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Who’s Who in the Age of Boas: The Sponsors of Anthropological Papers Written in Honor of Franz Boas (1906)

Herbert S. Lewis

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Lewis, Herbert S., 2020. “Who’s Who in the Age of Boas: The Sponsors of Anthropological Papers Written in Honor of Franz Boas (1906)”, in Bérose - Encyclopédie internationale des histoires de l'anthropologie, Paris.

URL Bérose : article2087.html

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One expects a Festschrift celebrating a notable scholar to be produced late in that person’s life, after a career full of successes, students, and honors. [1] But in 1906 Franz Boas was a mere 48 years old, he had only been teaching at Columbia University for a decade and had produced only three PhDs ; he had yet to publish his major work, The Mind of Primitive Man (1911) or his paradigm-shattering findings about the change in head and bodily form among immigrants. Nevertheless he was honored with Anthropological Papers Written in Honor of Franz Boas, “Presented to Him on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of His Doctorate.” This massive volume is 559 pages long and contains 43 scholarly papers, in addition to letters of appreciation from six important figures from the nascent world of anthropology. Although the honoree was still relatively young, the list of his publications, scholarly and more popular, takes up 25 pages and the subject index to it, five.

Boas had been in the United States since 1886 but had only secured a stable position, his professorship at Columbia, in 1899—a few years before the Festschrift. [2] Nonetheless, he had accomplished a remarkable amount in the two decades since he turned to anthropology. Among other things he had carried out a major study of the people and environment of Baffin Island as well as an important part of his significant Kwakiutl ethnographic work. He organized and seen to fruition, if not yet publication, the ambitious Jesup North Pacific Expedition [3] [JNPE from now on] and overseen much of the exhibition of anthropology at the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. Boas was central to the early development of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History [from now on AMNH], and created the famous Northwest Coast Hall. Boas had begun his pioneering longitudinal studies of human physical development while at Clark University and published numerous groundbreaking papers including “Human Faculty as Determined by Race” (1894). He helped found both the Journal of American Folklore and the new series of American Anthropologist in conjunction with the establishment of the American Anthropological Association.

As Rosemary Zumwalt points out, as early as 1896, when Boas was offered his first limited position at Columbia College, he was “Esteemed by leading anthropologists and ethnologists” and “had been lauded for his work in physical anthropology, ethnography, fieldwork, and for the courses he would develop” (2019 : 263). She follows this up with a few of testimonials from leading figures at the time : Paul Topinard from France for physical anthropology, Frank Cushing for his ethnographic work, Jesse Fewkes for the training in ethnology and archaeology he would give students, and from his patron, Frederic Putnam, the most influential organizer in American anthropology at the time. Finally, Zumwalt quotes a letter from Edward B. Tylor telling Boas, “... I have seldom known anyone better qualified for all-around work in Anthropology” (2019 : 263-264). Yet he had only begun his career as an ethnographer thirteen years earlier and been in the United States for a decade by that time. Douglas Cole, another biographer, summarized it this way : “Through critical thought, organizational drive, the ability to master new and diverse fields, and, as much as anything, sheer industry, he had commanded the field of American anthropology by 1906, becoming the leading ethnologist, American linguist, folklorist, and physical anthropologist” (1999 : 285). [4]

The Festschrift gives powerful testimony to the impact of Franz Boas on the establishment of anthropology as an academic and scientific discipline in America even at that early date, but the substance of the book owes relatively little to that influence. The majority of the papers are either from European scholars or from Americans working within pre-Boasian canons. The exceptions are those of his former students, A. F. Chamberlain, Alfred L. Kroeber, and William Jones as well as several other younger scholars he influenced : Roland B. Dixon, Alfred M. Tozzer, John Swanton, Pliny Earle Goddard, and Clark Wissler. There are also contributions from his collaborators on Northwest Coast ethnographic works, George Hunt and James Teit, two Russian Jewish ethnographers, Lev Sternberg and Waldemar Jochelson, who were recruited by Boas to participate in the JNPE, and pieces by two whaling captains known to Boas from his Baffin Island fieldwork in 1883-84. [5]

Boas’s continuing direct and active connection to European scholarship is evident in the fact that about a third of the contributions are from that continent. Fourteen of the authors are from Germany and Austria and twelve essays are in German. Furthermore, a number of those who were resident in America were also recent immigrants, like Adolph Bandelier, Ernst Richard, and Berthold Laufer. While the contributions of the people Boas directly influenced point in the direction of what would become modern American anthropology, most of the others could have been prepared for an older antiquarian or Orientalist [6] publication. [7] He was familiar with all of the authors, of course, long-time friends of some.

Something else that the volume indicates is the extent to which Franz Boas had reached beyond the scholarly community to the world of “movers and shakers,” the wealthy and powerful, and had enlisted their support in his projects. The most interesting thing about this volume is the auspices under which it was produced and, above all, the Committee of Arrangement and the Subscribers who contributed financially to the impressive project. There are approximately 50 individuals listed as backers of this volume and their backgrounds are revealing of the patronage for this new science at the birth of its institutionalization and professionalization. To anticipate our conclusions, we can divide these enthusiasts into two groups. One of them consists of individuals, almost all of British ancestry, most of them wealthy, with an interest in American Indians, Meso-American prehistory, and natural history. There are some self-made researchers in these fields among them ; most, if not all, had a connection to the AMNH. The second group was composed of recent German immigrants, most of them Jewish and, like the others, living in New York City (NYC). Strikingly, many were among the richest men in America. It is worth looking at the individuals listed as subscribers and several of the members of the committee, at least briefly. [8] We will find that most of them were more than merely “subscribers”—they were active supporters as well. He would call upon them for help with his plans and they would frequently respond positively—to a point.

