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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html


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Section Twenty-third. — Causes of Decline of the Indian Tribes. Chapter I. — Conditions of Life Which Oppose the Increase of the Aboriginal Population.

THE Indian withers at the touch of civilization. Contact with it exercises a blighting influence both upon his physical and mental faculties. Naturally indolent in his habits, he is opposed to labor, improvident in his manner of living, and has extremely small foresight in providing for the future. He evinces but little care for the present and makes only slight use of the experience of the past. Taught from early infancy to revere the traditions and institutions of his fathers, he is satisfied of their value, and dreads the anger of the Great Spirit, if he departs from their teachings. Addicted to the use of ardent spirits, he abandons himself to the degrading indulgence, and may then be said to forego the means of securing prosperity and of perpetuating his race, by poisoning the very source of life.

It is a well-known fact, that the Indian tribes do not increase in the ratio of other nations; the cause of which we learn from the first principles of political economy. The want of sufficient nutriment is not the only cause that limits their increase. The entire mental constitution and habitudes of the man, his irregular life, manners, customs, and idiosyncrasies, all contribute to this end. In like circumstances, he neither acts nor thinks like other persons of the human family. Devoted in his attachment to the solitude of the forest, there would seem to be some secret principle at work akin to monasticism, repelling him from a participation in the active labors of life. Even in the Sandwich islands, where the gospel has been most successfully disseminated, the Indian population very visibly and inscrutably declines.

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The inquirer into the causes of this numerical decline in the Indian tribes of the United States, is, in a measure, puzzled in the very outset of his examination; for the amplitude of the country, and the ease with which the necessaries of life can be procured, would seem to favor the increase and multiplication of the race. Nevertheless, no matter how circumscribed or extended the geographical field, the same results are everywhere apparent. The evil seems to originate in an ill-balanced mind, which grasps at present effects, without regard to the future results. This mental incapacity to realize and provide for his future necessities, is the reason why he is, at one time, destitute of food, and suffering the keenest pangs of hunger, while, at another, he feasts from a board filled to repletion with an abundance of forest game. One of the striking mutations of the chase is, that want and abundance succeed each other at irregular intervals. The time devoted to the hunting of wild animals is vastly disproportionate to that expended in the raising of cattle by well-regulated industry. A single acre of corn yields more nutriment for a family than all the wild roots, truffles,
tepia, and wattapineeg, which can be gathered in a season. The opineeg, or common potatoe, found in Virginia when it was first discovered, has never been cultivated by the Indians.

Of all the European luxuries introduced among the Indians, nothing has been more injurious to them than the use of ardent spirits. Far in the interior of the continent, it has been observed that the taste of liquor was, at first, repulsive to the natives; but the appetite for it, once excited, became rapidly diffused. When under the influence of alcohol, the Indian appears to enjoy a state of beatitude, in which he would seem to realize the fanciful theories of his mythology, in the creation of the world of happy spirits, and of the human race.

Indian corn was planted, to a limited extent, by the Atlantic and Mississippi valley tribes; but no trader or traveller has ever noticed its cultivation among the interior and mountain tribes. On the western prairies, where it might have been profitably cultivated, the Indians lacked the necessary industry, cared little or nothing for vegetable food, and relied for subsistence on the meat of the buffalo.

There were other causes, however, operating to diminish the Indian population. The most onerous burdens of savage life fall to the share of the
females. Long and weary journeyings, frequently occasioned by the necessity of fleeing before pursuing enemies, and camp labors, were, ordinarily, superadded to scarcity of sustenance. Under favorable circumstances, one woman has been known to be the mother of twelve or thirteen children; but this is a rare occurrence. The average number of children in each hunter family, does not exceed two. Children rarely, if ever, die of absolute hunger; the small amount of food that is obtained being carefully and scrupulously preserved for them, after the protracted period of weaning; but exposure and its results superinduce many trifling diseases, from the effects of which numbers of children die, who, in civilized life, would have been saved by the ordinary practice of medicine.

