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Chapter 2: The Ascension of Anthropology as Social Darwinism

图书名称:From Savage to Negro:Anthropology and the Construction of Race, 1896–1954
图书作者:Lee D. Baker    ISBN:
出版社:Berkeley: University of California Press    出版日期:1998年

The rise of academic anthropology in the United States occurred in the late 1880s and was concurrent with the rise of American imperialism and the institutionalization of racial segregation and disfranchisement. And like the anthropology that bolstered proslavery forces during the antebellum period, professional anthropology bolstered Jim Crow and imperial conquests during the 1890s. Before the 1880s the study of anthropology — or ethnology, as it was also called — tended to be an ancillary interest of naturalists and a romantic pastime for physicians interested in the so-called races of mankind. As discussed in the previous chapter, Samuel Morton, Josiah Nott, and Louis Agassiz contributed to the first school of American anthropology during the mid-nineteenth century, but these so-called men of science were not professional anthropologists employed by museums or departments of anthropology.[1] Anthropology moved from the margins of natural history into the center of the academy when other areas of natural history emerged as specific disciplines.

Following the Civil War, universities and government agencies quickly established departments of geography, physics, and geology when the proliferation of industries like railroads, steel, and mining demanded new technology.[2] Capitalists began to extol the virtues of science because it was the backbone for the development of technology, so important to the material ends of industrial development.

Industrializing America also needed to explain the calamities created by unbridled westward, overseas, and industrial expansion. Although expansion created wealth and prosperity for some, it contributed to conditions that fostered rampant child labor, infectious disease, and desperate poverty. As well, this period saw a sharp increase in lynchings and the decimation of Native American lives and land.[3] The daily experience of squalid conditions and sheer terror made many Americans realize the contradictions between industrial capitalism and the democratic ideals of equality, freedom, and justice for all. Legislators, university boards, and magazine moguls found it useful to explain this ideological crisis in terms of a natural hierarchy of class and race caused by a struggle for existence wherein the fittest individuals or races advanced while the inferior became eclipsed.

Professional anthropology emerged in the midst of this crisis, and the people who used anthropology to justify racism, in turn, provided the institutional foundations for the field. By the last decade of the nineteenth century, college departments, professional organizations, and specialized journals were established for anthropology.[4] The study of "primitive races of mankind" became comparable to geology and physics.[5] These institutional apparatuses, along with powerful representatives in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), prestigious universities, and the Smithsonian Institution, gave anthropology its academic credentials as a discipline in the United States. The budding discipline gained power and prestige because ethnologists articulated theory and research that resonated with the dominant discourse on race.

The Laws of Science and the Law of the Land

In January 1896 Daniel G. Brinton, the president of the AAAS and the first professor of anthropology in the United States, wrote in Popular Science Monthly that "the black, the brown and the red races differ anatomically so much from the white … that even with equal cerebral capacity they never could rival its results by equal efforts."[6] In April of the same year John Wesley Powell, the first director of the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) at the Smithsonian Institution, concurred with Brinton when he lectured at the U.S. National Museum (USNM). Powell explained that "the laws of evolution do not produce kinds of men but grades of men; and human evolution is intellectual, not physical…. All men have pleasures, some more, some less; all men have welfare, some more, some less; all men have justice, some more, some less."[7]

Three weeks later, at the opposite end of the National Mall, Melville Fuller, the chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution and the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, joined the Court's majority opinion in Plessy v. Ferguson, which stated that "if one race be inferior to the other socially, the Constitution of the United States cannot put them upon the same plane."[8] The Supreme Court constitutionalized segregation by grounding its rationale on notions of racial inferiority informed by Social Darwinism.[9]

Tenets of Social Darwinism emerged as important themes for the legal, scientific, and business communities — serving to glue one to the other.[10] Although ideas of racial inferiority and social evolution were not new to the United States, Social Darwinist ideas became increasingly dominant because they were viewed as scientific in an era when science reigned supreme. Early advocates of Social Darwinist (or, technically more accurate, Spencerist) thought retooled certain ideas of the Enlightenment for an industrializing society. Herbert Spencer, one of its chief proponents, grafted Thomas Hobbes's notion that the state of nature was a state of war — each individual taking what it could — onto Adam Smith's system of perfect liberty, later known as laissez-faire economics.[11] After Darwin's Origin of Species appeared, Social Darwinists blurred the idea of natural selection to scrutinize society and culture.[12]

Proponents of Social Darwinism believed that it was morally wrong for the government and charity organizations to provide public education, public health, or a minimum wage because these efforts only contributed to the artificial preservation of the weak.[13] A cross section of people, from politicians to world's fair organizers, White preachers to Black leaders, were influenced by this unique combination of social theory, and each used variations to explain inequalities in terms of the natural order of society. John D. Rockefeller even explained to a Sunday school class: "The American beauty rose can be produced … only by sacrificing early buds which grow around it."[14]

Two trajectories or planks emerged within Social Darwinian rhetoric in the United States. One emphasized the personal or individual struggle for existence; the other, racial and cultural evolution. The racial plank demarcated a hierarchy of races beginning with the inferior savage and culminating with the civilized citizen. The class plank presumed that the poor were biologically unfit to struggle for existence. Turn-of-the-century ethnologists took on the racial plank as their particular charge and played an important role in extending it.[15] And it was the racial plank that emerged as a means of reconciling animosity between the North and the South.

During the 1890s, ideas of Social Darwinism and racial inferiority were explicitly incorporated into political efforts to reunify the nation.[16] By 1896 the old ideas about Manifest Destiny, industrial progress, and racial inferiority (enlivened by Social Darwinism) served as an ideological cement that was able to form capitalist development, imperialism, scientific progress, racism, and the law into a rock-solid edifice within U.S. society. Social Darwinian ideas helped explain inequality in America, but Herbert Spencer's voluminous writings gave it scientific authority.

Herbert Spencer, America's Social Darwinist (1820–1903)

Herbert Spencer hailed from England, where Henry Ward Beecher adeptly wrote to him, observing that "the peculiar condition of American society has made your writings far more fruitful and quickening here than in Europe."[17] Spencer sold more than 300,000 copies of his books in the United States alone—a number unprecedented for nonfiction literature.[18]

The principal tenet of Spencer's synthetic philosophy was the organic analogy, an analogy drawn between biological organisms and society. The principles of biology, he argued, could be applied to society. Even before Darwin's Origin of Species , Spencer had worked out the basic elements for evolution. It was Spencer, not Darwin, who furnished the two famous phrases that became associated with the notion of evolution: "survival of the fittest" and "the struggle for existence." Spencer not only applied a biological analogy to society but also incorporated laws of astronomy, physics, geology, and psychology into a comprehensive scheme governed by something he called "the persistence of force."

The universe, as Spencer envisioned it, evolved from a state of homogeneity to one of heterogeneity. He argued that different scientific fields only explored certain facets of the evolutionary process. For example, astronomy and geology are distinct sciences, "but Geology is nothing more than a chapter continuing in detail one part of a history that was once wholly astronomic."[19] Likewise, sociology and psychology are extensions of biology, which are extensions of geology, astronomy, and physics.

Spencer devoted much of his attention to the evolution of human faculties, linking and ranking intellectual, social, and biological attributes. Minds, bodies, and social institutions (such as families and governments) thus fit neatly into an evolutionary framework. As he suggested, "Intellectual evolution, as it goes on in the human race [goes] along with social evolution, of which it is at once a cause and a consequence."[20] Within this evolutionary hierarchy, the most inferior were the savages; the next up the ladder were the semi-civilized, and finally we reached the civilized men.

