SCHOOLCRAFT, HENRY ROWE Ameri can explorer, ethnologist and author, was born on March 28, 1793, in Albany county, N.Y., and died at Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1o, 1864. After studying chemistry and mineralogy in Union college and applying them in a glass factory of which his father was manager, he collected mineralogical specimens in Mis souri and Arkansas, and in 1819 published his View of the Lead Mines of Missouri. In 182o he accompanied Gen. Lewis Cass as geologist in his expedition to the Upper Mississippi and Lake Superior copper region, and in 1822 was appointed Indian agent, with headquarters at Michilimackinac. He married Jane D. John ston, the granddaughter of an Indian chief and the daughter of a wealthy and cultivated Indian trader, who aided him in acquiring information as to the institutions and beliefs of the natives. From 1828 to 1832 he 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. Schoolcraft was the author of some stilted verse, of several books on exploration in the Middle West, and of numerous works on the Indians. The
most important of these are Information respecting the Indian Tribes of the United States (6 vol., 1851-57), a lavishly illustrated compilation issued as the result of a commission by Congress, and Algic Researches (2 vols., 1839; 1856 ed., The Myth of Hiawatha). Save in the latter volume, Schoolcraft's style is pompous and cumbersome, but he was a pioneer in the work of preserving the aboriginal myths and lyrics. Inspired by his re searches, Longfellow decided to weave the red men's "beautiful traditions into a whole," the result being Hiawatha; numerous other poets such as J. R. Lowell and T. B. Aldrich based shorter pieces upon his publications.
See his Personal Memoirs of a Residence of Thirty Years with the Indian Tribes (1851), which, although poorly digested, gives a fair notion of his work; also an article by F. B. Streeter in the American Collector (vol. v., Oct., 1927) .