Paul Erdmann Iserts comments on alleged "Cain" origins for Africans.

Oct 16, 1785
Paul Erdmann Iserts

Paul Erdmann Iserts, Letter, October 16, 1785, in Selena Axelrod Winsnes, ed., Letters on West Africa and the Slave Trade : Paul Erdmann Iserts Journey to Guinea and the Carribean Islands in Columbis (1788) (Accra, Ghana: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2007), 161-162

Sub-Saharan Publishers
Cain, Selena Axelrod Winsnes, Paul Erdmann Iserts
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As regards the colour of the Black, the philosophical naturalists have strained their brains not a little. In my opinion, the earliest of these naturalists explain the matter best, and they write that it is due to the extraordinary heat which obtains here without variation. Others say that it originated with Cain, the murderer of his brother, ||p. 199|| whose family were destined to have the black colour as a punishment. Others say they are descendants of Cush or Phut, one of the four sons of Hamg, who was supposed to have become this colour. Still others would have it that the first Black was a bastard, originating from a European and a variety of ape, etc.

In my opinion the origin of the colour of the Black can be attributed as much to the climate as to a more special cause. It holds for all nations that the closer they are to the equator, the more or less brown they are.The Spaniards and Portuguese are exactly the same complexion as the Mulatto, who is the offspring conceived in Africa of a Black woman and a North European. Indeed, by the third generation in descent from those who were the original offspring of Black woman and a European, one cannot see the difference [between them and Europeans] apart from the red cheeks, which are never found among Africans, even if they have European ancestors on both sides.

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