The volume opens with the listing of the Committee of Arrangement. The chairman of the committee was the formidable and long-lasting president of Columbia University (1902-1945), Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947)—who would later have conflicts with a number of prominent faculty members, Franz Boas among them. Berthold Laufer (1874-1934) was the secretary and editor, not merely the person with the unenviable task of organizing and editing this sprawling bilingual volume, “the prime mover” as well (Cole 1999:286). [9] Laufer, a German-born and educated specialist on East Asian cultures, had participated in the JNPE and was an expert on China. (Boas would long struggle to find support to keep Laufer at Columbia in order to develop a center for Chinese and “Asiatic” studies. [10] He failed, and Laufer spent most of his career as curator at the Field Museum in Chicago.)

Harlan I. Smith (1872-1940) is listed as treasurer. He was an archaeologist who had worked with Boas at the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, at the AMNH, and most importantly was recruited by Boas to participate in the JNPE.

Morris K. Jesup (1830-1908), a banker and philanthropist devoted to science and many progressive social causes was a central figure in Franz Boas’s early career. Jesup was a major contributor to the AMNH, serving as its president from 1881 until his death in 1908, and he hired Franz Boas as assistant curator in the department of ethnology in 1895. In addition to helping fund Robert Peary’s expeditions to the Arctic, Jesup was sponsor of the North Pacific Expedition that bore his name. By 1905, however, Jesup was no longer happy with Boas, who was leaving the museum on bad terms with the chief curator, Hermon Bumpus and with Jesup himself. Jesup must have been an unwilling participant. In a letter announcing the Festschrift to Boas, Laufer notes that “Mr. Jesup was elected to the committee at the express request of Herr Schiff” (Laufer to Boas July 1, 1906). Jacob H. Schiff (1847-1920) was one of the leading figures in American finance and industry and a major philanthropist. He was apparently the major donor for the Festschrift as well (Fishberg et al. 1907).

The committee included Andrew D. White (1832-1918), the first president of Cornell University, a noted historian and two-time U.S. ambassador to Germany, who had studied in Germany [11] and the important industrialist, numismatist, and museum supporter, Edward D. Adams (1846-1931).

Amidst these exalted names is the more modest one of W. J. McGee (1853-1912), a largely self-educated geologist turned ethnologist who pursued an active career as bureaucrat (ethnologist in charge of the BAE 1893-1903), organizer (1904 World’s Fair, American Anthropologist) and president of the National Geographic Association and the American Anthropological Association (AAA). Although McGee does not deserve much respect for his scholarship he was an important ally of Franz Boas at a time when he badly needed such support.

Professor Eduard Seler (1849-1922), another member, was “generally regarded as the initiator of Mexican studies in Germany” (Parmenter 1966:89) and was director of the American Department at the Royal Ethnological Museum in Berlin. Franz Boas worked at that museum in 1885-6 and the two were in constant contact between 1888 and 1922 when Seler died. [12] Dr. Abraham Jacobi (1830-1919), Franz Boas’s uncle (his mother’s brother-in-law) and one of his closest advisors and avid supporters, will be discussed below, as will Jacobi’s close friend and leading German-American, Carl Schurz (1829-1906).

After the Committee of Arrangement there is a list of subscribers. There are 38 of these, including the publishing company, G. E. Stechert, New York City publishers with German and other European connections. The other 37 can be classified in the two groups mentioned above. Members of each group will be listed separately, in alphabetical order, with brief biographical sketches. (The list is augmented slightly with several members of the committee worth noting further.)

British Ancestry

Edward Dean Adams (1846-1931) was on the cover of Time Magazine in 1929—seven years before Franz Boas would be granted that honor. Edward D. Adams was a member of the Adams Family—one of the most prominent ones in American history. The Time cover was in celebration of his role as a pioneer of hydroelectric power. His construction company “erected under his direct supervision the great water-power plant at Niagara Falls to develop and transmit from a central power station alternating current electric power for industrial purposes, the greatest engineering feat that had been accomplished to that time in his field” (Time, 1929 : 140-141). But this Adams did a great deal more. He was a power broker as well as a power provider, a banker and a business man who took over numerous failing firms and transformed them, including several railroads, sometimes in coordination with J.P. Morgan. From 1893 until the beginning of World War I, Edward Adams was the American representative of the Deutsche Bank and in this position “he secured hundreds of millions of dollars of German money for investment in American industrial enterprises with which he was connected” (Bartlett 1927). [13]

In addition, like many on this list, he was a major benefactor of numerous cultural and arts institutions. He was a major figure in the management and development of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and active in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Ethnological Society (AES), the American Geographical Society, the AMNH, and many more. He had a special interest in the American Numismatic Society. Franz Boas recruited him to be the honorary president of the Germanistic Society of America—even though he didn’t speak German, as he apologetically explained. (Perhaps his association with Deutsche Bank was the basis for this invitation.)

Franz Boas would turn to Edward Dean Adams frequently for support for his plans for “the development of [the] anthropological work in Columbia University,” for the International School of American Archaeology and Ethnology in Mexico (F. Boas to E. D. Adams 2/5/1913) and for Asian Studies, beginning with Laufer’s China program and continuing with the Philippines, Japan, India, etc. (F. Boas to E. D. Adams 2/2/1904)

Charles Pickering Bowditch (1842-1921) was a major confidant of Boas, a significant scholar of Maya epigraphy, and the most significant patron of Maya archeology of his time. The correspondence between Boas and Bowditch was constant through the first two decades of the century. From a prominent Boston family (his grandfather was the Harvard mathematician, considered the founder of modern navigation, Nathaniel Bowditch and his brother was a leading physiologist, also at Harvard) young Charles served as an officer in two Massachusetts “colored” regiments in the Civil War. He was a successful businessman, the director of a number of major businesses and organizations, but his passion was Maya archeology and the decipherment of Maya writing, in which he was one of the pioneers. His major work was The Numeration, Calendar Systems and Astronomical Knowledge of the Mayas (1910). He was the primary donor to the Peabody Museum at Harvard, one of the founders of the AAA, a major figure in the Archaeological Institute of America, and a member and officer of many others. Like Adams, unsurprisingly, he also belonged to the New England Historic Genealogical Society. (We will encounter his family again, below.)

