in the mortality of groups striking differences, more or less
analogous to those displayed by the generations of plants and
animals transported into Africa or America.
The statistics in question are still further vitiated by a
fault, which is completely exposed by M.
Walther in his
work upon Guadeloupe. He, also, has drawn up tables of
mortality ; only, instead of taking the population en masse,
he studied each district separately. Very significant dif-
ferences then made their appearance. Considered as a whole
the population of Guadeloupe offers an annual excess of 04G
deaths over births, that is to say, nearly one-half per cent.
In presence of these facts, the statisticians whose views I
am attacking, would certainly have concluded that the
European is not acclimatised in Guadeloupe, and have
declared, that, after a certain time, which might easily be
calculated, this colonial population would become extinct,
if the voids were not incessantly filled by fresh immigrants.
When, however, we examine the table of mortality taken
by districts, we arrive at very different conclusions. These
districts number thirty-one. Now, in fifteen the number of
births is greater than that of deaths. In the little island of
Marie-Cialanto this is the case in two districts out of three.
Thus, the terrible calculations of the mean mortality are due
entirely to the exaggeration of mortality in certain districts,
while the Kiiropcan lias become nfcliniatiscd in the (others.
Tlie tables (;f mortality drawn up in Algeria by M. Boudin
present analogous facts. Out ol' sixty-nine localities, fifty-
five have shown, since 18'>7, an excess <if l)irllis over deaths.
Conditions of Acclimatisation.
The general result obtained by M. Wultlier may be thus
explained. The French race is acclimatised iu Guadeloupe
in fifteen localities, but not in the remaining sixteen. Or
these two statements, the first should be considered as
definitely proved ; the second requires confirmation, for a
closer examination of the populations of the most unhealthy
tlistricts, and a study of them in classes, is still reqiiired.
However this may be, every unprejudiced person will
acknowledge that we can no longer question the fact of
acclimatisation in Guadeloupe as a whole. It should now
oidy be a question of acclimatisation at Basse terra, at
Polnte-d-Pltre, at Pointe-Noire, etc.
VI. The French Antilles, as also the greater number of
the sister iskuuls, are the scene of valuable experiments upon
the aptitude of dififerent human races to stand this excep-
tional climate, which is one of the most difficult to overcome.
The Negro was carried there by force very shortly after the
occupation of the islands by the Whites, and has lived there
in a state of slavery till within the last few years. As the
condition of the parents was inherited by the children, there
is little room for doubt, but that after a "iven time the local
multiplication of the Blacks would have sufficed for all the
wants of agriculture and industry, if the race had become
acclimatised. The incessant activity of the slave trade,
seems to show that the number of deaths must have greatly
exceeded that of births. There appears to be no doubt as to
the truth of the fact for the island of Cuba or for Jamaica,
General TuUoch, struck by the mortality of the Negi-oes in the
English Antilles, has not hesitated to declare that if the
trade were once suppressed, the whole race woidd disappear
in these islands before the close of a century. The researches
of M. Boudin justify us in regarding this assertion as an
exaggeration, at least as regards the French possessions.
Neither the English nor the French author has, however,
taken into consideration a circumstance, the importance of
which cannot be denied. I alhule to the conditions imposed
upon the Negro by slavery. It is clear that the character
234 The Human Species.
and conduct of the master played an important part in the
probability of the life or death of the slave. "Without feeling
himself to be, and 'without being inhuman, the master might
demand more labour from him than his nature could support,
or violate those instincts, the free play of which is necessary
to health. This was certainly the case in Cuba, where it was
the general practice to get as much out of the slaves as
possible, thus creating the necessity for more frequent re-
nesval. We have here, doubtless, one of those causes by
which the mortality of a race, better fitted than ours for
intertropical climates, is so immoderately increased. Facts
seem to justify these conjectures. "Since the abolition of
slavery," says M. Elisde Reclus, " the Negro population has
been on the increase in the English islands.
However singular this fact may appear to some anthropo-
logists, it is onl}'- a repetition of what took place in Brazil.
