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CHAPTER IX

EARLY ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCHES

A. THE PASSAGE FROM GEOGRAPHY TO ANTHROPOLOGY AND RACE-IMPROVEMENT


"About the time of the appearance of Darwin's Origin of Species I had begun to interest myself in the Human side of Geography, and was in a way prepared to appreciate his view. I am sure I assimilated it with far more readiness than most people,- absorbing it almost at once, and my afterthoughts were permanently tinged by it. Some ideas I had about Human Heredity were set fermenting and I wrote Hereditary Genius.. In working this out I forced myself to become familiar with the higher branches of Statistics, and, conscious of the power they gave in dealing with populations as a whole, I availed myself of them largely."

Manuscript Note of Francis Galton in the hand

writing of Mrs Galton found among his papers.


I HAVE indicated in the preceding chapter how Galton's interests were turning from man's environment to man himself-not only to his physical but to his psychical characters. One of the most conspicuously interesting facts in Galton's development is that in 1865 he had reached, we might almost say . had planned out, the main conception of his work on Man. It is not possible - to say from the dates of issue which of Galton's anthropological papers of this year, namely " The first steps towards the Domestication of Animals"' or .".Hereditary Talent and Character "2, was the earlier, because the date of publication is not necessarily that of writing the paper. Mrs Galton's `Record,' however, shows that both papers antedate 1865

1863. Returned by the Riviera road [from Switzerland] and home in November. Frank appointed Secretary to the British Association. Wrote paper on Domestication. Visited the Norths, etc.

1864. Very cold beginning of year. Went to Leamington at Easter [to visit, Galton's mother] .... Emma and Milly to us. in May. Went abroad in July to Switzerland, Peiden, Grindelwald, St Luc. Returned for British Association at Bath. I at Julian Hill meanwhile [Mrs Galton's mother's house]. Visited Hadzor [home of the Howard Galtons] and Leamington. ...Went to the Norths in December. Frank writing Hereditary Talent.... Frank busy editing Murray's Handbook. Christmas at home and alone."

The " Domestication " paper is chiefly of value as showing the transition of Galton's thoughts. Examining the accounts travellers give of savage races and his own experiences, Galton propounds the view that wild animals were tamed as pets or even kept for religious purposes3 before they were


' Transactions of the Ethnological Society of London, Vol. III, pp. 122-38, 1865. I have no record of when it was read.

2 Macmillan's Magazine, 1st Paper, June 1865, 2nd Paper, August 1865, Vol. xii, pp. 157-66, 318-27.

3 Several of the cases cited by Galton, e.g. that of the kites from Shark's Bay, Australia, and the serpents at Whydah in Africa, suggest that totemism even might be the ultimate source of domestication.