Well, I finally admitted to myself that the Christmas break is over and, regardless of my loathing for it, it was time to get back to proofing the OCR of what I've come to call 'that horrible book.' Saying it's not fun would be, Gentle Reader, to pass up a perfect opportunity to use the word 'sickening.'
If you've been reading it so far, all I'll say is, it gets worse over the course of the three chapters reproduced below. Much, much worse. You have been warned. Seriously, I am not joking on this.
On the subject of those brave and possibly masochistic souls who are following along with it though, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Rustiguzzi, who pointed out a few errors I'd missed. If anyone else spots any, I'd consider it a favour if you copy them, along with a sentence or so of the surrounding text, and paste them into a comment. I may not fix them immediately—I'm more concerned, at present, with getting through the book without completely losing my faith in humanity—but I will do so when the main work's been done.
Also, please drop me a line if you want a copy of the e-book, when that gets done.
Anyways, here's sections seven eight and nine of 'that horrible book.'
And I'm nearly half-way through. Small yay!
Pretended mental equality of the negro race with white men refuted, as held by abolitionists—Comparative view of the races, as to their doings in the world—Proofs that the ancient Egyptians, nor any of the negro nations, were not the authors of either arts or sciences—Proofs that the arts and sciences, comprehending a knowledge of letters, were known before the flood, and in the house of Noah, and by the first patriarchs—Curious discoveries made in the foundations of the tower of Babel by Sir Robert Ker Porter—A knowledge of letters since the flood derived from the first patriarchs, and not from the Phœnician blacks—But little advances made in architecture by the first Egyptians, till after Solomon—The pyramids built by the shepherd kings, a race of copper colored men of the blood of Shem, and not by the blacks of Egypt—For thousands of years the tribes of Africa have made no advances in civilization—The reasons of this—Works of the Canaanites, as it related to architecture, derived from the Euphrates, or the example of the Shemites, and the people of Japheth—During the whole history of negro Carthage, they made no advances in literature—Rapine, plunder, and dealing in slaves, being their trade—Architectural works of the races of Shem and Japheth long before the tower was built, or the negroes exit to Africa—Near resemblance of the Simia race as the ourang-outang, and many of the Africans—Respecting their appetites—Cannibalism, &c., in all, ages—Insensibilities of the negroes to bodily pain—Meanness of the negro spirit—Their cruelties to their slaves—With many other curious matters.
THE labor of the following pages which shall occupy this section, will be to ascertain whether the negro race, properly so distinguished, in an unamalgamated character, are naturally equal with the other races of men, the red and the white, in point of intellectual faculties. That they really are thus equal, is vehemently contended for by all abolitionists of both Europe and America, some even holding them superior, while anti–abolitionists resist this opinion as a fallacy. An appeal to direct, and also to circumstantial evidence, in relation to the subject, is the only way to decide it.
Abolitionists are sure that the only reason of their present amazing inferiority arises wholly from the influence of the treatment of the white nations toward them. Remove this say they, educate them, and give them a fair chance in the world, then it will soon be seen, that, as a people, they are equally talented with the other races of the human family.
But here, at the very outset of the inquiry, it is desirable to ascertain how it came to pass that it was not the negro man who aspired to the paramount condition, now and always enjoyed by the white race. If the people of Ham were originally equal, as to mental faculties, with the other races, how came they in their present degraded condition? How has it happened that the negro race has not attained in the world to the very same condition the white race now occupy, and the whites fallen into the condition of the blacks, seeing they are, as is contended, equal with each other? Or, if this is true, why are they both alike? There must be some great reason for this. It is asserted by abolitionists, that the negro race were, in the first ages after the flood, the authors of all the arts and sciences which obtained in ancient Egypt, and that from these arose, as from a germ, the present lights of mankind. If this was true, we ask how they, the authors, in their posterity, have lost that enviable position? How has it come to pass that the same power which prompted them to so many, and to so great improvements, has not been able to sustain itself? Could this be shown to have been a fact, respecting the negro race, it would prove an anomaly indeed, and yet would secure but little in their favor, on account of the horrid retrograde they have made in the world.
But we affirm that they were not the authors of either arts or sciences, as understood in those times, which, according to history, as well as the scriptures, were cultivated in ancient Africa. We sustain this affirmation, by showing that the Egyptians, and all other people of those ages, received and carried with them a knowledge of the arts and sciences, as understood at that era of the world, from the house of NOAH.
That letters were known in the house of Noah is absolutely certain, deduced from many circumstances, and of necessity to all the people, or to heads of tribes and communities for the first few hundred years, immediately after the flood. One of these circumstances, or evidences, arises from the late discoveries made in the foundations of the ancient tower of Belus, or Babel, as it is commonly called, as well as from the architectural works of the people of Shem and Japheth before the tower was built.
Sir Robert Ker Porter, under the patronage of the government of England, went to the country of ancient Persia, Tartary, Armenia, Chaldea, and Babylon on the Euphrates, in the years 1820 and 1823, on a tour of antiquarian discovery. While on the Euphrates, he found, as reported in his work, the ancient site of the temple of Belus, or tower of Babel, the same spoken of by Moses in the book of Genesis, which was built by Nimrod the Grandson of Ham. [See Plate]. At the spot where the tower stood, which was built only about one hundred years after the flood, he found a vast heap of rubbish, forming a great mound, or elevation, overgrown with brambles.
Being desirous of examining the interior of this mighty mound, he procured the aid of several of the people living there, to dig along its skirts, when there was found, at some little depth, the original brick, forming the upper stratas of the foundation of the structure. The bricks thus discovered were about one foot square by three inches thick, and were covered on both sides with arrow-headed characters, having, in many respects, a resemblance to the present Hebrew letters.
They were not hieroglyphics, or the pictures of creatures or things, but were evidently letters, or signs of ideas, placed in due order, as letters are now arranged, running in parallel lines across the bricks. There were instances, however, where those characters were set in perpendicular lines, or at right angles with the others. That they were letters, is as evident as that any of the ancient characters of the Hebrew, Greek, Persian, or Chinese languages, are letters.
On these bricks was written, no doubt, the history of the tower, and the reasons of its being erected, the story of the flood, the ark, and of the nations before the flood, the original creation, &c.. It appears that the letters were formed on the insides of the molds in which the bricks were made, the characters being raised out above the general level of the face of the mold, so that when impressed on the clay before it was dried for burning, would cause facsimiles in the face of the brick, and thus be preserved from being broken when laid in great masses on top of each other. It may have been, however, that the letters were made by merely pressing down on each brick, as it came from a smooth mold, the type of a letter carved out of wood, and thus produce the same effect as if cast in a mold.
Specimens of these letters may be seen in the work alluded to above, in great numbers, and are worthy of the attention of the curious. The work is in the State Library.
That letters were known before the flood, appears also from the fact that music was taught and understood among the antediluvians: see Gen. iv, 21, where it is said that one Jubal, a descendant of the family of Cain, was the father [instructor] of all such as handled the harp and the organ. If music was taught, then of necessity they must have had a knowledge of characters of a competent description, by the means of which they recorded their music, or the science could not have been alluded to, as it is by Moses. If musical characters were then in use, of which there can be no doubt, then, of necessity, letters were also in use, or the rules of such as taught music could not have been systematically accomplished. Music being thus understood by the antediluvians, it is an evidence that they possessed a high condition of refinement, as a general knowledge of this accomplishment is considered the ne plus ultra of good breeding in refined society of every age. To carry out this belief, we are aided by Moses in another respect, who says, Gen. iv, 22, that the people of that age, going back to the lifetime of Adam, had a knowledge of the manufacture of brass and iron, and that they were also agriculturists, as well as shepherds and herdsmen. It is said by the Jewish Rabbi that letters and writing were invented by Seth, the third son of Adam.—Watson’s Theological Dictionary, p. 856.
