Phrenological bust by LN FowlerPhrenological bust by LN FowlerThe History of Phrenology on the Web

by John van Wyhe

George Combe's A System of Phrenology, 5th edn, 2 vols. 1853.

Vol. 1: [front matter], Intro, Nervous system, Principles of Phrenology, Anatomy of the brain, Division of the faculties 1.Amativeness 2.Philoprogenitiveness 3.Concentrativeness 4.Adhesiveness 5.Combativeness 6.Destructiveness, Alimentiveness, Love of Life 7.Secretiveness 8.Acquisitiveness 9.Constructiveness 10.Self-Esteem 11.Love of Approbation 12.Cautiousness 13.Benevolence 14.Veneration 15.Firmness 16.Conscientiousness 17.Hope 18.Wonder 19.Ideality 20.Wit or Mirthfulness 21.Imitation.
Vol. 2: [front matter], external senses, 22.Individuality 23.Form 24.Size 25.Weight 26.Colouring 27.Locality 28.Number 29.Order 30.Eventuality 31.Time 32.Tune 33.Language 34.Comparison, General observations on the Perceptive Faculties, 35.Causality, Modes of actions of the faculties, National character & development of brain, On the importance of including development of brain as an element in statistical inquiries, Into the manifestations of the animal, moral, and intellectual faculties of man, Statistics of Insanity, Statistics of Crime, Comparative phrenology, Mesmeric phrenology, Objections to phrenology considered, Materialism, Effects of injuries of the brain, Conclusion, Appendices: No. I, II, III, IV, V, [Index], [Works of Combe].

( 327 )



THE mental character of an individual, at any given time, is the result of his natural endowment of faculties, modified by the circumstances in which he has been placed. The first element, or natural constitution, is admitted, by most thinking men, to form the basis of, and prescribe the limits to, the operation of the second. If a child be by nature extremely combative, and very little cautious, highly prone to covetousness, and -very insensible to justice, a reflecting guardian will expect him to develope a character different from that which he would exhibit, if his natural dispositions were exactly the reverse ; he will not expect education to change his nature, although it may improve it within certain limits.

A nation is composed of individuals (who preserve their individuality), and what is true of each one must hold good of the aggregate mass ;-nevertheless, the fashionable doctrine is, that national character depends altogether on external circumstances ; and that the native stock of animal, moral, and intellectual powers on which these operate, is the same in New Holland, in England, in Hindustan, and in France. Dugald Stewart informs us, " That the capacities

ciples of Phrenology to the Elucidation of the Causes, Symptoms, Nature, and Treatment of Insanity. By Andrew Combe, M. D. Small 8vo. pp. 392.

The Philosophy of Education, with its practical application to a system and plan of Popular Education as a National Object. By James Simpson, Esq. Advocate.

Popular Education ; its objects and principles elucidated. By George Combe, 8vo. price 1s. 6d.

Selections from the Phrenological Journal, consisting of the most interesting articles in the first twenty Numbers. 12mo.

Phrenology in the Family. By the Reverend Joseph A. Warne : reprinted from the American Edition, 8vo. price 1s.

An Essay on some subjects connected with Taste. By Sir G. S. Mackenzie 'Bart.


of the human mind have been in all ages the same ; and that the diversity of phenomena exhibited by our species is the result merely of the different circumstances in which men are placed." " This," says he, " has long been received as an uncontrovertible logical maxim ; or rather, such is the influence of early instruction, that we are apt to regard it as one of the most obvious suggestions of common sense. And yet, till about the time of Montesquieu, it was by no means so generally recognised by the learned as to have a sensible influence on the fashionable tone of thinking over Europe.''1

There is some ambiguity in this passage.-The proposition, that " the capacities of the human mind have been m all 4GES the same,'5 does not necessarily imply that they have been alike in all nations. The Hindoo mind may have been the same in the year 100 as in the year 1800, and so may the English and all other national minds ; but it does not follow that either in the year 100 or 1800 the English and Hindoo minds were constituted by nature equal in all their capacities ; and yet this is what I understand Mr Stew-art to mean : for he adds, " that the diversity of phenomena exhibited by our species is the result merely of the different circumstances in which men are placed ;'' assuming, in this proposition, that the men of every nation are equally gifted in mental power. There is reason to question this doctrine, and to view it as not merely speculatively erroneous, but as giving rise to much hurtful practice.

When we regard the different quarters of the globe, we are struck with the extreme dissimilarity in the attainments of the varieties of men who inhabit them. If we glance over the history of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, we shall find distinct and permanent features of character, which strongly indicate natural differences in their mental constitutions. The inhabitants of Europe, belonging to the Caucasian variety of mankind, have manifested, in all ages, a strong tendency towards moral and intellectual improvement. As far back as history reaches, we find society instituted,

1 Dissertation, p. 53.


arts practised, and literature taking root, not only in intervals of tranquillity, but amidst the alarms of war. Before the foundation of Rome, the Etruscans had established civilization and the arts in Italy. Under the Greek and Roman empires, philosophy, literature, and the fine arts, were sedulously and successfully cultivated ; and that portion of the people whose wealth enabled them to pay for education, attained a high degree of intelligence and refinement. By the irruption of the northern hordes, these countries were subsequently involved in a chaos of ignorance ;-but again the sun of science rose, the clouds of Gothic darkness were dispelled, and Europe took the lead of the world in science, morals, and philosophy. In the inhabitants of this portion of the globe, there appears an elasticity of mind incapable of being permanently repressed. When borne down for a time by external violence, their mental energies seem to have gathered strength under the restraint, and at length to have burst their fetters, and overcome every obstacle opposed to their expansion.

These remarks apply more peculiarly to the Teutonic race in Europe. Different degrees of mental aptitude have been displayed by other tribes inhabiting that region of the globe. In France, Ireland, and Scotland, the Celtic race is still numerous, but it remains far behind the Teutonic, and also in the rear of the mixed race of Teutonic and Celtic blood, in its attainments in arts, science, philosophy, and civilization.

When, on the other hand, we turn our attention to Asia, we perceive manners and institutions, which belong to a period too remote to be ascertained, yet far inferior to the European. The people of Asia early arrived at a point comparatively low in the scale of improvement, beyond which they have never passed.

The history of Africa, so far as Africa can be said to have a history, presents similar phenomena. The annals of the races who have inhabited that Continent, with few exceptions, exhibit one unbroken scene of moral and intellectual


desolation ; and in a quarter of the globe embracing the greatest varieties of soil and climate, no nation is at this day to be found whose institutions indicate even moderate civilization .l

Some of the African tribes, however, have attained to the condition of barbarians. They have built cities, and established, although in a rude form, manufactures, agriculture, commerce, government, and laws.

The aspect of America is still more deplorable than that of Africa. Surrounded for centuries by European knowledge, enterprise, and energy, and incited to improvement by the example of European institutions, many of the natives of that continent remain, at the present time, the same miserable, wandering, houseless, and lawless savages as their ancestors were, when Columbus first set foot upon their soil. Partial exceptions to this description may be found in some of the southern districts of North America ;2 but the numbers who have adopted the modes of civilized life are so small, and the progress made by them so limited, that, speaking of the race, we do not exaggerate in saying, that they remain to the present hour enveloped in all their primitive barbarity, and that they have profited little by the introduction into the new continent of arts, sciences, and philosophy. The same observations have occurred to a writer in the Edin-

1 Since the observation in the text was written, accounts have appeared of a people discovered by Major Clapperton in the interior of Africa in a state of comparative civilization. It is said, that, although they are jet black, they are not Negroes, and it is conjectured that they are the descendants of the Numidians of ancient history. If the representations of their attainments be correct, I anticipate in them a brain developed like the European.

2 I beg to refer the reader to the admirable work on the Crania Americana, by Dr Morton of Philadelphia, for much accurate and interesting information on the subject of the mental and phrenological characteristics of the native American tribes. I studied his collection of skulls, and perceived considerable variety in the size and forms of them. The brain was most favourably developed in those that had made the nearest approaches to the civilization of the Anglo-Americans.


burgh Review. The following remarks, on the native American character, appeared in that work in an article on " Howison's Upper Canada," June 1822 :-" From all that we learn," says the Reviewer, " of the state of the Aborigines of this great continent from this volume, and from every other source of information, it is evident that they are making no advances towards civilization. It is certainly a striking and mysterious fact, that a race of men should thus have continued for ages stationary in a state of the rudest barbarism. That tendency to improvement, a principle that has been thought more than perhaps any other to distinguish man from the lower animals, would seem to be totally wanting in them. Generation after generation passes away, and no traces of advancement distinguish the last from the first. The mighty wilderness they inhabit may be traversed from end to end, and hardly a vestige be discovered that marks the hand of man. It might naturally have been expected, that, in the course of ages, some superior genius would have arisen among them to inspire his countrymen with a desire to cultivate the arts of peace, and establish some durable civil institution ; or that, at least, during the long period since the Europeans have been settled amongst them, and taught them, by such striking examples, the benefits of industry and social order, they would have been tempted to endeavour to participate in blessings thus providentially brought within their reach. But all has been unavailing ; and it now seems certain that the North American Indians, like the bears and wolves, are destined to flee at the approach of civilized man, and to fall before his renovating hand, and disappear from the face of the earth along with those ancient forests which alone afford them sustenance and shelter."