Spencer applied this line of thought in "The Comparative Psychology of Man" (1876), presented to the London Anthropological Institute and circulated in the United States by Popular Science Monthly . In it, Spencer confidently ranked and ordered racial-cultural groups while detailing his familiar argument about the natural progress of societies. The labels he assigned to different people were concoctions of religions, continents, races, or languages, and he argued that anthropologists should thus prove whether his hierarchy was consistently maintained throughout all orders of races, from the lowest to the highest, "whether, say the Australian differs in this respect from the Hindoo, as much as the Hindoo does from the European."[21]

This address revealed three particularly racist themes that were reproduced and canonized within U.S. anthropology. First, Spencer identified the "orders of races" by language, religion, or continent. This is important because race, language, culture, nationality, ethnicity, and so forth were all viewed as one and the same in Spencer's racial and cultural scheme. Second, Spencer asserted, with the conviction of a scientific law, that racial-cultural inferiority and superiority exist. For example, he advised the London Anthropological Institute to prove just how much inferiority there was based on his evolutionary assumptions.[22]

Finally, Spencer took his place in the long line of philosophers and scholars to scientifically affirm the association of black with evil, savagery, and brutishness, thus recapitulating the widely held idea that the lighter races are superior to the darker ones. These themes were subsequently reproduced in the mass media as science, integrated into domestic and foreign policy, and appropriated by White supremacist demagogues. They were not successfully challenged until the United States entered World War II.

Anthropological Social Darwinists

As anthropology emerged in the United States as a discipline in the late nineteenth century, only a handful of ethnologists were influential in shaping it. The most influential were John Wesley Powell the research leader, Frederic Ward Putnam the museum builder, and Daniel G. Brinton the academician.[23] Between 1889 and 1898 each held the presidency of the AAAS, then the most powerful scientific organization in the United States. Although none of these ethnologists was a strict Social Darwinist in the Spencerian tradition, each was an evolutionist advancing ideas of the superiority and inferiority of particular races when Social Darwinism was a dominant ideology in the United States.[24]

The discipline of anthropology in 1896 was being carved out of various sciences and studies. The scope of the new discipline varied. Powell envisioned it as encompassing just about everything including somatology, esthetology, sociology, philology, and sophiology. The most significant scholars in the development of the field called themselves ethnologists, but for some time no real consensus existed as to what constituted ethnology. Brinton perhaps best captured the aim of the new science. Ethnology was to "compare dispassionately all the acts and arts of man, his philosophies and religions, his social schemes and personal plans, weighing and analyzing them, separating the local and temporal in them from the permanent and general, explaining the former by the conditions of time and place and the latter to the category of qualities which make up the oneness of humanity."[25]


Figure 1.
Daniel Garrison Brinton. (Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society)

Daniel G. Brinton, Academician (1837–1899)

DANIEL G. BRINTON, A.M., M.D.,
PROFESSOR OF ETHNOLOGY AT THE ACADEMY OF NATURAL
SCIENCES, PHILADELPHIA, AND OF AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY AND
LINGUISTICS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA;
PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN FOLK-LORE SOCIETY
AND OF THE NUMISMATIC AND
ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY OF PHILADELPHIA; MEMBER OF THE
ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETIES OF BERLIN AND VIENNA AND THE
ETHNOGRAPHICAL SOCIETIES OF PARIS AND FLORENCE, OF THE ROYAL
SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES, COPENHAGEN, THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF
HISTORY OF MADRID, THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,
THE AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY, ETC., ETC.

This pillar of titles consumes the title page of Brinton's Races and Peoples: Lectures on the Science of Ethnography (1890) (Figure 1). The litany of titles framed the authority from which Brinton pioneered the discipline. The "etc." included being president of the AAAS and twice vice president and once president of the International Congress of Americanists.[26] Brinton only assumed these more powerful positions after the publication of Races and Peoples .

Brinton was largely responsible for changing anthropology from a romantic pastime to an academic discipline. He had an undaunted commitment to developing ethnology into a full-fledged scientific discipline, and he wielded his academic prowess, credentials, and reputation to develop and legitimate the field. Brinton had a penchant for source citation, demanded rigor, and maintained that ethnological research must adhere to standards of academic excellence. He also saw the need for a national organization of professionals with a publishing arm that explored all the fields of anthropology. Brinton developed the field, however, by advancing claims of the racial superiority of Whites and the racial inferiority of people of color. He anchored anthropology to an evolutionary paradigm, and he, perhaps more than any other early ethnologist, assimilated the current sociopolitical ideas about race and gender and restated them as science.

Like most ethnologists in the United States, Brinton was initially interested in Native American languages, customs, and prehistory and had only ancillary interest in evolutionary theory and racial classification. Although he first became interested in Native Americans when he discovered Delaware artifacts while wandering near his home in Thornbury, Pennsylvania, his first professional interest was medicine.[27] He graduated from Yale University in 1858 and pursued medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and postdoctoral research in Paris and Heidelberg. In 1862 he entered the Union Army and was soon commissioned as surgeon-in-chief of the Second Division, Eleventh Corps, of the Army of the Potomac.[28]

Even before the war Brinton was interested in Native American society and language. Although he never engaged in ethnographic fieldwork, he meticulously analyzed the mounds of the Mississippi Valley. He was one of the first scholars to ridicule the notion that previous races built the mounds, arguing that Native Americans from the Mississippi Valley engineered and built the structures.[29] Brinton became an expert on Native American linguistics and grammar, and his reputation, especially in Philadelphia, grew. He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1869, became professor of ethnology at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in 1884, and was named professor of American archaeology and linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania in 1886 (where he also sat on the board of what is now the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology). He was then elected president of the International Congress of Anthropology in 1893 and president of the AAAS in 1894. He published frequently in various journals and had a regular column in Science entitled "Current Notes on Anthropology."

The organs of the American Philosophical Society, the AAAS, and the Academy of Natural Sciences became regular outlets for Brinton's scholarship on racial inferiority, ethnology, and the grammar of Native Americans.[30] Regna Darnell, Brinton's biographer, explains that during the 1890s his career blossomed and he rose to power in the scientific community, which helped to validate and establish the scientific authority of ethnology.[31] During this period he shifted from Indian linguistics and grammar to evolutionary theory and ethnology. His writings on ethnology, published primarily in the 1880s and 1890s, explicitly articulated ideas of evolution by espousing racial inferiority. They were concurrent with, and congruent to, Social Darwinism, White supremacist demagoguery, increased lynchings, disfranchisement, and Jim Crow segregation. His shift from Indian linguistics to evolutionary theory correlated with his acquisition of unprecedented power for an ethnologist.[32]

By employing Darnell's distribution analysis of Brinton's publications, one can view the relationship between Brinton's rise to power and his scientific validation of racial inferiority. The total distribution of Brinton's ethnological writings included 13 articles in the 1860s, 10 in the 1870s, 78 in the 1880s, and 108 in the 1890s.[33]

The pivotal publication that solidified Brinton's national reputation seems to have been Races and Peoples . The book was a series of lectures on ethnography that consolidated the "latest and most accurate researches."[34] The first chapter, "Lectures on Ethnography," begins with a survey of craniology detailing a range of features used to classify and rank races. These characteristics included: cranial capacity, color, muscular structure, vital powers, and sexual preference. He summarized these under the subheading "Physical Criteria of Racial Superiority" and concluded: "We are accustomed familiarly to speak of 'higher' and 'lower' races, and we are justified in this even from merely physical considerations. These indeed bear intimate relations to mental capacity…. Measured by these criteria, the European or white race stands at the head of the list, the African or negro at its foot."[35]

In the next chapter, Brinton linked "physical elements of ethnography" to so-called social and psychological elements of ethnography. He proposed that the only way to accurately order and classify the races was to consider both mental and physical characteristics, explaining: "The mental differences of races and nations are real and profound. Some of them are just as valuable for ethnic classification as any of the physical elements I referred to in the last lecture, although purely physical anthropologists are loath to admit this."[36]

The entire first section of the book amounted to a periodic table of the "elements of ethnography," with instructions for ranking, ordering, and classifying races—literally a how-to guide. In chapter 3, "The Beginnings and Subdivisions of Races," he launched into a discussion of evolution, and he tended to favor the Lamarckian view that acquired characteristics were transmitted from parent to offspring.[37] He provided a detailed description of each race, beginning with the White or "the leading race in all history." For the various stocks and groups of Black people he merely restated rancorous racial stereotypes as science.