With the knowledge of such things, can it be possible that the antediluvians were not a civilized, laboring, trading, agricultural, mechanical, commercial, and scientific race? However many tribes, nations, kingdoms, and governments, they may have been divided into around the whole globe, yet a knowledge of such refinements is stated by Moses to have certainly been in their possession. Of all this, is it possible that Noah, being born six hundred years before the flood, could have been ignorant, seeing he was a good man, and improved his mind, therefore, in every possible way?
Could he have planned and built the ark without a knowledge of geometry, which also supposes the existence and use of arithmetical characters? Ham, Nimrod, and his coadjutors, must have had a knowledge of geometry, as well as of letters, or they could not have projected, nor have built the tower, and the great cities Erech, Acad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar, on the river Euphrates, as Moses says they did. Gen. x, 10.
From whom did Abraham, who was born only two hundred and ninety-two years after the flood, derive a knowledge of arithmetic and astronomy, if not from the house of Noah? That Abraham had this knowledge is stated by Josephus, in his book of Jewish Antiquities. If Abraham had this knowledge, then it is clear that the Syrians, of which people Abraham was a member, also possessed it, who, with all the first nations immediately after the flood, derived it, as well as all other knowledge, from the house and members of the family of Noah, who brought it with them from beyond the flood in written characters.
That Abraham was an educated man, is evident from the character he sustained among his countrymen, the Chaldeans, or the ancient Syrians, and as the head and patriarch of the Hebrew or Jewish people, as well as from the business which he transacted with the Egyptians, Canaanites, and other countries of that age. If Abraham, then, was an educated man, and was versed in all the learning of that age, which was cultivated by the Chaldeans, who, doubtless, at that era, and upward, toward the age of the ending of the flood, was composed of both white and red men, till such times as they were separated to their respective regions; then were also the patriarchs, who were before Abraham’s time, such as Arphaxad, Salah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, and Terah, the father of Abraham, as well as Shem, who was Melchisedek, and the progenitor of all the patriarchs above named.
From this state of the case, it is not hard to conceive that the Egyptian and Canaanite negroes, who were the very first people of those countries, received all their knowledge of letters, of agriculture, of geometry, arithmetic, and astronomy, from the great and common source, the house of Noah, and the succeeding patriarchs. The opinion, therefore, that the Phœnician negroes were the inventors of letters is no authority.
What though Cadmus, an Egyptian, as it is said, carried the knowledge of letters into Greece first of all, at a very remote age, which we shall not dispute, yet this does not prove that the Egyptians invented them, as Cadmus, with the rest of his countrymen, derived that knowledge from the common source—the family of Noah. Whether this Cadmus, who is celebrated as the author of letters among the ancient Greeks, and the succeeding ages of the world, was a Phœnician or an Egyptian negro, is far from being certain; for we learn from Josephus’s Jewish Antiquities, book 8, that one of the sons of Ishmael, the son of Abraham, was named Cadmus, and was as likely to have been the Cadmus of ancient history, who carried letters into Greece, as any other man.
As to architecture of the magnificent and exquisite descriptions, the Egyptians made but little advances till the age of Solomon, previous to which time their buildings were of the most common order, made of brick, both burnt and dried; even the cities of the time of Joseph were of this description, useful and spacious, but not approaching to the magnificent. In all Africa, says the “Universal Traveler,” page 499, there does not now exist among the negroes any architecture, above that of mere huts made of stakes driven in the ground, and plastered inside and out; of this description are their best buildings, shaped like bee-hives, conically. The rest are mere dens made of mud and sticks, or holes in the ground. These are the descendants of the mighty Egyptians, the Lybians, and Ethiopians, whose lofty temples once filled Africa, if we are to believe abolitionists; but it is all an error; they were the authors of the architectural works of those ages no further than as slaves and laborers. The pyramids, which were built of hewn stone, was not the work of the woolly heads of Egypt, but of the shepherd kings called Cuthea, from Arabia and the Persian Gulf, north of Egypt, who held, by conquest, for more than two hundred years, the kingdoms of Egypt, during which time they enslaved the whole mass of the aboriginal people, when the pyramids, and many other great works, were built by slaves, at the dictation of the Hyc-sos, or shepherd kings.—Watson.
This was done prior to the time of Joseph’s being sold into Egypt, The Hyc-sos kings were of the Abrahamic race, being descendants of his sons by Keturah (see Gen. xxv), who, settling eastward from Chaldea, where Abraham lived before he went to Canaan, expelled the children of Ham, or the Cushites, from the country, who, first of all, after the fall of the tower, settled there, on which account the country was alluded to by Moses (Gen. ii, 13), by the name of Ethiopia, through which the Gihon flowed. This people, being thus expelled, went to Africa, and founded another kingdom, which also was called Ethiopia.
Now, on this account, the Hyc-sos race were called Cushite Shepherds, namely, because they had conquered and dwelt in the country of the expelled Cushite race, who were of the house of Ham. These were the people who conquered Egypt at so early a period, and built the great works of that country above named.
The Cushites, as stated by Richard Watson, in his Historical Dictionary, p. 282, were driven out of their Asiatic possessions, along the gulf of Persia, and along the northern side of the Red Sea, by the Ishmaelites and the Midianites, both of the lineage of Abraham.
The descendants of Abraham were always prone to rearing vast herds of cattle, by which means, in a great measure, they acquired wealth and power. Such were the shepherd kings, who, for a time, tyrannized over Egypt, as above shown. It was for this very reason, that all shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians, in the days of Joseph, the Hebrew, as stated Gen. xlvi, 34, for they remembered the cruelties of the red skinned shepherd kings.
From all points, therefore, it is evident, that the original negroes of the Nile, the swarthy woolly heads of the race of Ham, did not profit by a knowledge of letters, or any other knowledge of the house of Noah, above mere agriculture, till such times as other races of men, such as Ishmaelites, Midianites, and Chaldeans, all of the race of Shem and Abraham, had begun to mingle with them: so that by the time of Saul, David, and Solomon, the character of Egypt in relation to enterprise, had become vastly changed from her ancient stupidity; from whence we date what may be denominated the architectural age of Egypt.
At a very early period, thousands of the Ishmaelite race settled in Africa, by invasion, along the head waters of the Nile, in Ethiopia, mingling more and more through Egypt, down toward the mouths of that river; this is a matter of history. Watson, 282. This is evident also from the mummies brought from that country, which were doubtless embalmed as long ago as in the days of David and Solomon, and perhaps as far back as when the Hebrews were in Egypt; all of which, except now and then one, are not of the negro race, but of a red or copper colored people, with long straight hair, and other characteristics not belonging to the genuine Cushite, or race of Ham.
From this circumstance, it is shown that the ruling people of Egypt, in those ages, were not the native negroes, as none but the more wealthy were able to bear the expense of embalming their dead. “That a race (says Professor Lawrence, p. 294) ever devoted, within the period embraced by authentic history, to slavery, or to an existence not much better, and possessing, under the most favorable circumstances, only the rudiments of the common arts, and the most imperfect social institutions, should have occupied, in remotest antiquity, undertakings which astonish us even now by their grandeur, and prove so great a progress in civilization and social life, in arts and sciences—that they should have subsequently lost all this surprising progress, and never have exhibited the smallest approximation to such a pre-eminence in any other instance, is a fact extremely difficult to explain.”
