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Language(s): English
Date: June 29, 1793
Type:Text
Genre: Essays
Extent: 74 pages
Description: "Notes on the animals of North America." Information about various animals with additional data on birds and fish. In many instances includes indigenous names and use of animals, principally for Algonquian and southeastern Indians.
Collection: Violetta Delafield-Benjamin Smith Barton Collection (Mss.B.B284d)

Cherokee
Language(s): English
Date: 1792-1796
Type:Text
Extent: 2 items
Description: Correspondence relating to Cherokees. Letter to Thomas Pennant, sending specimens of birds called Onacloneita by visiting Cherokee Indians; and letter to John G. E. Heckewelder, inquiring whether any Indians ever have a sickly white color or white spots on them and mentioning Cherokee belief that their ancestors found a race of "develish white-people" when they came to the area then inhabited. [From original in the Gilbert Collection, College of Physicians, Philadelphia.]
Collection: Violetta Delafield-Benjamin Smith Barton Collection (Mss.B.B284d)

Cherokee | Delaware | Meskwaki | Nanticoke | Onondaga
Language(s): English | Cherokee | Delaware | Onondaga
Date: 1783-1817
Type:Text
Extent: 107 pages
Description: These letters authored by Benjamin Barton Smith to various correspondents discuss Indian vocabulary words for birds, earthquakes, and animals of their domestic economy. Smith solicits information about Indian beliefs about health, nursing, menstration, animal sacrifice, Indian Bible, origins of Indian tribes, white race, Orthography and spelling, chief's political power, and comparative linguistic analysis between Indian and Asiatic languages.
Collection: Violetta Delafield-Benjamin Smith Barton Collection (Mss.B.B284d)

Delaware | Cherokee
Language(s): English
Date: 1788-1789; February 3, 1808; circa 1809; June 23, 1819; July 5, 1819; May 29, 1826; August 11, 1834; February 9, 1835; March 14, 1839; December 31, 1882; 1926; Undated;
Type:Text
Extent: 13 items
Description: Relavent materials can be found in the finding aid under the specific dates listed. Various materials pertaining to miscellaneous American Indian peoples. Topics include Indian songs; Du Ponceau's "Memoir on the Indian Languages"; ancient and lost Indian languages; Heckewelder's missionary efforts among Indians; the book collection of John and Anna R. Gambold, missionaries to the Cherokees; questionable Snake Creek artifacts; busts of Indians; mineral and shell specimens; speculations on the origin of American Indians; Gallatin's documents for collections of vocabularies forwarded to E. Lincoln, John Pickering, S. Wood, Ebenezer Harris, James Rochelle, and Peter S. Du Ponceau; grizzly bears captured by Indians; Schoolcraft's projected volumes on Indians; Barton's "An essay towards a natural history of the North American Indians"; and Nuttall's Summary of paper "Fresh Light on Ancient American Civilizations and Calendars."
Collection: Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection (Mss.Ms.Coll.200)

Delaware | Nanticoke
Alternate forms: Lenape
Language(s): English
Date: 1792-1805
Type:Text
Extent: 10 items
Description: Correspondence relating to miscellaneous indigenous peoples and cultures. Seven letters are to John G. E. Heckewelder and three are to Thomas Pennant. Smith's letters to Heckewelder largely consist of questions about Native peoples, cultures, and languages, including a query about Indian names for a particular bird; the Indians' feelings and beliefs about the opossum; Heckewelder's opinion on the strength of body and age of Indians in comparison to whites; what Indian nations in Heckewelder's knowledge compress the heads of children and how it is done; and information on health, nursing, menstruation, etc. Smith also expounds at times, expressing his belief that some Indian nations formerly had a hieroglyphic writing system and asking Heckewelder's opinion, wondering whether Indian chiefs have more or less power now than formerly, and pursuing his inquiry into the relations of North American and Asiatic languages. He is also interested in accuracy of George Henry Loskiel's "History of the Mission of the United Brethren among the Indians in North America," which mentions the Moshkos Indians, of whom Barton had never heard before. Also mentions study of the Nanticoke. Smith's letters to Pennant revolve around the prospects for his work on antiquities and Indians and his hopes for a London edition to satisfy European market, and the possible Welsh origins of American Indians. Barton general disapproves it, but agrees that there is a case for the Welsh origin of the American Indians from physical appearance, while others had seen this as evidence for Jewish origin. He finds striking vocabulary evidence for Jews, Greeks, Scottish Highland, as well as Welsh. [Most of the letters to Heckewelder are from originals in the Gilbert Collection, College of Physicians, Philadelphia.]
Collection: Violetta Delafield-Benjamin Smith Barton Collection (Mss.B.B284d)

Shawnee
Language(s): English
Date: After 1806, circa 1814
Subject: Zoology
Type:Text
Genre: Essays | Notes
Extent: 2 pages
Description: A note on Barton's "Article on animals of America." Refers to his name for elk, Cervus Wapiti, derived from Shawnee. See also Barton (1806).
Collection: American Philosophical Society Archives (APS.Archives)