James Cowles Prichard, Researches into the Physical History of Mankind ( 1813), 4th edn., 4 vols. ( London: Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper, 1837-41), i. 105, 108-9, 147-8, 175-6, 180-3.
Prichard Researches into the Physical History of Mankind (developed in The Natural History of Man ( 1845)) set the terms for the debate on 'race' that would continue through the nineteenth century. It is dedicated to the famous German natural historian J. E. Blumenbach ( 1752-1840), who classified human races into five families (Caucasian, Mongolian, Malayan, Ethiopian, and American) but who subscribed to the traditionally Christian monogenist view that all mankind had a common origin. Prichard defends monogenic ideas by analogical reasoning--drawing comparisons between animal and human variation. The first volume of Researches considers 'whether each species in the animal or vegetable world exists only as the progeny of one race, or has sprung originally from several different sources'. These extracts are from the beginning of volume i, starting with the problematic definition of 'race' itself, then linking it with the crucial question of hybridity. The examples of the 'Bushmen', and the 'Griqua, or Bastard Hottentot race' recur throughout nineteenth-century discussion of racial difference and origin.
The meaning attached to the term species in natural history is very definite and intelligible. It includes only the following conditions, namely, separate origin and distinctness of race, evinced by the constant transmission of some characteristic peculiarity of organization. A race of animals or of plants marked by any peculiar character which it has ever constantly displayed, is termed a species; and two races are considered as specifically different, if they are distinguished from each other by some characteristic which the one cannot be supposed to have acquired,