There again, it was said, that the slave trade alone main-
tained a black population, which was destined to diminish
and disappear as soon as this enforced immigration should
cease. Authentic documents show that the opposite has
taken place. The slave trade was abolished long before
slavery in this great Empire. For many years the pro-
prietors, being unable to purchase fresh slaves, took care of
tiiose in their possession, and from that time the Negroes
have multiplied. Thus it was that during the period in
which tlie missionaries of the Jesuits flourished, that portion
of the black race in which they were interested was observed
to increase in an extraordinary manner, whilst in the rich
haciendas, where it was uncarcd for and overworked, it
By the side of the Negro Creole, there are now in the
French Antilles labourers engaged more or less vohmtarily
from the same coasts of Africa, representatives of the Semetic
white race from Madeira, Chinese of yellow race, and Indian
coolies, who are almost all dravidian, and consequently a cross
between the black and the yellow. It will be interesting at
some future time, to show what resistance each of these
Conditions of Acclimatisation. 235
nations has offered to the terrible climate they are con-
fioBting. The experiment is, at present, only begun.
Nevertheless M. Walther has already obtained some inte-
resting data at Guadeloupe. The mean annual mortality of
the Creoles is 3-28 per 100 ; that of immigrants, 966 for the
Chinese ; 7*68 for Negroes ; 7*12 for Hindoos ; and 580 for the
natives of Madeira. Unfortunately, the statistics are doubt-
ful, and differ from those which M. Du Hailly has given for
Martinique. They must, however, both be recorded as the
starting-point for new study. There is, moreover, no cause
for despair. It is clear, for example, that the natives of
^ladeira will very quickly become acclimatised in Guade-
loupe, as is already the case in Cuba, and the much more
serious mortality of the Negro, Chinese, and Hindoo races
does not prove the impossibility of their ever inhabiting these
VII. The conditions of life and the nature of the race are
not all in the numerous problems raised by acclimatisation.
Man, even individually, brings his special elements to bear
upon it. The savage and the modern European are placed,
by the mere fact of the social differences which separate
them, in conditions often opposite, and not always in favour
of the latter.
Even the marvels of modern industrv, whilst facilitatina
immigi-ation into distant lands, make it more dangerous.
Railways and steamers have reduced the longest journeys to
a mere nothing. Lands, which it took our ancestoi-s cen-
turies to people, distances which our own fathers could only
travel over in several months, are accomplished by us in a
few days. AVe have here, then, yet another to be added
to the many difficulties of acclimatisation. It is a common
thing in Paris to hear men complain of the effects of a mere
journey from Algiers. The rapidity of the transit gives a
shock to the organisation, although tending to replace it
under its natural conditions of life. The shock is necessarily
greater when the journey is made in the other direction, and
we go against our physical habits, instead of returning to
236 The Human Species.
them. And, when after a few daj-s' voyage, instead of
Algiers, we land at Rio de Janeiro or the Antilles, the shock
must be great indeed.
Modern civilisation is also answerable to a great extent for
the losses involved by every settlement in a climate differing
too widely from our own. By reason of the security with
which she surrounds the poor as well as the rich, of the at
least relative ease which is enjoyed by all classes of society,
we are little prepared for the struggle for existence. Without
going so far back as primitive man or the Aryans, let us
simply call to mind Balbao, Pizarro, Cortez, Soto, Monbars,
and their rough companions ; can the present generation offer
such a resistance as theirs ?
It is not, however, by its luxuries only that civilisation
renders us unfit tp confront the chances of acclimatisation.
It is .also, and principally, by the vices which too often
accompany it. W. Bolot, who Avas in charge of a number of
men employed for the construction of a pier at Grand
Bassam, said to Captain Vallon: "A Sunday will put more
of my men in the hospital, than three days of work in the
fidl heat of the sun." This was because Sunday was given
up to debauchery.
Here, again, is a fact forming, so to speak, an experiment
such as might have been imagined by a physiologist. The
Isle of Bourbon passes for one of those disastrous climates to
which the European cannot become acclimatised. The tables
of mortality which relate to the whole population do, in
liict, show that the deaths exceed the births to a formidable
extent. This is, however, another of those sweeping resvdts,
into which we must inquire if we wish to understand its true
The Whites of Bourljon form, in reality, two classes, or
rather two races, distinct in their manners and customs.
