World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Charles Hamilton Smith

"Privates of the Greek Light Infantry Regiment"
from Costumes of the Army of the British Empire

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Hamilton Smith (26 December 1776 in East Flanders, Belgium – 21 September 1859 in Plymouth) was an English artist, naturalist, antiquary, illustrator, soldier, and spy.

Contents

  • Military service 1
  • Antiquary, naturalist and illustrator 2
  • The Natural History of the Human Species 3
  • References 4

Military service

His military career began in 1787, when he studied at the Austrian academy for artillery and engineers at Mechelen and Leuven in Belgium. Although his military service, which ended in 1820 and included the Napoleonic Wars, saw him travel extensively (including the West Indies, Canada, and United States), much of his time was spent at a desk job in Britain. One of his noteworthy achievements was an 1800 experiment to determine which colour should be used for military uniforms. The increasing accuracy of firearms, especially rifles, brought advantages to shades which offer a less distinctive target – by testing the accuracy of a rifle company against grey, green, and red targets, he showed scientifically the advantages of grey (and to a lesser extent, green) uniforms over red ones common at the time, and recommended that grey be adopted for riflemen and light infantry. The British army did not heed his advice, with green becoming the colour associated with light infantry. Initially commissioned into the 60th Foot, Smith later transferred to the 6th Foot.

Antiquary, naturalist and illustrator

"United States Artillery" by Smith

As a prolific self-taught illustrator, he is also known in military history circles for Costume of the Army of the British Empire, produced towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars and an accurate depiction of contemporary British uniform. As an antiquarian, he also produced, in collaboration with Samuel Rush Meyrick, Costume of the Original Inhabitants of the British Islands, 1815, and The Ancient Costume of England, with historical illustrations of medieval knights, ladies, shipsm and battles. The majority of his vast body of work (he estimated it was over 38,000 drawings) was not military in character, but largely passed into obscurity. Notebooks of his observations as a naturalist have survived, as well as antiquarian illustrations of civilian life. He also wrote on the history of the Seven Years' War and the natural history of dogs.[1] Smith was of Flemish origin; he wrote the military part of Cox's Marlborough and many military and natural history books.[2]

The Natural History of the Human Species

Smith published The Natural History of the Human Species in 1848. In this book, he maintained that there had always been three fundamentally distinct human types: the Caucasian, the Mongolian, and the Negro. Smith was nominally a

  1. ^ "Charles Hamilton Smith". Library of Congress. Retrieved 19 August 2009. 
  2. ^ DNB Epitome
  3. ^ Damon Ieremia Salesa, Racial Crossings: Race, intermarriage, and the Victorian British Empire (2011), pp. 148–9; Google Books.
  4. ^ Gustav Jahoda, Crossroads Between Culture and Mind: Continuities and Change in Theories of Human Nature, 1993, p. 93.
  5. ^ David N. Livingstone, Adam's Ancestors: race, religion, and the politics of human origins (2008), pp. 97–99
  6. ^ "Historic People". Plymouth Athenaeum. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Historic People". Plymouth Athenaeum. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  •  "Smith, Charles Hamilton".  

References

On retirement Smith settled in Plymouth, joining The Plymouth Institution (now The Plymouth Athenaeum).[6] He delivered lectures and many of his 20 volumes of MSS notes, letters and papers were deposited in the Institution. His collection was destroyed when The Plymouth Athenaeum was bombed during The Blitz in 1941.[7]

Smith's book was reprinted in America, where Samuel Kneeland wrote an 84-page introduction to it. Kneeland laid out evidence which he maintained supported polygenist creationism, and argued that the Bible is compatible with multiple Adams.[5]

[4]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.