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Come fanciul ch’a pena
Volge la Lingua e snoda;
Che dir non sa, ma ’l piu tacer gli e Noia
Cosi ’l desir mi mena
A dire: ––––
Mi palpita il cor! –––– ma forse diran
............ che un primo. Errore
Punir non si dovea; che un Ramo infermo
Subito non recide saggio Cultor.

physician to the colony of sierra leone.


printed by c. whittingham,
Dean Street;

[[I]] [[II]]

[Seite 275]

‘“In the picture gallery at Pommersfeld, I saw
four heads of Negroes by Vandyk, of which, two
in particular had so little of the projecting facial
line, that they differed but in a small degree from
the European countenance.’

‘“At that time I had met with few opportuni-
ties of obtaining any knowledge of the form of
the Negro head from nature; and as it occurred to
me that Mr. Camper had asserted, in a lecture
delivered at the academy of painting in Amster-
dam, that, ‘“most of the great painters, and espe-
cially Rubens, Vandyk, and Jordaens, had instead
of Negroes drawn only black coloured Europeans.”’
I ascribed the agreeable forms of these Negro faces
to this general error.’

[Seite 276]

‘“A few months afterwards, however, I had an
opportunity of convincing myself, that there are
real Negroes, whose lineaments agree with those of
Europeans, and that the painting at Pommers-
feld at least, might be an accurate representation
of nature.’

‘“Being about to visit Messrs. Treytorrens in
Yverdun, one of whom had resided a long time in
St. Domingo, as I entered the court yard of the
house, I saw only a woman, standing with her
back towards me, whose elegant form attracted
my notice. But how much was I surprised,
when on accosting her she turned round, to find
a Negress, whose physiognomy perfectly corre-
sponded with such a form, and, in my mind,
completely justified the accuracy of the Negro
portraits by Vandyk, which I had seen at Pom-

‘“Her face was such, that even the nose, and
somewhat thicker lips, had nothing peculiar, cer-
tainly nothing unpleasant in their appearance;
and had the same features occurred in a white
skin, they would have excited very general admi-
ration. To this were added, the most sprightly
and cheerful vivacity, a sound judgment, and as
I afterwards discovered, peculiar knowledge and
skill in midwifery. The pretty Negress of Yverdun
is widely celebrated as the best midwife in that
part of Switzerland.’

‘“I heard from her master (who had likewise in
his service a Negro of a very elegant form) that
she was a Creole from St. Domingo. Her parents
[Seite 277] were from Congo, but not so black as the Sene-
gambia Negroes.’

‘“Since that time I have had an opportunity of
seeing and speaking with several Negroes, and
have also procured three skulls, and a number of
preparations from Negroes, for my collection. All
these circumstances, together with what I have
learned on the subject from books of travels, have
convinced me still more of the truth of the two fol-
lowing positions, viz.’

‘“1. Among Negroes, both with regard to co-
lour, and still more, with respect to the facial
line, as many, if not more varieties, occur, as be-
tween the most perfect Negro and the other vari-
eties of mankind.’

‘“2. Negroes with respect to their mental capa-
cities and talents, do not appear to be in the least
inferior to the other races of mankind.’

‘“The very striking gradation observable in
three Negro skulls which I have before me, afford
an evident proof of the justness of the first position’

‘“The first, which was brought from New York
by M. Michaelis, and which I have elsewhere
exactly described*, is distinguished by so pro-
jecting an upper jaw, that if all Negroes were the
same, we might be tempted to think that they
sprung from an Adam different from our own.’

‘“The facial line of the third slopes so little, and
indeed is so different from the former, and has
so little exotic in its appearance, that if I had not
(through the goodness of M. Michaelis) dissected
[Seite 278] the entire head, exactly as it was separated from
the fresh subject, I should have hesitated to call it
the head of a genuine Negro.’

