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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe

SCHOOLCRAFT, HENRY ROWE (1793-1864), American traveller, ethnologist and author, was born on the 28th of March 1793 at what is now Guilderland, New York, and died at Washington on the loth of December 1864. After studying chemistry and mineralogy in Union College he had several years' experience of their application, especially at a glassfactory of which his father was manager, and in 1817 published his Vitreology. In the following year he collected geological and mineralogical specimens in Missouri and Arkansas, and in 1819 he published his View of the Lead Mines of Missouri. In 1820 he accompanied General Lewis Cass as geologist in his expedition to the Upper Mississippi and the Lake Superior copper region, and in 1823 he was appointed Indian agent for the Lake Superior country. More than sixteen millions of acres were ceded by the Indians to the United States in treaties which he negotiated. He married the granddaughter of an Indian chief; and during several years' official work near Lake Superior, and later under authorisation of an Act of Congress of 1847, he acquired much information as to institutions, etc., of the American natives. From 1828 to 1831 Schoolcraft was an active member of the Michigan legislature. In 1832, when on an embassy to some Indians, he ascertained the real source of the Mississippi to be Lake Itasca.

In 1825 he published Travels in the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley, and in 1839 appeared his Algic Researches, containing Indian legends, notably, " The Myth of Hiawatha and other Oral Legends." He composed a considerable quantity of poetry and several minor prose works, especially Notes on the Iroquois (1846); Scenes and Adventures in the Ozark Mountains (1853). His principal book, Historical and Statistical Information respecting the Indian Tribes of the United States, illustrated with 336 plates from original drawings, in part a compilation, was issued under the patronage of Congress in six quarto volumes, from 1851 to 1857.

1 Another painting of the same subject in the Doria Palace in Rome (usually attributed to Durer) is given to Schongauer by Crowe and Cavalcaselle, Flemish Painters (London, 1872), p. 359; but the execution is not equal to Schongauer's wonderful touch.

2 An interesting example of Schongauer's popularity in Italy is given by the lovely Faenza plate in the British Museum, on which is painted a copy of Martin's beautiful engraving of the " Death of the 3 See Bartsch, Peintre Graveur, and Willshire, Ancient Prints, best edition of 1877. According to a German tradition Schongauer was the inventor of printing from metal plates; he certainly was one ol the first who brought the art to perfection. See an interesting article by Sidney Colvin in the Jahrbuch der k. preussischen Kunstsammlung, vi. p. 69 (Berlin, 1885).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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