I have seen several settlements of native Indians, who still live in the near neighbourhood of civilization, in the United States of North America, and found them degraded, and not improved by their contact with the white race. The theory usually advanced to account for these differ-


ences of national character is, that they are produced by diversities of soil and climate. But, although these may reasonably be supposed to exert a certain influence, they are altogether inadequate to explain the whole phenomena. "We should ever bear in mind, that Nature is constant in her operations, and that the same causes invariably produce the same effects. Hence, when we find exceptions in results, without being able to assign differences in causes, we may rest assured that we have not found the true or the only cause, and our efforts should be directed to obtaining new light, and not employed in maintaining the sufficiency of that which we possess.

If we survey a map of the world, we shall find nations whose soil is fertile and climate temperate, in a lower degree of improvement than others who are less favoured. In Van Diemen's Land and New South Wales a few natives have existed in the most wretched poverty, ignorance, and degradation, in a country which enriches Europeans as fast as they subject it to cultivation. In America, too, Europeans and native Indians have lived for centuries under the influence of the same physical causes ; the former have kept pace in their advances with their brethren in the Old Continent, while the latter, as we have seen, remain stationary in savage ignorance and indolence.

Such differences are not confined to the great continents alone ; but different tribes in the same hemisphere seem to possess different degrees of native mind, and these remain unchanged through numerous ages. Tacitus describes the Gauls as gay, volatile, and precipitate, prone to rush to action, but without the power of sustaining adversity and the tug of strife ; and this is the character of the Celtic portion of the French nation down to the present day. He represents the Britons as cool, considerate, and sedate, possessed of intellectual talent, and says that he prefers their native aptitude to the livelier manners of the Gauls. The same mental qualities characterize the English of the nineteenth century, and they and the French may still be contrasted in


similar terms. Tacitus describes the Germans, allowing for their state of civilization, as a brave, prudent, self-denying, and virtuous people, possessed of great force of character ; and the same features distinguish them still. The native Irishman, in manners, dispositions, and capacities, is a being widely different from the lowland Scotchman ; and if we trace the two nations to the remotest antiquity, the same characteristic differences are found.

These differences between nations living under similar climates, are commonly attributed to the religious and political institutions of the several countries. Presbytery and parish schools, for example, are supposed to have rendered the Scotchman habitually attentive to his own interest, but cautious, thoughtful, and honest ; while Popery and Catholic priests have made the Irishman free and generous withal, but precipitate and unreflecting,-ready in the gust of passion to sacrifice his friend, and in the glow of friendship to immolate himself. It is forgotten, that there were ages in which Popery and priests had equal ascendency in all the British isles, and that then the Englishman, Irishman, and Scotchman, were as specifically different as at present : Besides, the more correct, as well as the more profound view, is to regard religious and political institutions, when not forced upon a people by external conquest, as the spontaneous growth of their natural propensities, sentiments, and intellectual faculties. Hierarchies and constitutions do not spring from the ground, but from the minds of men : If we suppose one nation to be gifted with much Wonder and Veneration, and little Conscientiousness, Reflection, and Self-Esteem ; and another to possess an endowment exactly the reverse ; it is obvious that the first would be naturally prone to superstition in religion, and servility in the state ; while the second would, by native instinct, resist all attempts to make them reverence things unholy, and tend constantly towards political institutions, fitted to afford to each individual the gratification of his Self-Esteem in independence, and his


Conscientiousness in equality before the law. Those who contend that institutions come first, and that character follows as their effect, are bound to assign a cause for the institutions themselves. If they do not spring from the native mind, and are not forced on the people by conquest, it is difficult to see whence they can originate.

The phrenologist is not satisfied with these common theories of national character ; he has observed that a particular form of brain is the invariable concomitant of particular dispositions and talents, and that this fact holds good in the case of nations as well as of individuals. If this view be correct, a knowledge of the size of the brain and of its different parts, in the varieties of the human race, will be the key to a correct appreciation of the differences in the natural mental endowments, on which external circumstances act only as modifying influences. Dr Gall1 has treated briefly of this subject. After noticing the effects of climate on the human faculties, he adds the following caution : " It is generally believed that it is sufficient to have a few national crania before one's eyes to be in a condition to draw inductions from them. This would be the case, certainly, if the moral and intellectual character of all the individuals composing a nation were the same ; but, according to the observations of Dr Spurzheim and myself, great differences exist between individuals belonging even to nations having a very determinate character. Dr Spurzheim saw in London twelve Chinese, and he found them to differ as much from each other as Europeans. Resemblance between the individuals held good only in the countenance, and particularly in the position of the eyes. M. Diard gave me two crania found at Coulpi, on the banks of the Ganges. If I except the organs of Philoprogenitiveness and Acquisitiveness, which are very large, all the others presented striking differences. We see the same differences among Negroes, although they always resemble each other in the mouth and nose, especially when they are natives of

1 Sur les Fonctions du Cerveau, tome v. p. 412.


the same country. Dr Spurzheim saw in London, in the establishment for mutual instruction, three Negroes, one of whom was a young man of eighteen years of age, endowed with extraordinary talents and an agreeable countenance. I have seen several Negroes, of both sexes, whose features were altogether agreeable. I observe the same forms among individuals of different nations ; so much so that it would be impossible to distinguish by these alone, whether an individual was a Frenchman, German, Italian, Spaniard, or an Englishman. It is for this reason that we find individuals


in all nations who have the same moral and intellectual character. Those, therefore, judge precipitately, who believe that they are able to decipher the general character of a nation from a small number of skulls. In order to discover this general character, it is necessary to study a great number of individuals,-entire regiments,-the whole nation so far as possible. With such facilities, it will be easy for the organologist to discover in the structure of the head, the material cause of the peculiar character of the people.''

The Phrenological Society of Edinburgh possesses a large collection of national crania, and while I readily admit the importance of Dr Gall's caution, it is proper to remark that, if one may judge from this collection, he overstates the extent of the differences between individual skulls belonging to the same people. The variety of tribes of mankind is very great, and the political do not always coincide with the natural divisions of the races. A collection of Russian crania, for instance, might contain almost every variety of the human species, except Negroes ; they would all be Russians politically ; but in their natural characteristics they would belong to the Celtic, Teutonic, Mongolian, and Circassian races, and their varieties. Distinct and well-marked tribes alone should be considered as nations when we are considering the peculiarities of national skulls ; but if this be done, it appears to me that the study is possible, because a general type pervades the great majority of each tribe. It is true that several


individual skulls closely resembling each, other, may be selected from a great number belonging to different nations ;- but this is an exception to the general rule. A common form in the entire skull, and a common proportion in the different organs, pervades the forty or fifty Hindoo skulls in the Society's Museum, acquired at different times and from different parts of Hindustan ; to which the head of Rammohun Roy is the sole marked exception. The head of this celebrated man, both in size and combination, resembles the skulls of the mixed race of Celts and Germans in Europe ; but he was a phenomenon in his own country. There are varieties of development among the other Hindoo skulls, corresponding to the differences in individual character ; but these sink into insignificance when the Hindoo skull, in its general form, is compared with the Negro or Charib in their general types. The same remarks apply to the Esquimaux, the Swiss, the Peruvian, and other national skulls in the Society's possession ; a peculiar character pervades the skulls of each nation which strikingly distinguishes them from others. It is not extraordinary that this should be the case, considering that the nation consists of individuals, whose general characteristics are closely analogous.

I proceed, therefore, to offer a few remarks on several of the national crania in the Phrenological Society's collection, more to stimulate others to enter into this field of investigation, than to state well ascertained results, and, moreover, I request the reader, in considering the following remarks, always to give due weight to Dr Gall's caution.

In the Phrenological Transactions, an account is given of the Phrenology of Hindostan, by Dr G. M. Paterson. The HINDOOS are remarkable for want of force of character, so much so, that a handful of Europeans overcomes in combat, and holds in permanent subjection thousands, nay millions, of that people. Power of mental manifestation bears a proportion to the size of the cerebral organs, and the Hindoo head is small, and the European large, in relation to each


other in conformity with the different mental characters.1 Farther, the Hindoo is distinguished by a great respect for animal life, and absence of cruelty in his dispositions ; while, at the same time, he is destitute of fire, and of that vigour of mind which overcomes obstacles, and gives force to command. The European is very different ; he lives to a great extent upon animal food, is fierce in his anger, and is characterized by great combative and destructive energy. The Hindoo skull indicates a deficiency in the organs of Combativeness and Destructiveness ; while, in the European, these parts are more amply developed. The Hindoo is cunning, timid, and proud ; and in him Secretiveness, Cautiousness, and Self-Esteem, are large in proportion to the organs last mentioned. In intellect, the Hindoo is more prone to analogical than direct reasoning, is fond of metaphors and comparisons and little given to discriminating differences ; and the organ of Comparison is larger in his head than those of Causality. Dr Paterson states, that these facts are drawn from upwards of three thousand observations ; and they are illustrated by a collection of Hindoo skulls presented by him to the Phrenological Society. These skulls,2 twelve in number, and a large addition of skulls of the same nation, acquired by the Society from other quarters, have long been exhibited to public inspection. Mr Montgomery hag called in question the justness of the character assigned to the Hindoos, but his objections have been ably answered by Dr Corden Thompson in the Phren. Journ. vol. vi. p. 244. I still regard the statements made by Dr Paterson to be correct.

