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While some authorities, such as the eminent British ethnologist James Cowles Prichard, cited him in defense of their own environmentalist theories, American opponents such as Charles Caldwell and John Augustine Smith, ridiculed such explanations of difference. Work by John C. Warren and Samuel G. In subsequent publications he explicitly argued for polygenesis.

His associate George Gliddon elaborated these views in public lectures and polemical, stridently anticlerical articles based upon physical ethnology and hieroglyphics. Indians also captured attention, frequently focused on Indian origins and broader debates about polygenesis. Language was a crucial field of investigation. In the retired missionary John Heckewelder and the lawyer Peter S.

Such theories converged with similar work in Europe, such as that of Wilhelm von Humboldt, who formulated his views in conversation with American philologists. Schoolcraft, philology could seem to undermine philanthropy. Learned and popular interest in Indian antiquities and customs was also central to racial theories. Most of these peoples were interpreted in light of a racial binary that associated dark skin with servility and native status with savagery; possessors of the former were disqualified from republican citizenship, while possessors of the latter were incapable of civilization.

In addition, innumerable representations and misrepresentations of European and nonwhite peoples, societies, and histories appeared in the popular press. Despite the importance of racial theories to proslavery, removal, and conquest, some ethnologists argued against the most pernicious forms of racism. Some nonwhites challenged race science even more deeply. William W. Racial ideas were fiercely debated in early America.

Did the races share a common ancestry? Were the races fixed, or capable of alteration or improvement? For all this uncertainty, however, race acquired legal power and social significance—for whites circumscribing the boundaries of democracy; for Indians and blacks defending their lands and their freedom—in the U.

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The earliest histories of the emergence of modern, biological ideas about race in the midth century appeared in the civil rights era. Winthrop D. George M. For an overview, see Alden T. Studies of Indians have focused on the emergence of ideas of savagery. Among the most important contributions have been made by those scholars who have centered questions of gender and sex to constructions of race, such as Kathleen M.

The centrality of lineage to ideas of race has been increasingly appreciated.

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Spear, Goetz, and Harvey build on this insight. Many titles have traced the emergence of racial ideas among diverse groups. On ideas of whiteness, see David R. McLoughlin and Walter H. Cosner Jr. Some find essentialist understandings of difference present in classical sources and clearly articulated in the early modern era.

Jordan, Berkhofer, Chaplin, and Goetz each argued that racial ideas crystallized before the 18th century. Dowd, Shoemaker, Silverman, Snyder, and Silver point to the intensification of white settlement, the expansion of slavery, and increasing territorial and cultural pressure on Indians in crystallizing ideas of race in the mid-to-late 18th century. To these, Sweet adds the effects of emancipation.

For a general overview that stresses race as a body of folk beliefs and social stratification, rather than a set of philosophical or scientific theories, see Audrey Smedley, Race in North America: The Origin and Evolution of a Worldview Innumerable sources contain material pertinent to ideas about race or its component parts, including ancestry and physical and cultural traits.

Early travel narratives are invaluable, though they vary by richness as well as in the quality of indexes and editorial notes. For eastern Indians in the 17th and early 18th centuries, the seventy-two volumes of the Jesuit Relations are unparalleled, well-indexed in an edition by Reuben Gold Thwaites, and now available as searchable digital sources courtesy of Creighton University. Numerous translations of journals kept by German-speaking Moravian missionaries among the Iroquoians and Algonquians of the mid-Atlantic in the mid- to late 18th century are also tremendously valuable.

Jane E. Mangan, trans. William N. Fenton and Elizabeth L. Moore, 2 vols. Kathryn E. Holland Braund , contain significant ethnographic information, but privilege the question of lineage over that of social condition. The latter provides an especially important window into the racial views of ordinary people.

Researchers will find scattered material in the publications of state historical societies and learned societies. Morton, and Ephraim G. A number of other titles provide a sense of expanding ethnographic knowledge. Missionary organizations extended their reach in this era, with the Papers of the America Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions est. Some material was published in monthly issues of Missionary Herald. See also Reuben Gold Thwaites, ed. The most influential works on polygenism, the fixity of races, and the primacy of the body over language in determining race and ancestry are those of the American School of Ethnology: Samuel G.