The negroes of Africa, who are the descendants of the Egyptians, the Lybians, and the Ethiopians, all the same people, the race of Ham, the first negroes, for thousands of years, have made no advances in letters, or in any way approximating thereto; as in all Africa, among the negro tribes and kingdoms, not a gleam of the light of science, the precursor of which is the invention of letters, has appeared. Not a hieroglyphic or symbol—no kind of painting, or even knots tied in a string, as in Peru, called quipos, to denote numbers, has appeared in all the vast regions, of Southern Africa.
How is this? What has induced this amazing stupidity of the native negro? In the annals of no people of the whole earth, can there be found evidence of so profound a state of ignorance and apathy, with respect to a desire of improvement, as among this people, for they have not exceeded the beasts of the wilderness, where they dwell, who follow the mere instincts of their natures.
But in the northern parts of Africa, on account of the mixture of the other races with that of the negro blood, there has arisen more or less improvement in agriculture and government, which has elevated the negro blood a little above their native dead level of their degraded natures.
What though the negroes of Canaan built many towns and cities in their country, such as Jebus, Tyre, Zidon, Gath, Hamath, Jericho, with many others, which Joshua and his warriors found extremely difficult to destroy? And although before their settlement in Canaan, they built the tower of Babel, the cities of Acad, Erech, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar, on the Euphrates; yet all this, and especially the cities last named, which were built by the negroes, before they settled in Canaan, and before the confusion of their language, we attribute to the first impetus of knowledge, derived from the house of Noah, and kept alive by surrounding circumstances, the exertions of other nations—the Shemites and the children of Japheth. But when finally overcome and subdued by the superior policies of the other races, the negro man not possessing in himself the great conservative powers, which are the grand source of all exertions and human independence, fell, naturally by degrees, back into their native insufficiency of mind; the end of which is misery, ignorance, barbarism and slavery.
During the age of their first prosperity, had they cultivated such mental faculties as they had, instead of indulging in all kinds of animal luxuries, crimes, murders, tyranny, lewdness, and horrid idolatries, they would not have gone down as they have. That such was the fact, respecting them, is strongly supported by the history of Carthage, whose empire was coeval with the latter ages of Canaan, and with the very time of the glory of Egypt. This negro kingdom, during its whole existence, which was from the age of Ahab, one of the kings of Israel, till destroyed by the Romans, under Scipio, about 140 years B. C., made no advances in literature. On this subject, Rollin says, p. 238, that during all the ages of their existence, which was about seven hundred years, they did not produce but four literary men, while the Greeks and the Romans, we will add, during the same space of time, filled the world with their sages, philosophers, and seats of learning, as well as with their manufactories, trade and commerce.
The great ambition of the negro Carthagenians was war, plunder, rapine, and cruelty; excluding, even by edicts, the encouragement of letters and learning. Wherever the Greeks or Romans carried their conquests, they strove to better the condition of conquered countries, but the Carthagenians turned all to a howling wilderness; or at least did not attempt to better the character of the subdued nations. The reason why the Carthagenians discouraged literature by law, says Rollin, was, as they asserted, that it assisted men to become rogues, and to overreach each other.
But this was not the reason; it was because of their innate dislike to mental study and research, as a people; seeking only after animal gratification, seeing no beauty or advantage in a knowledge of the mysteries of the arts and sciences, as did the other races, especially the descendants of Japheth. This is the grand reason why the first negro nations went backward rather than forward from their original opportunities, namely, their not having appreciated the value and worth of letters, moral improvement, the science of social government, virtue, &c.; and yet we are told that the negro man invented letters at first; an idea easily refuted, by a reference to the fact, that letters and learning were understood in the house of Noah long before Ham was born.
In relation to their commonly accredited knowledge of the art of building, or of architecture, in Egypt, is entirely preposterous. “With our present knowledge (says Lawrence, page 296) of the capacity of negro men, and our knowledge of the state in which the whole race has remained for full twenty centuries, can we deem it possible that they should have achieved such prodigies?” That the negro man in those ages did, unaided by the talents of others, invent and carry out, by his own mental energies, the great works of Egypt and Carthage, we wholly deny, and aver that it cannot be proven.
That the knowledge of architecture, and many of the other arts, as well as sciences, were as well understood, if not better, by the Chaldeans, who were of the race of Shem, and coeval with the negroes of the tower of Babel, which was long prior to the settlements of Egypt or Ethiopia, is evident from the notices respecting them, found in the writings of Moses in the book of Genesis. The settlements of Shem and Japheth, about the regions of the head waters of the Euphrates and Tigris, in ancient Persia (so named long afterward) and Armenia, were made all a hundred years before the children of Ham went either to Canaan or Egypt.
It is true, however, that Ham and his people went down the Euphrates to the vale of Shinar, where, in about fifty years after his leaving the country of the ark, with his family, they built the tower. But as soon as that undertaking was frustrated by the Divine power, in the confusion of their language, they immediately spread out in all directions: some going westward to the unknown region of the country called, afterward, Canaan Phœnicia; some southward, along the Persian Gulf, in Arabia, and the Red Sea, as well as still further south into Egypt, while some went south-east, along the Indian Ocean, toward the country now known as Hindostan; and others remained, no doubt, in the same country, along the Euphrates, quite down to the sea. Here they had to begin anew in all their respective regions.
But during all this time, the children of Shem and Japheth, with the patriarchs born soon after the flood, were going forward with their pursuits, and actually built the great cities of Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen, Genesis x, 11, 12, even before the time of the building of the tower of Babel by the negroes, as the children of Shem and Japheth had nothing to do with that exploit.
The numbers and the names of some of the patriarchs, born prior to the dispersion of the blacks from the project of the tower, are as follows: ARPHAXAD, SALAH, EBER, and PELEG, besides four other sons of Shem, younger than Arphaxad, whose names were Elam, Ashur, Lud, and Amram; who were each, and all of them, the fathers of vast multitudes, over whom the mighty and princely Melchisedek, or SHEM, the son of Noah, reigned as a priest. In this man were concentrated, by the providence and appointment of God, the regal and sacerdotal dignities, as well as a knowledge of all past ages, as he was born more than a hundred years before the flood.
Is it a supposable case, that the races of Shem and Japheth, under such a supervision as that of Noah and Melchisedek, were idle, and accomplished nothing, during all the time the negroes were busy on the great flats of Shinar, and in the building of the tower? The reader will recollect that Noah lived, after the flood, three hundred and fifty years, and Shem five hundred years; so that during a hundred years or more, prior to the negroes’ settlements of Canaan and Africa, these two great men, as well as the four other patriarchs, first above named, were as energetically at work in their settlements, east and north, as were the negroes in theirs, and that, too, without a loss of time, as was the case with the blacks; for they lost all the time spent in the vale of Shinar, before they were dispersed, amounting to more than a hundred years.
That the race of Shem, under the advices and knowledge of himself and his father Noah, and concomitant patriarchs, had actually grown numerous, and attained to power at a very early period, is evident from the 14th chapter of Genesis. In the history contained in that chapter, Moses gives an account of a war waged and carried on between certain kings of the land of Shinar, whose countries lay along and beyond the river Euphrates, who were the children of Shem, and certain kings of Canaan, negroes, and of the vale of Sodom, whose kingdoms lay along and near the river Jordan, places and governments about three hundred miles apart.
