“News from the Feegees”

in The Skull Collectors

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780226233482
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226233499 | DOI:
“News from the Feegees”

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This chapter examines the production and circulation of Samuel George Morton's book “Crania Americana; or, A comparative view of the skulls of various aboriginal nations of North and South America, to which is prefixed an essay on the varieties of Human Species.” It suggests that this book is Morton's most important publication, and a striking example of American intellectual enterprise and Philadelphia printing and lithography. The chapter also argues that it is a contradictory volume because it combined the dry empiricism of Morton's descriptions of racial difference with richly textured lithographs of skulls that he commissioned from a talented local artist.

Keywords: Samuel George Morton; Crania Americana; intellectual enterprise; Philadelphia printing; lithography; racial difference; skulls

Chapter.  15906 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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