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Maya | Mixtec
Language(s): French
Date: 1859-1882
Extent: 2.0 linear feet, 123 photographs
Description: A traveler, archaeologist, and photographer, Désiré Charnay (1828-1915) was one of the most important early expeditionary photographers. During his tours of Yucatan, Oaxaca, and Chiapas in 1858-1860 and 1880-1886, Charnay became one of the first to use photography in documenting the great Meso-American archaeological sites and to make ethnographic photographs of indigenous Mexicans. This collection of photographs is representative of the range of images he took of Meso-American archaeological sites during three tours of Mexico in 1858-1860 and 1880-1886. Although some of the images have suffered an unfortunate degree of fading, they convey the power and fascination that these sites held for Charnay and his contemporaries, and include some of the best early examples of the use of photography in the documentation of Mexican archaeology. The collection includes images of the sites at Tula, Teotihuacan, Iztaccihuatl, Chichen Itza, Comalcalco, and Palenque; of archaeological specimens held at the Museum of Mexico; of landscape and villages in Yucatan, Chiapas, and Oaxaca; and of a series of Lacandon, Mayan, Mixtec, and Yucatec "racial types." The collection was apparently assembled by the scientist Griffith Evans Abbot (1850-1927), who presented them to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. The 15 cartes de visite included in the collection, mostly portraits taken in Peru, Chile, and Madeira, bear an uncertain relationship to the Charnay images, and are probably present simply because they were also once owned by Abbot. All images have been digitized and are available through the APS Digital Library.
Collection: Abbot-Charnay Photograph Collection (Mss.913.72.Ab23)

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)

Chinook | Guanche | Klickitat
Language(s): English
Date: 1835; 1837
Type:Text
Extent: 3 items
Description: Letters discussing grave robbing of Indigenous ancestors' remains. Letter from John Warren Collins including a list of American Indian skulls in his collection: Chinook, Mound Builder, and Algonquian. Has cast of Guanche skull from Canary Islands. Two letters from John Kirk Townsend on September 20, 1835 concern Chinook and Klickitat ancestors' remains he is sending to Morton from Philadelphia, including disturbing descriptions of grave-robbing and the destruction of sacred sites in the midst of epidemic disease.
Collection: Samuel George Morton Papers (Mss.B.M843)

Choctaw | Creek
Language(s): English
Date: December 16, 1832
Type:Text
Extent: 3 pages
Description: Letter discussing grave robbing of Indigenous ancestors' remains. Pitcher gives route for Mr. Conrad (conchologist) to go west, tells of migration of Choctaws, road, and explorations for land for them. Has a Creek skeleton he will send when the river gets high enough.
Collection: Samuel George Morton Papers (Mss.B.M843)

Haudenosaunee | Mohawk | Oneida | Onondaga | Tuscarora | Seneca
Alternate forms: Iroquois
Language(s): Italian
Date: 1790
Type:Text
Extent: 118 pages
Description: Count Paolo Andreani was an aeronaut, physicist, naturalist, and traveler. This is a translation of his travel diaries from originals owned by Count Antonio Sormani Verri, of Milan. Includes Frammenti de Diario, a fragment of a diary kept on a trip to Britain, circa 1783-1784; Viaggio da Milano a Parigi, journal of a voyage from Milan to Paris, 1784; Viaggi di un gentiluomo milanese, Giornale, typed transcriptions of the travels of a gentleman from Milan, containing notes on the Iroquois [Haudenosaunee] Indians, 1790; Giornale de Filadelfia a Quebec, journal from Philadelphia to Quebec, 1791; and, journal of a trip through New York state (including visits to Albany, the reservations of the Haudenosaunee, Saratoga, and the Shaker community at New Lebanon), 1790. Of particular importance are his comments on the Haudenosaunee, from Albany to the Haudenosaunee, pages 32-85, especially pages 45-85, which is copied in a typed transcript by Count Antonio Sormani Verri, 15 pages. Discusses the Oneida: dress, physical type, government, religion; discusses Tuscarora and Onondaga; comments on language of Mohawks. Vocabularies, sentences of Onondaga, Oneida, and Seneca.
Collection: Count Paolo Andreani journals, 1783?-1791 (Mss.Film.604)