The tradition of racist imagery in the United States is long, of course, and he wove together science and imagery found in widely circulated magazines, minstrel shows, and the Uncle Tom's Cabin shows that were crisscrossing the country. Old stereotypes became scientific fact. Some were blatant: Brinton suggested that "The true negroes are passionately fond of music, singing and dancing."[38] Other statements were subtle but caustic. Brinton reproduced the stock stereotypes the entertainment and advertising industries had found profitable, including the idea that African Americans resembled apes. Brinton reiterated this image in his scheme for measuring cranial capacities and facial angles by placing the "African negro midway between the Orang-utang and the European white."[39] In another text he unabashedly stated that "the African black … presents many peculiarities which are termed 'pithecoid' or apelike."[40]

The familiar ideas that Brinton recast as science were routinized in American popular culture by the myriad degrading images of African Americans used for everything from selling toothpaste to entertaining children.[41] These stereotypes drove industries like minstrel shows, trading cards, and sheet music of "coon songs."

Serious political ramifications followed when scientists like Brinton legitimated popular images within authoritative texts. Because Negroes were placed on the bottom rung of an immutable ladder to civilization, they were absolved of the responsibilities (voting) and denied the privileges (social equality) of civilization. This notion of a virtually permanent inferiority resonated with the logic of the Supreme Court's Plessy decision.

The parallels are striking. Brinton stated that the "Hottentot is rather a hopeless case for civilization efforts. He hates profoundly work, either physical or mental, and is passionately fond of rum and tobacco"; social equality among the races is not possible because of the natural inequality between the races.[42] Such was the line of thought articulated by the Supreme Court when it interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment in Plessy . The Court decided that the amendment was intended to enforce equality between the two races before the law. The amendment was not intended to impose an unnatural or impossible social equality. Just as Brinton elicited the notion of evolutionary rungs, Justice Brown used the term plane to evoke a similar symbol of racial inequality.[43]

Brinton did not stop at perpetuating racist stereotypes to buttress the logic for racial segregation. He provided the "scientific" justification for the "lynch law." The number of lynchings was steadily increasing in 1890, when Races and Peoples was published.[44] The Republicans had just lost control of Congress, cotton prices were plummeting, and the acts to secure African American suffrage were on the chopping block. Terrorists of the Democratic Party effectively used the lynch law to ensure home-rule and White supremacy (Figure 2). In both popular and scientific literature African American men, in particular, were depicted as savages who harbored a bestial lust for White women. These depravities, many believed, could be curbed only by sadistic tortures and lynchings.[45] The routine violence perpetrated by lynch mobs was always portrayed as justice served in the name of chivalry and the "protection" of White southern women.[46] Brinton goaded White supremacists with one more justification:

It cannot be too often repeated, too emphatically urged, that it is to the women alone of the highest race that we must look to preserve the purity of the type, and with it the claims of the race to be the highest. They have no holier duty, no more sacred mission, than that of transmitting in its integrity the heritage of ethnic endowment gained by the race throughout thousands of generations of struggle…. That philanthropy is false, that religion is rotten, which would sanction a white woman enduring the embrace of a colored man.[47]

Brinton's call to preserve White womanhood must be viewed as White supremacist demagoguery knighted by scientific authority. Ethnology


Figure 2. Justice?
A lynch mob preparing to burn a man alive in Paris, Texas, ca. 1890.
(Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

as a science gave to rich and poor southern Whites symbols of pure nationality while it helped to reinforce the cult of White womanhood.[48] Brinton's cloaked assertion that women need men and are inferior to men exemplifies Sandra Harding's assertion that science helps to interlock gender, race, and class hierarchies.[49]

After Races and Peoples was published, Brinton articulated these ideas from positions of national leadership. In his 1895 presidential address to the AAAS he espoused the same rhetoric that he had detailed in his 1890 book. However, this address had a much wider audience than the book because it was published by Popular Science Monthly (1896). Brinton employed the same evolutionary construct based on racial inferiority and insisted that anthropology "offers a positive basis for legislation, politics, and education as applied to a given ethnic group."[50]

The president of the AAAS issued a call for laws and educational reform which applied the scientific fact that Negroes were inferior. That same year the highest court in the land seemingly answered the call and ruled on Plessy, thereby codifying into constitutional law the idea of racial inferiority that forced African Americans into inferior schools, bathrooms, and the train cars of Jim Crow.

John Wesley Powell, Research Leader (1834–1902)

In the late nineteenth century the BAE and the Anthropological Society of Washington mobilized more men, women, and resources to pursue ethnology than did any other organization in the nation.[51] John Wesley Powell was the person directly responsible for generating interest, dollars for research, and the growing body of research (Figure 3). In 1888 he was elected president of the AAAS. Although Native American ethnology was his sideline interest, he leveraged prestige, political savvy, and healthy budgets to establish the new field.

Powell was a powerful man in the elite circles of Washington, establishing almost single-handedly both the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the BAE. The power he wielded in the House Appropriation Committee, the AAAS, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Academy of Sciences was contingent on maintaining a strong alliance of support within these organizations. His base was made up of a coterie of Washington insiders, Harvard naturalists, government bureaucrats, BAE ethnologists, and members of Washington scientific societies. He had to continually shore up these alliances with favors, contracts, publications, and grants.[52]

Although Powell used ideas of evolution and racial hierarchies to produce his own theory and research, he did not espouse the rhetoric that was characteristic of Brinton and other scientists. Powell explicitly distanced himself from scientific racism. The distance was chimerical, because the people who supported him simply did not share his benign outlook toward people of color. In fact, Powell embraced some of the most ardent champions of racial inferiority to ensure his power and develop the research needed to legitimate the new field.

The Bureau's (Theoretical) Foundation

John Wesley Powell was born in 1834 and grew up in the Midwest. As a youth he wanted to make a career out of natural history, and in 1858 he went to Oberlin College to launch it. Oberlin had a long tradition of racial and gender integration, and it was a bastion of radical


Figure 3.
John Wesley Powell at his desk at the Bureau of American Ethnology.
(Courtesy of the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution)

abolitionist thought and action when Powell attended. Although sympathetic to the radical students of Oberlin, Powell devoted himself full-time to natural history.[53]

When the Civil War broke out, Powell was forced to decide between his commitment to natural history and his commitment to the Union. He decided to answer Abraham Lincoln's call for volunteers and joined the Twentieth Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. He was quickly promoted and served courageously, even after he lost his right arm in combat. He was also one of the few officers who trained and outfitted an African American regiment for the Union Army.[54]

After the war Powell continued to pursue his chosen field. He envisioned a museum of natural history for the state of Illinois and successfully lobbied the Illinois legislature for an appropriation. Powell wanted his museum to be the "best in the West," so he immediately orchestrated a specimen-collecting expedition to the Rocky Mountains. He understood that a scientific expedition on the scale he envisioned needed unprecedented financial support. He was able to parlay his access to President Ulysses S. Grant (which he gained from the war) into the underwriting of his expedition by the public and private sectors.[55] Before he unpacked from his first expedition, he undertook the preparations for his second one, a geological and ethnological survey of the Grand Canyon. Between 1867 and 1877 Powell made more than thirty federally funded expeditions, and he emerged as the expert on the geological and ethnological classification of the Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin.[56]

Powell began as a dispassionate scientist, but he developed into a crusader to save public land and Native American societies. In the late 1870s he began to lobby the scientific community and Congress to reform land-acquisition legislation. He worked to convince the National Academy of Sciences to draft legislation to reform the way the federal government disposed of land and to consolidate the various federal surveying agencies.[57]

Although the National Academy of Sciences sponsored the bill, the land-reform legislation was not passed because it was hotly contested by railroad and development interests.[58] When the bill was in committee, Powell submitted his Report on the Methods of Surveying the Public Domain (1878) to the Department of the Interior, and it was reviewed during the congressional hearings for the bill. In the report he justified establishing the USGS and the BAE. Although the land-reform bill died, his report formed the basis from which both the USGS and the BAE were established under the Sundry Civil Appropriation Bill of March 3, 1879.[59]

In the report, Powell made seemingly contradictory statements for the justification of the BAE. Above all, he looked to science to remedy the Indian problem.[60] The theoretical position he took fits squarely within an anthropological strand of Social Darwinism, even though it challenged some of the assumptions Brinton and Spencer put forth regarding people of color. Powell opposed the idea that members of Indian societies were inferior to members of civilized societies and explained that "Savagery is not inchoate civilization; it is a distinct status of society with its own institutions, customs, philosophy, and religion" (Figure 4). He immediately, however, anchored the crux of the BAE

 
Figure 4.
John Wesley Powell inquiring about water in the Southwest.
(Courtesy of the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution)

justification to notions of evolution. Federal agents, he explained, must study indigenous customs because they "must necessarily be overthrown before new institutions, customs, philosophy, and religion can be introduced."[61]

Although Powell may have been benevolent toward Native Americans, there was no doubt about what race he viewed as superior. In an 1888 article for the first issue of the American Anthropologist, entitled "From Barbarism to Civilization," he explained that "in setting forth the evolution of barbarism to civilization, it becomes necessary to confine the exposition … to one great stock of people — the Aryan race."[62]

As director of the BAE Powell contracted and hired an array of scientists to conduct research on Native Americans under the rubric of what he called "anthropologic knowledge." The projects and studies sponsored by the BAE were compiled into large annual reports and distributed liberally throughout academic institutions around the world. Under Powell's direction the BAE published nineteen annual reports full of multicolored lithographs and scientific papers, forming the first comprehensive corpus of research for ethnology.