1 At the end of this section a table of measurements is given of several of the skulls mentioned in it.

2 I strongly recommend to the reader to inspect the casts of national skulls here referred to. The study of them will make a deeper impression than any description.

VOL. H. v


The Society's collection contains other specimens of national development of brain equally interesting. The CARIB skulls present a striking appearance. They are much larger than the Hindoo carib. heads, and. in conformity with the principle, that size indicates power, this tribe is the most remarkable, among all the native Americans, for force of character. The Europeans have in vain attempted to subdue them ; they have hunted them down like wild beasts, and nearly extirpated them, but failed in every attempt to enslave them in a mass, as the Portuguese and Spaniards did the natives of Mexico and Brazil. Far ther, the Carib brain is prodigiously developed in the regions of Combativeness and Destructiveness, in which the Hindoo head is deficient ; and the former race is as ferocious as the latter is mild and inoffensive. In the reflecting organs, the Carib is extremely deficient ; and he is described as rushing with unbridled eagerness on present gratification, blind to every consequence, and incapable of tracing the shortest links in the chain of causation. The organs of the animal propensities greatly preponderate over those of the intellectual faculties : If the region above the organs of Cautiousness and Causality be measured, the height will be found to be small, compared with that in Europeans,-an indication that the organs of the moral sentiments also are deficient in size. The Society possesses casts of five skulls of Caribs, all of which, with individual differences, present a general type characteristic of the whole. In St Thomas's Hospital, London, I have seen the original of one of these casts :-the whole were procured by Dr Spurzheim from authentic skulls, and their genuineness may be relied on. In the Anatomical Museum of the Andersonian University in Glasgow, I have seen another Carib skull, corresponding exactly with those now mentioned.


Mr Sedgwick, Secretary to the Phrenological Society of London, communicated an interesting Essay to the Phrenological Journal (vol. vi. p. 377.) on " the artificial compression of the infant head, by barbarous nations," in which he clearly establishes that the Carib and other Indian tribes flatten the forehead of their children by compression, some of them by means of a small bag of sand, others by confinement of the infant head between two small pieces of wood, one placed before, and the other behind, both being firmly bound together ; and others, on the north-west coast, by a board in the cradle brought over the forehead, and tied firmly down upon the head of the infant. The child is seldom taken from the cradle, and the compression is continued till it is able to walk. The point is still unascertained whether, in these cases, the organs affected by compression are merely displaced, or are impeded in their growth. The coincidence between the deficient development, and deficient manifestations, seems to indicate the latter to be the case.

The NEW HOLLAND skull indicates a great deficiency in the regions of the moral and intellectual organs. The organs of Number, Constructiveness, Reflection, and Ideality, are particularly small, while those of the animal propensities are fully developed. The Society possesses casts of two skulls of natives of New Holland, and Sir George S. 'Mackenzie has presented to it the actual skulls of a chief and a female of that country ; the whole of which correspond, in a striking manner, in their general features.

If these skulls were put into the hands of a phrenologist to state the dispositions which they indicate, he would say that there should be considerable energy and courage, but extreme selfishness, fierceness, and stubbornness, combined with intellectual incapacity. Every organ necessary for the constructive arts is defective, while Ideality is so small, that


sentiments of refinement or elegance will scarcely be at all experienced. The most unaccustomed eye will perceive how far this skull and that of the Carib fall short of the European in the organs of Reflection, Ideality, and Constructiveness.

The following account of the actual condition of the natives of New Holland, is given in Smellie's Philosophy of Natural History :-" It would appear that they pull out the two fore-teeth of the upper jaw ; for in neither sex, nor at any particular period of life, are these teeth to be seen.1 They are beardless : their visage is long, without exhibiting a single agreeable feature ; their hair is black, short, and crisped ; and their skin is equally black as that of the Guinea Negroes. Their only clothing consists of a piece of the bark of a tree tied round their waist, with a handful of long herbs placed in the middle. They erect no houses ; and, without any covering, they sleep on the ground. Men, women, and children, associate promiscuously to the number of 20 or 30. A small fish which they catch in reservoirs made with stones in arms of the sea, constitutes their chief nourishment ; and with bread, and every species of grain, they are totally unacquainted." 2 I select this description on account of its brevity.-Smellie refers to Dampier as his authority.

Captain Cook was the first who explored the eastern coast of New Holland, of the natives of which he gives the following account : " They appeared to have no fixed habitations ; for we saw nothing like a town or a village in the whole country. Their houses, if houses they may be called, seem to be formed with less art and industry than any we had seen, except the wretched hovels at Terra del Fuego, and in some respects they are inferior even to them. At Botany Bay, where they were best, they were just high enough for a man to sit upright in, but not large enough for him to extend himself in his whole length in any direction : they are

1 These teeth are wanting in the chiefs skull presented by Sir George S. Mackenzie to the Society. * Vol. ii. p. 84.


built with pliable rods, about as thick as a man's finger, in the form of an oven, by sticking the two ends into the ground, and then covering them with palm-leaves and broad pieces of bark : the door is nothing but a large hole at one end, opposite to which the fire is made. Under these houses or sheds they sleep, coiled up with their heels to their head ; and in this position one of them will hold three or four persons."- " The only furniture belonging to these houses that fell under our observation, is a kind of oblong vessel made of bark/' which was supposed to be used as a bucket for carrying water. Captain Cook adds, that '' both sexes go stark naked ;" and that he saw neither nets nor vessels in which water might be boiled. " The canoes of New Holland," he continues, " are as mean and rude as the houses,'' being, on the southern parts of the coast, " nothing more than a piece of bark, about twelve feet long, tied together at the ends, and kept open in the middle by small bows of wood ;" and in the northern parts, merely the hollow trunk of a tree. These were the inhabitants of a different part of New Holland from that visited by Dampier. Their want of curiosity also was very remarkable, and forms a good contrast with the wonder with which some American tribes regarded the Spaniards and their ships on their first appearance in the new world. Captain Cook relates, that of about twenty natives who were seen on the shore, not far from Botany Bay, " not one was observed to stop and look towards us, but they trudged along, to all appearance without the least emotion of curiosity or surprise, though it is impossible they should not have seen the ship by a casual glance, as they walked along the shore ; and though she must, with respect to every other object they had yet seen, have been little less stupendous and unaccountable than a floating mountain, with all its woods, would have been to us."1

These observations are confirmed by the Rev. Dr Lang in the following terms :2 " Throughout the whole period of his

1 See Cook's First Voyage, b. ii. ch. ii. and vi.

E An Historical and Statistical Account of New South Wales, both as


government," says Dr Lang, " Captain Philip endeavoured, with a zeal and perseverance which evinced the correctness of his judgment and the benevolence of his disposition, to conciliate the aborigines of the territory. But all the efforts of the Governor, as well as of other humane individuals in the colony, to effect the permanent civilization of that miserable people, proved utterly abortive. There was no difficulty in inducing individuals of their number, particularly the young, to reside for a time in European families, and to acquire the habits and learn the arts of civilization ; but sooner or later they uniformly rejoined the other children of the forest, and resumed the habits of savage life. Bennelong, an intelligent native of some consequence in his tribe, had been domesticated in the Governor's family, and could acquit himself at table with the utmost propriety. On returning to England, Captain Philip carried him along with him, and introduced him as an interesting specimen of the aborigines of the colony, in many of the highest circles in the mother country. On returning, however, to his native land, Bennelong speedily divested himself of his European attire, and rejoined his tribe as a naked savage, apparently unimproved in the least degree by his converse with civilized man.

" In the year 1788, the number of the aborigines inhabiting the shores of Port Jackson was very considerable. A disease, however, somewhat resembling the small-pox, which appears to have prevailed among them to a great extent, shortly after the establishment of the colony, thinned their ranks very sensibly, and left only a comparatively small number to inherit the invaded patrimony of their forefathers. Numerous dead bodies were, from time to time, found by the colonists in all directions in the vicinity of the harbour, in the very attitude in which the wretched individuals had died, when abandoned by their tribe from fear of the pestilence.

a penal settlement and as a British Colony. By John Dunmore Lang, D.D. Senior Minister of the Scots Church, and Principal of the Australian College, Sidney, New South Wales. London : Cochrane and Mac-Crone. 1834. Vol. i. p. 36-39.


Besides, the natives could not be supposed so utterly devoid of understanding as not to perceive that the occupation of their country by white men was likely to diminish their means of subsistence. ' White fellow come,' said an intelligent black native of a tribe residing beyond the Blue Mountains a few years ago,-' White fellow come, kangaroo all gone !' This impression, heightened to madness, as it must often have been, by the positive aggressions of the convicts, led not unfrequently, in the earlier years of the colony, to the desultory and abortive, but murderous, efforts of savage warfare.. .. But the vicious example of the convict population of the colony has already done much more to extinguish the miserable remnant of this degraded race, in all the more populous districts of the territory, than could have been effected, in a much longer series of years, by the united agency of war and famine and pestilential disease.