The name of Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) would stand out in any list of men in the United States in the Gilded Age. It isn’t necessary to dwell on the success of this lad from a poor Scots family who immigrated to this country in 1848 and began working as a telegraph messenger boy at the age of 14 for $2.50 a week. With luck and pluck and a little help from friends in high places, in time the growing boy gained control of production and distribution of iron and steel in the United States as it rapidly developed after the Civil War. But Andrew Carnegie also had literary and intellectual interests and a serious dedication to philanthropy. As he wrote in a memo to himself in 1868, he wanted to be “taking a part in public matters especially those connected with education and improvement of the poorer classes”. [14] He devoted his last years to giving ; his 3,000 or so libraries in 47 states and eight other countries and Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Carnegie Hall, are just a bit of it. He was also a major benefactor of the Tuskegee Institute (as were others on the Boas benefactor list), was interested in natural history and evolution and built his own natural history museum in Pittsburgh.

Boas wrote directly to Carnegie in 1906 and 1908 requesting support for an African Institute in order to do research and disseminate information about the achievements of the Negro in Africa, and soon after for funds for research on American Indian cultures. These requests were denied. (The letters of rejection were not signed by Andrew himself.) The Carnegie Institution of Washington, however, founded in 1902, funded archeological research on the Maya for many decades.

Andrew Carnegie was anti-imperialist and opposed annexation of the Philippines, like his friends Mark Twain and Carl Schurz (Beisner 1968).

Rev. John W. Chapman (1858-1939) was a missionary who during 43 years did research into language, customs, and prehistory of Alaskan Indians. He and Boas corresponded about publication of Chapman’s work somewhat later than 1906.

William Demuth [15] was a producer of cigar store Indians—both carved from wood and cast in metal. It might seem improbable for one of this profession to be a member of such august company, but William Demuth was both a life member of the AMNH and the eponymous founder of and contributor to the museum’s collection of pipes from many cultures.

Lt. G.T. Emmons (1852-1945), U.S. Navy, was stationed in Alaska in the 1880s and 1890s and took a deep interest in the language, culture—and welfare—of the Tlingit, Tahltan, and other Alaskan peoples. He was involved in the World’s Columbian Exposition as well as the AMNH and was in frequent correspondence with Boas from 1905 to 1907.

Professor Amos W. Farnham (d. 1920) was an early member of the AAA as well as the American Geographical Society. He had a PhD from Charleston University and taught geography at Oswego Normal School.

George Bird Grinnell (1849-1938) was a prolific amateur ethnographer whose interest derived from his concern for the West, natural history, and conservation. He was a New Yorker with Yale degrees in zoology who spent much time exploring and hunting in the West. An active participant in numerous organizations such as the Audubon Society and New York Zoological Society, he was a prolific author of books about hunting, the frontier, and especially about Indians. His most notable works for anthropology are his several books about the Cheyenne. (Grinnell proposed Boas for membership in the New York Folk-Lore Society in 1895.)

Stansbury Hagar (1869-1942) was a New York City lawyer who contributed an article on “Cherokee Star Lore” to the volume, and also published papers about Peruvian, Mayan, and “Mexican” astronomy. He is listed as secretary of the Department of Ethnology and on the Executive Committee of the Department of Astronomy of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences for 1909-1910. He donated collections of “Indian Relics” to the Institute. He was also a member of the American Folk-Lore Society and he and Boas corresponded a few times over the years. [16]

John Hays Hammond (1855-1936) was on the cover of Time magazine three years before Edward D. Adams and ten before Boas. He was a very lucky and successful mining engineer who, early in his long career, worked in Mexico for the mining business of Senator George Hearst (Calif.), husband of Phoebe Apperson Hearst, his fellow subscriber to the Boas Festschrift, and father of William Randolph Hearst. After about a decade working as an engineer for railways and other California business interests he went to South Africa in 1894 to work with Cecil Rhodes mining gold and diamonds. Unfortunately for Hammond he was implicated as a ringleader of the infamous fiasco known as the “Jameson Raid,” captured by the Boer government of Transvaal and sentenced to hang. [17] The sentences of all the conspirators were commuted and Hammond returned to the United States to a successful life in mining and consulting, as friend of Republican politicians such as President William Howard Taft. From 1902-1909 he was professor of mining at Yale, his undergraduate alma mater.

Hammond is an unusual member of the list. I can find no link to an interest in ethnology or antiquities ; apparently, the only organization noted for him is the Rocky Mountain Club, of which he was the long-time and only president. His wife, Mrs. John Hays (Natalie Harris [1861-1931]) Hammond was a member of the AMNH, however. In 1911 Boas wrote her for help raising funds to underwrite an appointment to the staff of the School of American Archaeology for the elderly and ailing archeologist Adolph Bandelier. (Bandelier had been fired from the museum by Boas’s nemesis, Hermon C. Bumpus. Boas intended the financial support to be a secret from Bandelier, as Franz’s own uncle, Dr. Jacobi, had once secretly paid for his first Columbia salary. This was hardly the only occasion that Boas devoted time and connections to help elderly and unfortunate people get financial support.)