The names of the kings of Shinar, who engaged m this war, were Amraphel, king of Shinar; Arioch, king of Ellasar; Chedorlaomar, king of Elam; and Tidal, king of nations. This war happened in the days of Abraham, about two hundred and fifty years after the dispersion from the tower, and about three hundred and seventy after the flood, when Abraham was about eighty years old.
These confederate kings, from the Euphrates, were powerful, as we see they had held in vassalage, for some twelve years, certain districts of the country of Sodom, on the river Jordan, east of the country of old Canaan, although so far from the seats of the respective thrones. But the kingdoms of Sodom rebelled from under the rule of those eastern kings. On this account, the five kings of the Euphrates, with their troops, came the great distance of full three hundred miles overland, to reduce the people to their vassalage again.
But the sooty monarchs of Sodom, five in number, whose names are as follows, Bera, king of Sodom; Birsha, king of Gomorrah; Shinab, king of Admah; Shemeber, king of Zeboim; and Bela, king of Zoar, mustered their troops and resisted their oppressors, but were beaten, with a terrible overthrow, in which defeat Lot, the half brother of Abraham, and all he had, was carried away. Thus we learn, from the pen of Moses, how great the empire of those eastern monarchs was, extending west, even to Jordan, covering, at that time, more or less of the country of old Canaan, while to the east there was nothing beyond them but the wilds of India and Hindostan.
Thus far we have presented this trait of ancient history, merely to show, that at the very time when the Egyptians had been settled in the vale of the Nile, only about two hundred and fifty years from the time of the dispersion from Babel, there was then a mighty empire much further advanced in the arts and sciences (than were the Egyptians) in the country of Euphrates; which had its commencement long before even the building of Babel, and had spread onward toward the region now called China, to a great distance, and had been advancing for more than a hundred years before the negroes of the tower, or any part of them, had found their way to the Nile, or to the mountains of Canaan.
In this eastern empire, there were no less than eight great cities named by Moses, which were Babel, Erech, Acad, and Calneh, built by the people of Ham, under Nimrod, before the confusion of their language; and then there were Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen, built by the people of Shem, quite as early as were the others by the people of Ham, who were dispossessed of them, and driven out of the country, by the Shemite race, into Africa. From this view, it is seen at once that the arts, as understood in that age, were known in the land of Shinar, Armenia, and the east, long prior to the advancement of the Canaanites, the Ethiopians, the Lybians, and the Egyptians, derived from the house of Noah, and fostered by the patriarchs of the Shemite and Japhetic races.
That Abraham, the great progenitor of many of the nations of the eastern world, was a learned man, is asserted in the writings of several of the early Chaldean historians, as stated by Josephus, book 1. BEROSSEUS, a Chaldean historian, speaks of this Abraham, the Syrian, as being wonderfully versed in a knowledge of the heavenly bodies, or in astronomy. HECATUS, another Chaldean writer, celebrates the greatness and the learning of the man Abraham, who, as Josephus relates, composed a book, setting forth the life of Abraham, by which means his name was well known to the ancient writers of India and Hindostan. To this Adam Clarke sets his seal, who says, that in the oriental writings in the Sanscrit language, frequent allusion is made to Abraham, as well as to Solomon ben–Doud; or, in other words, to Solomon, the son of David.
It is said by Josephus, that Abraham carried with him to Egypt a knowledge of arithmetic; which is borne out in the fact of his seed, both the Hebrews and the Ishmaelites. always being in the possession of the science of figures. And from whom did Abraham receive this knowledge, but from Shem, or Melchisedek, the son of Noah, which came from beyond the flood?
How is it, therefore, that literary men of the latter ages have seemed to look for the origin of the arts and sciences no higher than to the sooty cities of Egypt or Phœnicia, with all this evidence before them, as if the negro man must have been the first and only discoverers of all that is excellent in the earth, especially when it is known that this race have never of themselves, as negroes, patronized letters much in the world?
Is it a credible thing that God, who committed to the race of Shem, in the persons of the patriarchs of that line, the lights of immortality, did not also commit to the same characters and race, the lights of the arts and sciences, seeing that a knowledge of these very powers were necessary to the carrying out of the very plans of the Deity, by the means of a branch of this race of men, the Shemites?
Professor Lawrence, a man who ranks among the first men of the age, contends in his lectures, that as all the black nations of the globe are in a low and miserable condition; and that, as they have been thus for thousands of years, therefore they are correspondingly low and miserable in their faculties, and is the very reason why they submit to slavery. He deems the moral and intellectual character of the negro race, decidedly inferior to that of the white race, and that this condition arises out of his anatomical organization—p. 428. Than that this is so, there is no truth more self-evident, and yet there are found even among white men and women, and of such as lay claim to high distinction in society, those who do not hesitate to aver, that there is no good reason why an amalgamation of white and black blood should not take place.
Without reciting in this place all the physical peculiarities of the shape, color, and character of the negro race, it may suffice to remark, that when the two races come in contact, and the thoughts of amalgamation crosses the mind of a white, it is accompanied with a chill of the soul, which is nothing else but the voice of God in nature against it. The sympathies when called upon, in this respect, to coalesce with a creature of another cast and constitution, cry out and flee with affright, as if pursued by some horrid phantom of darkness; surely, God never intended any such jumbling up of his original work, as amalgamation proposes.
As to the natural manners of the negro race, there is between them and the other races, a deeply marked difference in relation to the risible faculty. The continual readiness of the African to burst into loud and boisterous fits of laughter, increasing even to yells, with but little or no cause to excite it, is a trait entirely peculiar to that people. This peculiarity, which so attaches to the very being of the negro race was equally possessed by Ham, the first negro, as appears in his treatment of the patriarch Noah, in the hour of his sleep, as we have already shown from Josephus.
There is another circumstance in the physical being of many of the African race, of which we almost decline to speak, and this is the strange and unaccountable circumstance of their near approach in their shapes, to that of the wild man of the woods, the ourang-outang.
If it was consistent in the Divine economy to produce a black race of men, as in the person of Ham, suited in their constitutional make, to people the hot regions of the earth, why need they, therefore, in so many instances, be formed so much like the animal above alluded to? Could not the African have been produced black, with all the peculiar temperaments of body and mind, without their having been formed so much like that strange looking creature, to the black man’s deep dislike, as well as to the surprise of all who have seen any of that kind of animal?