" It seems, indeed, to be a general appointment of Divine Providence, that the Indian wigwam of North America, and the miserable bark-hut of the aborigines of New Holland, should be utterly swept away by the flood-tide of European colonization ; or, in other words, that races of uncivilized men should gradually disappear before the progress of civilization, in those countries that have been taken possession of by Europeans. Humanity may interpose for .a season, for the preservation of savage man, and the .Christian missionary may endeavour, successfully perhaps in some instances, to raise him from the darkness and the slavery of heathenism to the light and liberty of the gospel ; but European vice and demoralization will, even in free colonies, ere long infallibly produce a rich harvest of misery and death among the choicest flowers of the forest ; and the miserable remnant of a once hopeful race will at length gradually disappear from the land of their forefathers, like the snow from the summits of the mountains on the approach of spring."

In Malthus's Essay on Population,1 will be found a character of the New Hollanders, founded on Cook's narrative

1 Book i. chap. 3.


and on Collin's " Account of New South Wales," coinciding in all important particulars with the foregoing.

The NEW ZEALANDER, rises above the New Hollander. The size of the brain is pretty nearly the same as that of the European, but the great predominance of size is in the region of the ^propensities. The anterior lobe is larger than in the New Hollander, but less than in the European, while the coronal region above Cautiousness is broad, but extremely shallow. The character which this head indicates is one moderately intellectual, of considerable energy, cruel, cunning, cautious, vain, and decidedly deficient in Benevolence, Veneration, and Conscientiousness. Mr Earle describes them as active, shrewd, and intelligent. They toil by hundreds in their forests, hewing wood for the European dock-yards established on their coast. They cultivate potatoes and Indian corn, imitate the houses built by the English, decorate the interior of them with paintings and carvings, not inferior to what is found among some of the elder labours of the Egyptians. The chiefs do not consider labour disgraceful. They are exceedingly handsome. They murdered their female infants in great numbers, until they discovered that Europeans prized their young women. They roast and eat not only their enemies, but occasionally one of themselves. Mr Earle saw a female slave killed for running away, roasted, and eaten. See " Nine months' residence in New Zealand in 1827," pp. 10, 243.

The skull of a NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN is high from the ear upward, and short from the front to the back. The forehead is not largely developed, while Firmness, Secretiveness, and Cautiousness, are very prominently enlarged ; as is also Destructiveness.


Adhesiveness and Concentrativeness, especially the latter, are small. When the previous editions of this work were published, the Society possessed only two casts of skulls of this race, the general form and appearance of which were similar, but since that time I have visited the United States of North America, and not only examined the extensive collection of crania of North American Indians belonging to Dr Morton, many of which are admirably .represented in his work on the Crania Americana, but I have dug up skulls from a place of sepulture used by the Indians prior to the arrival of the Europeans in America, and 1 have also seen numerous living individuals of the race ; I have also seen Mr Catlin's interesting collection of Indian relicts, and conversed with him on the qualities of the people ; I am indebted to him also for several specimens of Indian crania. From all the information thus gained, I consider myself warranted in saying that a general character pervades the North American Indian crania corresponding with the following description of their dispositions :

" To flee from an adversary that is on his guard, and to avoid a contest where he cannot contend without risk to his own person, and consequently to his community, is the point of honour with the American. The odds of ten to one are necessary to warrant an attack on a person who is armed and prepared to resist, and even then, each is afraid of being the first to advance. The great object of the most renowned warrior is, by every art of cunning and deceit, by every mode of stratagem and surprise that his invention can suggest, to weaken and destroy the tribes of his enemies with the least possible loss to his own. To meet an enemy on equal terms is regarded as extreme folly. To fall in battle, instead of being reckoned an honourable death, is a misfortune which subjects the memory of the warrior to the imputation of rashness and imprudence. But to lie in wait day after day, till he can rush upon his prey, when most secure, and least able to resist him ; to steal in the dead of night upon his enemies, set fire to their huts, and massacre the inhabitants,


as they flee naked and defenceless from 'the flames, are deeds of glory, which will be of deathless memory in the breasts of his grateful countrymen."1

To this description it may be added, that these savages possess insuperable determination : when the fate of war has placed one of them in the power of his enemies, he knows that the most dreadful tortures await him ; but the point of honour then is to set the malignity of his tormentors at defiance, and to surpass in his powers of endurance the utmost limits of their barbarous inflictions of pain. The American savage, besides, as already noticed, has rarely been found a member of settled society, but has continued a wanderer since the sun first rose upon him in his deserts till the present day. Even contact with Europeans, surrounded by arts and enlightened by intelligence, has scarcely communicated one trace of improvement to this miserable race. When Europe has been conquered, the victorious and the vanquished have in a few ages amalgamated together, been blended into one, and have at last formed a single and united people. The native Americans have, on the contrary, almost uniformly receded before the Europeans.

A similar description of the American Indians, is given by Timothy Flint, in his " Recollections of Ten years' Residences and Journeyings in the Valley of the Mississippi.'' " I have conversed," says he, " with many travellers that have been over the Stony Mountains, into the great missionary settlements of St Peter and St Paul. These travellers, and some of them were professed Catholics, unite in affirming, that the converts will escape from the mission whenever it is in their power, fly into their native deserts, and resume at once their old modes of life. The vast empire of the Jesuits in Paraguay has all passed away, and we are told the descendants of their convert Indians are noway distinguished from the other savages. It strikes me that Christianity is the religion of civilized man ; that the savage must first be civilized, and that as there is little hope that the present generation 1 Malthus on Pop. B. i. ch. iv.


of Indians can be civilized, there is but little more that they will be Christianized," p. 145. These testimonies are all confirmed, and the development of brain is described from actual observations, by Dr Caldwell, in the following terms:1 -"The aborigines of North America are to be regarded, I think, as a variety of the Mongolian race. Certainly they are not of the Caucasian. In the course of my tour I had an opportunity of examining and measuring the heads of six nations or tribes of that unfortunate family of men.

" In the city of Washington were deputations of chiefs from the Cherokee, the Creek, and the Seminole nations; and in the state of New York, I visited the dwellings of the Onei-das, the Tuscaroras, and the Senekas.

" Without going into details, I can state only the result of my observations and admeasurements, which were often repeated in presence of intelligent and competent witnesses.

" The average size of the head of the Indian is less than that of the head of the white man, by the proportion of from an eighth to a tenth, certainly from a tenth to a twelfth part of its entire bulk. The chief deficiency in the Indian head lies in the superior and lateral parts of the forehead, where are situated the organs of Comparison, Causality, Wit, Ideality, and Benevolence. The defect in Causality, Wit, and Ideality, is most striking. In the organs of Combativeness, Destructiveness, Secretiveness, Caution, and Firmness, the functions of which constitute the dominant elements of the Indian character, the development is bold. The proportion of brain behind the ear is considerably larger in the Indian than in the white man. The organ of Adhesiveness in the former is small.

" This analysis, brief and imperfect as it is, unfolds to us much of the philosophy of the Indian character, and enables us, in a particular manner, to understand the cause of the peculiar inaptitude of that race of men for civil life. For, when the wolf, the buffalo, and the panther, shall have been completely domesticated, like the dog, the cow, and the house-

1 Phren. Journ., vol. iv. p. 101.


hold cat, then, and not before, may we expect to see the full-blooded Indian civilized like the white man.

" Of the mixt breed, which is very numerous, the cerebral development and the general character approach those of the white man in proportion to the degree of white blood which individuals possess ;-On account of the marked superiority of his intellect, a half-bred seldom fails to become a chief.

" A chief of the Creek nation, who, on account of his preeminence in eloquence, held the appointment of orator of the delegation, surpassed in a high degree all the others in the development of the organs of Ideality and Comparison. His addresses were replete with metaphor and, for an uneducated speaker, marked with taste.

" Of the full-blooded Indians generally, permit me to remark, that such is their entire unfitness for civilization, that every successive effort to mould them to that condition of life, more and more deteriorates their character. Of the mixt-bloods this is not true. Hence the only efficient scheme to civilize the Indians, is to cross the breed. Attempt any other, and you will extinguish the race. To the truth of this the experience of every day bears ample testimony. The real aboriginal Indian is retreating before civilization, and disappearing with the buffalo and the elk, the panther and the grisly bear. Let the benevolent and enthusiastic missionary say what he may, the forest is the natural home of the Indian. Remove him from it, and, like the imprisoned elephant, he loses the strength and loftiness of his character. He becomes a hot-house plant, and dwindles in all his native efficiencies. This problem (for so by many it is considered) is solved only, but can be solved easily., by the lights of Phrenology. On this position it is my purpose to dwell more fully hereafter.

