How I Came to Believe the Negro is an Ape – Prof. Charles Carroll,
author of “The Negro a Beast, 1900” & “The Tempter of Eve, 1902 “

When I was a boy, I stopped one day on my way home from school to observe the tricks of a monkey that was
being exhibited by an Italian organ-grinder. When I reached home, my father informed me that he had just bought
a little orphan negro; hastening to the kitchen, I at once observed the striking facial resemblance between the
little negro and the Italian’s monkey. His skull was as degraded and animal-like as that of the Neanderthal; while
the expression of his face, his movements and gestures must have been as fantastical and ape-like as those of
the Hottentot Venus. After dinner I took the little negro and hunted up the Italian with the view of further observing
the resemblances be-tween his monkey and the negro. The little negro had never before seen a monkey, and it
would have been difficult to determine whether his antics on those of the monkey were the most ludicrous; he at
least fully shared with the monkey the attention of the bystanders. My observations of the two convinced me that
the negro and the monkey belonged to the same family; and upon reaching home, I told my father of my observations
and expressed the opinion that the negro is an ape. My mother was highly amused, but my father was horrified,
and turning to my mother, he asked her if she had been talking to me on that subject; she replied that she had
not. My father then lectured me at length on what he termed my “outrageous views,” and forbade my further
discussion of the subject, assuring me that if I ever repeated the offense he would punish me severely. Sometime
afterwards, when my mother and I were alone, I asked her if she did not believe the negro to be an ape, but she
replied by reminding me of any father’s injunction, and declined to discuss the question. But remembering my
father’s question to her, and her manner on both occasions when the subject was mentioned, I feel assured
that I must have voiced her sentiments. when I declared the negro to be an ape. However, she died a few
years afterwards, and I never questioned my father as to her sentiments. Hoping that I would forget the matter,
and to further his desire that I should do so, my father sold the little negro, and I never saw him afterward.
But, though I was silenced, I was still free to observe and reason; and the more I saw of negroes, the more
I was convinced that my estimate of them was correct.

Last Updated on March 3, 2021 by Bill Arp

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