Buchanan's Journal of Man, June 1887 - Volume 1, Number 5
Author: Various
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In such cases of animal predominance we find that the moral region does not rise above the forehead, but runs back flat without elevation, while the depth of the ear below the level of the brain and the massiveness of the base of the brain running into a large neck show plainly that the animal organs rule.

In the more noble characters, the rounded elevation of the coronal region, combined with the moderate depth and thickness of the base of the brain, make it easy to see that their vertical measurement is due to height and not to depth. The great error of the phrenological school has been in estimating moral development by the total vertical measurement, and estimating animal development without regard to depth, which is its chief indication.

In a profile view, a line drawn from the middle of the forehead backward, horizontally, is sufficiently near the line of the lateral ventricles to enable us to compare the upward and downward development of the brain. In the two profiles here presented we see a marked difference of character illustrated by drawing a line back horizontally from the brow. The head in front, which is that of a private citizen of excellent character, named Smith, I obtained in Florida nearly fifty years ago. At the same time I obtained the other, which is that of a French count who lost his life on the coast of Florida by wreck when engaged in a contraband slave trade with Cuba. In the count we observe much less elevation and much greater depth. He is especially deficient in Benevolence.

In proportion as men or animals rise in the scale of virtue the brain is developed above the level of the face, and in proportion as they incline to gross brutality the development falls behind the face; and there is no exception to this law, either in quadrupeds, birds, or reptiles. Indeed, notwithstanding the smallness of the brains of fishes, their portraits show that this law applies also to them—as if nature had determined to warn mankind of the character of every animal. Alas for the dulness of human observers! Our naturalists and anatomists have said not one word of the most conspicuous fact that may be seen in the general survey of the animal kingdom.[3]

[3] The reader may naturally ask why have I not demonstrated this assertion before the scientific world. The reason is, that dogmatism rules in the sphere of natural science, and no communication would receive fair treatment which contravened the opinions of editors or the mass of prevalent opinion in colleges and scientific societies. It would be peremptorily rejected from our leading scientific magazine, the Popular Science Monthly.

To return to the theory of cerebral development: The reader will understand by referring to the last chapter that the summit of the spinal system or great inferior ganglion of the brain, bearing the names of optic thalami and corpora striata, is the true beginning of the cerebrum, instead of the medulla oblongata, which does not contain the fibres of the cerebral organs. And as this beginning is a little in front of the ear and its first radiating fibres are nearly on the horizontal line just mentioned, it follows that we may locate accordingly a centre from which cerebral development may be estimated; and when we take this true centre we may describe around it a circle, and find that the circle singularly coincides with the outline of the cranium, so that if we add to that circle the outlines of the nose, mouth, and chin, we have sketched a well-developed head of strong character, and ascertained the method of studying the development of the brain, which has so remarkably been overlooked.

No one can begin the study of brain development in men and animals guided by a correct system without being delighted with the uniform accuracy of the science; for even the incomplete and inaccurate science of Gall and Spurzheim, marred in its application by misconceptions of anatomy, has proved sufficiently correct and instructive to maintain its hold upon the minds of all students of nature, by giving them more truth than error, and sometimes giving the truth with marvellous accuracy. The errors they did not attempt to investigate.[4]

[4] I would merely mention, as a familiar example of such errors, that an enlightened student of phrenology called upon me yesterday, to whom phrenologists had given the character of avaricious selfishness and an incapacity for friendship, which indeed was the correct application of the old system, but was the reverse of his true character. The old system did not explain friendship correctly, and entirely mislocated the organ of avarice by placing it in the temples. The gentlemen had never before received a correct description from phrenologists he had visited.


The establishment of a new Journal is a hazardous and expensive undertaking. Every reader of this volume receives what has cost more than he pays for it, and in addition receives the product of months of editorial, and many years of scientific, labor. May I not therefore ask his aid in relieving me of this burden by increasing the circulation of the Journal among his friends?

The establishment of the Journal was a duty. There was no other way effectively to reach the people with its new sphere of knowledge. Buckle has well said in his "History of Civilization," that "No great political improvement, no great reform, either legislative or executive, has ever been originated in any country by its ruling class. The first suggestors of each steps have invariably been bold and able thinkers, who discern the abuse, denounce it, and point out the remedy."

This is equally true in science, philanthropy, and religion. When the advance of knowledge and enlightenment of conscience render reform or revolution necessary, the ruling powers of college, church, government, capital, and the press, present a solid combined resistance which the teachers of novel truth cannot overcome without an appeal to the people. The grandly revolutionary science of Anthropology, which offers in one department (Psychometry) "the dawn of a new civilization," and in other departments an entire revolution in social, ethical, educational, and medical philosophy, has experienced the same fate as all other great scientific and philanthropic innovations, in being compelled to sustain itself against the mountain mass of established error by the power of truth alone. The investigator whose life is devoted to the evolution of the truth cannot become its propagandist. A whole century would be necessary to the full development of these sciences to which I can give but a portion of one life. Upon those to whom these truths are given, who can intuitively perceive their value, rests the task of sustaining and diffusing the truth.

The circulation of the Journal is necessarily limited to the sphere of liberal minds and advanced thinkers, but among these it has had a more warm and enthusiastic reception than was ever before given to any periodical. There must be in the United States twenty or thirty thousand of the class who would warmly appreciate the Journal, but they are scattered so widely it will be years before half of them can be reached without the active co-operation of my readers, which I most earnestly request.

Prospectuses and specimen numbers will be furnished to those who will use them, and those who have liberal friends not in their own vicinity may confer a favor by sending their names that a prospectus or specimen may be sent them. A liberal commission will be allowed to those who canvass for subscribers.

Enlargement of the Journal.

The requests of readers for the enlargement of the Journal are already coming in. It is a great disappointment to the editor to be compelled each month to exclude so much of interesting matter, important to human welfare, which would be gratifying to its readers. The second volume therefore will be enlarged to 64 pages at $2 per annum.

"Irene, or the road to Freedom." 612 pages, $1; published by H. N. Fowler, 1123 Arch street, Philadelphia; called the "Uncle Tom's Cabin of Woman Slavery." Ostensibly a novel, it is a doctrinaire book, presenting a series of almost impossible incidents to enable the characters to present their ideas of woman's rights and wrongs and conjugal relations. The full development of the writer's doctrines (who is a woman) is postponed to another volume. The ideas in this would please only the most extreme radicals. The Journal is over-loaded with its special themes, and has not room for discussions of such subjects.


The eighth session is now in progress with an intelligent class. The ninth session will begin next November. I do not approve of medical legislation, but if it could be considered just to prohibit medical practice without a college education, it would be much more just to prohibit magnetic and electric practice without such practical instruction as is given in the College of Therapeutics and at present nowhere else.

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Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents came from the first issue of the volume. The article GENESIS OF THE BRAIN is continued from the previous issue's page 32. Liebault, Liebeault are retained as spelled in the quoted documents.


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