
The influence of the climate is not merely shown in the descendants, but in the parents. There are few Europeans who get fat in the United States; the Americans, on the contrary, who reside for a considerable time in Europe, become more healthy and portly. This occurs also to the European who, after a lengthened stay in America, returns to Europe. The author (Desor) quotes himself an example of the kind. What still more characterizes the North American is his stiff lank hair. There is a striking contrast in this respect between the Englishman and the American. We look in vain among American children, despite of all the care taken by their mothers, for curlyheaded children, so frequently seen in England.
This influence on the hair is probably owing to the dryness of the climate. Hair, as is well known, curls when moist; we are, therefore, not surprised that in England the hair is inclined to curl, whilst it remains lank in America. The hair of the European becomes in America drier, and requires pomatum, etc., to keep it glossy and soft. Hence also there is a very large number of hairdressers in America. (M. Ausland, 1853.) Mention is also made of the want of metal in the voice of Americans, which is also ascribed to the influence of climate.
Every European who arrives at New York, Boston, or Baltimore, will also be struck with that feverish activity the American displays. Everyone is in a hurry; the people don't walk, they run. Something like it is, no doubt, seen in the large commercial towns of England; but the activity of the Englishmen seems more under the control of reason; that of the Yankee is instinctive, at any rate the result of habit, or of an innate restlessness. They even exhibit this accelerated activity during their meals, which, even if they have nothing important to do, are despatched in less than no time.
The author is also of opinion that the use of spirituous liquors is more destructive in the American than in our climate. Europeans who, like the English, are accustomed to strong drinks in their own country, must either renounce the use or limit the quantity of these liquors' in America, or they will suffer from them. Hence the large number of temperance societies in America.
At this time the pure English breed is no longer seen among the inhabitants of the United States. A Yankee type has been developed. This type is not the product of intermixture, since it is seen in the most marked form in the Eastern States, where the race is least mixed. External influences must therefore have produced the type. One of the first physiological characters of this American type is an absence of corpulence. On travelling the streets of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, etc., you will, among one hundred persons, scarcely see a portly one, who, moreover, will frequently be found to be a foreigner.
Abolition of Slavery.-The following remarks are forwarded to us by a correspondent, who states that it is a verbatim report of a speech delivered at a meeting of a young men's debating society in October last, to advocate the abolition of slavery. We rely fully on the veracity of our correspondent, and give insertion to such a curious morceau, which, we fear, but too truthfully exhibits the ignorance which exists in this country respecting negro slavery.
“ Mr. Chairman, the proof which I wish to prove this evening is, that it will be for the universal good that the Southern or Free States should conquer the Northern or Slaveholding States ; for slavery, to all honest hearts and Christian men, must be an abomination ; but above all other Slaveholding States, the Northern States of America have been held up to the execration of the world for their abominable conduct towards, and their atrocities committed on, the wretched Hindoos whom they have so villanously enslaved. But we hope now that retribution is at hand, and the brave Southern general M'Clellan, who is now at the doors of New York clamouring for admittance, and his coadjutor, President Jefferson Davis, will soon burst the bonds that have so long ground down the unfortunate Brahmins, and bound them in chains and fetters in New York dark dungeons and in the “ dismal swamps” of Toronto, and restore these unfortunate members of society to that pre-eminence in the social scale of humanity that they have so long been deserving of. Their social life, and the high cultivation that those highly gifted members of the human race have attained to, is too well known to need any further argument upon it. Then, when at length New York and Montreal have yielded to M'Clellan, the commerce of the New World will again be open to the Old, then Europe once more will be able to export cotton to America, and America in turn will be able to export to Europe, wine, frankincence, and myrrh !"
At a recent sitting of the Académie des Sciences, a communication was received from M. de Vibraye on flint implements. He stated that the country round Amiens and Abbeville is not the only part of France where fint hatchets are found; that he had for the last fire years been exploring various parts along the banks of the Loire, and had found upwards of a thousand specimens pertaining to the stone period, in about a dozen localities, and that during the last year the department of Loire et Cher had begun to be explored with similar results.
REPORTS OF THE
ORDINARY MEETING, FEBRUARY 24Th, 1863.
The PRESIDENT read the inaugural address on the Study of Anthropology (see p. 1).
A vote of thanks to the President for his address was proposed by Mr. BURKE, seconded by Mr. BLACKSTONE, and carried unanimously.
The PRESIDENT, having intimated that he should be happy to hear any remarks any gentleman might have to offer on the topics touched on in the address,
Mr. C. H. CHAMBERS inquired whether the Society had opened any relations with similar societies on the continent.
The PRESIDENT replied that the subject was under the consideration of the Council, and that a correspondence was at present being carried on with the Anthropological Society of Paris with a view to a mutual exchange of publications.
Mr. C. C. BLAKE, Honorary Secretary, drew attention to a most important duty which the Society will be called upon to perform, namely, the appointment of various committees to investigate and report upon special subjects. The principal topics which will be brought before the committees will be the following.