Ethnological research, under Powell, became field research and departed from Brinton's ethnography, which sought only to classify the races. Brinton could not compete with the sheer magnitude of research generated by the BAE and its collaborative approach. Actually, he did not attempt to compete with the bureau because he was philosophically opposed to the utilitarian approach of government science.[63]

Although Brinton was ostensibly not competing, he wrote the definitive text on Native American grammar. This effort culminated in The American Race: A Linguistic Classification and Ethnographic Description of the Native Tribes of North and South America (1891). While conducting research for the book, Brinton met resistance from the BAE and was denied access to unpublished manuscripts in its collections. Brinton exposed the rift between the two emerging axes of anthropology when he indicted Powell in his introduction. He lamented the fact that "access to this [material at the BAE] was denied me except under the condition that I should not use in any published work the information thus obtained, a proviso scarcely so liberal as had expected."[64]

Powell did not share Brinton's approach to ethnography, his disdain for applied research, or his view of people of color as perpetually inferior. The only thing Brinton and Powell shared were results presented at scientific meetings and in published papers. Powell believed that the federal government ought to shoulder the moral responsibility to uplift Native Americans to a status approaching civilized society. Unlike Brinton, Powell's later work did not attribute the state of savagery to racial inferiority.[65] For example, in "Sociology, or the Science of Institutions,"[66] he explicitly confronted the way savagery was viewed in the popular culture:

To the ethnologist a savage is a forest dweller. In common conception the savage is a brutal person whose chief delight is in taking scalps. Sometimes the sylvan man is cruel,—but even civilized men are sometimes cruel. Savagery is a status of culture to the ethnologist, who recognizes four such states, of which savagery is the lowest. Some of the Amerindian tribes belong to this lowest stage; while others belong to a higher stage which is called barbarism…. [C]onsider the savage not as a man of cruelty, but as a man who takes part in a regularly organized government, with laws, that are obeyed and enforced.[67]

However paternal, this passage represents a departure from his views in 1888 and from Brinton's notion that culture and race were one and the same. It also was consistent with the views of Lewis Henry Morgan. Powell was largely self-taught in natural history and held no advanced degrees. Though not his formal teacher, Morgan influenced many of Powell's views, and most of the research at the BAE was shaped by Morgan's ideas about race and culture.[68]

Lewis Henry Morgan, Powell's Ally (1818–1881)

Lewis Henry Morgan also made a tremendous contribution to the foundation of U.S. ethnology, and in 1879 he was the first in a line of ethnologists to use the presidency of the AAAS as a bully pulpit to validate and legitimate ethnology in the United States (Figure 5). A longtime resident of upstate New York, he was trained in law, served in the state assembly and senate, and invested in railroads serving the Great Lakes region.

Morgan's contributions to ethnology were made somewhat earlier than were those of Brinton, Powell, and Putnam. And although he had an important theoretical impact, he did not play a major hands-on role in establishing the institutional foundations of the field. His accolades came late in his life. Ancient Society, or Researches in the Lines of Human Progress from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization , his magnum opus, was published in 1877; he was elected to the presidency of the AAAS in 1879 but died a year after his term ended. He was interested in ideas of progress as well as Native American social organization and turned to ethnology to unite them.

He published widely on Native American kinship systems, but his most influential work was Ancient Society , in which he developed an elaborate evolutionary scheme to portray the development of human society. He argued that the road to civilization passed through a series of stages, each with its own distinctive culture and mode of subsistence. Morgan also seemingly observed that "with the production of inventions and discoveries, and with the growth of institutions, the human mind necessarily grew and expanded; and we are led to recognize a gradual enlargement of the brain itself."[69] He thus argued that there was a correlation between "cranial capacity" and social as well as technological development, asserting the belief that contemporary races were arranged hierarchically and reflected different stages in the evolution to civilization. Though similar to Spencer's ideas of the racial-cultural


Figure 5.
Lewis Henry Morgan, ca. 1877.
(Courtesy of the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution)

evolution, Morgan differed because he linked cultural evolution to materialist development. He claimed that the development of technology and modes of production led to civilization, which suggested that races of people were not necessarily shackled to a permanent status of inferiority.

Powell worked closely with Morgan, and he supplied Morgan with ethnographic information about the kinship organization of the Hopi and other Great Basin groups for Ancient Society .[70] Morgan, like Powell, was influential in government circles. Prior to the Civil War—before Powell and Brinton were national figures—Morgan was regarded as the authority on Native American affairs.[71] It appears that Morgan was looked to as an expert on African American affairs as well. When the Compromise of 1850 was being made in Congress, Morgan advised William Seward—an old friend and U.S. senator from New York—that

it is time to fix some limits to the reproduction of this black race among us. It is limited in the north by the traits of the whites. The black population has no independent vitality among us. In the south, while the blacks are property, there can be no assignable limit to their reproduction. It is too thin a race intellectually to be fit to propagate and I am perfectly satisfied from reflection that the feeling toward this race is one of hostility in the north. We have no respect for them whatever.[72]

Although Morgan has been championed for his "materialist conception of history," this letter reveals the White supremacist perspective embedded in Ancient Society that later emerged as the theoretical underpinning of the BAE.[73] Powell distributed copies of the book to the members of his staff, who used it as an ethnographic handbook in the field and a guide for organizing museum exhibits.[74]

Morgan was not the only colleague in Powell's alliance who advanced the notion of racial inferiority: others had an even more devastating impact. One of the most outspoken scientists in the late nineteenth century on the inferiority of African Americans was Nathaniel Southgate Shaler.

Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, Powell's Ally (1841–1906)

Nathaniel Southgate Shaler was initially trained by Louis Agassiz and became a geographer, geologist, and dean of the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard University. By the turn of the century he was one of the most respected scholars in the country.[75] Powell, who was always looking, found powerful support in Shaler. Powell secured Shaler's support by granting him research funding and an appointment as director of the Atlantic Coast Division of the USGS.[76] The funding and appointment paid off.

In 1884 both the BAE and the USGS were in jeopardy because Congress was investigating the necessity of all scientific agencies. Powell's integrity, the bureau, and the survey were each scrutinized. The joint commission, chaired by Senator William B. Allison, investigated Powell's appointments and his fiscal responsibility. Simultaneously, the Treasury Department scrutinized every ledger under Powell's authority. The investigations lasted for a year, and Powell emerged victorious with the staunch support of Shaler.

From the beginning of the investigation Powell took the offensive by showcasing a myriad of statistics about aridity and settlement patterns and confirming them with an array of topographic maps. He challenged the commission on one point after another.[77] During the whole scandal Shaler aligned himself with Powell.[78] On Powell's behalf, Shaler admonished his Harvard colleague, Alexander Agassiz, who testified against Powell.[79] Their performance in the Allison Commission investigation propelled both of them into the national spotlight, and together they were regarded as national leaders in the applied sciences.[80] Although Shaler's reputation was fashioned in the academic community as an applied scientist, around the country middle-class Americans knew him as the Harvard professor who made science accessible to the general public. Shaler was recognized as the "purveyor of science to the nation" because of his widely circulated scientific exposés in magazines like the Atlantic Monthly, Popular Science Monthly, and the North American Review .[81] He did not limit his exposés to geology: he wrote widely on social issues and provided a scientific analysis of the so-called Negro problem for the American public.