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Want of proper nourishment and exposure thus considerably affect the scale of population, but, in a far less degree than pestilence and Indian warfare, under the operation of that most barbarous of all savage customs, the destruction of women and children. It is accordingly noticed that, those tribes who have relinquished war, or are but seldom engaged in it, and, especially, those whose families are permanently resident in comparatively well-built and well-sheltered houses, and warmly clothed, are precisely the cases in which fecundity is the most apparent.

There is a manifest increase in the ratio of births in the tribes who have removed to the West, where they reside in good houses, surrounded by well-tilled fields and all the comforts of agricultural life.

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Chapter II. — Effects of Civilized Habits on Reproduction.

THE condition and future prospects of the Indian tribes of the United States are subjects of the highest moral interest to the government and people. In many respects the race and their prospects are alike peculiar, the history of the world not furnishing an exact parallel. Other races of hunters had the benefit of the intermediate pastoral condition, in progressing from the hunter to the civilized state. The wildest Arab tribes, and the nomads of Asia, reared the camel, horse, cow, or sheep. But the North American Indians possessed no domestic animals when the continent was discovered; they had formed none of the manners resulting from such cares, or from the discrimination of private rights; and the ferocity of their character was not in the least ameliorated by any such important class of duties. Nor, so far as tradition extends, does it appear to have been thus influenced in times past.

The Indian's golden age is ever the era of the chase; and to this period do all the reminiscences of the elders point, as to the age of aboriginal prosperity, and superlative happiness. The Great Spirit then smiled on him.

Agriculture was recognised only by the cultivation of limited fields of the zea maize; but this was not a reputable labor, and the supply of food relied on, from all sources, was so essentially of a spontaneous growth, that it repressed the power of reproduction, and a very sparse population spread itself over immense areas, remarkable for their natural fertility and abundant resources. There is reason to believe that the native population but little exceeded 1,000,000, on the same area that now contains 22,000,000 of the descendants of European races. The question of numbers is, however, but one section of the great investigation before us. It has been well said, in an official paper, "These remnants of the people who preceded us in the occupation of this country, and who have yielded to our destiny and their own, although greatly reduced in their numbers, have yet claims upon the United States, which their citizens seem disposed neither to deny nor conceal. Differences of opinion exist concerning the extent and nature of the aid which shall be offered to them, and of the interference which it is proper to exert in their conduct and affairs. And it is not easy to foresee how these difficulties are to be reconciled, nor to devise a plan which shall neither attempt too

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much nor too little, but which shall preserve a practical medium between these habits and circumstances, and the moral and political state of improvement of which we furnish them an example. These difficulties are inherent in the subject itself. The situation of the Indians and the operation of the settlement and improvement of the country upon them, are without a parallel in the progress of human society." 713

Within the last half-century, and since our population has been freely poured into and across the Mississippi valley, from the eastern banks of which, as a consequence, the Indians have been driven, these questions have, in part, received a solution. Hunting, which, before the discovery of America, was pursued as a means of subsistence, and an incentive to manly vigor and adventurous amusement, has entirely failed. The wide areas which, in a state of nature were required for the chase, being denuded of their game, left the tribes with immense surplus territories, which were no longer valuable for hunting, and which they were not inclined, if they even possessed the ability, to employ for agricultural purposes. The consequence was, that cessions of these surplus and exhausted areas were made to the Government in consideration of annuities, the tribes only retaining enough arable land to supply their own limited need of agricultural products, or retiring into remoter regions, where the chase could still be followed.