" The wisdom of Providence is manifested in the innumerable aptitudes of things that everywhere present themselves, and in none more clearly than in those which concern the human family. The vast American wilderness, the haunt of the deer and the elk, the bear and the buffalo, required a


race of savages to people it. But converted, as it already is, in part, and rapidly as that conversion is daily extending into cultivated fields and populous towns and cities, the abode of civilization, commerce, and the arts, the mere man of the forest is no longer wanted, and he is, therefore, passing away. He has flourished--he was needed ; but he is needed no longer, and he therefore decays/'1

The head of the BRAZIL INDIAN bears some resemblance to the former. The deficiency in Size is the same, indicating natural inferiority of mind, and the combination of organs is similar, only Firmness is not so great, and Concentrativeness and Philoprogenitiveness are moderate. The dimensions are annexed in the Table. It is known that the Jesuits attempted to civilize a number of these tribes, and that, by humane and intelligent treatment, they acquired a great moral ascendency over them, induced them to settle, and established something like order and the arts of social life among them. If their brains had

1 Dr Morton, in his valuable work before mentioned, on " Crania Americana," gives the results of measurements of the internal capacity of the skull, for the five principal races of mankind in cubic inches as follows :-

Mean Largest Smallest
Number. internal in the in the
of Skulls Capacity. Series. Series.
Caucasian, 52 87 109 75
Mongolian, .10 83 93 69
Malay, 18 81 89 64
American, . . 147 80 100 60
Ethiopian, . 29 78 94 65
Dr Morton presents other and more minute measurements, both anatomical and phrenological, of the size of the different regions of the skull
in the American Indians, and adds, " I am free to acknowledge, that there
is a singular harmony between the mental character of the Indian and
his cranial developments, as explained by Phrenology." * * *

Of all the tribes, the Creek Indians have made the greatest advances in civilization, and the drawings of their skulls, presented in Dr Morion's work, shew a superiority in the development of the moral and intellectual organs in them when compared with the other Indians.


possessed the European development, the seeds of improvement, sown and fostered for years by a protecting hand, would have sprung up, flourished vigorously, and produced an abundant harvest of permanent civilization ; but the picture is precisely the reverse.-' ' It must be admitted' ' (says the reviewer of Roster's Travels in Brazil) " that Mr Koster's representation of the Indians is by no means favourable ; and the opinions which he expresses are of the more weight, because, as his feelings and principles are of the best kind, they lead him always to judge charitably, and to look forward with hope. Infinitely ameliorated as the condition of the Indians has been, theirs is still no very desirable state of existence ;- they are always regarded as children, and not always treated as they were by the Jesuits, with paternal kindness. But when they escape they shew little capability of acting for themselves, and an evident tendency (as if instinctive) to return to a wandering and savage life ;-it does not arise from any feeling connected with the love of their ancestors, or a tradition of their free state ; they do not appear to know that their ancestors had been slaves, much less would any knowledge be preserved of their anterior state. The Indian who has escaped from control scarcely ever plants for himself,- if he does, he sells the growing crop for half its value, and removes to some other district ; fishing and hunting are his favourite pursuits, and he is never stationary for any length of time, unless it be near a lake or a rivulet." The strangest and worst part of their character is their want of natural affection,-an old charge against them, which Mr Koster's unexceptionable testimony confirms. " They appear," he says, " to be less anxious for the life and welfare of their children, than any other race of men who inhabit that country."

These observations present the most fertile field of speculation to the phrenologists. The cast of the Brazil Indian shews a deficiency in size compared with the European ; and hence it corresponds with the fact, that these Indians are regarded and treated as children, that they are destitute of foresight, and of that degree of steadiness of purpose which


pursues a remote advantage through numerous intervening obstacles. Their brains are inferior in size even to those of the North American Indian, and their degradation has been more abject. They have worn the chains of slavery, and lived ; while the proud, fierce, and resolute North American has yielded up his soil and his life, but never his personal freedom, to his European conqueror.

The Brazil Indians, however, have derived some improvement from education, although it has not supplied the defect of native energy. "If education has hitherto done little in implanting good qualities, it has done much in eradicating evil ones. They were among the fiercest and most revengeful of the human race ; they are now quiet and inoffensive, rarely committing murder (in a country where murder is accounted venial, and generally obtains impunity, if not applause) ; and even those who are dishonest confine themselves to pilfering."

Mr Koster draws the following comparison between the Negro and the Brazil Indian:-"The Negro character," says he. "is more decided ; it is worse, but it is also better."- " The Indian seems to be without energy or exertion, equally incapable of great evil or of great good. Rich mulattoes and negroes are not uncommon ; there is no instance of a wealthy Indian, nor did he ever see an Indian mechanic. The priesthood is open to them, but to little purpose. Mr Koster heard of only two Indians who were ordained as priests, and both died of excessive drinking."

It would be interesting to know whether the native Mexican brain is better developed, for a rude form of society existed in Mexico before the European conquest.

The skull of the NEGRO evidently rises in the scale of development of the moral and intellectual organs : the forehead is higher, and the organs of the sentiments bear a larger proportion to those of the propensities, than in






the New Hollander.1 The organs of Philoprogenitiveness and Concentrativeness are largely developed ; the former of which produces the love of children, and the latter that concentration of mind which is favourable to settled and sedentary employments. The organs of Veneration, Wonder, and Hope, also, are considerable in size. The greatest deficiencies lie in Conscientiousness, Cautiousness, Ideality, and Reflection. The dimensions of this skull are given in the table.

Timothy Flint says, " The Negro, easily excitable, in the highest degree susceptible of all the passions, is more especially so of the mild and gentle affections. To the Indian, stern, silent, moody, ruminating, existence seems a burden. To the Negro, remove only pain and hunger, it is naturally a state of enjoyment. As soon as his toils are for a moment suspended, he sings, he seizes his fiddle, he dances."

The different tribes which inhabit Africa present very different appearances in point of civilization ; but none of them have made so great a progress as the European nations. I have been informed by persons who have been long resi-

1 In the Philosophical Transactions for 1836, part ii., Professor Tiedemann of Heidelberg has attempted to prove, by measurements, that the Negro brain is equal in size, and similar in structure, to that of the European. Dr A. Combe has shewn that Tiedemann's facts, even as reported by himself, lead to an opposite conclusion in regard to the relative sizes of the brain in the two races.

The results of Teidemann's own measurements are the following :-

      Inches. Lines.
Average length of brain in 4 Negroes,.. 5 11
... ... ... 7 European males, 6 2 1/7
... ... ... 6 ... females, 5 10 1/2

Average greatest breadth in

4 Negroes,.. 4 8 1/6
... ... ... 7 European males, 5 1 1/7
... ... ... 3 ... females, 5 4 1/3
Average height of brain in 3 Negroes, .. 2 11 1/3
... ... ... 7 European males, 3 4
... ... ... 4 ... females, 2 9 1/2

Dr A. Combe's " Remarks on the Fallacy" of Tiedemann's comparison are published in The Phrenological Journal, vol. xi. p. 13 ; and they are reprinted in my translation of" Gall on the Cerebellum."



dent in the West India Islands, that great differences are observed in the natural talents of the Negroes, according to the provinces from which they have been brought. Some parts of Africa yield persons capable of becoming excellent operative mechanics ; others, clerks and accountants ; and some mere labourers, incapable of any intellectual attainment. It would be interesting to learn in what respect they differ in the forms of their heads.

Some African tribes surpass others also in energy of character as well as in mechanical skill. " The Caffres are entirely black, but bear no trace of the Negro features. In the form of their skull and face they differ little from the most perfect Europeans." This race is ingenious in several arts ; but, on account of their constant wars, agriculture is in a depressed state. Although their coast is covered with, excellent fish, they do not catch them, and indeed have no boats or canoes. Marriage is invariably conducted by sale. The Boshuans are represented as " gay, gentle, and peaceable" in their manners ; yet they carry on war as fiercely as all other barbarians.-Mr Campbell having in the course of religious instruction, asked one of them, ' for what end man was made,' the answer was, ' for plundering expeditions.' "* Mr Bowditch gives an account of the Ashantees, by which it appears that they display great activity and considerable ingenuity of mind ; but that they are debased by the most ferocious dispositions and the grossest superstition. The descriptions given by a variety of travellers of Timbuctoo, and of the commerce carried on upon the Niger by the natives of Africa, if they can be at all depended upon, also indicate considerable scope of mind, and some capacity for the social state, and place the Africans decidedly above the native Americans ; all these facts coincide with the expectations which a phrenologist would form, on examining the different skulls of these different races.

1 Leyden and Murray's Historical Account of Discoveries and Travels in Africa, vol. ii. pp. 332, 350.

VOL. II. 7


One feature is very general in descriptions of the African tribes ; they are extremely superstitious. They purchase fetiches, or charms, at a high price, and believe them to be sure preservatives against all the evils of life. This character corresponds with the development which we observe in the Negro skulls ; for they exhibit much Hope, Veneration, and "Wonder, with comparatively little reflecting power. Their defective Causality incapacitates them for tracing deeply the relation of cause and effect, while their great Veneration, Hope, and Wonder, render them prone to credulity, and to regard with profound admiration and respect any object which is represented as possessing supernatural power.