The ourang-outang is a most extraordinary creature, not only on account of its near approach to the form of many of the African race, but also from its almost human actions, great size, and greater strength. Some individuals of the species, which have been taken, have measured full seven feet in height, and were otherwise as largely proportioned. Such an one was caught on the northern coast of the island Sumatra, in the Indian Ocean, which was a real giant. The account given by Dr. Clark Abel, respecting the capture and size of this extraordinary animal, is as follows: “When first observed, the creature seemed to be much fatigued, as if he were resting from a long and arduous journey His legs, nearly to the knees, were covered with mud, showing that he had passed a region of country of a boggy or miry character, and was resting in the broad forks of a tree, when first seen by the hunters, near the shores of the island. As the boat’s crew approached the land, the monster appeared to be aware of its danger, and that a single tree, whereon it was resting, did not afford adequate means of safety. It, therefore, descended, and escaping to a small clump of forest trees, at some distance, whither it was now pursued by the hunters, seemed to feel itself more secure. But as the hunters came up, they let off their guns, five at the first shot, the balls of which all took effect. On feeling itself wounded, the wonderful animal left the tree on which it was resting for the moment, and bounded with great activity and force, from one tree to another, so that for a time it seemed to bid defiance to the hunters to overtake it. At length, however, its exertions grew fainter, and leaning against a limb, it vomited blood, being then some feet up among the limbs of the tree, in which it was putting its trust. The powder of the party being now exhausted, as they had been on the hunt for a long time that day, before they fell in with this rencontre, they were obliged to cut the trees down with their axes in order to be able to strike it with their spears. The animal was soon cut down, but as the tree fell, what was their surprise to see the wild man spring with great activity into the boughs of another, thus effecting its escape with seemingly unabated vigor. They now fell to cutting down all the trees of the place, which consisted of but a small clump, as they were determined to capture it by a conflict on the ground. This plan was accomplished, and the last tree brought the animal in immediate conflict with its enemies. Here they plied their spears on every side, as the bleeding animal bounded hither and thither amidst its foes, without seeming desirous of attacking any of them. But as it was overcome by many wounds, and nearly in a dying state, it suddenly seized hold of a spear, the handle of which no man could break, and snapped it asunder, as if it were but a dry twig. Its strength, however, they now saw was beginning to fail from a loss of blood; when in its agony, it would clap its hands on the wounds and look so pitiful at its tormentors, that the men began to have doubts as to the nature of the deed they were perpetrating, so much were its actions like a human being in distress. But soon it fainted, and fell down on the grass quiescent, and was dead. On measuring the strange creature, it was found to be seven feet in length, and looked, while alive, and bounding from one tree to another, like a monster of a man, entirely naked, but overgrown with a thick coat of black, shiny hair, of about three inches long, except on the forehead and face. Its chin was fringed with a beard, which curled neatly on each side. Its arms were long—much longer than are a man’s arms—while the legs were in proportion shorter, presenting a body of great size and power. The chest was broad and expanded, while the waist was quite slender, as are all the monkey tribes. The posteriors were pointed and narrow, which trait of form is also that of the African negroes. Upon the whole, says Dr. Abel, it was a wonderful creature to behold, and more about it to excite surprise than fear.”
Mr. Shaw, the Wesleyan missionary in South Africa, says, that he has seen a whole troop of baboons on the mountains, who would not only scream, caper, and frolic at sight of their company, but would actually laugh.—Page 79 of his Memorials.
The existence of this animal, the ourang-outang, is a great phenomenon in the world of beasts, on account of its near approach to human beings, and especially to that of the negro race, both in form and capacities. The extreme scarcity of the creature in the world is not the least circumstance of its singularity, for it is found only in one or two districts of the whole globe, and those are in Africa; we mean the large class of the animal. Because there is a palpable similarity in many particulars between the negro race, and the extraordinary animal above described, we by no means insinuate, what many seem to believe, namely, that they are a connecting link between the ourang-outang and the white man; as this is utterly impossible, on account of Ham’s parentage, and because there is no such thing as a gradation from brute natures to that of the human; for man stands alone, being the image of God, and his only image on the planet. Our remarks, therefore, as above, and those which are to follow, are intended only to prove the natural and innocent fact of the negroes’ mental and physical existence as actually inferior to the whites. In connection with this view, we shall notice the very curious circumstance of the difference there is between the nature of a negro’s flesh, and that of the white man, the knowledge of which is afforded by the appetites of certain animals. The shark, the lion, tiger, and leopard, prefer the flesh of the negro to that of white men. This is found to be true as to the shark, when the two races bathe together in waters inhabited by that voracious fish; it always selects the blacks, as an article of food suited to its taste, rather than the whites, rejecting the latter to the last. It is the same when white men and negroes hunt the animals of the forest, above mentioned, together in Africa, those monsters always selecting the blacks as their prey, when it is as easy for them to take one as the other. Were we to render a reason for this curious preference, we should say that it is on account of the strong odor of the negro’s body, which, to the smell and taste, is more inviting than the white man’s flesh, as is the smell and taste of the horse and the ass to those carnivorous creatures. In conformity to this fact, that of the strong odor of the negro’s body, they can digest food of a much coarser and stronger character than white men can, such as the shark, the crocodile, the rhinoceros, the elephant, the hippopotamus, tigers, hyænas, dogs, lions, panthers, and serpents of every description, with the greatest ease and relish. All these are rejected by the white man, as abhorrent to his nature, tastes, and powers of digestion, except in cases of strong necessity and starvation. The horrid and heart-appalling practice of cannibalism, has, in all ages, attached more to the African race than to any other people of the earth. In the country of Egypt, according to Baron Humboldt, as late as the thirteenth century, five hundred years ago, this dreadful practice prevailed, even among the higher orders of the people, as well as the lower, so that extraordinary traps and snares were resorted to, in order to catch each other for food, as they would any other animal. He says, that physicians were often sent for, under a pretense of illness, when they who sent for them would kill and devour the physician, having arranged the plan how to deceive and destroy them before their arrival. The large island Sumatra, in the Indian Ocean, is peopled by blacks of the negro description, who, formerly, if not now, devoured all persons among them, condemned to death for crimes committed against their laws. The manner of such executions was as follows. The criminal was tied naked to a post firmly fixed in the ground, while the executioners stood around the fatal spot with knives in their hands, who, when the sign, for them to begin was given, fell on, in a regular manner, in the sight of thousands, cutting away such parts of the body as their respective fancies and appetites made choice of, eating the quivering flesh in its blood, with pepper and salt, while the poor wretch was howling and writhing with pain, as his devourers, all negroes like himself, were chewing and swallowing him down before his own eyes with gestures of great delight and satisfaction.—Masonic Record, p. 123, No. 1, 1830. In New Holland, there are, or were, several tribes of negroes, who have very large heads and mouths. Their heads, in form, resemble the head of the ourang-outang. They are entirely covered with black hair or wool, are very limited in their intellectual powers, but are extremely dexterous in climbing trees, precipices, and rocky places, in which particular they greatly resemble the apes and baboons of Africa. They are exceedingly black, and have mouths much wider than any other people of the human race. They eat all kinds of reptiles, as bugs, worms, and serpents, with every decayed and filthy thing; but whether they are cannibals we are not informed. Nearly the same is said of the natives of Australasia, who are small in stature, ill shaped, and among the most degraded and barbarous of the whole human race, going entirely naked, with their bodies smeared over like the Hottentot’s, with oil and filth, having no religion, or idea of a God, no government, and none of the comforts of civilized life, though occupying a country rich in every natural advantage of the globe.—Smith’s Geo., p. 296. Were ever white men so low as this?
On the island called Van Dieman’s Land, in the Southern Ocean, lat. 42°, which is adjacent to New Holland, there is, according to Captain Grant’s account, a tribe of negroes extremely black and woolly, whose whole formation is frightfully like the ourang-outang, being, as to stature, many of them full six feet high, and powerfully built, who are far stronger than other men of their size, and very ferocious. These negroes eat human flesh as freely as they do any other meat, making no difference, one way or another, in the light of its being better or worse than the flesh of other creatures. They sleep in the open air, although the country is far from being hot, as it is in lat. 42° south, and full as cold as is the climate of New York, in both winter and summer; and yet they sleep in the open air on the ground, and in the trees, like the wild tenants of the heavens and the earth, huddling in caves and holes in the winter, as well as they can.
The negroes of the Norfolk, or New Hebrides Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, make use of human flesh and count it as a great luxury—a banquet of the highest order.—Malte–Brun, p. 620. In the island Mallicola, in the Indian Ocean, according to the above author, is a race or tribe of negroes, who, it is said, may almost be regarded as a kind of apes or baboons; as they have long flat noses, narrow foreheads, high cheek bones, under jaws which protrude beyond what is common to Africans, very low of stature, and every way entirely horrible to look upon, on account of their extraordinary approximation to the shapes and attitudes of ourang-outangs.