‘“The second stands midway between the two
others; and has in its whole form a great resem-
blance to the head of the Abyssinian Abbas
Gregorius, of which I have a good plate, done by
Heiss, in 1691, after Von Sand, and which shews
the near affinity of the Abyssinians with the Ne-
groes. It more nearly resembles the plain featured
Negroes, according to European ideas of beauty,
than those so finely formed as the Negress of Yver-
dun, or the innumerable fine negro faces to be
met with which differ but little from those of

‘“What I have here said respecting the resem-
blance of so many Negroes to Europeans, is only
a confirmation of a fact which has been long
known, and which has frequently been remarked
by unprejudiced and attentive travellers, a few of
whom I shall quote in proof of my assertion.’

‘“Thus: Le Maire in his Voyages aux Cap
Verd, Senegal, et Gambie, p. 161, says, ‘’a l’ex-
ception de la noirceur, il y a des Negresses aussi
bien faites que nos dames Europeanes.’’’

‘“Leguat in his Travels, vol ii. p. 136, observes,
‘’j’ai rencontré à Batavia plusieurs fort jolies Ne-
gresses. Un visage tout-a-fait formé a l’Euro-

‘“Mr. Adanson’s description of the Senegambia
Negresses has already been noticed.’

‘“Ulloa in the Noticias Americanas, vol. ii.
[Seite 279] p. 92, says, ‘’among the Negroes some have thick
protruded lips, a flat nose, deep seated eyes, which
are commonly called getudos, and wool instead of
hair. Others, whose colour is quite as black as the
former, and whose features, especially the mouth,
nose, and eyes, are similar to the whites, have long
thick hair.’’

‘“The testimonies, and instances in proof of
the second position above mentioned, namely,
of the sound judgment, good natural capacity
and genius of Negroes, are just as incontrovertible
and numerous as those of the first.’

‘“Their astonishing memory, their extensive
commercial undertakings*, their acuteness in
[Seite 280] trade, particularly with gold dust, in which the
most experienced European traders cannot always
be sufficiently upon their guard, are circumstances
too well known to require repetition.’

‘“The singular facility with which slaves learn
all kinds of fine hand-work, is likewise well known.’

‘“The same may be said of their musical ta-
lents*; we have had instances of Negroes who per-
formed upon the violin in so masterly a manner,
and gained so much money by it, as to be enabled
to pay a large sum to purchase their freedom.’

‘“Of the poetical genius of Negroes we have
well known instances in both sexes.’

‘“Mons. Von Haller mentions a Negress who
was a poetess.’

‘“A specimen of the Latin poems of the Negro,
Francis Williams, an excellent schoolmaster, are
contained in the History of Jamaica.’

‘“The Negro, Ignatius Sancho, has lately intro-
duced himself to general notice by his interesting

[Seite 281]

‘“To the above instances may be added two
others, to shew the genius and talents of our black
brethren for scientific acquirements.’

‘“It is well known that the protestant minister
James John Eliza Capitein was a Negro, and a
learned man, and a good orator. I have his por-
trait in an excellent plate by Tanjé, after P. Van

‘“Professor Hollman, when at Wittenberg, con-
ferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy upon a
Negro who had greatly distinguished himself, and
who afterwards went to Berlin as a privy counsellor.
(Konigl. Preuss. Hofrath.) I have in my possession
two of his dissertations, one of which in particular
contains much unexpected and well digested eru-
dition, drawn from the best physiological works of
that time. Its title is Diss. Inaug. philosophica de
humanae Mentis απαϑεια s. Sensionis ac Facultatis
in Mente humana Absentia, & earum in Corpore
nostro organico ac vivo Praesentia, quam Praes.
D. Mart. Goth. Loeschero publice defendit auctor
Ant. Guil. Amo Guinea−Afer, Phil. & A.A.
L.L. Mag. & J.V.C. Wittebergae, 1734, m.

‘“The title of the other is Disp. Philosophica
continens Ideam distinctam eorum quae compe-
tunt vel Menti vel Corpori nostro vivo & organico,
quam Praeside M. Ant. Guil. Amo Guinea-Afro
d. 29 Maii 1734, defendit Io. Theodos. Meiner
Rochliz Misnic. Philos. & J.V. Cultor.’