Phoebe A. Hearst (1842-1919) was well known for her contributions to anthropology and archeology in California at the turn of the century and they have since been commemorated in the renaming of the Lowie Museum of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley after her. Born into a family of modest means in a modest town in Missouri where she trained to be a teacher, Phoebe Apperson married George Hearst, a California miner who became very rich and then a U.S. senator. She used her ample funds and ample free time to benefit many causes, above all education, art, archeology and anthropology. In addition to the Museum of Anthropology, Mrs. Hearst funded the department of anthropology at the UC Berkeley at its beginning, as well as the expedition of Max Uhle to Peru (Uhle was close to both Boas and Kroeber) and George Reisner in Egypt. [18] (Her son, William Randolph Hearst, was at the height of his political influence at the time of Boas’s Festschrift.) She was also a patron and friend of Zelia Nuttall, an independently wealthy woman devoted to Mexican archeology who was a confidant of Boas on such matters. (Nuttall is an author of one of the papers in the Festschrift. See below.)

George Gustav Heye (1874-1957), son of a German immigrant who became wealthy in the petroleum industry, graduated from Columbia University in 1896 and began collecting Indian artifacts while working as an engineer in Arizona in 1897. Heye created the Museum of the American Indian in Manhattan in 1916, housing the world’s largest collection of Native American artifacts, and he and Boas had a continuing cooperative relationship. He was relatively young at the time of the Boas Festschrift, but he had the wealth and the devotion to be a subscriber and to contribute a two-page piece to the book, a description of a striking “ceremonial stone chisel.” (The Heye Museum was taken over by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of the American Indian after 1989.)

Archer Milton Huntington (1870-1955) was not on the subscriber list but he was closely involved with Boas at this time and belongs with the other sponsors. Archer M. Huntington was the adopted son of the very wealthy and powerful railroad man, Collis Potter Huntington, and from an early age his passion was Spain and Spanish culture and history. He devoted much of his energy to the foundation of The Hispanic Society of America in 1904, and donated the land for the American Numismatic Society and the Museum of the American Indian (for his friend George Heye) to be built adjacent to it. He was also a major benefactor of the American Geographical Society and the anthropology department of the AMNH, among other philanthropic works. Franz Boas and Huntington carried on an extensive correspondence between 1903 and 1915. They apparently had frequent meetings and Boas turned to him for many of his plans and needs. For some time Huntington paid Adolph Bandelier’s salary at Columbia. [19]

B. Talbot Babbitt Hyde (1872-1933) was a retired New York inventor and businessman and, with his brother Frederick E. Hyde, Jr., an enthusiastic contributor to Southwest archeological field expeditions. He participated in at least one dig (the Hyde Expedition to Pueblo Bonito) and volunteered at the AMNH. He served as the treasurer of the AAA in its early years. There is a considerable correspondence between Boas and Hyde, mostly about money and AAA publications. [20]

Morris K. Jesup (1830-1908) was another New York businessman and banker with railroad interests who retired early with a fortune to devote himself to good works ; and devote himself he did. A volume of appreciation of Jesup opens with a listing of 23 organizations of which he was a president, vice-president, founder, member of the board, trustee, etc.—but the author doesn’t bother to enumerate those to which he simply belonged. The author of this appreciation notes the breadth of his concerns, including “Science, education, philanthropy, and religion” (Brown 1910:3). There was a lot of religion ; among other organizations : the YMCA, the New York City Mission and Tract Society, Syrian Protestant College at Beirut, Union Theological Seminary, as well as the Five Points House of Industry, a settlement house for saving, aiding, reforming, and educating “at risk” women and their children. And there was plenty of science, with the Peary Arctic Club, the Audubon Society of the State of New York, and, most important for our tale, the AMNH, of which he was a founder and President from 1881 to 1908. [21] He devoted time, money, and a lot of his heart to the museum, and as noted earlier, he made two vital decisions that furthered the career of Franz Boas. It is interesting, however, that in the 241-page volume of encomia for Jesup that devotes 20 pages to a detailed account of his accomplishments at the AMNH the name “Franz Boas” appears just once, in a long footnote in which Boas himself describes “the value of the results attained” from the JNPE (Brown 1910:169-170).

That footnote contains one of Franz Boas’s greatest contributions to the development of anthropology of that era—or any : “The tribes of the North Pacific Coast no longer appear to us as stable units, lacking any historical development, but we see their cultures in constant flux, each people influenced by its nearer and more distant neighbors in space and in time. We recognize that from an historical point of view, these tribes are far from primitive, and that their beliefs and their ways of thinking must not be considered those of the human race in its infancy which can be classified unreservedly in an evolutionary series, but that their origin is to be sought in the complicated ethnic relations between the tribes.” [22]

The Honorable Seth Low (1850-1916) was yet another subscriber, one of considerable achievement and renown. Low was born into a prosperous New York family involved in the China trade (tea and silk) but when he was 38 he quit business, very well off, and went into political and educational life. (He had graduated from Columbia College in 1870.) As so many in Boas’s orbit, he was a reformer, a progressive, concerned about working people and the poor. At the height of his political career he served as mayor, first of Brooklyn, and later, of the consolidated city of New York. His political career was too long and eventful to attempt a summary here, but like a number of others on the list he was a crusader for government reform in the city of New York. From 1890-1901 he was president of Columbia—under whose administration the status was changed from Columbia College to Columbia University and the campus was moved to Morningside Heights. It was Seth Low who established anthropology as a discipline at that institution and hired Franz Boas to teach anthropology and build the program.

Seth Low was a member of the American delegation to the International Peace Conference at the Hague in 1899, and one of his fellow delegates was Andrew D. White (above). In 1905 Low was pleased to accept the position of Honorary Vice-President of the Germanistic Society of America, on the board with the president—Nicholas Murray Butler—and Andrew D. White, Edward D. Adams, Carl Schurz, H.C. Kudlich, and Emil L. Boas. (The last three are discussed below.)