I have studied the crania and living heads of North American Indians and of Negroes in various parts of the United States, and, after considering their history, I submit the following remarks. The North American Indians have given battle to the Whites, and perished before them, but have never been reduced either to national or to personal servitude. The development of their brains shews large organs of Destructiveness, Secretiveness, Cautiousness, Self-Esteem, and Firmness, with deficient organs of Benevolence, Conscientiousness, and Reflection- This indicates a natural character that is proud, cautious, cunning, cruel, obstinate, vindictive, and little capable of reflection or combination. The brain of the Negro, in general (for there are great varieties among the African race, and individual exceptions are pretty numerous), shews proportionately less Destructiveness, Cautiousness, Self-Esteem, and Firmness, and greater Benevolence, Conscientiousness, and Reflection, than the brain of the native American. In short, in the Negro brain the moral and reflecting organs are of larger size, in proportion to the organs of the animal propensities now enumerated, than in that of the Indian. The Negro is, therefore, naturally more submissive, docile, intelligent, patient, trust-


worthy, and susceptible of kindly emotions, and less cruel, cunning, and vindictive, than the other race.

These differences in their natural dispositions throw some light on the differences of their fates. The North American Indian has escaped the degradation of slavery, because he is a wild, vindictive, cunning, untameable savage, too dangerous to be trusted by the white men in social intercourse with themselves, and, moreover, too obtuse and intractable to be worth coercing into servitude. The African has been deprived of freedom and rendered " property," because he is by nature a tame man, submissive, affectionate, intelligent, and docile. He is so little cruel, cunning, fierce, and vindictive, that the white men can oppress him far beyond the limits of Indian endurance, and still trust their lives and property within his reach : while he is so intelligent, that his labour is worth acquiring. The native American is free, because he is too dangerous and too worthless a being to be valuable as a slave : the Negro is in bondage, because his native dispositions are essentially amiable. The one is like the wolf or the fox, the other like the dog. In both, the brain is inferior in size, particularly in the moral and intellectual regions, to that of the Anglo-Saxon race, and hence the foundation of the natural superiority of the latter over both ; but my conviction is, that the very qualities which render the Negro in slavery a safe companion to the White, will make him harmless when free. If he were by nature proud, irascible, cunning, and vindictive, he would not be a slave ; and as he is not so, freedom will not generate these qualities in his mind ; the fears, therefore, generally entertained of his commencing, if emancipated, a war of extermination, or for supremacy over the Whites, appear to me to be unfounded ; unless after his emancipation, the Whites should commence a war of extermination against him. The results of emancipation in the British. West India Islands have hitherto borne out these views, and I anticipate that the future will still farther confirm them.


The heads of the SANDWICH ISLANDERS are under rather than equal to the average size of the European ; and the race certainly does not indicate so high a natural character as the European, although closely approaching to it. The Phrenological Society possesses five skulls of the Sandwich Islanders. They are characterized by the long form of the Caucasian variety. The coronal region is broad and tolerably well developed, but not equal in height above Cautiousness and Causality to the European. The anterior lobe, manifesting the intellect, is pretty well developed, and larger than that of the Negro-American Indians, and New Hollanders. All of them have a considerable portion of Eventuality, a faculty which Dr Gall long ago denominated Educability, and which must greatly expedite civilization. Three of the skulls are ancient, and having been obtained from the older Morals or burial-places, probably afford correct specimens of the heads of the aboriginal inhabitants, before the islands were discovered by Captain Cook. This navigator found this race very superior to most of the other savage tribes which he visited :-Their advance towards civilization is evinced by their respectful reception of the bodies of their king and queen, who had died in London,-by the appearance of their chiefs in English mourning,-by their procession to the church, and the high improvement conspicuous in the whole community,- circumstances which have been noticed in detail in a narrative of the voyage of the Blonde Frigate to the Sandwich Islands, published in the year 1826. *

The brains of the EUROPEAN NATIONS differ con-

1 A more particular account of the Sandwich Islanders will be found in the Phrenological Journal, vol. iii. p. 421.


siderably from each other, but a common type characterizes them all, and distinguishes them from those now described. They are larger than the Hindoo, American Indian, and Negro. This indicates superior force of mental character. The anterior lobe, and the coronal region, are more amply developed in proportion to the base and posterior inferior parts of the brain, in them than in the latter. They indicate a higher natural power of reflection, and a greater natural tendency to justice, benevolence, veneration, and refinement, than the others. The organs in which the European brain in an especial degree excels, are Ideality, Conscientiousness, Causality, and Wit. The organs of these faculties are almost invariably small in barbarous and savage tribes. The European skull belongs to the Caucasian variety of Blumenbach, which he considers as the most beautiful and perfect of all the national crania in the world ; and in this point he and the phrenologists agree. The cut represents a Swiss skull, which is very favourably developed in the region of the moral sentiments. If the space above the asterisks, Cautiousness and Causality, be compared with the same region in the New Zealander or New Hollander, a very marked inferiority in the latter will be observed.

The ANCIENT EGYPTIANS appear, from the stupendous monuments of arts and science left behind them, to have been a highly intelligent and civilized people : and it is a striking fact, that the skulls of ancient mummies almost invariably belong to the same class with those of modern Europeans. In the Society's collection, there are two skulls of mummies, five casts of the skulls of mummies, and I have seen or obtained accurate descriptions of the skulls of half a dozen more :- full size, full development of the anterior lobe, and broad coronal region, characterize them all. The coronal region, however, is not high, and this is the point


in which their inferiority to modern European skulls chiefly consists.

The Society possesses also several skulls of ANCIENT GREEKS. They are large, and exhibit a favourable development of the coronal region and intellect, combined with large organs of the propensities. In particular, the organs of Constructiveness and Ideality are ancient greek. large, and, in this respect, they form as striking a contrast to the skulls of the New Hollanders, as the hovels of the latter do to the temples and works of art of the Greeks.

These facts appear to indicate, that when nations are independent, and left at liberty to follow the bent of their own judgments and dispositions, their institutions spring from the peculiar mental constitutions which they have respectively received from nature, and that this constitution is in accordance with the development of their brains. Climate and other external causes modify to some extent the effects of natural endowment, but the distinguishing features of each people seem to bear a more direct and uniform relation to the size and form of their brain, than to those adventitious circumstances. When a people is subjugated by a foreign power, as the Greeks by the Turks, and the Italians by the Austrian", the national character has no adequate opportunity of unfolding its peculiarities ; and hence, if this circumstance be overlooked, the same race may seem to present different characteristics at different periods of their history. The modern Greeks, it was lately said, no more resemble their ancestors, than the Hindoos the Europeans : and this was urged as an insuperable objection against Phrenology. Now, however, when the Turkish yoke is broken so as to allow the native qualities to shoot, we see the same force of character, the same deliberate and determined heroism, the same capacity for stratagem in war, all the fickleness and proneness to dissension, and the same ascendancy of passion


which distinguished the Greeks in the days of Pericles, reappearing in their descendants. Many millions of Hindoos, Africans, and American Indians, have been for ages independent of a foreign yoke, and never displayed qualities such as those exhibited by independent Europeans.

Dr Vimont, in his Traité de Phrenologie1, has published a valuable chapter, in which he describes, among others, the characteristic features of the German, French, and English heads and nations with great accuracy. He pronounces an eloquent eulogium on the Scotch character,2 which derives a greater value from the unprejudiced and enlightened spirit in which he speaks of his own, the English" and other nations. He regrets that he is not informed concerning the Scotch and Irish developments of brain : In The Phrenological Journal, vol. ii. p. 169, some observations on the Irish head are recorded. We invite him to come to Scotland, and form his own judgment of our national heads. The SCOTCH lowland population, which has done every thing by which Scotland is distinguished, excepting in the department of war, is a mixed race of Celts and Saxons. The long head of the Celts, is combined with the large reflecting and moral organs which characterize the Germans. The following is an average specimen of the Scotch lowland head :-

1 Tome ii. p. 470. 2 Lib, Cit. vol. ii. p. 490.


The SCOTCH lowland head is rather large ; and considerable variety of temperament exists among the people. In the labouring classes, the lymphatic and nervous, with an infusion of the bilious temperament, is very common ; the hair is of a sandy colour, the skin pale, the figure heavy, but the eyes are blue and clear : The individuals are capable of long enduring efforts. The organs of Amativeness are considerable, and Philoprogenitiveness, and Adhesiveness, large : and domestic attachment is a striking characteristic of the race. Combativeness and Destructiveness are generally large, and the people are irascible, fond of war, and addicted to the worst species of mischief, the wanton destruction of objects of utility and ornament. They are also not particularly merciful to the lower animals. The organs of Secretiveness, Cautiousness, and Firmness, are generally large ; and the Scotch are remarkable for prudence, savoir faire, and perseverance. Self-Esteem and Love of Approbation are large, and relatively to each other equally developed ; the consequence of which is, that the Scotch stand in the middle line between the English and the French in regard to these faculties. In the English, Self-Esteem predominates, and their vices are pride and egotism : In the French, the Love of Approbation predominates, and they are prone to vanity, and . shew a deficiency of dignity and self-respect. The Scotch, with equal Self-Esteem with the English, temper its manifestations by Love of Approbation, and present a mitigated .egotism that is not offensive to foreigners. With Love of Approbation equal to the French, but restrained by a larger Self-Esteem, Cautiousness, and Secretiveness, they exhibit a more dignified and reserved politeness. The organs of Acquisitiveness are generally large in the Scotch, and, taken in connection with large Self-Esteem, the result is a strong infusion of selfishness, or at least of attention to self-interest. Aided by Cautiousness, Secretiveness, Firmness, and the moral and intellectual organs, this combination renders them generally successful, when placed in competition with other nations, in the career of wealth ; and it coincides also with


