Page images

as in the example of Assam; and, towards the Eastern, with the Chinese, as in the case of the people of Anam. The Indo-Chinese have, however, commingled with the Chinese in certain localities. The admixture, in these instances, is of comparatively modern date, not reaching further back than the first intimate knowledge of the nations of the far East by Europeans. It has arisen from Chinese emigration, originating in the pressure of population on subsistence. As is well known, Chinese emigration is, with very trifling exceptions, confined to adult males, and these always of the working classes, without leaders or capitalists. The immigrants get or purchase wives in the countries in which they settle, and the result is a mixed race, always educated as the fathers,-in energy and industry below the Chinese, but far above the Indo-Chinese. Fresh immigrants find wives among these half-castes; and in due time a population springs up little distinguished from the pure Chinese, except in the possession of a better acquaintance with the country and people they are planted among than the original immigrants. To the industry and skill of these colonists, for such they virtually are, are owing nearly all the staple productions of the countries in which they are settled ministering to foreign commerce. Within the vast bounds of China, the race of man, whether situated eight degrees within the tropic, or twice that distance beyond it, seems one and the same. What is true of China is equally so of Japan, over the whole of which one peculiar race would seem to extend, the exceptions being trifling, and consisting only of the aboriginal races inhabiting the island of Jesso and the Kurile Islands, with neither of which despised races do the Japanese appear to commix. The Japanese received letters and religion from China, but no evidence exists of a colonization of Chinese in Japan; and the wide difference, in manners, language, and institutions, which exists between the two races, would seem to indicate that no considerable intermixture ever took place. Indeed, from all we know of the history of the Japanese, an intimate connexion with the Chinese has ever been repugnant to them. I proceed next to take a glance at the commixture of races which has taken place within the vast insular region which French geographers have of late designated the Oceanic, as forming a fifth division of the globe. This great portion of the globe extends north and south from Formosa to New Zealand, and from west to east from Sumatra to within two thousand miles of the American continent. The most prominent aboriginal races existing in the vast region in question, are the Malay; the pigmy Negro of the Malay Peninsula and Philippines; the stalwart Negro, such as the people of New Guinea, New Caledonia, and the Fijis; the tall brown-complexioned people, or Polynesians, of whom the Tahitians, Hawaians, and Maories are examples; and finally the Australians. All these differ so completely in physical form, and there can be no doubt of their being different races of men. The strangers that have intermixed with the aborigines consist of Hindus, Arabs, and Europeans of the north and south of Europe. Among the native races there has been little commixture, and, with partial exceptions, none to the extent of forming a permanent cross-breed. Between the pigmy Negroes and the Malayans, although dwelling in the same countries, sexual unions seem no more to take place than between closely allied species of the lower animals in the state of nature. It is stated, however, that between the tall Negroes of New Guinea, with its adjacent islands, and the Malayan settlers on their coast, a cross-breed has sprung up. The people of the Fiji group afford an example of a cross between the tall Negro and the Polynesian, a fact to which the personal appearance of the people, and their mixed language, bear testimony. When, within the Oceanic region, the race is found to be one and the same, a difference of language as a test of race must, as in other parts of the world, go for nothing. Thus the Malays, the Javanese, some half-dozen nations of Sumatra, a dozen of Celebes, and perhaps a hundred of Borneo, speak essentially different tongues, yet are of one and the same race, or at least differ no more from each other than do Europeans, African Negroes, Hindus, native Americans, or Chinese. The earliest strangers who mixed their blood with the people of the Oceanic region were the Hindus, and, as might be looked for, it was confined to the race nearest to their own country, the Malayan, never having reached the rude and remote Polynesians and Australians, a fact sufficiently proved by the total absence in all their tongues of any trace of a Hindu language. The number of the Hindu settlers compared with the indigenous people must in the nature of things have been small, and it follows that it has left no trace of the peculiar characteristics of the Hindu physical form. The only evidence of the intercourse consists in language and relics of Hindu religion and customs, with Hindu architectural monuments. These, however, are abundant, especially in Java and Sumatra, the nearest countries to Hindustan, and also the most attractive to the emigrant, from their extent, their fertility, and most probably also from their superior indigenous civilizations. Among European nations, the Portuguese and Spaniards, the latter more especially, are the only people who have intermixed to any considerable extent with the Malayan race, and none have done so to any appreciable degree with any of the other Oceanic races. In Malacca and Timor, the only portion of the Malay Archipelago long held by the Portuguese, a cross-race has sprung up with so much of Malay blood as to be hardly distinguish able from the Malays themselves. In the Philippines a far more considerable population has arisen from the union of the Spaniards with the natives, known, as is the cross of the Red Man with the Spaniard, by the name of Mestizoes, or hybrids. We possess one unique example of a hybrid race from the union of the European with the brown Poly. nesian, and have the blood of the two parties of equal amount. This is the case of the mutineers of the Bounty, who settled in the little unoccupied island of Pitcairn in 1790. In 1793 the colony consisted of the following parties :-nine Englishmen, thirteen Tahitian women, and six Tahitian men, making a total of twenty-eight persons. In 1814 they had increased to forty-eight; in 1831, to eighty-seven; in 1853 to one hundred and seventy; and in 1862, removed to Norfolk Island, Pitcairn being found too small to maintain them, they had risen to the number of two hundred and sixty-eight, so that in seventy years time the population had multiplied full nine-fold. The Tahitian men left no offspring, and as neither European nor Polynesian has from the first joined them, they may be described as pure Mestizoes, or half-castes. When seen in 1814, a few of the members of this peculiar colony were of the dark complexion of the first mothers, but the majority, following the physical characters of the fathers, were not to be distinguished from the inhabitants of an ordinary English village. As at present settled in Norfolk Island, they are found to be wanting in the energy and enterprise of their paternal forefathers. A noticeable fact connected with this little community is the rapid increase of population, and this without any addition by immigration. It is a contrast to the stationary or retrograde state of population in the other islands of the Pacific. The difference, no doubt, has arisen from superiority of race and civilization ; and although the last of these had no higher source than a midshipman and eight English sailors, it was sufficient to generate intelligence and industry, and to exempt the colonists from the social vices which elsewhere hinder the advance of population.