From 1907-1916 Low was chairman of Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute, an establishment supported by a number of the subscribers. (There is a letter in the Boas file inviting him to join a visit to the institute February 20-24, 1915. I don’t know if Boas accepted.) He held offices in the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), the Archaeological Institute of America, and was a trustee of the Carnegie Institute. (Note the “interlocking directorates.” We find the same individuals involved with these institutions over and over.)

William Barclay Parsons (1859-1932) from an elite New York City family, and like a number of the individuals on the list of subscribers received his secondary school education abroad, in his case in England. He subsequently graduated from Columbia College in 1879 and from its School of Mines in 1882. He co-founded the Columbia Daily Spectator in 1877 and retained his connection to the university, later serving as chairman of the board of trustees. Boas turned to him often for support for his programs in his early days at Columbia and their correspondence has a somewhat more personal feel than many.

In 1885 William Barclay Parsons founded Parsons Brinckerhoff, an engineering firm that continues today in some form or other as WSP USA and WSP Global, one of the largest engineering and design groups in the world. In his time he worked on railroads, subways (he was chief engineer for the construction of the first subway line in NYC [23]), canals (chief engineer for the Cape Cod Canal, Panama Canal committees), London traffic problems (1904), and warfare—in France in WWI (well after the Festschrift, of course.) He also wrote books, technical works on engineering, historical works about engineering, and his experiences in France and in China.

In 1900 William Barclay Parsons published An American Engineer in China “to present a view of China and the Chinese from the stand-point of industrial development as it exists at present and along the lines it is likely to follow in the future.” He attempts to allay the readers’ fear of “the yellow peril” and he hopes for a time when conditions “will enable China once more to take her place among the great nations of the earth” (1900 : 314. Cf. Boas 1911). [24]

J. Dyneley Prince (1868-1945) was another product of Columbia College (BA 1888) who spent his academic career there as professor of East European languages. In addition to his fascination with many languages and linguistics from his youth, he was also a politician, serving in the New Jersey Assembly and Senate between 1906 and 1913, and a diplomat, an ambassador first to Denmark and then to what would become Yugoslavia from 1926-1932. He was an important longtime colleague of Boas at Columbia and he contributed at least one piece to the American Anthropologist, “An Ancient New Jersey Indian Jargon,” in 1912. (He found the 1684 manuscript while he was acting governor of New Jersey.)

All these speak to the significant role of Franz Boas but also to the sense of the development of a new science, Franz Boas’s type of anthropology.

The Germans and the Jews

There seem to be two distinct categories with considerable overlap between them. On the one hand there is a group, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who were veterans of the Revolutions of 1848 in Germany and Austria. They were liberal, progressive, reformist, even radical, proponents of the ideals of those revolutions, including concern for the poor and working classes. There were a number of physicians and lawyers among them. The other category consisted of really rich Jewish bankers, who also tended to be progressive in terms of their philanthropy and concern for good government and relief of the conditions of the poor. The Jewish members were also dedicated to Jewish causes. [25]

Dr. Felix Adler (1851-1933) was born in Germany, the son of a Reform rabbi, who immigrated to the United States in 1857. Felix graduated from Columbia College in 1870 and then studied at Heidelberg University in Germany, receiving a doctorate in 1873. On return to New York, instead of taking over his father’s pulpit at New York’s Temple Emanuel he founded his own movement devoted to the idea of morality and ethics without the need for ritual and belief in a supernatural. Adler’s Society of Ethical Culture began in New York City in 1876 and was (and still is) a progressive, secular, and non-sectarian movement stressing humanitarian ethics that was attractive to similarly minded German immigrants, especially Jews. [26] He soon opened a free kindergarten open to children of the poor and then founded the Ethical Culture School and what is today the Fieldston School. Felix Adler was an active speaker and writer and was deeply involved in the pursuit of social reforms such as the abolition of child labor and improvement of housing for the poor. [27] He was the founding chairman of the National Child Labor Committee in 1904, served on the forerunner of the American Civil Liberties Union beginning in 1917, and was on the first Executive Board of the National Urban League.

In 1902 Felix Adler became professor of political and social ethics at Columbia University, in John Dewey’s department. He and Franz Boas were very well acquainted, and several of the Boas children attended the Ethical Culture School (as did Alfred Kroeber, whose Lutheran family were also recent immigrants from Germany).

Dr. Isaac Adler (1849-1918) was a surgeon at the German Hospital and Mt. Sinai Hospital, whose book, Primary Malignant Growths of the Lungs and Bronchi (1912) was a pioneering work on recognition of lung cancer. He began the practice of giving chest X-rays to patients to check for pulmonary tumors and was the first to write of the connection between lung cancer and smoking. [28]

Emil Boas (1854-1912), born in Prussia, immigrating to the United States in 1874, was a cousin of Franz Boas. He became the American General Manager of his family’s business, the Hamburg American Line (HAPAG). He was also one of the founders of the Germanistic Society of America, with cousin Franz.

Arthur von Briesen (1843-1920) was one of several German-born Boas supporters who was not Jewish. He came to the United States in 1858, in time to serve in the Civil War. He attended New York University (NYU) Law School and became a successful and important figure in the legal world. He was president of the Legal Aid Society from 1890-1916, eventually resigning because of his support for Germany during WWI. Among numerous other organizations, he was chairman of the Ellis Island Investigating Committee, a member of the Good Government Club, and the National Roosevelt League of New York which he led with his good friend Carl Schurz. He headed the Carl Schurz Memorial Fund, 1906-1913. As many of the others in this network he served as an officer of Germanistic Society of America—of which Franz Boas was one of the chief organizers. See Antonio Knauth, below.)