For the 1890 volume of the Atlantic Monthly, Shaler wrote "Science and the African Problem." It appeared just months before the elections for the Fifty-second Congress (which repealed many of the federal election bills). It illustrates how popular versions of anthropology buoyed racist political projects. Shaler the geologist turned into Shaler the anthropologist to advocate "the study of the negroes by the methods of modern anthropology."[82] Like Brinton, Shaler entwined stereotypes with anthropology, but he did so in the mass media:

 

But it is not only as an experiment in practical anthropology that this transplantation of the negro in America will interest our successors…. We can see how English, Irish, French, Germans, and Italians may, after time of trouble, mingle their blood and their motives in a common race, which may be as strong, or even stronger, for the blending to these diversities. We cannot hope for such a result with the negro, for an overwhelming body of experience shows that the third something which comes from the union of the European with the African is not as good material as either of the original stocks; that it has not the vital energy and the character required for the uses of the state. The African and European races must remain distinct in blood.[83]

Shaler also reproduced the image that the affairs of "darkies" inevitably degenerate into chaos:[84]

But experience shows us that if we could insulate a single county in the South, and give it over to negroes alone, we should in a few decades find that his European clothing, woven by generations of education, had fallen away, and the race gone down to a much lower state of being than that it now occupies. In other words, the negro is not as yet intellectually so far up in the scale of development as he appears to be; in him the great virtues of the superior race, though implanted, have not yet taken firm root, and are in need of constant tillage, lest the old savage weeds overcome the tender shoots of the new and unnatural culture.[85]

Moreover, Shaler presented the stereotype of Negroes' mythic sense of rhythm as science:

There are reasons for believing that the negroes can readily be cultivated in certain departments of thought in which the emotions lend aid to labor; as, for instance, in music. There is hardly any doubt that they have a keener sense of rhythm than whites of the same intellectual grade,—perhaps than any grade whatever…. [T]hese considerations lead me to think that music may be one of the lines on which careful inquiry may develop great possibilities for the race.[86]

In "The Negro Problem" (1884), also published in the Atlantic Monthly, Shaler offered a scientific rationale to support disfranchisement and segregation. He based the article on a common premise that African Americans were inherently incapable of shouldering the responsibility of citizenship.[87] The dean of the Lawrence Scientific School reported to the American public that African Americans were "a folk, bred first in a savagery that had never been broken by the least effort towards a higher state, and then in a slavery that tended almost as little to fit them for a place in the structure of a self-controlling society. Surely, the effort to blend these two people by a proclamation and a constitutional amendment will sound strangely in the time to come…. [R]esolutions cannot help this rooted nature of man."[88] Based on this framework, Shaler justified the many statutes declaring Negroes "unfit" to vote, sit on juries, and testify against White persons in a court of law, explaining, "I hold it to be clear that the inherited qualities of the negroes to a great degree unfit them to carry the burden of our own civilization."[89]

Shaler was the decipherer of science for the nation and the instructor of more than 7,000 Harvard graduates; he dispensed racial stereotypes in the classroom as science and saturated the most popular monthly publications with the same.[90] More than Brinton, Powell, and Putnam, it was Shaler who marshaled anthropological ideas to sway public opinion against Negro suffrage. Shaler was a self-proclaimed "practical anthropologist." By articulating the racial plank of Social Darwinism he helped foster the acquiescence of the North to southern ideas of racial inferiority and provided the scientific stamp of approval for McKinley's overtures to White supremacy, the Republican Party's abandonment of African American interests, widespread disfranchisement, and Jim Crow segregation.[91]

Powell's public association, support, and appreciation of Shaler must be scrutinized. Powell implicitly supported Shaler's agenda and did not explicitly reject Shaler's "practical anthropology." The ethnologist on whom Shaler relied for credibility was Powell, not Frederic Ward Putnam, who was also at Harvard as the curator of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology. Similarly, Powell's connection with Harvard's powerful lobby in Washington was Shaler, not Putnam. Indicative of these relationships, Shaler was the Harvard faculty member who hosted Powell when he accepted an honorary degree at the university's 250th anniversary in November 1886.[92]

Powell's greatest contribution to the discipline of anthropology was a successful negotiation of Washington's political and bureaucratic terrain, which allowed him to lay an institutional and financial foundation to sustain the discipline. Although Powell challenged particular notions of racial inferiority, he never attacked the members of his elite circles who embraced Social Darwinian ideas of racial inferiority. Powell accommodated White supremacist ideology as he carried out the BAE's congressional mandate to study Native American institutions so they could be overthrown and replaced.

Frederic Ward Putnam, Museum Builder (1839–1915)

Frederic Ward Putnam anchored the New England axis of the institutional and curricular development of anthropology at the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology. He was also instrumental in the development of three later institutional foci for the discipline. These included the Department of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City, the Department of Anthropology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Putnam's academic focus was American archaeology, which differed from Powell and Brinton's focus on ethnology and linguistics. Putnam forged Native American archaeology, linguistics, and ethnology together, insisting on the term anthropology to encompass all three.[93]

Like Brinton, Putnam "had to wrench the study of 'early man and his work' out of the hands of the amateur and of the dilettante and place scientific foundations under a structure which, at first, had only very vague outlines."[94] Following Morgan, Powell, and Brinton, Putnam also became the president of the AAAS in 1898.

Putnam was born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1839. Both of his parents were descendants of the early New England elites. In his obituary the Harvard Graduate's Magazine boasted that "the father, grandfather, and great grandfather of Professor Putnam were all graduates of Harvard College, and the associations of his mother's family had been close with the institution from its beginning."[95]

Putnam entered Harvard College in 1856 but never formally matriculated into a degree program. The following year he became an assistant to Louis Agassiz at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, where he founded the journal American Naturalist in 1867. Although he established the Salem Press to publish that journal, the press also started publishing the Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science .[96] Putnam was the permanent general secretary of the AAAS for twenty-five consecutive years beginning in 1875, and his editorial leadership—which came with owning the press—helped define the direction of science during the final quarter of the nineteenth century.[97]

Anchoring the New England Axis

Three distinct institutional axes formed as the discipline matured: Powell anchored government anthropology in Washington at the BAE; Brinton anchored linguistic and evolutionary anthropology in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania; and Putnam anchored archaeological anthropology in New England at Harvard University. As we will see, a power struggle over the direction of anthropology developed when Franz Boas dropped an anchor for cultural anthropology in New York City at Columbia University.

George Foster Peabody, an American-born London financier, provided the impetus for the New England axis. He endowed three Peabody Museums, one at Harvard University, another at Yale University, and the third in Salem, Massachusetts. Putnam was the first director of the Peabody Museum in Salem and later became the director of the one at Harvard.[98] In 1866 Peabody endowed Harvard University for a museum and professorship of American archaeology and ethnology. Putnam became curator of the Peabody Museum in 1875 and was appointed professor in 1885.[99]

Once in a position of leadership, Putnam orchestrated massive expeditions all over the Western Hemisphere to collect artifacts and conduct research for the Peabody Museum. He organized archaeological research in Central America, Ohio, New Jersey, and the Plains States. to publish the findings, he established the Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology in 1876 and a series of Memoirs in 1896. Like Powell's annual reports for the BAE, Putnam's Papers of the Peabody formed the corpus of research from which Native American archaeology advanced.

Another significant contribution Putnam made was to expose the public to anthropology through museums and world's fair exhibits; this was also his most significant contribution to the social construction of race. The organizers of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition selected Putnam as the chief of Department M (anthropology). He began in earnest to fashion an ethnographical exhibition of the past and present peoples so that each stage of evolution could be observed.[100] He successfully lobbied top administrators for an anthropological building dedicated to the three-field approach to the discipline. The structure was simply called the Anthropological Building, and it was the first time the term anthropology was introduced widely to the American public.[101]

Under the rubric of anthropology and under the roof of the Anthropological Building, the images of racial inferiority imposed on the "lesser races" were brought to life for millions of Americans by "living ethnological exhibits." Putnam hired agents to collect indigenous people from all over the world and then instructed the "native representatives" where to set up their "habitations." He deliberately positioned their encampments along the Midway Plaisance to reflect his idea of an evolutionary hierarchy. As Harlan I. Smith, one of Putnam's assistants, stated, "From first to last, the exhibits of this department will be arranged and grouped to teach a lesson; to show the advancement of evolution of man."[102] The images Putnam produced for popular consumption helped solidify the notion of racial and cultural inferiority imposed on African Americans, Native Americans, and other "savages" the world over.

