The Destiny of a Race, Thomas Hart Benton c. 1840


Since the dispersion of man upon earth, I know of no human event, past or present, which promises a greater, a more beneficent change upon earth than the arrival of the van of the Caucasian race (the Celtic-Anglo-Saxon division) upon the border of the sea which washes the shore of eastern Asia. The Mongolian, or Yellow race, is there, four hundred million in number, spreading almost to Europe; a race once the foremost of the human family in the arts of civilization, but torpid and stationary for thousands of years. It is a race far above the Ethiopians, or Black - above the Malay, or Brown (if we must admit five races) and above the American Indian, or Red; it is a race far above these but still, far below the White; and, like all the rest, must receive an impression from the superior race whenever they come in contact. It would seem that the White race alone received the divine command, to subdue and replenish the earth, for it is the only race that has obeyed it - the only one that hunts out new distant lands, and even a New World, to subdue and replenish.

The van of the Caucasian race now top the Rocky Mountains, and spread down to the shores of the Pacific. Their presence in such a position cannot be without its influence upon eastern Asia. The sun of civilization must shine across the sea: socially and commercially, the van of the Caucasians, and the rear of the Mongolians, must intermix. They must talk together, and trade together, and marry together. Moral and intellectual superiority will do the rest: the white race will take the ascendant, elevating what is susceptible of improvement - wearing out what is not. The Red race has disappeared from the Atlantic coast: the tribes that resisted civilization, met extinction. This is a cause of lamentation with many. For my part, I cannot murmur at what seems to be effect of divine law. I cannot repine that this Capital has replaced a wigwam. This Christian people, replaced the savages - white matrons, the red squaws. Civilization, or extinction has been the fate of all people who have found themselves in the track of advancing Whites.