Henry Schoolcraft

Geologist, Author

1793 – 1864

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Who was Henry Schoolcraft?

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was an American geographer, geologist, and ethnologist, noted for his early studies of Native American cultures, as well as for his 1832 expedition to the source of the Mississippi River. He is also noted for his major six-volume study of American Indians in the 1850s.

He served as a United States Indian agent for a period beginning in 1822 in Michigan, where he married Jane Johnston, mixed-race daughter of a prominent Scots-Irish fur trader and Ojibwa mother, who was daughter of a war chief. She taught him the Ojibwe language and much about her maternal culture. They had several children, two of whom survived past childhood. She is now recognized as the first Native American literary writer in the United States.

In 1846 the widower Schoolcraft was commissioned by Congress for a major study, known as Indian Tribes of the United States, which was published in six volumes from 1851-1857. He married again in 1847, to Mary Howard, from a slaveholding family in South Carolina. In 1860 she published an "anti-Tom novel," in response to Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, and it was a bestseller.

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Mar 28, 1793
Also known as
  • Henry Rowe Schoolcraft
  • Henry R Schoolcraft
  • United States of America
  • Middlebury College
  • Union College
Lived in
  • Albany
Dec 10, 1864

on July 23, 2013


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