Re: Blumenbach and Boas

Todd N Nims (nimstod@MAIL.AUBURN.EDU)
Mon, 23 Jan 1995 13:02:01 -0600

1. As far as I know the term was coined by Linneaus when he attempted to
split modern human beings into four seperate subspecies. He believed the
people of the Caucasas (sp?) to be the "most beautiful of all people" (or
something like that) and therefore they had to be where the first people
Hope this might help.......
Todd N. Nims
Auburn University, AL

On Sun, 22 Jan 1995 USS@SPACE-SOCIETY.UH.EDU wrote:

> Hello fellow listmates! Its good to be on an anthro list but hopefully the
> quality of subscribers will be slightly higher than that of Sci.Anthro :-)
> I have two questions that I'm in dire need of an answer to:
> 1. I need a reference to the origin of the term "caucasian." I remember
> that it came from a skull found in the Caucasas Mtns. believed to be of
> great antiquity at the time, but I am unable to find a hard reference.
> 2. (Hopefully, this won't provoke anyone.) I read a letter from Franz Boas
> to the editor of "The Nation" dated Dec. 23(?) 1919 entitled "Scientists as
> Spys." In it he referred to four anthropologists that he had
> "incontrovertible" proof as working as agents for the U.S. govt. while they
> were doing "fieldwork" in foreign lands. I found out about this through
> Stephen Gould's book _Wonderful Life_ in which he stated that the then
> Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute set out to have Boas removed from
> his position at Columbia for insubordination. Does anyone have a reference
> for this controversy? Any clues to who the four could be? I know this is
> a mindless occupation but I can't shake the Sherlock in me. WHO DONE IT?
> Curious,
> James Benthall
> University of Houston
> Houston, Texas