A Science of Racism


"Tableau to accompany Prof. Agassiz's 'Sketch", from Josiah Clark Nott's Types of Mankind: or, Ethnological Researches… Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 1854.

From the collections of the Boston Medical Library




Physician Josiah Clark Nott (1804-1873) used early anthropological science to promote the idea of polygenism.  He began to publish on the subject in 1844 with Two Lectures on the Natural History of the Caucasian and Negro Races but his theories reached a wide audience with the publication, in collaboration with George R. Gliddon, of Types of Mankind, which was first published in 1854 and ran through ten editions. Types of Mankind includes a contribution by Louis Agassiz, "Sketch of the Natural Provinces of the Animal World and Their Relation to the Different Types of Man," where Agassiz maintains that the different geographic areas of the world produced distinct human and animal types.

A portion of the plate displayed here illustrates the humans and animals in the European, American, African, and Hottentot areas.

The full-text of this item is available through the Internet Archive here.

Louis Agassiz and Polygenism
A Science of Racism