Although the Papers of the Peabody and the world's fair were important, it was Putnam's organizational skills and institution building that created his important legacy, which includes initiating new regional centers of anthropology, in Chicago, New York, and Berkeley. He was important in Chicago because he helped to curate the first collections of the Department of Anthropology at the Field Museum of Natural History. The Field Museum's first acquisitions were the collections displayed at the 1893 Chicago world's fair. As chief of Department M, he was responsible for curating the fair's anthropological collections as well as overseeing the museum's adoption of them.

Putnam also helped institutionalize anthropology in New York City. In April 1894, immediately after the fair, the AMNH appointed him curator of the Department of Anthropology, where he served until 1903. He assembled a staff who developed a series of explorations and publications for the museum. One of the most influential staff members was Franz Boas, Putnam's assistant at the world's fair in Chicago. Under the joint leadership of Putnam and Boas, the Department of Anthropology conducted the Jesup North Pacific Expedition and the Hyde Expeditions to the Southwest, up to that point the most far-reaching anthropological investigations ever conducted.[103]

Putnam also helped institutionalize anthropology in California. In 1903 Phoebe Hearst endowed the University of California, Berkeley, to establish an anthropological museum and a chair of anthropology. Hearst invited Putnam to assemble the museum and assume the chair. From 1903 to 1909 he was professor of anthropology and director of the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology.[104]

Although Putnam extended his talent, skill, and commitment around the country, the Department of Anthropology and the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard remained under his fastidious tutelage. Charles Peabody summarized Putnam's commitment to forging the foundations of anthropology: "He started movements, societies, methods, plans,—anything to help anthropology, anything to help our knowledge of man and his works."[105] Similarly, Franz Boas wrote that Putnam "took up anthropological studies with that enthusiastic worship of material data as the indispensable basis for inductive studies that has dominated his life and that, together with his skill as an organizer, have made him the most potent factor in the development of anthropological institutions all over the country."[106]

The Prevailing Construct of Race and Anthropology

No one can deny the formidable contributions Brinton, Powell, and Putnam made to developing anthropology from a romantic pastime into an academic discipline: they established anthropology in the United States. However, one cannot divorce the institutionalization of American anthropology from its historical context. Anthropology was legitimated as a rigorous and practical science in prestigious universities and national museums—the very loci where intellectuals produce and promote ideological hegemony. An examination of how Putnam, Powell, and Brinton established the academic foundations for U.S. anthropology in a way that resonated with prevailing views about race will help us better understand how anthropologists of the next generation used those same institutions to challenge those views.

The historical specifics of the three "founding fathers" of American anthropology make it clear that there was not an orchestrated effort to develop a unified approach to the study of race. Yet the texts, images, and exhibits produced by Brinton, Powell, and Putnam clearly worked in concert. The anthropology they produced complemented and reinforced other projects by intellectuals, artists, and journalists that contributed to a larger discourse on race which converged to bolster the late-nineteenth-century views held by a large swath of Americans about civilization, people of color, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments, and Jim Crow statutes.

Each of these men articulated an evolutionary paradigm imbued with ideas of progress and racial inferiority. In turn, politicians and others within specific institutions used these or similar ideas to justify the oppression of people of color. During this process each of these early anthropologists was awarded the presidency of the AAAS, endowed chairs, directorships, and funds to conduct more research along these very lines. Each of them took advantage of their powerful positions, appointments, and networks to establish the institutional and theoretical foundations for the discipline—anthropology.





Notes:

1. During the 1870s much of the institutional support for anthropology was provided by the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University and the USGS at the Department of the Interior.

2. Nancy Leys Stepan and Sander L. Gilman, "Appropriating the Idioms of Science: The Rejection of Scientific Racism," in The Bounds of Race: Perspectives on Hegemony and Resistance, ed. D. LaCapra (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press), 77.

3. This period also witnessed the denial of women's rights, the destruction and assimilation of many Chicanos, violence against and exclusion of Chinese immigrants, and pogrom attacks on labor unions and Eastern European immigrants. Trade unions became battlegrounds between race and class because managers used various notions of racial inferiority to undermine working-class solidarity. These as well as many other examples contributed increasingly vivid contradictions between the pillars of democracy and the persistent articulation of sexism, racism, and nativism.

4. Stocking, Race, Culture, and Evolution, 22; John S. Flagg, "Anthropology: A University Study," Popular Science Monthly 51, no. 4 (1897): 510-513.

5. The relative authority that anthropology obtained by the mid-1890s can be gauged by the amount of money Congress appropriated for the BAE. For 1895 Congress approved $30,817.80 for BAE professional and support staff salaries, an amount equal to the salaries of the entire scientific staff at the USNM and three times the entire budget for the Astro-Physical Observatory. The Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents set these funding priorities. The chancellor was Chief Justice Melville Fuller, and other members of the board included Adlai E. Stevenson, vice president of the United States under Grover Cleveland, and William P. Breckinridge, an avowed Social Darwinist and congressman from Kentucky (J. B. Henderson, "Report of the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution," in Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, July 1895 [Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1896], xix-x1; Breckinridge, "Race Question," 45).

6. Daniel G. Brinton, "The Aims of Anthropology," Popular Science Monthly 48, no. 1 (1896): 68.

7. John Wesley Powell, "Relation of Primitive Peoples to Environment, Illustrated by American Examples," in Smithsonian Institution Annual Report [1895] (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1896), 625, 631.

8. Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 US 552 (1896).

9. See Wilson, Black Codes of the South, 96-116; Bernstein, "Case Law in Plessy v. Ferguson," 198; Rosen, Supreme Court, 23-45; Freidel, "Sick Chicken Case," 192.

10. Hofstadter, Social Darwinism.

11. See Daniel G. Brinton, Races and Peoples: Lectures on the Science of Ethnography (New York: Hodges, 1890), 76; David Bloor, Knowledge and Social Imagery (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991 [1976]), 70; Tucker, Racial Research, 26. Even before Charles Darwin introduced the theory of natural selection, scholars were incorporating ideas of social evolution into nascent fields like archeology, comparative law, and ethnology. Henry Sumner Maine, M. Boucher de Perthes, Lane Pitt-Rivers, Lewis Henry Morgan, John Lubbock, Edward B. Tylor, and Robert Dunn were among the scholars who advanced ideas of social evolution prior to the 1880s. See David N. Livingstone, Nathaniel SouthgateShaler and the Culture of American Science (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1987), 79; John W. Burrow, Evolution and Society: A Study in Victorian Social Theory (London: Cambridge University Press), 1966; John W. Burrow, "Evolution and Anthropology in the 1860's: The Anthropological Society of London, 1863-1871," Victorian Studies 7 (1963): 137-154; Stanton, Leopard's Spots; Haller, Outcasts from Evolution. In Europe, where ideas of progress and evolution were in vogue much earlier, scientists used ideas about the hierarchy of races to validate the conquest and exploitation of people of color in Europe's colonial empire (Stanley Diamond, In Search of the Primitive: A Critique of Civilization [New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, 1987], 24-33).

12. What Social Darwinism actually encompasses has been debated. For example, Roger Bannister limited his scope to science and concluded that "the early Darwinians were not social Darwinists; likewise, many so-called social Darwinists (such as Spencer) were not Darwinians" (Robert C. Bannister, Social Darwinism: Science and Myth in Anglo American Social Thought [Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1979], 16). I have followed Richard Hofstadter's and Stephen Gould's more general view, however (Hofstadter, Social Darwinism; Stephen Jay Gould, "Curveball," in The Bell Curve Wars: Race, Intelligence, and the Future of America, ed. Steven Fraser [New York: Basic Books, 1995], 12). I too view the variety of ideas regarding social, cultural, and racial evolution under the broad ideological rubric of Social Darwinism.