The former includes the population of towns and large
settlements, who lead the ordinary life of colonists, and
especially avoid agricultural labour, considered by Creoles as
derrradinir as well as fatal. The latter includes the Mean
Conditions of Accliniaiisation. 237
'SVldtes, descendants of the original colonists, ^Yho, too poor
to buy slaves, were forced to cultivate the land "with their
Now, of these two classes of colonists, it is the former
alone which supply the mortality to which attention is so
often drawn. The Mean Whites live as their fathers lived ;
they inhabit and cultivate the less fertile districts of the
island. Far from having deteriorated, their race has im-
proved, and the women, in particular, are remarkable for
beauty of form and feature. The race maintains itself per-
fectly, and seems to be on the increase. Crossing, moreover,
lias no influence in the matter, for the Mean White, proud
of the purity of blood which constitutes his nobility, will not,
at any price, ally himself with the Negro or Coolie.
Thus at Bourbon, indolence, and the habits which it
involves, destroy the rich, and those who try to imitate
them, while the poor become acclimatised through sobriety,
purity of manners, and a moderate amount of work. From
the latter, anthropologists and all the world may learn a
lesson of grave importance, at once scientific and moral.
VIII. Finally, acclimatisation and naturalisation are as
universal in history as migration, of which they are the
consequence. We see them daily accomplished under our
very eyes, and with the most different races, though almost
invariably at the price of human life. In many places, they
are purchased very cheaply, so much so, that study alone
teaches us that new conditions of life in no case entirely lose
their rights. In others, specially in countries characterised
by an extreme climate, they involve considerable losses.
J^ut there is nothing to authorise us to deny the existence of
acclimatisation and naturalisation. Everything, on the con-
trary, proves that if they are willing to submit to the
necessary sacrifices, all human races may live and prosper in
almost every climate which is not vitiated by accidental
IX. In this case, as in many others, the present explains
the past, whick also contributes its share of information.
238 TJie Human Species.
Relying upon our own daily experience, and upon facts
borrowed from history, Ave can form a general idea of the
manner in which the world has been peopled.
The history of the Aryan race alone, gives us, so to speak,
that of the whole species. We see it starting from the Bolor,
and Hindoo Koh, from the Eeriene Voedjo, where the summer
only lasted two months, descending into Bokhara, and over-
running Persia and Cabul before reaching the basin of the
Indus. Eleven stations mark this route followed by the
Aryans before reaching the Ganges. We tbere find them
again slowly advancing, though all the time sending forth as
a vanguard, those j)ioviS lieroes, who slew the Rakchassas,
and prepared the way for conquests. The race is now in the
tropics in India, in the Polar circle in Greenland, Avhere the
Norwegians and Danes have replaced the Sea-Kings ; it
spreads over an immense region of more or less temperate
climate, and possesses colonies in every part of the world.
The human species must have made a boginriing like the
Aryans. Upon leaving their centre of creation, it was by
slow stages, that the primitive colonists, ancestors of all
existing races, marched forth to the conquest of the un-
inhabited world. They thus accustomed themselves to the
different conditions of existence imposed upon them by the
north, the south, the cast, or the west, cold or heat, plain or
mountain. Diverging in every direction, and meeting with
different conditions of life, they gradually establisheil a
harmony between themselves and each one pf them. Thus
acclimatisation, advancing at the same rate as geographical
concniest, was less fatal. The struggle, however, though
mitigated indeed by the slowness of the advance, still existed,
and many pioneers must have fallen upon the route. But
the survivors had oidy nature to face, and, thon^fore, suc-
ceeded, and ])eopled the world.