Most of these, along with many missionary and learned society publications, are available on Project Gutenberg or Google Books. The personal papers of these particular philologists and ethnologists are tremendous resources for reconstructing not only theories of race but also the networks that produced and disseminated those theories. Du Ponceau, and Samuel G.

The Gallatin and Schoolcraft papers are also available on microfilm. Sensitive readings of nearly all of the above sources will yield indications of the roles that nonwhites played in the production of ideas about race. John Stauffer Warren, History of the Ojibway People Brown, Kathleen M.

Find this resource:. Chaplin, Joyce E. Cambridge, Mass.

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Curran, Andrew. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, Dain, Bruce. Davis, David Brion, Alden T. Sweet, Jennifer L. Dowd, Gregory Evans. Harvey, Sean P. Horsman, Reginald. Jordan, Winthrop D. White over Black: American Attitudes toward the Negro, — Kidd, Colin. Cambridge, U. Morrison, Michael A. Roediger, Daniel K. Richter, Lois E. Ford, James P. Pagden, Anthony. New York: Cambridge University Press, Shoemaker, Nancy. New York: Oxford University Press, Sidbury, James. Spear, Jennifer. Sweet, John Wood. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Acts of the Apostles, King James Version.

James T. See also Robert F. Toronto: Champlain Society, , 2: Noel Salisbury London, , Reuben Gold Thwaites, ed. Cleveland, — , See also Winthrop D. See also Jennifer L. Jeremiah King James Version. MIller Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, , Edward Long, History of Jamaica , 3 vols. Long, History of Jamaica , — Long, History of Jamaica , 2: , Albert E. Stone New York: Penguin, , 68— Independent Journal New York , January 24, , p. Ford Jr. Allan Nevins and Milton H. Thomas, eds. Sanford , See also Lois E.

Ann Linda Bell, annot. Robert S. See also Daniel K. Carl van Doren and Julian P. Boyd, eds. James H. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia , ed. William Peden Chapel Hill, N. Washington, D. Simpson, , See also E. Warren, History of the Ojibway People ; St. Brian W. Shoemaker, Strange Likeness ; James H. Morisson, et al. Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia , ed. Cleveland, Ohio: A. Sherman, ; and Henry R. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo, — Roberts, Bennett, ; and William W.

Warren, History of the Ojibway People St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History. Publications Pages Publications Pages. Oxford Research Encyclopedias American History. Search within subject: Select Ideas of Race in Early America. Read More. Subscriber sign in. Forgot password? Don't have an account? Sign in via your Institution. Sign in with your library card. Search within Blood and Lineage Ideas of cultural and physical difference frequently intertwined with ideas of descent and heredity in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Discussion of the Literature The earliest histories of the emergence of modern, biological ideas about race in the midth century appeared in the civil rights era. Primary Sources Innumerable sources contain material pertinent to ideas about race or its component parts, including ancestry and physical and cultural traits.

Imagining the African American West

Further Reading. Find this resource: Google Preview WorldCat. Notes: 1. Sean P. All rights reserved. Based on this table, make some conjectures about what life might have been like for free African Americans in the northern states. Consider the racial attitudes they may have confronted, their ability to find jobs, and the strength of their communities. In what region was the African-American population most likely to live in rural settings?

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In what region was it might likely to live in urban ones? What might account for these differences? This table does not distinguish between free and enslaved African Americans. Given the information in Table 1, can you make some conjectures about the free black population of the South? Do you think free blacks in the South would be more or less likely than slaves to live in urban areas? Imagine the kinds of work free African Americans in the North may have undertaken in rural and urban areas. In which region were free African Americans most likely to claim some property?

In which was the free black population least likely? In which region were free African Americans nearly as likely as white Americans to hold property? In which were they the least likely? What general conclusions might we draw from these data about free black life in the three regions of the United States?

Based on this information, draw some conjectures about what life might have been like for free black Northerners. According to these data, in which region did free African Americans claim the most average property? In which region did they claim the least? In which region did free African Americans own the most property relative to white Americans?

Africans are NOT "Black." The Many Races of Africa

The table is useful, but may not portray the complete picture.