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Aimoré
Alternate forms: Botocudo
Language(s): English
Date: May 2, 1837
Type:Text
Extent: 2 pages
Description: Letter to Samuel Morton regarding Morton's work on American man. Can send only a drawing of a Botocudo skull, given to Blumenbach at Goettingen, found in his Decades Craniorum (1790-1828), plate 58. Skull of man of Rio Grande de Belmonte. Will get drawing of Charruas and Patagonians.
Collection: Samuel George Morton Papers (Mss.B.M843)

Osage | Quapaw | Kaw | Otoe | Omaha | Comanche | Creek
Language(s): English
Date: 1834; 1837
Type:Text
Extent: 2 items
Description: Letters from Zina Pitcher and John Collins Warren discussing grave robbing of Indigenous ancestors' remains. Pitcher mentions difficulties in getting information about the deceased from Algonquians, who won't speak of the dead. Mentions Osages, Quapaws, Missouri, Kansas, Otos, Omahas; Chitimachas or Comanches; and the five tribes of the Creek nation. Warren lists American skulls in his collection: mostly eastern, except for Ancient Niagara and Chinook, not flattened, plus Ohio cavern and Ohio rock and Mound at Lexington; Algonquian from eastern Massachusetts. He talks of the Guanche cast from the Canaries and some unidentified skulls he has seen.
Collection: Samuel George Morton Papers (Mss.B.M843)

Atakapa | Natchez
Alternate forms: Atacapa, Ishak
Language(s): English
Date: 1834; 1839
Type:Text
Extent: 2 items
Description: Letters discussing grave robbing of Indigenous ancestors' remains. Letters from Joseph Barabino and William Byrd Powell regarding American Indian skulls and phrenology. Barabino informs Morton that he will visit Atakapas to secure skulls for Morton; he cannot identify the late Dr. Lebair's skulls. Powell compares Atakapa and Natchez skulls, criticizes Morton's use of single examples from each tribe, discusses his desire to take 500 specimens on a phrenological speaking tour in England, criticizes Combe's comments in Crania Americana, and alludes to a professional dispute.
Collection: Samuel George Morton Papers (Mss.B.M843)

Kalinago
Language(s): English
Date: April 1837
Type:Text
Extent: 1 page
Description: Letter discussing grave robbing of Indigenous ancestors' remains. Enclosed in letter to Charles Pickering. Head of fossil skeleton in Guadeloupe not Carib, but like Peruvian heads.
Collection: Samuel George Morton Papers (Mss.B.M843)

Cherokee
Language(s): English
Date: 1838
Contributor: Martin, James
Type:Text
Extent: 2 items
Description: Letters discussing grave robbing of Indigenous ancestors' remains. Correspondence regarding James Martin's collection of Cherokee skulls in North Carolina and Tennessee, where Martin was based at Fort Cass as medical director for Army to the Cherokee Nation. Martin has no flattened skulls as Morton has requested. Mentions Dr. Eugene H. Abadie in Florida; changing burial practices among Cherokees; various cave sites in Tinnipic and Cumberland River Valleys where skulls might be found.
Collection: Samuel George Morton Papers (Mss.B.M843)

Chickasaw | Cherokee | Choctaw
Language(s): English
Date: March 24, 1837
Type:Text
Extent: 1 page
Description: Letter discussing grave robbing of Indigenous ancestors' remains. Sends drawings of heads, one of an ancient tribe, flattened at back of head, from mound at junction of French-Broad and Holston rivers. Other from bank of Cumberland river above Nashville, probably of Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Choctaw nations said to visit here. They seem much alike in their living form to Troost.
Collection: Samuel George Morton Papers (Mss.B.M843)

Choctaw | Creek | Yuchi | Cherokee | Chickasaw | Atakapa | Natchez | Chinook
Language(s): English
Date: 1829-1839
Type:Text
Extent: 21 items
Description: Letters mostly discussing grave robbing of Indigenous ancestors' remains and Morton's phrenological work. Topics include human and animal crania and skeletons that correspondents have and/or have sent to Morton; phrenological anaylsis of Indigenous ancestors' remains, attributing traits to various peoples based on skull formation; Native American burial sites and mortuary customs; excavation of Native mounds and descriptions of the objects and human remains found inside; discovery of mastadon skeletons; and speculation about Native American origins. Several letters relate to Ohio, Illinois, and the Upper Mississippi Valley. Peru and Mexico also mentioned.
Collection: Samuel George Morton Papers (Mss.B.M843)

Haudenosaunee | Tutelo
Alternate forms: Iroquois, Six Nations
Language(s): English
Date: 1835-1836
Type:Text
Extent: 4 items
Description: Letter discussing grave robbing of Indigenous ancestors' remains. Three letters from Hildreth regarding the opening of "the Mingo sepulchre," the human remains and artifacts he discovered, and his sending of a Mingo and Turtillo (Tutelo?) skull to Morton; he included a full description of the sepulchre in his account of a visit to the Falls of the Cuyahoga. Letter from Townsend tells a story related to him by a trader, Mr. Birnie, that a party of Iroquois Indians on Smoky River in the Rockies in 1822 told him they had recently seen a huge mastodon-like animal, but denied ever having heard of such a beast before. Bones have recently been discovered of such a beast on Peace River, which connects with the Smoky.
Collection: Samuel George Morton Papers (Mss.B.M843)

Aztec
Language(s): English
Date: 1830-1841
Type:Text
Extent: 5 items
Description: Letters discussing grave robbing of Indigenous ancestors' remains. Maclure and Burroughs write of the difficulty of obtaining "pure" Mexican skulls; problem of shipping out skulls (though Maclure sends several); innate capabilities of the Indians; educating the Indians. Edmonds sends "heads" collected from the Pyramid of the Sun and Moon near San Juan de Teotihuacan. Mexican curiosities. Macartney sends 6 skulls collected by Jose Gomes de la Cortina, a Mexican gentleman. Claims that skulls are easily obtained from Mexicans. Skulls from Santiago de Flotiloho are unreliable, since epidemic of cholera resulted in throwing bodies into ancient burials.
Collection: Samuel George Morton Papers (Mss.B.M843)

Aymara
Language(s): English
Date: 1824-1842; 1911
Type:Text
Extent: 25 items
Description: Letters discussing grave robbing of Indigenous ancestors' remains and Morton's phrenological work. Topics include human and animal crania and skeletons that correspondents have and/or have sent to Morton; the histories, biographies, and provenance of some of these remains; Native American burial sites in Kentucky, Peru, and elsewhere; publicity, and reception of Morton's Crania Americana (1839); hostility to phrenology in Britain; the publication of other phrenological works; Thomas Hodgkins' efforts to educate "young Indians" through his Society of Friends mission; General Lafayette wants a skull for his own studies; and Aleš Hrdlička's 1911 evaluation of Morton's work as being not very good but an important foundation of American anthropology. Other individuals mentioned include Edward Harris, Joseph Dorfeuille, Dr. Flowers (Flourand), Benjamin H. Coates, John Dunn Hunter, Captain Norton.
Collection: Samuel George Morton Papers (Mss.B.M843)