the fact that the Scotch rapidly acquired capital when the markets of England and its colonies were opened to their industry. In the Scotch head the organs of Benevolence, Veneration, and Wonder, are generally largely developed : large Conscientiousness is common, but not nearly so prevalent as these, and Hope, in general, is only moderately developed. The combination of Adhesiveness, Benevolence, Conscientiousness, and Firmness, gives the Scotch an attached, faithful, and trust-worthy character. The combination of Veneration, Wonder, and Conscientiousness, renders them, religious ; but their great Destructiveness, Cautiousness, and Firmness, give a dark and stern character to their faith. They are sincere and ardent in their religious impressions, and cannot conceive the possibility of any form of belief being acceptable to God except their own. They are in consequence regarded by the other European nations as bigoted and intolerant ; but this character, in so far as justly attributable to them, is the result rather of an undoubting sincerity in their own belief, than of feebleness of intellect or deficiency of generous sentiment. The enlightenment of the understanding of the people will correct these errors. The organs of Ideality and Imitation are only moderately developed in the Scotch, and they are not remarkable for quickness in adopting new modes, nor for refinement. They are a homely people. The anterior lobe of the brain devoted to intellect is generally well developed. The organs of Individuality, Form, and Constructiveness, however, are relatively deficient. Hence the Scotch do not excel in precise knowledge of details, nor in the fine arts. The organs of Time are larger than those of Tune ; and the national music presents a combination of a few notes generally expressive of boldness, affection, tenderness, or melancholy, formed into simple melodies strongly marked by time. They have little genius for the pleasures of refined harmony. The organs of Colouring are in general only moderately developed, and it is often remarked, that, in their selections of colours, in furniture, dress, and ornaments, the Scotch are by no means successful. Order and Number are tolerably large, and the national character is


orderly and calculating. The organs of Language are moderate in. size : Eventuality and Comparison are generally full, and Causality is frequently met with large. Causality is more frequently larger than Comparison in the Scotch head than in those of the English and French : Concentrativeness is generally large. Wit is full, though not large. The combination of deficient Form and Individuality, with large Concentrativeness, Comparison, and Causality, accounts for the Scotch intellect being speculative and analytic rather than given to observation in philosophy. The intellect of the Scotch appears in their music : Their national melodies, with much simplicity, display great completeness : Every note hangs on another by necessary connexion, so that it could not be separated without deranging the whole. There is no incongruity. Each melody is a system. This combination of intellectual organs, joined with large moral organs, gives them that love of moral and metaphysical disquisition which distinguishes them ; while it explains also their singular want of practical observation in mental science. Reid, Stewart, and Brown knew enough of Bacon's rules of philosophizing to be aware of the necessity of facts, as the foundation of all science ; but they were so little given to practical observation that they looked chiefly into their own minds, and into books, for their data in regard to the qualities of human nature. They in consequence missed the facts which most forcibly strike a practical observer, viz. the existence of such propensities as Combativeness, Destructiveness, Acquisitiveness, and Cautiousness ; and also the great differences in the strength of particular faculties in relation to the others which occur in different individuals. How much of reasoning in proportion to accurately described facts do Scotch Journals and works in general contain ! .The combination of full "Wit, with large Secretiveness, accounts for the Scotch being famed for practical humour. Sir Walter Scott's works give many just representations of the national character in this particular. When Dr Spurzheim was in Scotland, he remarked, that the Scotch needed only a higher temperament to become one of the first nations in Europe.


Dr Vimont describes the GERMAN head, of which Dr Spurzheim's skull, represented in vol. ii. p. 286, is a correct, although favourable specimen, in the following terms : " The regions of the reflective faculties, of Cautiousness, and of the moral sentiments, are all largely developed. Veneration and Benevolence, in particular, are well marked. The perceptive faculties considered generally, with the exception of Tune, are moderately developed. The organs of Ideality, Constructiveness, and Gustativeness, are often very prominent, Secretiveness and Self-Esteem are also very conspicuously large.

" The French head is smaller than the German. The region of the perceptive faculties is generally larger, while the organs of reflection are smaller in the French than in the Germans. The organs of Tune and Number are larger in the Germans. The French are generally deficient in the organs of Cautiousness. The organs of Individuality, of Colour, and Form, are generally large in the French, as also those of Comparison, Wit, Wonder, and Poetry. The organs of Constructiveness, Imitation, and of the sense of the beautiful in the arts, are also large in them, particularly the last two. " The organ of Love of Approbation or vanity generally predominates. Benevolence is well developed ; but Veneration, Self-Esteem, and Firmness, are not so. The inhabitants of Normandy and Brittany, form exceptions in regard to the last two named faculties. Born in Normandy, and having in consequence had occasion to examine a great number of the heads of the inhabitants of this province, I am convinced that Self-Esteem and Firmness are largely developed in them. Among the Bretons, Firmness is often very large, but the head is in general not so high as in the Normans."

Dr Vimont adds, " It is conceivable that among a population exceeding thirty millions, and in a territory presenting upwards of 26,000 square leagues, remarkable varieties of organization should be met with. It would be desirable that they were studied in the principal provinces of which France is composed. Regarded in a philosophical and phrenologi-


cal point of view, they could not fail to prove interesting to persons who occupy themselves with science, and to present results of incalculable value for those who are at the head of the Government.

" I cannot avoid citing on this occasion some remarks of one of our most distinguished men, Baron Charles Dupin, because they relate directly to the subject in hand. Of all the provinces of France those of the north are most remarkable on account of their superior industry and intelligence. Almost all manufactured articles come from the north. The number of primary schools is more considerable in the north than in the south. Of 1933 pupils admitted into the Polytechnic School during thirteen consecutive years, 1233 were furnished by the departments of the north, while the departments of the south have given only 700. Of 65 members of the Academy of Sciences 48 come from the departments of the north, and 17 from the departments of the south. Finally, of 2112 patents for inventions delivered from the 1st of July 1791 to the 1st of July 1825,1699 have been delivered to the departments of the north, and only 413 to those of the south. Such great differences, founded on observations of indisputable authenticity, deserve every attention from phrenologists.

" Let us return to the relations which exist between the predominant organs of the French and the most striking features of their moral and intellectual character. The superior development of the reflective faculties of the Germans becomes apparent in its results. There is perhaps no country in the world where primary instruction is more widely diffused than in Germany :-Where a taste for reading is more decided : and in this respect the Germans are greatly superior to the French, among whom instruction has hitherto penetrated only into the great towns. Germany abounds in thinkers and philosophers of the first order ; but it is necessary to remark, that their reflective faculties, so excellent in themselves, often give to their writings a character of tediousness and obscurity, which is not met with among French authors, whose thoughts, although they often present less


depth than those of the Germans, infinitely surpass them in elegance, clearness, and precision.

" The great difference which exists between the development of Firmness and Cautiousness in these two nations explains that which is observable in the spirit of their actions. The French, under the influence of moderate reflective faculties, and a small development of Cautiousness and Firmness, are light, expansive, unreserved, and easily moved. The Germans, on the other hand, are grave, tenacious, reflective, and circumspect. The want of foresight frequently shews itself in the institutions of the French ; the contrary takes place among the Germans. Napoleon, in speaking of the French, said-' The nation, in its character and tastes, is provisional and lavish ;-every thing for the moment and caprice-nothing for endurance ! such are the motto and manners of France ! Every one passes his life in doing and undoing ; -nothing ever remains. Is it not unbecoming that Paris had not even a French theatre, nothing worthy of her destinies ? I have often resisted fêtes which the City of Paris wished to give me. These were dinners, balls, fire-works, which would have cost 4, 6, or 800,000 franks ;-the preparations for which obstructed the public for several days, and which cost subsequently as much to. undo them as they had cost in their construction. I proved, that with these foolish expenses they might have erected durable and magnificent monuments/-(Las Cases, Mémoires de Sainte-Helene)

" Duclos, in his Considerations on Manners, has represented, with great fidelity, the character of the French. ' The great defect of the French character,' says he, " is to be always young ;-by which circumstance it is often amiable, but rarely steady. It has almost no ripe manhood, but passes from youth directly to old age. Our talents of every description appear early. We neglect them for a long time by dissipation, and scarcely do we commence to turn them to account before their time is past.

"The extreme lightness of the French, arising in part from the small development of Cautiousness, has been signalized


by Jean Jacques Rousseau. " The French,' says this great writer, ' have a manner of interesting themselves about you which deceives more than words. The fulsome compliments of the Swiss can impose only on blockheads :-the manners of the French are more seductive, because they are more simple. One would believe that they do not tell you all that they would wish to do for you, in order to cause you the more agreeable surprise. I shall say more ; they are not false in their demonstrations ; they are naturally officious, humane, benevolent, and even, whatever may be said on the subject, more true than any other nation ; but they are volatile and light : They really feel the sentiment which they express, but that sentiment goes as it came. In the act of speaking to you they are full of interest about you. When they see you no more,-they forget you. Nothing is permanent in their affections : every thing with them is the work of the moment.'-(Rousseau, Confessoins.)

