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Stone Collection: Volume 75 - Item 3
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Alfred H. Stone Collection
Volume: 75

3. J. H. Van Evrie and S. A. Cartwright, The Dred Scott Decision. Opinion of Chief Justice Taney, with an Introduction by Dr. J. H. Van Evrie. Also, an Appendix, Containing an Essay on the Natural History of the Prognathous Race of Mankind, Originally Written for the New York Day-Book by Dr. S. A. Cartwright, of New Orleans (New York: Van Evrie, Horton & Co., 1860). (ix, 48 p.)

Reprint of Chief Justice Taney’s decision in the Dred Scott case with an introduction by an imminent anti-abolitionist physician and publisher. The essay by Dr. Cartwright offers a polygenetic explanation of racial differences. “It is not intended by the use of the term Prognathous to call in question the black man’s humanity or the unity of the human races as a genus,” Dr. Cartwright explains, “but to prove that the species of the genus homo are not a unity, but a plurality, each essentially different from the others—one of the being so unlike the other two—the oval-headed Caucasian and the pyramidal-headed Mongolian—as to be actually Prognathous, like the brute creation; not that the negro is a brute, or half man and half brute, but a genuine human being, anatomically constructed, about the head and face, more like the monkey tribes and the lower order of animals than any other species of the genus man.” Dr. Cartwright goes on to explain that the term prognathous is “derived from pro, before, and gnathos, the jaws, indicating that the muzzle or mouth is anterior to the brain” (terms italicized in original). The back cover of the pamphlet contains advertisements for publications critical of abolitionism, such as “Negroes & Negro ‘Slavery:’ The First an Inferior Race—The Latter Its Normal Condition,” and “Negro Slavery Not Unjust.” An advertisement for the New York Day-Book” on the back explains that this weekly publication “was started to combat the modern heresies of Abolitionism.”