The negroes of Solomon’s Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, south latitude 10°, are exceedingly black and cruel; whose chiefs will kill a man, for happening to cross their shadow, so despotic and fierce are they in their anger. They wear around their bodies, as ornaments, strings of human teeth, and other tokens of ferocity and murderous practices. These negroes are cannibals of the worst description, living on human flesh, in preference to all other kinds of meat, which they procure by wars among themselves, and from shipwrecked vessels, which are cast by tempests on these inhospitable and bloody shores.
But from whence came the negroes of those islands of the Pacific Ocean, so far removed from Africa, their native country? We believe them to be descendants of the Cushites, who settled, first of all, and before they went to Africa, along the Persian Gulf, and the Eastern Ocean, from whence they got on to these islands, by various means, where they have remained from that period till the present. The islands of New Hebrides, New Holland, Van Dieman, New Zealand, and Solomon’s Islands, with many others, which are inhabited by negroes, lie all along adjacent to the coasts of Asia, so that they were easily reached by these first settlers, of the Ethiopia of that country, before they were conquered and driven out of it by the Shemites, as before stated.
There is no other way to account for the appearance of the blacks on those islands, who have ever been acknowledged as the aboriginal or native people, other races mixing among them subsequently. This fact, also, establishes that the negro race were always as they are, and that those negro islanders are the descendants of the Asiatic Cushites, who now are cannibals, and have been thus in all time. From this same stock of black men, the Cushites of the days of Noah, descended the myriads of the negro race, found mixed through all the nations of the great eastern world, as China, the Indies, Hindostan, &c., among whom they are slaves, as in all other parts of the earth, carrying out the curse of Noah. On the continent of Africa, there is in the interior a tribe of negroes, called Eboes, whose features wonderfully resemble baboons, like those on the island Mallicola, particularly in the great elongation of the under jaw; these are likewise cannibals.—Morse’s Geo., p. 785.
Mr. Vaugill, an American, who traveled in Africa, having penetrated some way into the interior, among the Gango negroes, came to a pretty large settlement, where he found a kind of market place, to which the inhabitants resorted to buy and sell such things as they dealt in. Here Mr. Vaugill found an abundance of human legs and thighs, hanging on pegs driven into the trees and their huts, for sale, the same as meat is exposed in the markets of civilized countries.
In another district of Africa, called Derwin, situated on the shore of a river, where a schooner, commanded by one Captain Dunninger, had anchored for the purpose of hunting, dwelt a tribe, or nation, of negroes, but what their name was is not recorded. At this place, a part of the crew went on shore, where there was a thick wood, in quest of game. For some reason or other, perhaps fear, they kept pretty near together, while they were looking about in the unknown woods, when they were suddenly set upon by a large party of negroes, concealed in the grass, and notwithstanding the guns of the schooner’s party, were at once overpowered, being frightened, as the negroes rose up immediately about, and under their very feet.
They were instantly killed with clubs, except one or two, who being a little apart from the main company, fled to the vessel with the news. As soon as possible, the residue of the crew hastened to the spot, well armed, where they found nothing but the blood and entrails of the victims, for their bodies had disappeared, carried away, as they believed, to be used as food for the murderers.
A race of negroes once inhabited a large district of country, about and beyond the heads of the Nile, in Abyssinia, far south of the equator, called Giogas, who once overran a great country in Africa, in the region known as Upper Egypt, supporting themselves, as they went, by killing and eating the inhabitants, as they would so many cattle in an enemy’s country. They finally seized upon a district which lies south of Angolia, bordering on the great Sahara, or sand desert, where they finally settled, and were living when the Christian missionaries found them. Whenever these people, who were the terror of the surrounding tribes, went out on marauding excursions to plunder and capture their own race, as has been the custom of all Africa, in all ages, they always selected from among their female slaves as many as they judged necessary for their support on their way, whom they killed as they went, for food, having used them as their wives till the time of butchering them came.—Edinburgh Enc, vol. ii, p. 185.
Is it possible to conceive of any condition in human life so utterly horrible—so far removed from the common sympathies and moral feelings of humanity—so deeply damned as were this community of negroes? And yet their character was but in perfect keeping, more or less, with every horde, tribe, and nation, of the race, whether we go back to the first ages of their being in Asia and Africa, or look at them after the lapse of thousands of years, and as they are now, in their own untaught character, as found in the islands, woods, and mountains, of their blood-stained country.
The Rev. Mr. Brown, of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Africa, related, when on a recent visit to America, some appalling accounts of cannibalism, as seen and known by himself. He related that he had seen some ten or a dozen men buy a prisoner from a tribe who had taken him in battle, and, tying his hands behind his back, fell upon him with knives, cutting off pieces of his body as the victim went, who filled the air with yells and cries for mercy, till he fell down from a loss of blood, when he was entirely devoured, except the bones. The Rev. Barnabas Shaw, a Wesleyan Missionary, in his Memorials of South Africa, says—but, as we deem it, rather reluctantly—that the Bechanan negroes are sometimes cannibals.—Page 56.
That this trait of negro depravity and appetite was as much in vogue among them in the country of old Canaan, even prior to the time of Moses, and the conquest of those nations by the Hebrews, as it was in ancient Africa, or any of the adjacent islands at any time, appears from some remarks in the writings ascribed to Solomon, on this very subject. It is said of Solomon, in the Scriptures, that he was a wise man, and, of necessity, a well read man, or he could not have been wise. Solomon was, no doubt, acquainted with the history and manners of the ancient nations of the country over which he reigned, and who, in part, had been conquered by his own arms. He had access to the writings of all former ages, even those of Noah and Melchisedek, as well as of the other patriarchs. On these accounts, we may rely upon what he has said on the subject of negro cannibalism in the book of Wisdom, as set forth in the Apocrypha, chap, xii, as follows: “For it was thy will (O Lord) to destroy, by the hands of our fathers [the Hebrews], both those old inhabitants of thy holy land [Canaan], whom thou hatest, for doing most odious works of witchcrafts and wicked sacrifices, and also those merciless murderers of children, and devourers of man’s flesh, and the feasts of blood, with their priests, out of the midst of their idolatrous crew, and the parents that killed, with their own hands, babes destitute of help.”
Respecting these ancient nations of Canaan, the seed of Ham, Solomon further states, in the same chapter, as above, as follows: “But executing thy judgment upon them by little and little, thou gavest them place of repentance, not being ignorant that they were a naughty generation, and that their malice was bred in them, and that their cogitation would never be changed; for it was a “cursed seed” from the beginning.
Here, allusion is made by Solomon to the curse of Noah, and to the decree of God against the race, in the words they were a “cursed seed” from the beginning, that is from the birth of Ham, and that their malice was bred in them. Concerning this people, Solomon further saith, in chapter 14: “Moreover, this was not enough for them that erred in the knowledge of God; but whereas they lived in great ignorance, those so great plagues called they peace. For whilst they killed their children in sacrifice, or used secret ceremonies, or made revellings of strange rites; they kept neither lives nor marriages any longer undefiled; but either one slew another treacherously or grieved him by adultery, so that there reigned in all men (of those nations), without exception, blood, man-slaughter, theft, dissimulation, corruption, unfaithfulness, tumults and perjury.”