A contest of races ensued. The struggle between civilization and barbarism, which had existed, from the first, eastward of the Alleghanies, was renewed, on a wider field, in the West. Habits so diametrically opposed as those of the European and Indian, produced a condition of society replete with difficulties, and equally adverse to each. Population, which had never been in a favorable and healthy state of reproduction, declined, and, with every decade of our history, diminished more and more. History abounds with the evidences of such conflicts of manners and opinions, the result of which, however protracted, is still seen to be the same. The higher type of race is sure to prevail; labor, laws, and arts must triumph, and this fact has been demonstrated by the settlement of the Mississippi valley. The Indian tribes have separated themselves into two distinct classes, founded on the adoption or neglect of the principles of labor and knowledge. The former have either been colonized in large masses, where the industrial arts, protected by equitable laws, could be most advantageously followed, or they have submitted to the domination of labor and law in the States. The latter are still nomadic, and pursue the business of hunting, deriving little or no permanent advantage from civic precepts and examples; while every rational man, who considers the wonderful problem of their long resistance to civilization, arrives at the same conclusion, that while this resistance lasts, the question is narrowed down to one purely relative to the time of their eventual destruction and extinction. The

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wonder is, not that, under existing circumstances, the Indian population has diminished, but that the tribes have not already become extinct.

The single problem of Christianity, unconnected with field labor and domestic industry, is not alone sufficient to account for the decay of the Indian race. Labor is the common condition assigned to men, and the violation of this principle in tribes is one great cause of their numerical diminution. When the chase is totally abandoned, the most important step toward progress is taken. The female who spends days in
digging tepia, or wild artichokes, would be doubly rewarded for her labor by cultivating potatoes. The raising of cattle, hogs, and sheep, in a few years, places the Indian farmer in a position to obtain fresh meat, at proper times, without wasting his energies and strength in pursuing deer, buffaloes, or antelopes. Horses are easily raised in the western latitudes, no expensive stables being required, nor hay to be stacked and fed out. Locomotion is thus made easy when it is necessary to travel from settlement to settlement; saddles, bridles, and buggies necessarily following in the train of improvements. The rude Indian tripod is replaced by well-made chairs and tables; cast-iron stoves, for cooking purposes, are introduced; then a chamber, or a parlor looking-glass, and perhaps a clock. The dwelling begins to display the evidence of female taste in furniture, and much of the paraphernalia of housekeeping. Finally, the children are sent to school, and the parents themselves join the church. He must be a dull observer of the progress of the settlement who has not witnessed these improvements. Society, as it were, arises and stands upright. Indians have done these things. Who will hazard the assertion that they do not tend to numerical increase?

To the beneficial influence of instruction, the record of missionary teaching bears ample testimony. Perhaps few examples can be adduced which give a more pleasing aspect to the field of labor than that of Miss Catherine Brown, a Cherokee of Alabama. Many years have passed since this bright native female excited the liveliest hopes; and a long time has elapsed since her gentle spirit winged its flight to a better world; but her memory is yet green in the recollections of many. To the graces of person and manners she united high educational attainments. In the language of Mr. Anderson, her mind was of a delicate texture — clear perception, correct judgment, intellectual economy, and good sense, being her strongest characteristics. In the acquisition of knowledge, her mind moved easily; in the communication of it to others she did so with felicity and a just appreciation of their capacities. Her delicate sensibility, her exact view of propriety and dignity, her high principles of action, and her gentleness and sweetness of manner, excited general admiration. 714 A very similar delicacy of feeling, sweetness of air and voice, propriety of expression, ease of conversation, and dignity of manner characterized Miss Jane Johnston, and Miss Madeline La Fraumbois, of Michigan, Mrs. Charlotte (Rev.) M'Murray, of Niagara, Canada, and Miss Mary

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Halliday, of Syracuse, New York, who were the subjects of careful moral instruction, and may be regarded as wild flowers, transplanted from the Indian wilderness.

Whatever mitigates the evils of Indian society, adds to its permanent means of growth, and is favorable to its moral and physical development. It may be well to lay before the reader the sum of these statistics, that he may scrutinize more closely the character of the Indian mind, and determine its capacity for bearing the mental superstructure, proposed to be based on it through the medium of the Indian colonies; and, by extending this inquiry to what the aboriginal mind has done in past times, without the aid of letters, to furnish some idea of what it may, with cultivation, accomplish.

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Chapter III. — Who is the Indian? His Capacities for Nationality to be Deduced From His Character.

