Older settlers in U. S. are taller and thinner than recent immigrants.
St Louis, Missouri, | 1104 Chambers Street.
In the 1
There is no doubt in my mind, that the people of every race, gathering in this country, have a tendency to elongate or become taller and thinner I, however, do not attribute this circumstance to the climate, but to the ruling capacity of Americans in general, which is their will-power. The immediate tools of the will-power are the legs and arms of men. Whatever they plan, they have to execute it by the aid of their arms and legs. While in older nations, where reason and reflection predominate, the head gets larger, the legs and arms of will-peoples such, as the Americans, become longer. Americans do things first, and they commense by experimenting, and only afterwards they think the matter over. In the third generations the Germans, more than the French, ressemble the native born Americans of Anglosaxon origin and they become just as tall in most cases. In the first generation the difference is visible to every common observer. When the war broke out various regiments of German born in Germany were formed in this city. They received federal uniforms, made in Eastern manufactories according to the ordinary American sizes. They looked ridiculously absurd, because the uniforms did not fit one man in a hundred. Afterwards I saw various New England Regiments who had received the same sizes of clothing, and they were as fine looking troops as one could see, because their uniforms fitted them well.
I beg you to receive this note for what it is worth,— I am not a naturalist by profession, but an amateur student of your works, which gave such a wonderful turn to the modern Welt-Anschauung. I am of German origin, as the idiomatic expressions in this letter will show you, and use my leisure in keeping up with the progress of sciences. Could I be useful to you in any manner, I beg you to honor me by addressing me precise questions, which I will try to answer faithfully. I have reviewed your book in various newspapers and although a work like yours needs no recommendations, I nevertheless believe that my notions are for something in the rapid sale of upwards of 200 copies in this city during the first week after its appearance.
I am, Sir, with great respect and gratitude |
your obedient servant | Chs. L. Bernays, Brevet Lt Colonel
U.S. on the retired list.
Charles Darwin Esq. | England.
- f1 7515.f1Bernays refers to Descent US ed., which was published on 18 February 1871 (New York Daily, 18 February 1871, p. 6); in the English first edition, the statement referred to is in Descent 1: 246.
- f2 7515.f2Bernays refers to the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 to 1871. Many German immigrants settled in and around St Louis in the 1840s and 1850s (Columbia gazetteer of the world s.v. Missouri).
- f3 7515.f3Welt-Anschauung: world-view.
- f4 7515.f4The newspapers have not been identified, but Bernays worked, at times, for the St Louis Anzeiger des Westens and the Republican (Bernays 1912).
- f5 7515.f5CD cited Benjamin Apthorp Gould's Investigations in military and anthropological statistics (B. A. Gould 1869) a number of times in Descent.