This section is from the book "A Library Of Wonders And Curiosities Found In Nature And Art, Science And Literature", by I. Platt. Also available from Amazon: A library of wonders and curiosities.
Ethnologists have generally divided human beings into five distinct classes. But although the primitive types are well and strongly marked, yet from amalgamation, climatic influences, and various other causes, the sharp lines are in many instances almost obliterated. We append a description of the different races as they appear in their pure and unmixed condition.
The Five Human Races, Ethiopian. American. Caucasian. Mongolian. Esquimaux.
The Negro, proper, inhabits all that part of Africa from Senegal along the coast of Guinea south of the Equator, to the 16th degree of latitude. Voluntarily the Negro never leaves this country, but, from being carried into involuntary servitude, millions of this people are now to be found in America, the West Indies, and other parts of the world. Their most striking characteristics are the jetty blackness of skin, black, crisp, curly hair, low forehead, high cheek-bones, flat, broad nose, broad and small chin, strong, white teeth. The skull is deficient in all the higher intellectual manifestations.
The Hottentots and Caffres of South Africa, though black, and generally classed with Negroes, differ from them on many points. The Negroes are often called Ethiopians. This is a mistake; the Ethiopians were the inhabitants of the Upper Nile and Abyssinia, and though a dark, were by no meaus a black race. The Negroes have no written language; the Arabic is generally used for all business purposes.
This race occupied the whole of the two Americas and the neighboring islands; although there were manifest differences in the people of the North and those of the South. The North American Indians are tall and straight, forehead low and broad, nose aquiline, eyes black and deeply set, full lips, skin a warm, coppery red, hair long, black, and straight. They show rather a lack of disposition than of ability to become proficient in the arts of agriculture and manufacture.
The Caucasian race occupies all of Europe, Western Asia, Australia, and the greater part of America. Skin varying from a pure white to a rich brown, hair all shades, from blonde to black, beard full, soft and flowing, nose high and thin, lips medium. Surpass all other races in ability to comprehend and work out both mental and physical problems. This race is gradually but surely dominating the habitable part of the globe.
Yellow, or Mongolian. - This race dwells principally in the East Indies, China, Japan, and the adjacent islands. In person they are usually small, slender, and remarkable for their agility and skillful manipulation; excelling in taste and execution, rather than invention. Skull small and narrow, with rather flat sides, forehead low and retreating, skin a yellowish tawny, eyes narrow and almond-shaped, hair long, black, and straight, beard very scanty.
The Samoids, Esquimaux, and Tartars. - These people are all supposed to have had a common origin, and their differences are attributed to local habitation or other accidental circumstances. They are short in stature, but sturdy, foreheads low, eyes narrow, nose flat, hair black and straight. In many respects they closely resemble the Mongolian race. The Tartars show capacity for improvement, but the Esquimaux, owing to their painful struggle for mere existence, have little opportunity to exhibit their mental abilities. They are docile and kind.