IT is not supposed that, during a long period, abounding in opportunities, any observations or researches have been made to justify a conclusive reply to the above question. Far from it. The Indian, an enigma at first, is a much greater enigma the more his history and character are examined. Like a boulder on the surface of the globe, he bears very little evidence of the parent bed from which he was separated by the flood of human tribes and nations. Whence he originally came, and whither he is going, are alike themes of absorbing interest, which, however, cannot be equally judged by the critical inquirer and the moralist. But the opportunity may be embraced to allude to what theorists, wise men, and philosophers have advanced on the subject.

Certain ancient nations stifled inquiry on a subject which would probably have developed nothing very honorable as to their descent, by affirming that they had come out of the ground, and thus were the true autochthones. Such were the renowned Phoenicians. Forster tells us that they originated from the Horites, and had lived in caves as robbers and plunderers; 715 their assertion was not, therefore, entirely hyperbolical, for every cave is, topographically, under ground.

No nation is so rude in its origin as not to desire the reputation of having had ancestors. Many of our native tribes give an account of their origin analogous to that of the ancient Phoenicians. 716 Even the nomadic Apachees and Navajoes, at this day, inform travellers that they came out of the ground; adding to the theory, however, that they are wolves, bears, raccoons, and other quadrupeds, in a state of transformation. 717

Nearly a century and a half has elapsed since the French court sent a gentleman, of great learning, acuteness, and benevolence, to America, to observe and report the state of the tribes. P. de Charlevoix personally visited all the leading nations living between Quebec and New Orleans, and, after his return to France, having devoted his attention

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to the problem of the origin of this people, so dissimilar in physical and mental traits from the other known varieties of man, he declares his utter inability to subscribe to any of the theories of the migration of the race from other parts of the globe, believing, however, that such migrations had been made. "After reading almost everything," he remarks, "that has been written, on the manner in which America might have been peopled, we seem to be just where we were before this great and interesting question began to be agitated, notwithstanding a moderate volume would be requisite to relate only the various opinions of the learned on this subject. For the most part of them have given so much to the marvellous; almost all of them have built their conjectures on foundations so ruinous; or have had recourse to names, manners, customs, religion, and etymology so very frivolous; that it would, in my opinion, be as useless to refute, as it is impossible to reconcile them with, each other." 718

Indian history has ever been an anomaly. At the period of the discovery, the Indian was a mere hunter, armed only with bow and arrows, and worshipping a class of spirits, or demons, supposed to inhabit the forests. The bold mariners who first visited the coasts, had some knowledge of the Hindoo, and Tartaric types, residing on the shores of Hindostan; and, consequently, called them Indians, under the supposition that the newly discovered land formed part of the continent of Asia. Red-skinned, black-eyed, black-haired, and subtle, there was a striking coincidence in the external characteristics and features of the two races. Whenever examined, this physical resemblance has been found to hold good, however unsatisfactory the theory of origin; and so little has it varied, under the most critical observation, that a single tribe will serve very well as the type of all. They may be said to remain as unchanged to-day as they were in the days of Elizabeth. Indeed, nothing has elicited more frequent notice than that remarkable coincidence of manners and customs, physical traits, 719 and mental habitudes and idiosyncrasies, which designate them to be a peculiar people.

It has been observed, by a comprehensive and talented writer, who has closely studied the history and character of the Indian tribes, that, "from Hudson's Bay to Mexico, and from the Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains, the country was possessed by numerous petty tribes, resembling each other in their general features, and separated into independent communities, always in a state of alarm and suspicion, and generally on terms of open hostility. These people were in the rudest state of society, wandering from place to place, without science, and without arts (for we cannot dignify with the name of arts the making of bows and arrows, and the dressing of skins), metallic instruments, or domestic animals; raising a little corn by the labor of their women, with the clam-shell, or the scapula of a buffalo, devouring it with savage improvidence, and subsisting, during the remainder of the year, on the precarious supply, furnished by the

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chase, or by fishing. They were thinly scattered over an immense extent of country, fixing their summer residence upon some little spot of fertile land, and roaming with their families, and their mat, or skin houses, through the forests, in pursuit of the animals necessary for food and clothing. Such a state of society could not but arrest the attention of adventurers, to whom everything was new and strange.