Jerry Watts proposed that "[t]he claim by Hofstadter and others that it was the prevailing public philosophy at the turn of the century may in fact be a significant overstatement" (Jerry Watts, "On Reconsidering Park, Johnson, Du Bois, Frazier and Reid: Reply to Benjamin Bowser's 'The Contribution of Blacks to Sociological Knowledge,'" Phylon 44, no. 4 [1983]: 273-291). However, Watts added that Spencer's "thought when simplified in America to the doctrine of 'the survival of the fittest' and used as an endorsement of the status quo must be considered merely an ideology" (p. 277). Although Watts depreciates the role of ideology in American society, he is correct that Social Darwinism was a bulwark for the status quo.

13. Tucker, Racial Research, 27.

14. Hofstadter, Social Darwinism, 45.

15. John S. Haller, "Race and the Concept of Progress in Nineteenth Century American Ethnology," American Anthropologist 73 (1971): 711.

16. Woodward, Jim Crow, 51; Haller, Outcasts from Evolution, 173-174; Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America, 700; Charles H. Wesley, "The Concept of Negro Inferiority in American Thought," Journal of Negro History 25, no. 2 (1940): 541; Hofstadter, Social Darwinism, 172.

17. David Duncan, The Life and Letters of Herbert Spencer (New York: Appleton, 1908), 128.

18. Tucker, Racial Research, 27.

19. Herbert Spencer, Principles of Psychology, 3d ed. (New York: Appleton, 1880), 1: 136.

20. Ibid., 2: 535.

21. Herbert Spencer, "The Comparative Psychology of Man," Popular Science Monthly 8 (1896): 260.

22. Ibid.

23. Panchanan Mitra, A History of American Anthropology (Calcutta: University of Calcutta Press, 1933), 141.

24. Early ethnologists shared an understanding that all people shared a psychic unity or human nature. These ideas were influenced more by Adolph Bastion and Edward B. Tyler than by Spencer. See Adolf Bastian, Der Mensch in Der Geschichte Zur Begrundung Einer Psychologischen Weltanschauung (Leipzig: O. Wigand, 1860); Edward B. Tylor, Primitive Culture: Researches into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Art, and Custom (London: J. Murray, 1871).

25. Brinton, "Aims of Anthropology," 65.

26. Regna D. Darnell, "Daniel Garrison Brinton: An Intellectual Biography" (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1967), 18.

27. Ibid., 3.

28. Albert Smyth, Memorial Address, in Report of the Brinton Memorial Meeting, ed. Albert Smyth (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1899), 18-19.

29. Daniel G. Brinton, Notes on the Florida Peninsula, Its Literary History, Indian Tribes and Antiquities (Philadelphia: Joseph Sabin, 1859), 172, 174, 197; Daniel G. Brinton, "The Mound-Builders of the Mississippi Valley," Historical Magazine 11 (1866): 33-37.

30. Darnell, "Daniel Garrison Brinton: An Intellectual Biography," 11.

31. Ibid., 9-21.

32. Ibid., 5.

33. Regna D. Darnell, Readings in the History of Anthropology (New York: Harper and Row, 1974), 5.

34. Brinton, Races and Peoples, 5.

35. Ibid., 47-48.

36. Ibid., 51.

37. Haller (Outcasts from Evolution, 153) and Stocking (Race, Culture, and Evolution, 254) have characterized Brinton's theoretical orientation as neo-Lamarckian in the tradition of Spencer. A good example of Brinton's neo-Lamarckian thought is demonstrated by his assertion that: "The Fuegian savage is one of the worst specimens of the genus; but put him when young in an English school, and he will grow up an intelligent member of civilized society. However low man is, he can be instructed, improved, redeemed; and it is this most cheering fact which should encourage us in incessant labour for the degraded and the despised of humanity" (Daniel Brinton, The Basis of Social Relations [New York: G. P. Putnam and Sons, 1901], 18).

38. Brinton, Races and Peoples, 192.

39. Ibid., 25.

40. Brinton, Basis of Social Relations, 133.

41. Karen C. Dalton, "Caricature in the Service of Racist Stereotypes: Evolution of Nineteenth-Century Caricatures of African Americans" (paper presented at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Studies Colloquia Series, Harvard University, March 31, 1993).

42. Brinton consistently conflated or collapsed the distinctions he made between specific African ethnolinguistic groups and African Americans. Although he is speaking of Africans on the African continent in this particular case, one can infer from all of the other examples in which he interchanges the "ethnic elements" of continental Africans and African Americans that he included African Americans in this stereotype. See Brinton, Races and Peoples, 180.

43. Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 US 552 (1896).

44. In Mob Rule in New Orleans ([New York: Arno Press, 1969 (1900)], 47) Ida B. Wells-Barnett reported these grim statistics created by lynch mobs:

1888, Negroes murdered by mobs

143

1889, Negroes murdered by mobs

127

1890, Negroes murdered by mobs

176

1891, Negroes murdered by mobs

192

1892, Negroes murdered by mobs

241

1893, Negroes murdered by mobs

200

1894, Negroes murdered by mobs

190

1895, Negroes murdered by mobs

171

1896, Negroes murdered by mobs

131

45. Wells-Barnett, Southern Horrors, 9-54.

46. See Gossett, Race, 270; James R. McGovern, Anatomy of a Lynching: The Killing of Claude Neal (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1982), 2.

47. Brinton, Races and Peoples, 287.

48. Haller, "Race and the Concept of Progress," 721; Daniel G. Brinton, "The Nation as an Element in Anthropology: From Proceedings of the International Congress of Anthropology at Chicago, 1893," in Smithsonian Institution Annual Report (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1894), 589-600; Brinton, Basis of Social Relations, 153-157.

49. Harding, "Racial" Economy of Science, 12. Hall, in Revolt against Chivalry, explained that many White women resisted this ideology of White womanhood and documented how members of the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching attacked the apologetics of lynching by disassociating the image of the vulnerable southern lady and the mob violence. She also explained how members of the association attacked the paternalism of chivalry. The claim that lynching was necessary as a protection of White women, they argued, masked the racism out of which mob violence really sprang. The presumptive tie between lynching and rape cast White women in the position of sexual objects—ever threatened by black lust, ever in need of rescue by their White protectors (p. 194).

50. Brinton, "Aims of Anthropology," 69; Haller, "Race and the Concept of Progress," 722.

51. Darnell, "Daniel Garrison Brinton: An Intellectual Biography," 50. The Anthropological Society of Washington had several women in its membership. For example, in 1894 the membership roster included Miss Alice C. Fletcher, Miss Katherine Foote, Dr. Anita Newcombe McGee, Miss Sarah A. Scull, and Mrs. Matilda Coxe Stevenson. See Marcus Baker, comp. Directory of Scientific Societies of Washington: Comprising the Anthropological, Biological, Chemical, Entomological,Geological, National Geographic, and Philosophical Societies (Washington, D.C.: Joint Commission, 1894).

52. Livingstone, Shaler, 35-39; Curtis M. Hinsley, Savages and Scientists: The Smithsonian Institution and the Development of American Anthropology, 1846-1910 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1981), 139, 147-157. Powell was the founder and first president of the Cosmos Club in 1878. It was then and still remains one of Washington's most elite men's clubs (Wilcomb E. Washburn, The Cosmos Club of Washington: A Centennial History, 1878-1978 [Washington, D.C.: Cosmos Club, 1978], 18-21). This locates Powell right at the center of the Washington's power elite, where he could cut deals and shore up his power base.

53. Grove Karl Gilbert, "John Wesley Powell," in Smithsonian Institution Annual Report, 1902 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1903), 633.

54. Gilbert, "John Wesley Powell," 633-634; William Culp Darrah, Powell of the Colorado (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1951), 68.

55. Powell was an occasional cartographic advisor to Grant, and he parlayed his clout with the president into federal support for the expedition. In addition to the federal government, Powell lobbied the railroad companies to assist in transportation; American Express and Wells Fargo to carry specimens back to the museum; General William T. Sherman (his former commander) to provide a military escort across the Badlands; and Joseph Henry of the Smithsonian Institution to provide equipment for collecting specimens (Darrah, Powell of the Colorado, 81-83).

56. John Wesley Powell, Exploration of the Colorado River of the West and Its Tributaries: Explored in 1869, 1870, 1871, and 1872 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1875).

