Concept

Anthropological Society of London

Summary
The Anthropological Society of London (ASL) was a short-lived organisation of the 1860s whose founders aimed to furnish scientific evidence for white supremacy which they construed in terms of polygenism. It was founded in 1863 by Richard Francis Burton and James Hunt. Hunt had previously been the secretary of the Ethnological Society of London, which was founded in 1843. When he founded the breakaway ASL, Hunt claimed that society had "the object of promoting the study of Anthropology in a strictly scientific manner". Nevertheless he reminded his audience that, whatever evidence might be uncovered, "we still know that the Races of Europe now have much in their mental and moral nature which the races of Africa have not got." The ASL only lasted 8 years: following Hunt's death in 1869 it was absorbed into the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Prelude to the ASL James Hunt had encountered the disgraced Edinburgh anatomist, Robert Knox in 1855. Duri
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