"Of the external habits of the Indians, if we may so speak," remarks the same writer, "we have the most ample details. Their wars, their amusements, their hunting, and the more prominent facts connected with their occupations and condition, have been described with great prolixity, and, doubtless, with much fidelity, by a host of persons, whose opportunities for observation, and whose qualifications for description have been as different as the places and the eras in which they have written. Eyes have not been wanting to see, tongues to relate, nor pens to record, the incidents which, from time to time, have occurred among our aboriginal neighbors. The eating of fire, the swallowing of daggers, the escape from swathed buffalo skins, and the juggling incantations and ceremonies, by which the lost is found, the sick is healed, and the living killed, have been witnessed by many who believed what they saw, but who were grossly deceived by their own credulity, or by the skill of the Indian
wabeno.

"The constitution of Indian society, and the ties by which they are kept together, furnish a paradox which has never received the explanation it requires. We say they have no government, and they have none whose operation is felt, either in reward or punishment; and yet their lives and property are preserved, and their political relations among themselves, and with other tribes, are duly preserved. Have they, then, no passions to excite them to deeds of violence, or have they discovered and reduced to practice some unknown principle of action in human nature, equally efficacious as the two great principles of hope and fear, upon which all other governments have heretofore rested? Why does an Indian, who has been guilty of murder, tranquilly fold his blanket about his head, and, seating himself upon the ground, await the retributive stroke from the relation of the deceased. A white man, under similar circumstances, would flee or resist; and we can conceive of no motive which would induce him to such sacrifice.

"But, of the moral character and feelings of the Indians, of their mental discipline, of their peculiar opinions, mythological and religious, and of all that is most valuable to man in the history of man, we are about as ignorant as when Jacques Cartier first ascended the St. Lawrence." 720

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Chapter IV. — Some Traditionary Gleams of Ancient History.

THE inherent idiosyncracies of the Indian mind, which impel it to such extraordinary acts, are not greater, however, than his firm adherence to an ancient state of apparently nomadic society, which has long ceased to exist, but to which the mind reverts, as to a golden age, when everything was better than it now is. A respectable Algonquin on Lake Superior, of whom the writer made inquiries many years ago, in relation to this ancient epoch, replied that they had even spoken their language in greater purity.

There is one particular in which the tribes identify themselves with the general traditions of mankind. It is in relation to a general deluge, by which the races of men were destroyed. The event itself is variously related by an Algonquin, an Iroquois, a Cherokee, a Muscogee, or a Chickasaw; but all coincide in the statement that, there was a general cataclysm, and that a few persons were saved. Another feature of this traditional identification consists in the traditional recognition of the fact that their ancestors descended from those imaginative and idolatrous tribes and septs of the Mosaical epoch, who believed the earth to be a fortuitous concurrence of atoms, with deities of "stocks and stones," to whom, as new information, the great additional declaration was made, that, in the beginning, God created the world. 721 This fundamental tradition of the divine origin of the earth and heavens is a striking trait in all the Indian cosmogonies of America.

The tradition of the deluge is veiled in allegories and figures, such as a raft, a tree, a high mountain, &c., according to the genius or imagination of the various tribes. That of the Algonquins is simply this: Hiawatha, or Manabo, having incurred the enmity of the Prince of Serpents, a very Typhon in character, who held sway in the basin of Lake Superior, the spirit permitted the ice to break in during the winter season, while Chibiabos, his grandson was crossing from one point to another. The following summer, the demi-god watched along the shore to find the sandy bay, where the serpents came out to bask; and having consulted with a kingfisher as to the precise