This account of the character of the ancient and first negroes of Canaan, as given by Solomon in the book of Wisdom, is corroborated in relation to cannibalism, by the sacred text itself, and therefore is established against them beyond all doubt. See book of Numbers, xiii, 23, where there is an account of the spies, who were sent into the mountains and country of Canaan, to see what kind of people dwelt there; who reported of them, when they returned, that they were monsters, not only in stature, but in practice, for they said, “they eat up the inhabitants.” That is, they were cannibals, which frightened the spies nearly out of their wits.
The Carthaginians sacrificed infants to their gods, as well as adult persons. At one time, says Rollin, Vol. i, pages 255 and 272, they burnt two hundred babies, and three hundred grown persons. But whether they eat them after they were roasted, is not related by the historian. This dreadful practice they carried with them, from old Phœnicia or the land of Canaan, as the black nations of Carthage were derived from the blacks of Canaan, page 275 of the above author.
This is a dreadful picture of the ferocity of those early negro nations, who, it appears, not only worshiped the devil, practiced witchcrafts and sorcery, disregarded the marriage rites, murdered, swore false, practiced all kinds of dissimulation, but in addition to all this, they would kill and eat their own children, or any of the weaker inhabitants, the aged, the infirm, prisoners, &c.—all these they would devour as an article of food.
The times alluded to by Solomon, in the book of Wisdom, and by the book of Numbers, as above quoted, was some fifteen and nineteen hundred years B. C. Comparing these facts with the statements of Herodotus on the same subject (see below), we learn that the negro race, more or less, have always been addicted to cannibalism, from the very beginning till the present time. The following is from the pen of Herodotus, the eldest of the Greek historians (see his work as translated, p. 170), where it is recorded respecting the Lybian negroes: “If any man among them appeared to be diseased, his nearest connections put him to death immediately, alleging in excuse that sickness would waste and injure his flesh. They pay no regard to his assertion, that he is not really ill, but without the least compunction, deprive him of his life,” and then devour him when cooked.
From the time of Moses to the time of Herodotus, was a lapse of more than one thousand years. From the time of Herodotus to the time of the thirteenth century of the Christian era, when, according to Baron Humboldt and other good authorities, cannibalism was entirely universal in Egypt, among the negro class of the people, was a lapse of some fifteen hundred years; and from the thirteenth century to the present time, is some four hundred more; amounting in all to full three thousand years of the history of that race, in which they have been, irrespective of civilization, actually more or less in the practice of the dreadful crime of eating human flesh, as an article of food; not from necessity, nor on account of the requirements of their religion, but wholly from the common desire of that kind of food, the same as dogs or any other carnivorous animal.
It was but a few years since, 1839, that a part of the crew of the vessel Colonel Crocket, which sailed from Newburgh, N. Y., to Africa, was devoured by the negro cannibals, on the Delago river, inland about a hundred miles, while engaged on a hunting excursion in the woods of that river. For all the particulars of that horrid affair, see the paper entitled “The New World,” March 13, 1841.
On comparing the white nations in any, or all the ages of the earth, with the tribes, hordes, and nations of the aboriginal blacks, it is not possible, however far removed from the lights and influences of the true religion, to find such evidences of absolute mental and practical degradation, as is found over the whole earth, among the negro race, whether in a civilized or a savage state. It is impossible to find, in the history of any of the white nations, since the flood of Noah, a community who were absolutely without any knowledge of a God, of law and order, self-government, &c., as we find in all the history of the savage parts of the negro race. Is there on the page of universal history, whether written or traditionary, any account of white men going entirely naked in the woods all their lives; their women and their children having no dwellings better than a cave, a hollow tree, or a hut made of twigs, or some fragile substance; without order, laws, religion, or any kind of refinements whatever?—no knowledge of agriculture or of improvements in any way beyond a wooden spear, a bow and arrows, or some such implement? In such a condition, millions of the negro race are found in all ages of the world, as well as at the present time; but never the white race. Is not this fact an evidence of the radical and abiding difference there is between the races—the blacks and the whites—in relation to mind? In America, however, it is very common for some people to charge the low and degraded condition of the negro race, to the account of the domineering manners of the whites over them; but we presume they will not do so in relation to the foregoing accounts, as the white man’s influence is unknown in their ancient or modern barbarous condition; on this account, such persons will be compelled, even against their own wills, to place the cause to the right account—which is the negro’s own natural imbecilities.
It is utterly impossible to reduce the whites by any process whatever to so low a condition, as is found to be the universal state of the negro race, on account of the possession of superior mental faculties, moral feelings, reason, reflections, sympathies, and all the train of qualifications, constituting the image of God, as alluded to, Gen. i, 27. But these qualifications, and this image, are possessed by the negro race in a less degree, which corresponds exactly with the difference there is between the color, forms and attitudes of the two races.
In further illustration of this fact, it is said by physicians, who have made the tropical diseases their study, that the negro sleeps sound in every disease, nor does any mental disturbance ever keep them awake. They bear surgical operations much better than whites; and what would be the cause of insupportable pain to a white, a negro would almost disregard. I have, says Dr. Mosely, amputated the legs of many negroes, who have held the upper part of the limb themselves, alone.—Lawrence’s Lectures, p. 402.
And as corroboratory of this fact, we see it stated in the speech of Dr. Browning, in the great abolition convention at London, that when he was in Egypt, a black man, who was a soldier, and who was wounded in the leg, found it necessary to have the limb amputated. This was done by a surgeon named Clot Bey, and when he expressed his surprise at not hearing any exclamation of pain, his answer was, “Do you think that a black man can bear pain no better than the white man can?”—Pennsylvanian Freeman, August 6, 1840.
This circumstance, however, is made use of by negro admirers as an evidence of the great fortitude of their natures, and strength of mind. But this notion is overthrown in the fact of their want of courage in the hour of terror and danger, and of perseverance in great undertakings. It is true that the race is ferocious, but ferocity is neither an evidence of courage, fortitude, nor of mind, but is rather a trait of their nervous insensibility, agreeing with the fact above stated.
The distinction of color, between white and black, is not more striking than is the difference between the moral feelings and mental endowments of the two races. They indulge almost universally in disgusting debauchery and sensuality, displaying every where a gross indifference to the mental pains and pleasures of others. Insensibility to order and metaphysical harmony, with an entire want of what is comprehended under the idea of elevated sentiment, manly virtue and moral feeling, is characteristic of the race; these traits and virtues attach more prominently to the whites, which cannot be denied by any but fanatics, the profoundly ignorant and self-blinded character.
There are districts of country in Africa, and especially along the Atlas mountains, in which apes and baboons are so abundant, that in many of the mud hut towns of the negro natives, these animals live all together, as if they were members of the same community.—Heme’s Researches, Vol. i, p. 37. Herodotus speaks of a tribe of negroes in Africa, who were so profoundly ignorant, that they had no names by which they could distinguish each other; their memories, respecting the looks of individuals, being their only guide when they met, the same as dogs after they get acquainted.
In no age, and under no circumstances, is it possible to ascertain, among any tribes, nations, or communities of the whites, so much misery and meanness, so much wretchedness and bestiality, as is found among the negroes, not of America, but of Africa, among the aboriginal people. Neither is it possible to ascertain from the page of history, under the most favoring circumstances, that the negro race have ever risen to a comparable height with the white nations in the sciences, or even in the most necessary arts.
The ancient negroes of Egypt, Ethiopia, Lybia, and Phœnicia, had no knowledge of water power, as being applicable to propel machinery, nor of machinery itself. They knew nothing of the architectural arch. They had no knowledge of the mighty principle of steam, nor of gunpowder—nothing of the magnetic needle, the clock or time-piece. They knew nothing respecting anatomy and the circulation of the blood in the human body, or in animals. They had no knowledge of the art of printing, nor of the iron plow-share, with hundreds of implements, and manufactures now understood, and in use in the world among white nations.
