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information I am greatly indebted to the Virginia State Library and through it to the Congressional Library at Washington. Likewise I acknowledge indebtedness to many studious friends who have aided with suggestions and reviews of my manuscripts. Darwin, Amelia, Va., Sept. 1, 1912.

The American Negro Problem


The Birth and Early History of Man

N writing on "The Negro Problem" we cannot consistently omit either the birth or the early history of the race; and in view of the fact that

we all came primarily from a common stock it becomes necessary to inquire briefly into its natural descent, and try to fathom the mysteries which once shrouded the birth of our earliest ancestors.

In most writings on the race question the subject has been taken up piecemeal, as it were, disjointedly and unscientifically. The writer sometimes selecting as his starting point the importation of Negro slaves into the American colonies, and again he begins with Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, and so on. No such writing, however cleverly done, can hope to lucidate this question; nor can it present to the mind of the reader a complete picture of the Negro char


In considering the ultimate solution of the problem-and what can, or what should be done with, or for, our Negro population-the mind must be supplied with the facts of causation, which latter have produced both the race and its present environment. We must know why, and wherein it differs from the white race in order to consider intelligently possible remedies for our present problem.

The importation of Negroes into the American colonies seemed to commend itself as a suitable starting point when this work was first contemplated; 7

but very little reflection was needed to convince us of the necessity of introducing these early chapters, setting forth the conditions under which the human race came into existence, and how it came to be divided into the several, more or less distinct, varieties.

In the absence of the information contained in this, and the three or four immediately succeeding chapters, it is quite impossible for the student to possess any adequate conception of the subject in hand. There are many reasons--which will be seen later on-why we cannot understand the real deficiencies of the Negro, or the menace of his presence to the white population, without some elementary knowledge of the influence of environment and of inherited traits and tendencies. Therefore we have undertaken to supply the essential truths of the birth and early history of Man.

From the overthrow of the Western Roman Empire by the barbarians in the latter part of the fifth century (476 B. C.) to the taking of Constantinople, or the discovery of America, in the fifteenth century, constitutes one of the most remarkable periods in history. This era is generally referred to as the Middle Ages, or Dark Ages. Superstition was rife and the unusual or extraordinary in nature always implied a miracle as its only possible explanation. Since that time, however, Man's powers of investigation and of exposing the truths of nature's mysteries have increased with marvelous rapidity. Thus in very recent years Man has intruded upon the secret storehouses of nature, and among many other discoveries he has brought forth her anthropoid models, from which Man himself was made. Now it is important to define the starting point of the race as clearly as possible, and in doing this it is well

to recognize the serious difficulties which we are to


Unfortunately, we think-but true nevertheless— the people of our own country, as elsewhere, are strongly inclined to hold fast to arbitrary and unreasoned opinions upon such subjects. A still more regrettable circumstance is the tendency on the part of the so-called well-educated and influential minority to accept without investigation, or due consideration, doctrines propagated by interested partisans and self-constituted teachers, who for the most part are actuated by ulterior motives. This apparent lack of independent reflection is strikingly singular when we consider the further fact that our country is theoretically a land of free citizens, civilized and cultivated to a degree never before known in the history of the world.

In a court of justice the law requires that all available evidence be presented and carefully weighed before an opinion is formulated; and just so it should be when we come to consider this mooted "American Negro Problem." We should hold no preconceived views as relics of the War Between the States, nor as heirlooms of our ancestors; but as intelligent men and women it behooves us to demand the evidence, both for and against our black brother, before judgment is passed upon him.

On account of this attitude of unwillingness to be convinced, and determination not to alter or modify fixed opinions, we cannot consider the scientific account of the natural development of the human race without arousing some opposition—a regrettable but unavoidable circumstance.

To begin with then, that beautiful scriptural allegory, contained in the first, second, and third chapters of the book of Genesis (King James' English

Translation), of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, will always hold its high place in the world's literature; but no one, apart from the illiterate and the unreasoning, now regards it seriously in connection with the birth and early history of the race. Consequently we take up our subject with the birth of Man as revealed to us by modern scientific research.

Man, then, is unquestionably the product of natural forces operating through many millions of years. The matter that now constitutes the earth once existed as an attenuated gas with a temperature so high that life would have been impossible even if conditions could have been in other respects suitable. It had first to cool down and solidify, and then certain portions of its surface had to fall below a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit (boiling point), before the spontaneous generation of life in any form was possible. This it finally did, and sometime subsequent to this geological period we know not when-and under conditions totally different from anything within our limited experience, a low form of life came into existence.

The chemical constitution of certain particles of matter was changed from that condition known as inorganic (non-vital), to that defined as organic (vital). It was, of course, the very lowest form of life. The sponge and the oyster-two familiar forms of animal life-are, comparatively speaking, high in the scale of living things. It was a mere cell life, protoplasmic matter, in which it would have been barely possible for the modern physiologist to detect its vital nature.

Ever since this marvelous happening natural forces have been constantly at work, transforming the lower into the higher orders of living things, until, in the

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