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spot, he took his station on shore, and transformed himself into the semblance of a high stump of a tree, broken off by the wind. As soon as the Prince of the Serpents and his court appeared, and had sunk into repose on the sand, he drew his bow, and shot an arrow into his enemy's heart. The serpents fled, screaming, into the depths of the sea; but, in revenge for this act, caused the waters to rise, which overflowed the forests, and pressed on, after the fleeing demi-god, until all the land was submerged. The benevolent god, who assumes in these latitudes the name of Manabo, ascended a high mountain, and climbed to the top of a tree; but the waters rose to his feet. He then commanded the tree to stretch upward, and it obeyed him. But the waters still rising to his feet, he again bade the tree to grow taller, which it did, and finally it became stationary. The waters having risen to his neck, the amphibious animals and water-fowl were playing around him; for they were his brothers. He first directed the loon to dive down for some earth; but when it rose to the surface it was dead. He then told the beaver, the otter, and the mink to attempt the same feat; but none of them found the bottom. At last he sent the muskrat; "for your ancestors," he said, "were always famous for grasping the muddy bottoms of pools with their claws." The animal succeeded in bringing up a morsel of earth in its talons; and from this new chaotic mass the Algic deity recreated the earth.

The ancient nations, who spread over the earth from the primary locations of mankind, in Asia, when they had forgotten the existence of the true God, attributed the origin and government of the world to Ba-al, Osiris, Ormusd, Chemosh, Brahm, Budd, Fohi, and other phantoms of the imagination, which varied with every climate, every territory, and every mountain, plain, and valley; while the American tribes, spread over an immense continent, have concentrated their leading beliefs on a great original Creator, who is described as possessing many attributes similar to those of the Almighty; who is not apparent to human perception as a person, but is clothed with the magnificent garniture of the sidereal heavens, and surrounded by the most sublime and startling atmospheric phenomena. In the primary conception of a supreme ruler by the earliest oriental nations, they endeavored to relieve the character of their benevolent deities by the addition of a dual power, as in the instance of Ahrirnan, Typhon, Moloch, and Beelzebub. This dualistic principle, wherever examined, marks the mythology of the Vesperic tribes, who attribute the powers of evil to a god, antagonistic to the Great Good Spirit, the universal Indian nucleus of sovereign power, ubiquity and benevolence.

The Indian mind does not generalize. It has not, from the knowledge of particular facts, derived general conclusions, although sometimes generic ideas are reached by means of metonymy, and frequently by the symbolic use of words. The globe is called Aké, which is, also, the name for any ponderable bit of earth. They consider the continent of America to be a large island, and are ignorant of the geographical divisions of the earth. It is generally called the Island of the Great Spirit.

The tribes equally failed to successfully bestow on themselves a generic name. When

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questioned, they generally replied in a spirit of independence, analogous to that which characterized the Gallic and Gothic tribes during the Roman conquests, at the commencement of the Christian era. They were, in the tone of those warlike nations, Alla-manna, "all men," or Gher-mon, "war men." The Delawares, who have at least claims to geographical priority on the Atlantic shores, called themselves Lenno Lenapi, as if we should say male, or manly men, but which a free translation requires to be rendered, men who are men. The tribes living in the valley of the Illinois told the French they were mini, or men. 722 The Algonquin tribes, generally, pronounced themselves Unishinaba, the common people. The proud and conquering Iroquois pronounced themselves, as a nationality, to be Ongwi Honwi, "men excelling all others." 723

The globe has presented few races of men who afford stronger evidences of original unity with the Adamic family than the American Indians. Considerable differences of color in the skin exist, varying from the cinnamon standard to a dark red, on the one hand, and an approach to white, on the other. Climatic phenomena and peculiar habits may, agreeably to Smith, account for this. The prairie tribes are generally impressed with a russet elemental tinge of a deeper hue; while the tribes residing within the shelter of vast forests assume a lighter color. There are deeper shades in the California tribes, and still darker shades on the banks of the Orinoco. But the causes of these changes admit of a specific solution. According to Dr. Haring, a tradition is still extant, that a slave ship having entered the Orinoco, the negroes rose on the natives, and having destroyed them, seized on their women for wives, mastered the ship's officers, and redeemed themselves from bondage.