" The great development of the sense for what is fine in the arts, combined with the faculties of Form, Imitation, Ideality, and the sense of construction in general, sufficiently conspicuous in the crania of the French, explain why they are the first people in Europe for the finish and exquisite taste of their manufactured articles. There is nothing comparable to the productions of manual labour in France. It is to the same faculties that we must attribute the high superiority of the French as painters and statuaries.

" Two faculties, the organs of which are largely developed in the French, Love of Approbation and Combativeness, coincide exactly with their character. The desire of being approved,-of putting itself forward, is incontestibly the portion of our nation. If this desire be united to energetic Reflecting faculties, it may give rise to great results, because it operates as a spur to the other powers. If not so combined, it produces only abuses. The man who possesses only vanity, seeks by all possible means to give himself the appearance of merit and of knowledge. This accounts for that excessive love of the French for titles, for cordons, and all those baubles which impose on nobody but blockheads and the most super-


ficial of mankind. To the same cause must be ascribed all those plots, those cabals, and those miserable intrigues which, in France, reign in the bosoms of all learned societies. It is the unbridled desire to be spoken about, which creates the coteries, and strikes with a mortal blow every kind of honourable emulation. It would be difficult to calculate how many faults the sentiment of vanity has produced in France, and with how many misfortunes it has inundated this fine nation, which would do well, as Napoleon remarked, to exchange its vanity for pride.

" Courage, the other distinctive faculty of the French, is too well known to be insisted on. The French have already afforded every proof of bravery which a nation can exhibit.

" I have said that the sentiment of Veneration, that is to say, the faculty which disposes us to respect men and things, is little developed in the French. It is to this deficiency of development that the want of religion, nearly general in France, falls to be attributed. To the same cause must be ascribed the"destruction and neglect of a multitude of monuments, for which other nations exhibit a kind of worship. In France, and particularly in Paris, a great number of extremely curious edifices exist, known to and venerated by foreigners, of which the inhabitants of this capital know nothing. Speaking generally, we may say, that every thing that presents a character of antiquity is displeasing to the French. The low degree of veneration, united to the great development of the talent of discrimination, or of combination, produces among the French that love of sarcasm and of raillery which attacks all without distinction of rank, merit, or fortune. This spirit generally manifests itself under the form of caricatures, which is easily to be conceived when we attend to the great development of the organs of Constructiveness and Form in the French.

" The great difference which exists between the French and Germans in the organs of Alimentiveness accounts for the difference between the two nations in sobriety. After the Spaniards, no nation in Europe is more sober than the French, while the Germans are essentially great feeders.


Among a pretty considerable number of German, Spanish, and French soldiers, who were in the same hospital at Caen, I have observed that a remarkable difference existed among them in regard to the faculty in question. A light soup, some fruit, or a little meat, were sufficient for the Spaniards ; the repast of the French consisted of three-fourths of the portion ; while the Germans swallowed the whole allowance, and continually complained that they did not receive enough of meat and of potatoes. Every time I happened to pass the wards where the Germans were placed, I was certain to be assailed by the words flesh, flesh, Sir!1

' The organs of Wonder and Imitation, largely developed in the French, contribute to distinguish them from other nations. This combination explains why all that is new strikes them, and also their eagerness to reproduce it. Who can calculate the varieties in the forms of French dress even within a single age. These changes frequently have relation to extraordinary personages or events. From the extreme development of Imitation in the French, their marked gesticulations arise. Every class has its own, which is peculiar to it, and every one repeats it as one learns a form of politeness. Under the Influence of Imitation, Love of Approbation, and the sense of the beautiful, the French are to some extent mannerists ; but with taste and ease, and without awkwardness. Although the English attempt to ridicule our nation on this account, I am satisfied that they try to imitate us, although not very successfully. Although the reflecting organs are in general only moderately developed in the French, this is not a sufficient reason for believing that only a small number of individuals of the highest order of intellect appear among them. No nation in Europe has furnished so many men distinguished in the arts, sciences, and philosophy as France ; and if we reflect that instruction is little diffused in this country, we may believe that the number of superior men would otherwise have been still more considerable," p. 487.

1 The organ in question was little developed in the heads of five Spanish
prisoners who died in France. 4


" During my stay in London, I went almost every Sunday to the churches. The result of my remarks may be shortly stated. Considered generally, the size of the heads of the inhabitants of London do not differ much from that of the Parisian heads :l in particular points the differences are very striking. In equal numbers, the reflective faculties are more developed in London than in Paris; and the same rule holds in regard to Cautiousness, Firmness, and Self-Esteem. The organ of Alimentiveness is larger in the English, and to this cause is to be ascribed their love of spirituous liquors. Drunkenness is the predominant vice of the English.'' Dr Vimont quotes from Bulwer's " England and the English," the number of persons entering gin-shops within certain periods of time, and adds, " the Scotch, and particularly the Irish, appear to be greatly addicted to spirituous liquors. I have never spoken to an Irishman who has not assured me that idleness, and particularly drunkenness, were the dominant vices of the mass of the Irish population."2 P. 489.

" The organs of Number are larger, while the organs of Constructiveness, Form, and of beauty in the arts, are smaller in the English than in the French," p. 490.

The Phrenological Journal vol. viii. pp. 289 and 424, contains a valuable Essay, by Mr Robert Cox, on the character of the Esquimaux, illustrated by figures of their skulls. In that work a variety of additional illustrations of the relation between national character and national development of brain, will be found.

1 According to my observation the London heads are larger.-G. C.

2 Idleness is the misfortune, not the fault, of the mass of the Irish people. The country is occupied by a dense population belonging to the lower ranks, reared on small patches of land, and it is nearly destitute of capital, of manufactures, and of middle and higher classes ; the consequence of which is, that the great body of the Irish people cannot get work, although anxious to obtain it. They are idle of necessity, therefore, and not from inclination. When they come to England or Scotland, and obtain employment, they are extremely active and industrious labourers.- G.C.


The effects of temperament are distinguishable in national skulls. The grain of the New Holland skull is extremely rough and coarse ; that of the Hindoos, fine, smooth, and compact, more closely resembling ivory ; the Swiss skulls are open and soft in the grain, while the Greek are closer and finer. There would be a corresponding quality of brain in the individuals, which would influence the mental character.


The Phrenological Society have more specimens of national skulls than are here noticed. They afford interesting materials for philosophical reflection, but the great length to which this work has extended, compels me to omit the notice of them. The measurements in the foregoing table do not represent the size of any organs in particular, for the reasons stated in vol. i. p. 156\ They are intended to indicate merely the size of the skulls. They do not, however, accomplish this object successfully, in consequence of the impossibility of measuring irregular spheres by diameters. They are therefore indications merely of the length of the particular lines stated in the different skulls ; from which a rough estimate of the relative dimensions of the skulls may be formed. A scientific mode of measurement is much wanted.1 These measurements are taken from so very few skulls, that they cannot be given as statements of averages of national crania. They are presented merely to shew the interest of the investigation. The Negro skull is a very favourable specimen, and the Swiss is rather above an average. The real characters of foreign nations will never be philosophically delineated, until travellers shall describe their temperaments, and the size and combinations of their brains. Blumenbach's extensive work on National Crania is destitute of moral interest, owing to his omission of all notice of the characters of the nations whose heads he represents.

1 Dr Morton and his friend Mr Phillips have endeavoured, in the Crania Americana, to supply an improved method of ascertaining the size of the different regions of the skull, which I beg leave to recommend to the attention of the scientific student of Phrenology.

Vol. 1: [front matter], Intro, Nervous system, Principles of Phrenology, Anatomy of the brain, Division of the faculties 1.Amativeness 2.Philoprogenitiveness 3.Concentrativeness 4.Adhesiveness 5.Combativeness 6.Destructiveness, Alimentiveness, Love of Life 7.Secretiveness 8.Acquisitiveness 9.Constructiveness 10.Self-Esteem 11.Love of Approbation 12.Cautiousness 13.Benevolence 14.Veneration 15.Firmness 16.Conscientiousness 17.Hope 18.Wonder 19.Ideality 20.Wit or Mirthfulness 21.Imitation.
Vol. 2: [front matter], external senses, 22.Individuality 23.Form 24.Size 25.Weight 26.Colouring 27.Locality 28.Number 29.Order 30.Eventuality 31.Time 32.Tune 33.Language 34.Comparison, General observations on the Perceptive Faculties, 35.Causality, Modes of actions of the faculties, National character & development of brain, On the importance of including development of brain as an element in statistical inquiries, Into the manifestations of the animal, moral, and intellectual faculties of man, Statistics of Insanity, Statistics of Crime, Comparative phrenology, Mesmeric phrenology, Objections to phrenology considered, Materialism, Effects of injuries of the brain, Conclusion, Appendices: No. I, II, III, IV, V, [Index], [Works of Combe].

Back to home page

© John van Wyhe 1999-2011. Materials on this website may not be reproduced without permission except for use in teaching or non-published presentations, papers/theses.