‘“In an account of the life of Amo, which on
this occasion was printed in the name of the
[Seite 282] academic council, it is said among other particu-
lars respecting his talents: ‘“Honorem meritis
ingenii partum, insigni probitatis, industriae, eru-
ditionis, quam publicis privatisque exercitationibus
declaravit, laude auxit. − Compluribus philoso-
phiam domi tradidit, excusissimam veterum, quam
novorum, placitis; optima quaequaeselegit, selecta
enucleate, ac dilucide interpretatus est.”’’

‘“The president, at the public defence of the
first dissertation, says expressly to Amo in the fol-
lowing congratulatory speech: ‘“Tuum potis-
simum eminet ingenium felicissimum − utpote
qui istius felicitatem atque praestantiam, eruditi-
onis ac doctrinae soliditatem ac elegantiam multis
speciminibus hactenus in nostra etiam academia
magno cum applausu omnibus bonis, & in prae-
senti dissertatione egregie comprobasti. Reddo
tibi illam proprio marte eleganter ac erudite
elaboratam, integram adhuc & plane immutatam,
ut vis ingenii tui eo magis exinde elucescat.”’ −’

‘“Boerhaave and De Haen have given the most
flattering testimonies of the uncommon progress
of several negroes in the practice of medicine, and
the science and skill of the midwife of Yverdun
are, as has been already said, universally celebrated
in that neighbourhood.’

‘“Finally, the academy of sciences at Paris
includes amongst its correspondents a Negro,
Monsr. Lislet, in the Isle of France, who excels
in the accuracy of his meteorological observa-

‘“From the instances already adduced, it is to
[Seite 283] be hoped that my assertion will be justified re-
specting the equality of the Negroes to us other
children of Adam.’

‘“On the other hand, I should think many con-
siderable provinces of Europe might be named,
from which it would be difficult to produce a vir-
tuoso, a poet, a philosopher, and correspondent of
the Paris Academy.”’ −

[Seite 275]

See Verzeichn. der Schildereyen in der Gallerie des Hoch-
gräflichen Schönbornischen Schlosses zu Pommersfelden.

[Seite 277]

Osteologie, p. 87.

[Seite 279]

Barbot relates many curious particulars upon this subject in
his excellent Description of the Coasts of North and South Guinea,
in the 5th vol. of Churchill’s Collection of Voyages.

Page 235, it is said, ‘“The blacks are for the most part men of
sense and wit enough; of a sharp ready apprehension, and an ex-
cellent memory beyond what is easy to imagine; for though they
can neither read nor write, they are always regular in the greatest
hurry of business and trade, and seldom in confusion.”’

A very accurate writer remarks, ‘“it is astonishing with what
facility the African brokers reckon up the exchange of European
goods for slaves. One of these brokers has perhaps ten slaves to
sell, and for each of these he demands ten different articles. He
reduces them immediately by the head into bars, coppers, ounces,
according to the part of the country in which he resides, and im-
mediately strikes the balance.”’ – ‘“On those parts of the coast,
which are the greatest markets for slaves, many Africans reside,
who act as interpreters to the ships. These, by great industry and
perseverance, have made themselves masters of two or three of the
languages of the country, and of the language of those Europeans
with whom they are most connected in trade.”’ – ‘“Several of the
African traders or great men, are not unacquainted with letters.
This is particularly the case at Bonny and Calibar, where they
not only speak the English language with fluency, but write it.
These traders send letters repeatedly to the merchants here,
[Seite 280] stating the situation of the markets, the goods which they would
wish to be sent out to them the next voyage, the number of slaves
which they expect to receive by that time, and such other par-
ticulars as might be expected from one merchant to another.”’ –
On the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species, p. 125.

[Seite 280]

This is contrary to the opinion of Mr. Bryan Edwards; but it
is maintained by others equally eminent. Mr. Clarkson observes,
‘“they play upon a variety of instruments, without any other
assistance than their own ingenuity. They have also tunes of
their own composition. Some of these have been imported among
us, are now in use, and are admired for their sprightliness and
ease, though the ungenerous and prejudiced importer has concealed
their original.”’ On the Slavery and Commerce of the Human

[Seite 280]

Hrn. Urlspergers Americanish Ackerwerk Gottes, S. 311.

Blumenbach, Johann Friedrich. Date:
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