R. W. Shufeldt

America’s Greatest Problem: The Negro

By R.W. Shufeldt MD. A new edition of the 1917 classic which predicted that if America’s racial problems were not solved by physical geographical separation of the races, the US would dissolve into a cauldron of racial conflict which would be detrimental to blacks and whites alike.

Written in a strident style typical of the time—but frowned upon nowadays—this book was a second, updated, and expanded version of its first iteration, which appeared under the title The Negro: A Menace to American Civilization, in 1907.

After reviewing Negro and white racial origins, and the impact of racial differences on crime, health, and economics, the author sketches in graphic—and sympathetic—detail the horror of the African slave trade which brought the Africans to America.

Describing the slave trade—and slavery—as a catastrophic error, he then goes on to point out how inherent, and unchangeable, racial differences mean that no matter what happens, politically or socially, there will never be genuine “equality” between black and white—because it is a physical impossibility.

A failure to recognize this, he argues, means that America will be consigned to indefinite racial unrest. Rather than face such a future, he proposes that the only way genuine racial peace—and a lasting solution—can be achieved is through the colonization of the black population back to Africa.

This book is also valuable because it shows how even as late as the early twentieth century, there was widespread support for the colonization movement—from both blacks and whites, reaching as high as the U.S. Senate, and many famous people such as the explorer Henry Morton Stanley.

This edition has been fully reset and contains 51 digitally restored illustrations which appeared in the original, a glossary, and an index.

About the author: Robert Wilson Shufeldt (1850–1934) was one of America’s leading twentieth century osteologists, myologists, museologists, and ethnographers, best known for his contributions toward the studies of bird anatomy and forensic science. He was made an honorary curator at the Smithsonian Institution in 1882.



Biographical Note



Note to the 2017 Edition

Chapter I: Man’s Place in Nature

Chapter II: Ethnological Status of the Negro

Chapter III: Comparative Ethnological Data

Chapter IV: The African Slave Trade

Chapter V: Biological Principles of Interbreeding

Chapter VI: Hybridization, Atavism, and Heredity

Chapter VII: Effects of Fraternization

Chapter VIII: Criminality of the Negro

Chapter IX: Some Views and Opinions


Chapter X: Amplification of Discussed Questions

Chapter XI: The Remedy



271 pages. Paperback.


Additional information

Weight 12.77 oz
Dimensions 6 × 0.56 × 9 in

R. W. Shufeldt