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Osage | Quapaw | Kaw | Oto | 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)

Language(s): English
Date: 1811-1884
Type:Text
Extent: 4 items
Description: 1) Moses Fiske's description of skeletal remains found in basket burial in Warren County, Tennessee, in 1810. 2) Charles Willson Peale's catalogue of museum contents: "Indian curiosities, dresses, ornaments. Implements of agriculture, war, etc. of various nations. In the upper Room." Artifacts and articles of dress of western Indians (Lewis and Clark); ornaments from Ohio mounds; unidentified belts, pouches, and arrowheads. 3) Benjamin Franklin Peale's description of his collection of Material culture; thinks pottery fragments sent to him by Sellers are those of Mound Builders. 4) George Escol Seller's letter describing his artifacts from mounds in Ohio, 60 specimens of tools and cloth. Argues that Franklin Peale collected specimens to show the unity of mankind, while Sellers collects to find the variety of tools. Discusses Mound Builders at some length.
Collection: Peale-Sellers Family Collection (Mss.B.P31)

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)