ilization, has certainly not proved correct in this case, where we see a large body of wandering hunters converted within three years into a community of industrious and successful farmers. If it be said that the Blackfeet are, to some extent, an exceptional people, we are led to inquire into the origin of their superiority; and we can find no other cause than the fact that they are evidently a people of mixed race. As the Chilians, who are of mingled Spanish and Araucanian origin, are taking the lead among; the nations of South America—as the Feejeeans, who are of mixed Polynesian and Melanesian race, are foremost in mental vigor among the islanders of the South Pacific—so it would seem that the Blackfeet may owe their unusual capacity for improvement to a like cause. Instead of holding the melancholy belief which was common a few years ago—but which science is now repudiating—that Nature is opposed to a mingling of the human races, we may find in such evidences reason to believe that Nature is preparing to produce, by a commixture of the most opposite races, the most progressive, and possibly the predominant, race of the future.
IT is now nearly seventy years since the first student of our fishes crossed the Falls of the Ohio and stood on Indiana soil. He came on foot, with a note-book in one hand and a hickory stick in the other, and his capacious pockets were full of wild flowers, shells, and toads. His mantle (since fallen upon me) was "a long, loose coat of yellow nankeen, stained yellower by the clay of the roads, and variegated by the juices of plants." In short, in all respects of dress, manners, and appearance, he would be described by the modern name of "tramp."
Nevertheless, no more remarkable figure has ever appeared in the annals of science or in the annals of Indiana. To me it has always possessed a peculiar interest, and so, for a few moments, I wish to call up before you the figure of Rafinesque, with his yellow nankeen coat, "his sharp, tanned face, and his bundle of plants, under which a peddler would groan," before it wholly recedes into the shadows of oblivion.
Constantine Samuel Rafinesque was born in Constantinople, in the year 1784. His father was a French merchant from Marseilles doing business in Constantinople, and his mother was a German girl born in Greece, of the family name of Schmaltz. Rafinesque himself, son of a Franco-Turkish father and a Græco-German mother, was an American.
Before he was a year old his life-long travels began, his parents
- Read before the Indiana Academy of Sciences, December 30, 1885.