Abstract

abstract:

Samuel George Morton was a nineteenth-century anatomy professor and paleontologist who gained fame for the extensive collection of human skulls he collected and curated at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. An early scholar of physical anthropology in America, Morton promoted race supremacy, asserting that Germanic Europeans had the largest brains and highest intelligence of all human populations. When he died, four Philadelphia physicians eulogized him. Their writings have served as the foundation for most modern interpretations of Morton. An examination of rarely cited nineteenth-century documents indicates that his eulogists exaggerated the importance and reception of Morton's anthropological research and omitted or misrepresented details of his personal life. Studies of Morton by anthropologists, philosophers of science, or scholars studying race in America should therefore take a highly skeptical view of the memoirs written by Morton's nineteenth-century colleagues and admirers.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
2153-2109
Print ISSN
0031-4528
Pages
pp. 279-312
Launched on MUSE
2020-03-26
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.