Dr. Maurice Fishberg (1872-1934) was an outlier in this group because he was an Ostjude, a Jew born in the Ukraine. He immigrated to the United States in 1889 and attended NYU Medical School, receiving his MD degree in 1897. As a physician in NYC hospitals and professor of medicine, he wrote on tuberculosis and also did research on the physical anthropology of Jews, publishing The Jews : A Study of Race and Environment in 1911. He cooperated with Boas on data for the latter’s immigrant studies [“Health and Sanitation of the Immigrant Jewish Population of New York City’]. He was a medical examiner for the United Hebrew Charities.

Esther Herrman (1823-1911) was born in Utrecht in the Netherlands in 1823 and brought to the United States in 1827. She married Henry Herrman, who was born in Baden, Germany and made a fortune importing clothing from Europe. Esther Herrman was a major philanthropist and the chair of the philanthropic committee of the NYC women’s club, with a Sorosis (“aggregation” in Latin). She was especially passionate about women’s suffrage and other women’s causes but she spread her wealth around widely. She was among the founders of Barnard College and contributed to many causes, both Jewish and scientific. Among these were the Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA), New York Botanical Gardens, NYAS, and, naturally, the AMNH. Another was the Hebrew Technical Institute, a school to promote technical education among new immigrants. (Prof. Morris Loeb [below] was its president for some years.)

Dr. Abraham Jacobi (1830-1919) was born in the town next to the Boas family in Westphalia in Germany. His poor family (“uneducated ordinary village Jews” [Zumwalt : 5]) put him through excellent schools, including the Gymnasium in Minden that Franz Boas would attend three decades later, and then medical schools. He received his MD degree from Bonn University in 1851, the same year that his first wife, Franz Boas’s mother’s sister, Fanny Meyer, died in childbirth. It was a busy year ; for his participation in the revolutionary movements of the 1848 Revolution he was imprisoned as a communist in Berlin in 1851. He escaped in May 1852 and after sojourns with Karl Marx in London and Friedrich Engels in Manchester, he arrived in New York in October 1853 and settled into Kleindeutschland, the world of the German immigrants in Lower Manhattan (Viner 1998:437 ; Nadel 1990).

In New York and the United States he was honored for a lifetime of dedicated and brilliant medical achievements. As a pediatrician, organizer, teacher, researcher, and advocate for the poor, children, and women, he loomed large over the New York and American medical scene. Among many other positions and achievements, he was affiliated with several hospitals : The German Dispensary (specifically for care of the poor), which became the German Hospital (now Lenox Hill Hospital), and Jews’ Hospital (later, and still today, Mt. Sinai), and Montefiore. He was on the faculties of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (Columbia) and NYU and New York Medical College. He was cofounder of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children, president of the American Pediatric Society, New York Academy of Medicine, the American Medical Association (for several terms), and four other medical associations and the American Climatological Society (New York Times, July 11, 1919). He has been given the unquestioned title of the Father of Pediatric Medicine in America and his obituary in the New York Times claims he was “the dean of the American medical profession as well” (July 11, 1919). [29] He is remembered today in the Jacobi Medical Center of Albert Einstein School of Medicine and the Jacobi Medallion for excellence at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

According to Julie Miller, “... Jacobi ... a leader of the emerging field of pediatrics, brought his radical interpretation of medicine as a means for uplifting the poor to his work with New York’s foundlings” (Miller 2008:4). She also writes that Jacobi “... was a representative of a new laboratory-based medicine that was centered in Germany and France and brought to the United States by European physicians such as himself and by Americans who studied medicine in Europe.” Russell Viner writes of Jacobi and several other “radical [German] immigrant physicians in New York” that they “shared a similar commitment to the Virchovian view of medicine as an essentially social and political undertaking” (1998:445). The leading German progressive scientist and statesman, Rudolph Virchow, was an important model for Jacobi’s nephew as well and he would follow in that same tradition, bringing both the progressive political spirit and the devotion to scientific investigation that was developing in German institutions at that time. [30]

After the death of his first two wives, in 1873 Jacobi married Dr. Mary C. Putnam, the second woman to get a medical degree from the University of Paris, who had a full and distinguished career as a physician, researcher, writer, organizer, advocate for women’s health and rights (a suffragist), the poor, and other causes in parallel with her husband. [31] Abraham Jacobi died in Bolton Landing, NY, at the former summer home of Carl Schurz ; his own house next door burnt down earlier that year.

W.S. Kahnweiler [32] assisted Livingston Farrand, Boas’s colleague in the early years at Columbia and a participant in the Jesup NPE, in writing up the material on the Quinault and other Indians. (Kahnweiler is a Jewish family name ; unfortunately I could not find any further information about him.)

Dr. Fred Kammerer [33] was associated with the German Hospital of New York and served as President of the New York Surgical Society in 1913. (Viner lists a Dr. Joseph Kämmerer as one of “Jacobi’s fellow radical immigrant physicians in New York” along with Franz’s (late) father-in-law, Ernst Krackowizer [1998:445]). [34]

Antonio Knauth (1855-1915) was born in Leipzig and immigrated to the United States in 1875. He received his law degree from Columbia in 1879 and became a partner with Arthur von Briesen in the firm of Briesen, Steele & Knauth. He was also the co-owner of Knauth, Nachod & Kuhne bank, of Leipzig and New York ; vice president of Botany Worsted Mills. He served as president of the Germanistic Society of America just before Abraham Jacobi. His daughter Suzanne was married to William L. Langer, the noted Harvard historian. (This made her Suzanne K. Langer, the noted philosopher.) His sister Selma was married to Henry Pickering Bowditch, who taught physiology at Harvard, was dean of Harvard Medical school, and the brother of Charles Pickering Bowditch (above). [35] Antonio Knauth, like his law partner and friends in the Germanistic Society was concerned with civil rights, good government, and reform of the government of New York City. Like Abraham Jacobi, he died in Bolton Landing, at the family cottage in the same community as Carl Schurz, Abraham Jacobi, and Franz Boas. [36]