Well, what of all that, says one; neither were any of these things known or understood by any body else, black or white, in those times. Granted; but how came it to pass, we ask, that, in the process of ages, the negro man, or race, has never discovered any of these things, while the white man has found out and invented them all? It is true that the Scriptures intimate that the Egyptians were a very wise people, by saying that Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians; Acts vii, 22. But what was this wisdom after all, but a mass of superstition and nonsense, respecting their idolatrous religion, a world of stuff, which Moses despised and rejected. Respecting their wisdom, the Jewish Rabbi hold, says Dr. Clarke, that it consisted in the arts of necromancy and magic, with which Moses, of necessity, was well acquainted, having been brought up in the court of Pharaoh, as heir apparent to the throne; but he condemned the whole as false wisdom and vain philosophy, derived from the heresies of the tower, as from a germ engendered in the polluted hearts of Ham and Nimrod, the great fathers of negro idolatry in the world.
In closing this section, we give the opinion of Rollin, as it respects the innate strength of the negro’s mind and courage, in substance as follows: The Carthagenians had mean and “groveling souls” as when they were victorious in battle, they were always cruel and ferocious to the prisoners; but when defeated themselves, they would cringe down like frightened dogs, losing all courage and hope. This was the true character of the famous Carthagenians in all their wars, and history of their existence.—Vol. i p. 255.
During the first Punic or Phœnician war, toward the close of that contest, the Carthagenians were obliged to procure a general to lead their armies, and conduct their forces against the Romans, from the Greeks, as among themselves there were none who could cope with the victorious Regulus. The general they procured was the famous Zantippus, a Lacedemonian, who, when he had taken the command of the sooty legions, soon became the victor, even taking the Roman commander prisoner, as well as defeating his forces, when a peace between the two powers ensued.
Does this fact go to exhibit the black men of Carthage, whether woolly headed or straight haired, as being equal, in point of talent, with white men, when they were compelled to employ a white general, a Greek, to compete with, and conquer, the Romans at that time, or to submit to ruin?—Whelpley’s Compend of History, p. 165.
But how did the Carthagenians requite the brave white general, for his acts of valor and friendship? By murdering him, for fear that it should be known that a white man had assisted them, and was the cause of their good fortune. This fact shows also, as Rollin has spoken of them, namely, that they were mean and groveling of soul. On that famous occasion, it is said by the above historian [vol. i, p. 285], that when the Carthagenians saw how much superior the abilities of Zantippus were to their own generals, in manoeuvering the troops in battle, they were struck with astonishment, and said that the ablest generals of Carthage knew nothing in comparison with this Greek. As to the natural courage (which is but another term for superior abilities) of the Roman white men, and the black Carthagenians, there was no comparison; as the former, though often defeated, were never discouraged; while the latter fell into despair at the very omens of defeat.—Rollin, vol, i, p. 297. This author further saith, vol. i, page 356, that whenever the Carthagenians got a victory over the Romans, their white opponents, they would butcher, crucify, and tear the prisoners to death; but that, on the contrary, when the Romans got a victory, they were lenient and humane. This fact, to Hannibal, was a very strange thing, which his mind could not readily comprehend. MERCY to a defeated enemy, was, to the Carthagenians, a solveless problem, while in the minds of the Romans it was a virtue of the highest order. That such dispositions as these are the innate character of the negro race, is further shown from the following: In Western Africa, it is now a custom of the king of Dahomey, annually to assemble all the chiefs and nobles of his kingdom, in order to aid him in the ceremony of watering the graves of his ancestors with blood. On such occasions, hundreds of human beings were butchered, consisting of prisoners, of criminals, and also of many seized promiscuously by lawless violence from among the crowd, who suspected no evil. At any time when the king wishes to send a message to his deceased relation in another world, he delivers the errand to some one standing near, and then strikes off his head, that he may go and carry it. The roofs of the huts of this king’s place of residence are ornamented all over, as are also the pavements before the doors of his huts, with the jaw bones and sculls of human beings.
In Western Africa, there is another kingdom, called Ashantee, whose king is far more a tyrant than the king of Dahomey. When the English Commissioners, not many years since, had arrived at the capital, which was but a wilderness of low and conical huts; it was at a time when the annual man butchery took place, for the sake of the dead. The following is the account as published—Universal Traveler, page 420:
“During their stay, the Commissioners witnessed scenes so dreadful, that it seemed to sink the Ashantee character even below the ordinary level of savage life. The custom of human sacrifices is practiced here, on a scale still more tremendous than at Dahomey. The king had lately sacrificed, on the grave of his mother, three thousand victims, and at the death of the late sovereign, his predecessor, the sacrifice was continued weekly, for three months. […] On these occasions, the Caboceers and princes, in order to court the royal favor, would often rush out from the presence of the king, and the first man they met they would drag to the sacrifice. While this business lasts, it is, therefore, with trembling steps, that any one crosses the king’s threshold; and when compelled to do so, they rush along with the utmost speed (as if they were passing the gates of hell), dreading every moment the murderous grasp, from which there is no escape.”
Here there was a sacrifice of two thousand four hundred lives of slaves, in the short space of three months. At such a rate as that, a custom of this description would, in a century, during the reign of, say but four kings, allowing them an average reign of twenty-five years, destroy the lives of two hundred and forty thousand slaves, as it is the slave of the Ashantees who have thus to suffer. Is American slavery any thing like this, as now extant in the negro’s own happy land, as abolitionists would have men believe it is?
What other people but this race, the Hamites, have been found on the earth since the creation of man, who are so foolish and cruel, when they have power and opportunity? Had there been no other race created on the earth, long ago the whole world would have been but one great slaughter-house, in which no light of science, religion, government, or the useful arts, would ever have been heard of; as all these blessings are of other origin than the negro man.
As it was then, in the ages of Carthage, so it is now, and ever has been thus: the negro, when in power, plays the tiger, glorying in deeds of blood and terror; but when in subjection, he cringes with stupid fear, yielding his neck easily to the yoke and condition of slavery. If Hannibal was a great general, or rather a successful one, we think we need not fear to assert that what he was, he owed to the superior talents of two white men, Lacedemonians, namely, SOBSIUS and PHILEMIUS, one of whom was his teacher, and the other a counsellor, who always attended him in his warlike expeditions.—Rollin, vol. i, p. 375.
There were others of the Africans, as Masinissa and Juba, kings who reigned in the interior of Africa, in the time of the Carthagenians, of whom it is said that they were great men, who, as well as Hannibal, received their education of white teachers—the Romans.
In conclusion, therefore, from a view of the preceding facts, we are compelled to hold that it is absolutely certain, taking the whole history of both races, the whites and blacks, into the account, that the latter are absolutely unequal and lower in mental abilities, and do not possess, naturally, the stamina of improvement as do the former; and that this difference is attributable alone to the wisdom of God, in the creation of the negro race, in the blood and being of Ham, their father; on which account it is as utterly impossible to elevate them to an equality with the whites, as it is to take away the blackness of their skins.
As sure as day is fairer to the sight
Than dreary darkness in the hour of night—
Or wood, less dazzling in the sun’s bright glare.
Than Ophir’s sands of gold and rubies are:
So sure it is, as sure as truth is great,
The blacks have got, than whites, a thicker pate.
But if this thought displease, as not refin’d,
We can but add, therefore—they have less mind.
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