Title: “Ethnographic Tableau” of “Specimens of Various Races of Mankind”
Indigenous Races of the Earth; or, New Chapters of Ethnological Inquiry by J. C. Nott. and Geo. R. Gliddon. Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1857.
As part of the Athenæum Salon series Cultivating Collaboration: Live from the Archive, Emily Steffian (co-owner of the Providence favorite Cable Car Cinema) consulted many books from the Special Collections including children’s literature and several nineteenth-century texts on ethnology from the Natural History Collection. One of the books that caught Emily’s attention was Indigenous Races of the Earth; or, New Chapters of Ethnological Inquiry (1857).
The detail from the large-scale chart (pictured above), an “Ethnographic Tableau” of “Specimens of Various Races of Mankind” contributed by Josiah Clark Nott and George Gliddon appears at the front of the volume. Nott and Gliddon’s theories were based on the belief that each race had a separate origin (polygenesis), and were opposed by Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man (1871). However, Nott and Gliddon’s notions of scientific racism remained popular in Antebellum America.
Discovered by: Emily Steffian, co-owner, Cable Car Cinema