Herman Kudlich (1860-1946) was born in Hoboken, NJ to immigrant parents from Austria. Herman’s father, Dr. Hans Kudlich, as a young lawyer, was a leader in the 1848 Revolution and a member of the Revolutionary Reichstag who introduced the bill “that abolished the old, deeply entrenched, feudal land system” (Goldmark 1975 [1930]:72). After the failure of the revolution he received a medical education in Switzerland and immigrated to America where he was an esteemed member of the Society of German-American Physicians together with Jacobi, Krackowizer, and Hans Zinsser. A good friend of Carl Schurz, his fellow revolutionary, Dr. Hans was one of his pallbearers. (Herman’s mother’s brother, Prof. Carl Vogt, was a very important scientist at the University of Geneva. Originally from Germany, he, too, had to flee as a result of his republican actions during 1848.)

Herman Kudlich got his law degree from Columbia Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1881. Among other positions he was the attorney for the German Legal Aid society of New York and he was appointed a city magistrate for police courts in New York City as part of an effort to reform the criminal judiciary “... and his appointment to the bench is due to the influence of that powerful portion of our population who represented him to be peculiarly qualified from his knowledge [of the] needs, and wants of the poor and working classes, especially of the foreign population” (The Medico-Legal Journal, 1895, v. xiii (1) : 103).

Kudlich was a founder of the Germanistic Society and he was a member of the AMNH. (Mt. Kudlich in the Denali Range in Alaska was evidently named after him.)

George Friedrich Kunz (1856-1932), born in Manhattan, was a self-taught mineralogist and collector extraordinaire. He worked for Tiffany and the U.S. Geological Survey and he loomed large over the world of mineralogy, it seems. He wrote a great deal about minerals and gems and belonged to many relevant organizations. A “gentleman scientist” with only honorary degrees—an AM from Columbia (1898) and PhD from Marburg (1903)—he also served as a curator at the AMNH. He belonged to AAAS, NYAS, and gave a series of lectures at Lowell Institute in 1894-95 where several other members of this group would also give such lectures. This includes Franz Boas, whose “course of lectures” at the Lowell Institute in 1910-11 were incorporated into The Mind of Primitive Man (1911). Kunz’s daughter Ruby was married to Hans Zinsser (see Zinsser below).

Dr. Gustav Adolph Langmann (1854-1916), born in Mecklenburg, Germany, was a physician at Mt. Sinai and German Hospitals (together with A. Jacobi, I. Adler, F. Kammerer, and Willy Meyer). He was especially interested in animal poisons and toxicity, and was well-known for his research on snake poisons. He is present on the internet for such things as a live demonstration of rattlesnakes and their poison at the New York Academy of Medicine, providing information regarding an anti-venom serum that saved a life, as the donor of a great Acoma pot to the Museum of American History and for unmasking a very gross medical hoax (too gross to repeat). In addition to his membership in the New York Pathological Society and New York Entomological Society he was a member of the Germanistic Society of America and wrote to Franz Boas about organizational matters. His wife, Katherine Zinsser, was probably related to Hans Zinsser.

Prof. Morris Loeb (1863-1912) was born in Cincinnati in 1863 but in 1865 he moved to New York City when his father, Solomon Loeb, joined Abraham Kuhn to make the Kuhn, Loeb & Co. banking firm. Morris went to school at Sachs Collegiate Institute, founded and directed by Julius Sachs (below) and he entered Harvard in 1879 at age 16—graduating magna cum laude in chemistry and English. He continued his studies in chemistry in Germany, getting a PhD in Berlin and then studying with Wilhelm Ostwald in Leipzig. Loeb was called “Ostwald’s First American Student and America’s First Physical Chemist” (Saltzman, 1998). In 1889 he was appointed a docent in physical chemistry at Clark University, along with Franz Boas. Franz’s wife Marie recalled “On Sunday Prof. Michelson, a physicist, played the violin, Herr Loeb, the viola ; and Franz the piano ...” (quoted in Zumwalt 2019 : 208). Loeb later taught at Columbia University and Albert Abraham Michelson left Clark for the University of Chicago. Michelson was already known for his experiments measuring the speed of light as well as for his work with Edward Morley and the Michelson-Morley experiment of 1887. (Michelson was the first American to win a Nobel Prize.) [37]

Aside from his major contributions to chemistry Loeb was a major figure in the organization of American chemical societies and internationally (see Saltzman 1998 : 14). He was also very rich and deeply involved with Jewish affairs and philanthropies. (Appropriately, Morris Loeb married Eda Kuhn, and he was, in fact, closely related by marriage to Jacob Schiff, head of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., as well as to the Warburg brothers, and Isaac N. Seligman [below].) He was on the New York School Board, and the boards of the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Educational Alliance, and was president of the Hebrew Technical Institute. He was one of the founders of the American Jewish Congress and a leading supporter of American Jewish farmers through the Jewish Agricultural and Industrial Aid Society. He also backed the development of agriculture by Jewish farmers in Palestine by supporting Aaron Aaronsohn’s Jewish Agricultural Experimental Station in Atlit in 1909. [38] He died at the age of 49 of typhoid fever (brought on by eating contaminated oysters !), leaving much of his fortune to various Jewish, artistic, and scientific institutions, including the AMNH, of course.

Jacob Meyer (1834-1906) was Franz Boas’s uncle (his mother’s brother [Uncle Kobus]). He was in the import business in New York, was wealthy, and very close to his nephew Franz. According to Rosemary Zumwalt (2019) Uncle Kobus helped him settle in New York.