PRDIITIVE .^lAX.— FORMATION OF THE HUMAN
I. The primitive type of the human species must neces-
sarily have been effaced, and have disappeared. The enforced
migrations, and the actions of cHmate, must of themselves
have produced this result. Man has passed through two
geological epochs ; perhaps his centre of appearance is no
longer in existence; at any rate, the conditions are very
different to those prevailing when humanity began its
existence. When everything was changing round him, man
could not avoid being changed also. Crossing, also, has
certainly played its part in this transformation. I shall
shortly return to these different points which I only allude
But, on the other hand, we shall sec that the skull of the
most ancient Quaternary race is repeated not only in some
Australian tribes, but in Europe, and in men who have
played an important part among their fellow-countrymen.
The other races of the same epoch, judging from the skull,
have many representatives atnongst us. They have, never-
theless, passed through one of the two geological revolutions,
which separates us from oui* original stock. It is then not
impossible that the latter may have transmitted to a certain
240 TJie Unman Species.
number of men, perhaps scattered in time and space, at least
a part of its characters.
Unfortunately, we do not know where to seek for repro-
ductions, bearing more or less resemblance to the primitive
type ; and, for want of information it would be impossible to
recofjnise them as such, if we were to meet with them.
Here, therefore, observation alone can furni.sh no data. But,
when it is aided by physiology, some conjectures are pos-
II. AVe know that among animals atavism often causes
the reappearance of ancestral characters, even when a care-
ful selection has acted upon hundreds of generations. The
silkworms of the Ccvennes which yield white cocoons, and
the black sheep of Spain furnish examples. In man, where
selection does not exist, such facts would be much more
likely to be produced. Some characters of our first ancestors
ought to appear in isolated cases or collectively in all human
races ; perhaps, there arc some Avhich have been preserved
in one or more group.s. Consequently, by searching for
them, and classifying tho.se which appear iu a more or less
erratic manner among races which are most dissimilar in all
other respects, we shall probably be able to form a partial
reproduction of the primitive human typo.
In this respect, it is difficult to avoid attaching a real
importance to the prognathism of the upper jaw. This
anatomical feature is very pronounced in almost all Negro
races : it is also strongly marked in certain Yellow races.
It is considerably diminished among Whites : but, nevcrthe-
les.s, it appears at times almo.st as strongly marked as in the
two other groups: it exi.sted in Q\iaternary man. Kverything
seems to indicate that it must have been as strongly
developed in our first ancestors.
Phenomena of atavism acting on tlie colouring are of
freqticnt occujTencc among animals.
They are equally i)revalent iu the human species. This
C(->nsideration cau.ses me to attach real importance to the
opinion of M. dc Salles, who attributes red hair to the earliest
Primitive Man. 241
null. In fjict, among all human races, individuals have been
noticed whose hair more or less approaches to this tint.
The experiments of Darwin upon the efifects of crossing
l)etween very different races of pigeons led to the same con-
clusion. He found that the crossings resulted in the reap-
pearance of certain peculiarities of colour in the mongrels,
which were peculiar to the original species, and which had
disappeared in tiie two parent races. Now in our colonies
the offspring of a Mulatto and a White frequently has red
hair. In Europe also, M. Hamy has remarked that children
are born with red hair, when one of the parents is decidedly
dark and the other decidedly fair. In all cases of this nature,
we should say that the primitive character reasserts itself,
being accidentally acquired by the reciprocal neutralisation
of opposed ethnical characters.
When examined under the microscope, the cutaneous pig-
ment which gives the human body its characteristic colour,
doubtless shows different tints, but yellow is always present
as a colouring element. If we apply to man the laws which
Isidore Gcoftroy has deduced from his observations upon
animals, we are led to conclude that this colour originally
predominated. When the White is crossed with the Negro,
the yellow colouring element at once asserts itself and gone-
rally appears to predominate. In the colonies the general
term of yellows is sometimes given to mulattos. This result
is again explained by the experiments of Darwin ; and the
conclusion is admissible that the original colour of man more
or less approximated to this tint.
Certain facts which have been observed among Negroes
seem also to confirm this conclusion. Among the most
strongly characterised peoples belonging to this type, the
appearance has been noticed of individuals of a lighter
. olour, sometimes almost resembling the Whites in this
respect, sometimes tending more or less to yellow, without
]>rcsenting any of the phenomena of tcratological albinij^m.