Professor Wilson said that he had devoted a great deal of time to the question of the mixture of races on the North American Continent. In the case of the Negro the subject was surrounded by so many social difficulties that so far as important ethnological results were concerned, it could scarcely be said to have had a fair trial. Not so, however, in the case of the red man. There was no legal impediment to marriage between a Red Indian and a white man;

some of the latter even boasted of their Indian descent. The colonists who went from this country to the North American Continent in the early years of settlement were generally young, unmarried men, who united themselves, either with or without marriage, to Indian women. In process of time there arose a vast population possessing English and Indian blood in their veins-such, for instance, as was found on the Red River settlement. These people possessed physical qualities of a high order-were persevering in the chase, and valiant in fight with their enemies. They were, however, to some extent, civilised, being chiefly Roman Catholics in religion, and no longer using the scalping knife upon their vanquished foes. When introduced into the society of Anglo-Saxons they frequently manifested very superior intelligence and ability, indicating no degree of inferiority whatever as compared with what was usually called the superior race. One of these persons had been under his (Professor Wilson's) instructions at University College, had taken his B.A. degree with honours in classics, and afterwards visited England as an agent of the Red River Settlements. Assuming that the Red Indian was an inferior race, and the Anglo-Saxon one of the highest types of man, the instance he had given would go to prove that the mixture of inferior and superior races did not cause either one or the other to deteriorate. The problem could not be tried to the extent to which it was desirable to carry it, as the white men had arrived in America in such vast numbers as to drive the aborigines before them; but it did not follow that the Red Indian disappeared because he was the inferior race. The Red River settlement was an illustration of the amalgamation of the two races without such deterioration, and he (Professor Wilson) believed that there was a much larger admixture of Indian blood in the white population of the American Continent than was generally supposed ; and that this accounted for some of the peculiarities of the American, as contrasted with the European character. He believed that a mixture might take place between the white and the red race, with benefit to both. He thought that the same doctrine would apply with respect to the Negro and white man, though in that case there had not been so fair a trial as in the case of the Indian.

Mr. Craft said that being of African extraction, he felt called upon to make a few remarks upon the subject under discussion. He did not quite understand whether the author of the essay to which they had listened intended to say that no amalgamation had taken place between the Negro and the Anglo-Saxon race in the United Siates. He thought that Mr. Crawfurd had intimated that there was very strong antipathy between the two races, and that the laws of the Southern States prohibited intermarriage between the Negro and the whites. He submitted that in spite of those laws there was a large population claiming affinity with both races. He thought he should be right in saying that nearly two-thirds of the Negroes in the Northern states of America had more or less of European blood in them, and he also believed that had it not been for that amalgamation, instead of there being 4,000,000 of slaves in those states there


probably would not have been more than 1,000,000. He would simply state, on behalf of the African race, that whenever they had had equal opportunities with the whites they had shown that they possessed considerable intellectual ability, and many of them had risen to very high position in society. He mentioned that, in order that persons who were not acquainted with Africans might understand that there was just as much difference between individual Africans as between individual Englishmen. He found that all Englishmen were not Shakespeares. He did not admit that Kaffirs were fair specimens of the Negro race.

Dr. James Hunt agreed with the author of the essay in the general conclusions at which he had arrived, but he thought he had not dwelt sufficiently on the great physiological law which was admitted by most observers, that where the intermixture was kept up through succeeding generations the offspring gradually died out, and the race became extinct. He thought that the laws in the Southern states of America against the intermarriage of the negroes and the whites were wise laws, but he admitted that the subject was surrounded by considerable difficulties.

Mr. MARKHAM cited some instances from the Continent of South America, to prove that intermarriages between European and native American tribes tended to improve the intellectual and physical character of the population.

The discussion was continued by Professor Wilson, Mr. Carter Blake, Mr. Ralph Carr, and Mr. Craft.

Troops in India. By Dr. CAMPS (H.)—An analysis was given of the recent report on the sanitary state of our army in India. The conclusions drawn were:-1. That by far the larger proportion of the mortality and inefficiency in the Indian army has arisen from endemic diseases, and notably from fevers, diarrhæa, dysentery, cholera, and from diseases of the liver. 2. That the predisposition to these diseases is in part attributable to malaria, in conjunction with extremes of temperature, moisture, and variability. 3. But that there are other causes of a very active kind in India connected with stations, barracks, hospitals, and the habits of the men, of the same nature as those which are known in colder climates to occasion attacks of the very diseases from which the Indian army suffers so severely.

Dr. James BIRD said that Dr. Camps's paper seemed to be an abstract of the Sanitary Commissioners' Report, which he contendedby leaving out the ratio between peace and war—was not correct in its statistics. The returns were mixed returns: it was absolutely necessary, in order to obtain a correct result, that the peace and war returns should be separated. He had no fear of the climate, if the sanitary measures necessary were arried out. Dr. Edward Balfour said, in 1849, that he differed entirely from Col. Sykes's conclusion, that intemperance and vice were the main causes of disease; and he

« PreviousContinue »