The geographical distribution of man, and the geographical relation of races one to another. The question of acclimatization, which though ably treated of in the President's paper read before the British Association in 1861, still requires much further investigation. The vertical distribution of man, and the influence of great altitudes on certain organs, the respiratory organs, for example. Geological distribution and the nature of the evidences of the antiquity of man, subjects of extraordinary interest, and to the investigation of which a peculiar responsibility is attached. The assistance of the geologist and palæontologist will be required to tell us the number of species of animals found in connection with human remains, and it will be the duty of the Society to prepare a series of tables illustrating this subject. The archæological aspect of man as far as regards the works of art of past ages, as well as of existing nations. Early traditions. As an illustration of the light which zoology may throw on the study of mythi, the suggestion was thrown out that the reason why the inhabitants of Borneo think that man was made from the dust, and the Thibetans that he is descended from the monkeys, is that the Borneans are familiar with large anthropoid apes, and are by no means desirous of claiming descent from such ill-looking creatures, whereas in Thibet monkeys are rare and confined to the smaller species, so that the people have no aversion to thinking themselves allied to them. The migrations of man, chiefly as illustrated by philology. The resemblances alleged by Max Müller and others to exist between the lan. guages of widely separated races will be specially taken into consideration. The geographical distribution of disease, and the causes of their appearance and disappearance, branches of anthropology in which the co-operation of the medical members of the Society will be required. The abnormalities of the skeleton, with special reference to the question whether they are more usual in certain races. The subject of the dental varieties of man will early be brought to the notice of the Society. The cerebral organization of man and its relation to inferior types, a subject which it is hoped will be studied with the earnestness and honesty of purpose which it demands, and not with the levity which has lately characterized discussions on it. The structures which man shares in common with other animals; without any reference to the hypothesis of transmutation. Hybridity between so-called races of mankind, and the question whether hybrid races die out, or are physically inferior to others surrounding them. The distribution of human parasites, a subject which seems to throw light on many problems of anthropology, and from the study of which very interesting results may be expected. The historical evidence of the extinction of races. Differences of colour, on which every ethnologist has written, but respecting which our knowledge still rests on very uncertain information. The stature of man. In a recent paper contributed to the Anthropological Society of Paris, it is stated that dwarfs are unknown among negroes. The relative degree of the complexity of the organs of sense ; whether, for example, the North American Indians are really endowed with any special sense of smell, or the Negroes with a higher standard of eyesight than ourselves. Mr. BLAKE concluded by remarking on the immense field for research afforded by the science of anthropology, and how little the wide scope of that science and its subordination to the great science of biology have hitherto been appreciated.
Mr. L. BURKE took exception to the stress laid by the President on the collecting of facts, and maintained that a large mass of facts had already been ascertained, from which it would be the duty of the Society to deduce general laws. He also expressed his dissent from the views of the President respecting the untrustworthiness of books of travel.
Mr. S.J. MACKIE, F.G.S., referred to the relations between geology and anthropology, and urged the necessity of carefully tracing the records of man's existence through successive geologic ages.
Mr. J. G. AVERY commended the fairness and moderation of those parts of the President's address touching on matters connected with theology, and expressed his satisfaction at knowing that the objects of the Society were in no way antagonistic to revelation.
Dr. G. D. GIBB, F.G.S., as a medical man, promised his aid in the investigation of the subject of the distribution of disease.
Mr. J. F. COLLING WOOD, F.G.S., proposed that the President's address be reprinted separately and circulated.
Mr. T. S. PRIDEAUX seconded the proposal, which was carried unanimously.
The PRESIDENT thanked the meeting, briefly replied to Mr. Burke and to a question asked by Mr. Bouverie Pusey; and, in conclusion, referred to what had fallen from Mr. Avery, and stated that the Society was not antagonistic to anything at all, but had purely for its object the investigation of truth.
MEETING OF THE 24TH MARCA, 1863. SIR CHARLES NICHOLSON, Bart., VICE-PRESIDENT, IN THE CHAIR. The Hon. SECRETARY, Mr. C. C. BLAKE, read a paper by Captain R. F. BURTON, Vice-President of the Society, on “ A Day among the Fans.” (See p. 43).
Sir CHARLES NICHOLSON proposed a vote of thanks to Captain Burton.
Dr. Hunt drew attention to the reliability of Captain Burton's observations, and to the importance in matters of science of having observers free from preconceived notions. Although the dying out of solitary races is an undoubted fact, we know that races hardly ever die out in their own country; but, when removed from their native place, they degenerate and become extinct, and that independently of drinking and the various other injurious consequences of intercourse with civilized man. A short period of time may make a marked difference with regard to cannibalism among such a people as the Fans ; and one man may observe the habit, while another, coming twelve months afterwards, may find no trace of it. Dr. Knox and others have denied the existence of cannibalism; but, independently of the fact that Capt. Burton states that he has seen all but the act of eating, we have credible records of the practice from the sixth century to our own times.
Mr. C. C. BLAKE remarked that Capt. Burton's paper was one of considerable interest to the zoologist, and chiefly because it disproved the alleged correspondence between the distribution of the lowest races of mankind, and that of the anthropomorphous apes. The Fans, inhabiting the same district as the gorilla, are found to possess a self-acquired civilization far superior to that of the southern and coast tribes, who have been long in contact with the white man. It is commonly stated that no men are cannibals unless animal food is extremely scarce; but the Fans are, we are told, amply provided with several descriptions of animal food, and are yet decided man-eaters.
Mr. A. A. FRASER narrated an instance of cannibalism which came under his own observation in the Fiji Islands. Going up the Rewa river in 1853, he saw the body of a man who had been killed, surrounded by a great number of natives : and, when he returned, he saw the people scraping the dark skin off the dissevered limbs of the corpse with shells. The smell of roasting human flesh was so repulsive as to make many of Mr. Fraser's boat's crew sick.
Mr. BURKE thought that the conflicting opinions on extinction of races might easily be reconciled. There is no doubt that solitary