In taking a comprehensive view of the Indian tribes of the United States, and of North America, they must be regarded as a unity. Such is the opinion of the late Dr. Samuel George Morton, who, from a full and elaborate examination of their physiological traits, and scientific admeasurements of the volume of crania, derived from all quarters, regards the leading tribes as common to the continent; recognising only the distinction between skulls of semi-civilized and hunter tribes; which, as the learned physiologist observes, are "manifestly arbitrary." 724 This distinction is an important one, and should be borne in mind, although it will not fail to be observed, when the data are investigated, that the classification is established rather on effects, in the production of which, mental and moral habits of thinking, the development of arts, agriculture, and public architecture, such as the erection of teocalli and palatial edifices, are supposed to have exercised no slight influence. The skulls of the hunter class of tribes, however, particularly those of the Vesperic group, denote a greater development

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of original cranial volume than those of the Aztecs and of the Peruvians, more especially those of the Atacarna period. 725 These peculiar characteristics have been described by Dr. Morton in a former volume of this work, and illustrated by finished drawings of crania. 726

Wishing to make comparisons of the cranial volume of the several generic groups of the Vesperic family, classified according to language, I requested Mr. J. S. Phillips, who had been Dr. Morton's assistant and scientific manipulator at Philadelphia, to subject the entire cabinet of skulls to a new admeasurement, together with additional specimens from the Pacific coast, deposited in the cabinet of the National Institute at Washington, by Captain Charles Wilkes, U. S. N. The results of this examination, which are very interesting, on account of the facts deduced, have been given in a preceding volume. 727

The admeasurements of Mr. Phillips make it evident that the facial angle varied but little from each other in the series of Vesperic skulls, and differed but a few degrees from the common European and American average. In his summary, he assumes the skulls of the "barbarous tribes of North America" to have 76 2/3 degrees facial angle, and 83 1/2 cubic inches internal capacity.

As to the cranial volume of the United States tribes, the admeasurements place the internal capacity of the Iroquois group at 88 1/2 cubic inches; the great central Algonquin, and the Southern, or Appalachian groups, coincide, in their mean capacity, at 83 3/4 inches; the Dakotah, or Prairie group, average 85 inches, being 1 1/4 inches greater than the milder Algonquins and Appalachians; "and these," he adds, "appear to possess more force of character, and more of the untameable violence which forms the most characteristic feature in our barbarous tribes." 728 A skull of a Winnebago, of this family, is figured in the preceding paper of Dr. Morton. 729

Of the more western groups, embracing the Rocky mountains, and extending to the Pacific, the Shoshonees are rated at 81 inches internal capacity, and the Oregonian tribes at 80; not the slightest difference existing, in this respect, between the natural and the artificially flattened heads. 730

The results of these investigations are very interesting, and are the more suggestive, as showing that the native capacity of even the rudest tribes ranges very high. They are alike interesting and suggestive, bearing testimony, as they do, to this great fact in human progress, that it is education, letters, and arts, that lead to the development of intellect. The degraded and variously developed Chinook skulls 731 are shown to have an internal capacity of 80; while the evidences of craniologic studies demonstrate that the very elongated skulls, such as those of the old Peruvians, disinterred at Lake Titicaca, denote less volume than those of the North American hunter tribes; 732 although

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the testimony of Garcileso de la Vega, himself of the race, and the researches of M. Aleida D'Orbigny, Morton, and all others who have examined their history, concur to prove that these
ancient Peruvians, the Aymaras of modern times, "were the architects of their own tombs and
temples," and were not, as some suppose, "intruders, who had usurped the civilization, and appropriated the ingenuity of an antecedent and more intellectual race."

In summing up the deductions arising from a survey of the facts adduced to prove that the tribes are varieties or links in the chain of unity of the human species, reference is made to the quotations from Lavater, Humboldt, and Latham, and to the views of the American authors, Dr. S. G. Morton, Dr. Forrey, and Dr. Thomas Smith, D. D., as set forth in the preceding volumes. 733

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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html
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