These individual peculiarities of colour may be attributed to
atavism. Now amons: no Avhite or vellow race have facts
242 The Human Species.
becu noticed wliich can be regarded as reciprocal to the
Nothing therefore authorises us to regard the Negro race
as having preceded the other two ; and, on the contrar}', the"
contrast which I have just pointed out leads to the conclusion
that the ancestors of the negro were a race of a much lighter
On the other hand, ■we know that the Aryan race is the
latest. The question of priority thus lies between the Semitic,
the Allophylian, and the group of yellow races. What I have
said above of the fundamental colour being present as an
clement in the colour of all races, and the phenomena of
cro.ssing, point with some probability in favour of the latter.
Philology seems to confirm this view. Monosyllabic lan-
guages, which imply the first attempts at human speech, only
exist among the yellow races. All the Negro races and the
Allophylian "Whites speak agglutinative languages, which
answer to the second form which man gave to the expression
of his thought.s. Aryans and Semites both have inflectional
riiilulogy then seems to lead to the same conclusion as
pliysiology, and even to give an appearance of greater proba-
bility to these conjectures, •which I only give for what they
III. We know nothing of primitive man ; we acknowledge
that, from want of information, it woulil be impossible to
recognise him. All that the present state of our knowledge
allows us to say is that, according to all appearance he ought
to be characterised by a certain amount of prt>gnathism, and
have ncitln-r a black skin nor woolly hair. It is also fairly
probable that his colour would resemble that of the yellow
races, and his hair be more or less red. Finally everything
tcnd.s to the conclusion that the language of our earliest
aiircstors wiLS a more or less pronounced monosyllabic one.
These arc only conjectures, and they amount to but little,
liut this little is founded upon experiment and observation.
\\. We can also only form very vague conjectures uj^on
Primilhe Man. 243
the degree of intellectual development which man exhibited
at liis birth and during his first generations. At any rate it
is possible to believe that he did not enter upon the scene of
tlie world with innate knowledge, and the instinctive indus-
tries which belong to animals. Still less did he appear in a
fully civilised state "mature in body and mind" as thinks
the Comte Eusebe de Salles. All traditions point to a period
when human knowledge was very small, when man was
ignorant of industries, to our eyes very elementary, and which
we see appear in succession. Upon this point the Bible
anrrces with classical mvtholosfv. The Hebrews have their
Tubal Cain, and the Greeks their Triptolemos. Prehistoric
studies confirm this progressive development in Western
Europe upon every point. Tertiary industries precede qua-
ternary. The whole history of races seems to me to give, at
least in part, a representation of that of the Species ; and
our thoughts go back almost irresistibly to the time when
man found himself face to ftice with creation, armed solely
with the aptitudes which were destined to undergo such a
Thanks to these aptitudes, at a very early period he satis-
fied at least the first wants of existence. The miocene man
of La Beauce already knew the use of fire and worked flint.
However rough and rudimentary his instruments may have
been, he had even then an industry, and according to all ap-
pearance fed partly upon cooked food. The man of Saint-
Prcst, with his small lozenge-shaped arrow-heads, worked only
on one side, with his rough liatchets, could undoubtedly attack
and kill the great contemporary mammalia. He possessed
scrapers which he used to prepare their skins with, and cnd-s,
which perhaps served as needles. From this distant period,
upon which science has thrown as yet but little light, man
reveals his existence by two great facts, and shows his supe-
riority to the whole animal creation.
FORMATION OF HUMAN KACES UNDER THE SOLE INFLU-
ENCE OF CONDITIONS OF LIFE AND HEREDITY.
I. The first mcu who peopled the ceutre of human appear-
ance must at first have differed from each other only in indi-
vidual features. At their beginning and during an indefinite
lapse of time, mankind could only have been homogeneous,
as is every animal and vegetable species which is restricted
to an area of small extent.
At the present time, we find mankind composed of nume-
rous grou|)s, which have peculiar characters, and constitute
so many distinct races. How liave these races originated ?
and how have they grown and multiplied?
To give a definite re[)ly to these qtiestions, by going back
from recent effects to first causes, is still impossible, and per-
hap.s will always be so. Nevertheless, science may even now