57. Powell's primary concern was the policies of the Department of the Interior. Deploring the way in which the agency parceled out all the land west of the Mississippi River in equal allotments, without regard to its geological and ecological disposition, he argued that the West was not a monolithic, endless tract of land waiting for homesteaders, developers, railroads, and mines. He pointed out that the land was extremely diverse and that much of it could not support agriculture because of variations in precipitation and fertility.

58. On the House floor, the bill was debated along regional, not party, lines. Part of the bill was passed, and Powell was successful in consolidating the various surveying agencies under the Department of the Interior. However, he met resistance to the bill by Congress and by the various organizations that were to be centralized. For example, the consolidation was challenged by George M. Wheeler, Ferdinand Hayden, the War Department, and the Public Land Office. Powell literally orchestrated a hostile takeover of the various surveys with the aid of the National Academy of Sciences and sympathetic congressional members. The bill that Congress passed consolidated King's Geological Survey of the Fortieth Parallel, Hayden's Geological Survey of the Territories, Powell's own United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Rocky Mountain Range, and Wheeler's Geological Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian (see Livingstone, Shaler, 35).

59. HR. 6140; 45th Cong., 3d sess., H2361.

60. Powell began his argument for the federal agency devoted to American ethnology by outlining the scientific value of studying disappearing societies: "The field of research is speedily narrowing because of the rapid change in the Indian population now in progress ... and in a very few years it will be impossible to study our North American Indians in their primitive conditions except from recorded history. For this reason ethnologic studies in America should be pushed with utmost vigor" (John Wesley Powell, Report on the Methods of Surveying the Public Domain [Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1878], 15). He went on to explain the cogent reasons by touting the practical purposes of ethnology: "[T]he rapid spread of civilization since 1849 had placed the white man and the Indian in direct conflict throughout the whole area, and the 'Indian Problem' is thus thrust upon us and it must be solved, wisely or unwisely. Many of the difficulties are inherent and cannot be avoided, but an equal number are unnecessary and are caused by the lack of our knowledge relating to the Indians themselves" (p. 15).

61. Ibid.

62. John Wesley Powell, "From Barbarism to Civilization," American Anthropologist 1 (1888): 109.

63. Regna D. Darnell, Daniel Garrison Brinton: The "Fearless Critic" of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, 1988), 43-50.

64. Daniel G. Brinton, The American Race: A Linguistic Classification and Ethnographic Description of the Native Tribes of North and South America (New York: Hodges, 1891), vi.

65. See John Wesley Powell, "Esthetology, or the Science of Activities Designed to Give Pleasure," American Anthropologist 1 (1899): 1-40; John Wesley Powell, "Sociology, or the Science of Institutions," American Anthropologist 1 (1899): 475-509, 695-745; John Wesley Powell, "Technology, or the Science of Industries," American Anthropologist 1 (1899): 319-349.

66. Powell, "Sociology."

67. Ibid., 695.

68. Darrah, Powell of the Colorado, 262-267; Stocking, Race, Culture, and Evolution, 116; Carl Resek, Lewis Henry Morgan: American Scholar (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960), 150.

69. Lewis Henry Morgan, Ancient Society, or Researches in the Lines of Human Progress from Savagery through Barbarism to Civilization (New York: Henry Holt, 1877), 37.

70. Resek, Lewis Henry Morgan, 134.

71. Ibid., 79-81.

72. Morgan to Seward, February 2, 1850, William Henry Seward Papers, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. In 1849 Seward was elected as a member of the Whig Party to serve in the U.S. Senate. During the turbulent 1850s he increasingly resisted the Whig attempt to compromise on the slavery issue, and when the party collapsed (1854-1855), Seward joined the newly organized Republican Party and made a firm stand against expansion of slavery into the territories.

73. Friedrich Engels, Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, inthe Light of the Researches of Lewis H. Morgan (New York: International Publishers, 1972 [1884]). Haller ("Race and the Concept of Progress," 712) has summarized their position: "John Wesley Powell and Lewis Henry Morgan, although they spoke optimistically of progress for all peoples, actually limited the full meaning of the term to only those peoples whose race history clearly evidenced a progression out of savagery and barbarism and into civilization. The American Indian, who had not yet developed an agricultural society, contained no 'progressive spirit' from which 'there was no hope of elevation.'"

74. Resek, Lewis Henry Morgan, 50.

75. Livingstone, Shaler, 6; Haller, Outcasts from Evolution, 152.

76. On March 8, 1884, Powell wrote to Shaler and asked him to direct the surveying of New England for the USGS. Shaler accepted the invitation and later became director of the Atlantic Coast Division of the USGS (Papers of Nathan Southgate Shaler [1872-1914], Harvard University Archives, HUG: 1784, Cambridge, Mass.).

77. John Wesley Powell, On the Organization of Scientific Work of the General Government: Extracts from the Testimony Taken by the Joint Commission of the Senate and House of Representatives. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1885.

78. Livingstone, Shaler, 39.

79. Alexander Agassiz, the son of Louis Agassiz, detested Powell's practical approach to science. He also supported the opposition in the congressional investigation. The contention between Powell and Alexander Agassiz was perhaps deeper than a philosophical disagreement. Agassiz's considerable fortune was tied to copper mining, and the federal land reform, which Powell advocated, would have jeopardized his wealth (John Murray, "Alexander Agassiz: His Life and Scientific Work," Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 54, no. 3 [1911]: 140-141).

80. Livingstone, Shaler, 40; Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, "Aspects of the Earth," Nation 1282 (1890): 79.

81. Livingstone, Shaler, 40.

82. Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, "Science and the African Problem," Atlantic Monthly 66 (1890): 40.

83. Ibid., 37.

84. Dalton, "Caricature."

85. Shaler, "Science and the African Problem," 42.

86. Ibid., 43.

87. Lee D. Baker, "Savage Inequality: Anthropology in the Erosion of the Fifteenth Amendment," Transforming Anthropology 5, no. 1 (1994): 29-30.

88. Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, "The Negro Problem," Atlantic Monthly 54 (1884): 697.

89. Ibid., 703.

90. Haller, Outcasts from Evolution, 168; Shaler, "Negro Problem"; Shaler, "Science and the African Problem"; Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, "The Nature of the Negro," Arena 2 (1890): 660-673; Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, "Our Negro Types," Current Literature 29 (1900): 44-45; Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, "The Future of the Negro in the Southern States," Popular Science Monthly 57 (1900): 147-156; Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, "The Negro since the Civil War," Popular Science Monthly 57 (1900): 29-39; Nathaniel Southgate Shaler, "The Transplantation of a Race," Popular Science Monthly 56 (1900): 513-524.

91. Haller, Outcasts from Evolution, 173; Daniels, In Freedom's Birthplace, 114.

92. Darrah, Powell of the Colorado, 297.

93. A. M. Tozzer, Frederic Ward Putnam, 1839-1915, National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoirs, 16 (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1935), 129.

94. Ibid., 133.

95. R. B. Dixon, "Frederic W. Putnam 1839-1915," Harvard Graduate's Magazine 24 (1915): 305.

96. E. S. Morse, "Frederic W. Putnam, 1839-1915: An Appreciation," Essex Institute Historical Collections 52 (1916): 194.

97. Tozzer, Frederic Ward Putnam, 131. See also Franz Boas, Anthropological Essays Presented to Frederick Ward Putnam in Honor of His Seventieth Birthday, April 16, 1909 (New York: G. E. Strechert, 1909).

98. Morse, "Frederic W. Putnam," 193.

99. Although the Harvard Corporation made the appointment in 1885, it was not confirmed by the Board of Overseers until 1887. Technically, Putnam was the second professor of an anthropological field in the United States because he followed Brinton, who had become professor of American archeology and linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania in 1886. See Tozzer, Frederic Ward Putnam, 128.

100. Ralph Dexter, "Putnam's Problems Popularizing Anthropology," American Scientist 54 (1966): 316.

101. Tozzer, Frederick Ward Putnam, 132.

102. Harlan Ingersoll Smith, "Man and His Works," American Antiquarian 15 (1893): 117

103. Alfred Kroeber, "Frederic Ward Putnam," American Anthropologist 17 (1915): 716.

104. Tozzer, Frederic Ward Putnam, 132.

105. Charles Peabody, "Frederic W. Putnam," Journal of American Folk-Lore 28 (1915): 304.

106. Franz Boas, "Frederic Ward Putnam," Science 42 (1915): 330.

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