Dr. Willy Meyer (1858-1932) was Franz Boas’s first cousin—his mother’s brother’s son—born in same town in the same year. His medical education was at the University of Bonn (1880) and he immigrated to New York in 1884. He was called the “Father of Thoracic Surgery,” having achieved major distinctions in that field, including for his contributions to surgery on breast cancer. (He was the author of Cancer, 1930.) Like the other physicians on this list he practiced at the German Hospital and several other New York medical institutions. He was one of the founders of the American College of Surgeons, president of the American Association for Cancer Research (1922-23), and much more.

Prof. Julius Sachs (1849-1934) was born in Baltimore and received his BA degree in Columbia College but his PhD in Rostock in 1871. He was the founder of two private schools, Sachs Collegiate Institute (SCI) and Sachs School for Girls, and then became professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University in 1902. Students at the SCI included the future senator from and governor of New York State, Herbert Lehman, and his distinguished brother, Judge Irving Lehman [see footnote], sons of one of the founders of Lehman Brothers bankers ; Walter Lippmann, Hans Zinsser, prolific writer and professor of bacteriology and immunology at Harvard and son-in-law of George Kunz (above), and Morti Schiff, Jacob’s son.

Julius Sachs’s brother Samuel was a co-founder of Goldman-Sachs banking firm and his brother Bernard was the New York physician who described what is known as Tay-Sachs disease. (Boas often wrote to Bernard in the 1930s to find work and refuge for Jews in danger in Germany.) Julius married Rosa Goldman, daughter of Marcus, the other German-born founder of the firm. [39] Julius Sachs served as president of the Schoolmasters Association of NY (1889), of the NY Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (1900-1903), of the American Philological Association, and more. Julius had particular interest in archeology and in 1904 Boas wrote to him for support for Adolph Bandelier, who is one of the authors in the Festschrift.

Jacob Schiff (1847-1920) was born in Frankfurt, Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1865 right after the Civil War in order to escape his banker father’s influence. (The Schiffs were neighbors of the Rothschilds in the Frankfurt ghetto.) In 1875 he joined the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. (marrying Therese Loeb the same year) and soon became its head. Jacob Schiff was among the most influential and powerful leaders of the expansion of America, industrially and internationally, almost the equal of J. Pierpont Morgan. He was also the undisputed leader of the Jewish community of the United States and one of the most prominent in the world. Jacob Schiff found his route to such influence through the railroads, the driving force for wealth at that time. (Note how many of the subscribers had railroad connections.) At one time he was in control of 14 railroads including the Pennsylvania, Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, Baltimore and Ohio, Illinois Central—and the others (Birmingham 1967 : 192). Ron Chernow writes that his clients included “Westinghouse Electric, Western Union, U.S. Rubber, and American Smelting and Refining” (1993 : 48). He was also director of Equitable Life Assurance Society, National City Bank of New York, and Wells Fargo & Co. after Paul Warburg resigned to take a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. (Felix Warburg was Paul Warburg’s brother and Jacob Schiff’s son-in-law.)

Schiff was a force in international affairs, most notably when he arranged loans for Japan that enabled its successful war against Russia in 1904-1905. Jacob Schiff was deeply upset by the pogroms against its Jewish population that were permitted, sometimes fomented, by authorities in tsarist Russia from the 1880s. They were especially vicious from 1903 on. “In letters and cables he had called upon the [Theodore] Roosevelt administration to intervene on behalf of Russian Jews” and “Schiff asked that Rothschild and Jewish bankers in Europe actively attempt to block Russia from obtaining war loans” (Best 1972 : 314-315). After a chance meeting at a dinner in London in 1904, when he was seated next to the Financial Commissioner of the Japanese government, Baron Takahashi, Schiff contacted J.P. Morgan and Rockefeller banking interests and arranged for a syndicate headed by Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb to provide the loans that kept Japan in the war and led to its victory. With this victory Japan had truly entered the world stage and took on a new visibility in the United States and Europe. In February 1906 Schiff and his family and retinue made a trip to Japan after that war and had a continuing friendly—and economic—relationship with the Japanese until he died in 1920. Schiff also opposed measures against Japanese in California at the turn of the century (Muraoka 2016). [40] This is also the context in which Franz Boas was seeking funds for a program of Chinese and Asian Studies at Columbia and the AMNH and Metropolitan Museums. He was not shy in approaching Jacob Schiff for help with his plans.

Schiff was unusually religious compared to many other German Jews. It is written in Genesis (28:20-22) : “Jacob vowed ‘If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and raiment to put on so that I come back to my father’s house in peace ... of all that Thou shall give me I will give the tenth unto thee”. And so Jacob Schiff gave a tenth of all that he earned and considered that this was required and that “philanthropy” only began beyond that 10% (Birmingham 1967 : 383). Above or below the 10% mark, Jacob Schiff was a major benefactor of the New York Zoological Society, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Geographical Society, AMNH, of course, Tuskegee Institute, Barnard College, Harvard, Lillian Wald’s Henry Street Settlement, and innumerable Jewish causes such as the YMHA, Jewish Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College, Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, and Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. In 1893, together with several others, including Seth Low and James Speyer, as well as J.P. Morgan, Schiff founded The Provident Loan Society of New York. This not-for-profit organization, which still exists, was established to protect the poor from loan sharks.

Jacob Schiff was deeply involved in organizations for the Jews in the United States and the world. He was a founder of the Jewish Industrial Removal Office (see Glazier 2006) and two major organizations, the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The “Joint” was originally organized for “the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers” in Europe in 1914 but continued to operate for over a century, until today, helping refugees and others in need—not only Jews (Birmingham 1967:386-387). The AJC continues to function as the leading Jewish advocacy organization in the United States, with offices in various parts of the world.

There are 38 letters from Boas to Schiff from 1904 to 1917 and 27 from Schiff to Boas from 1902. Franz Boas often turned to Jacob Schiff for help with his plans for developing anthropology at the AMNH, or Columbia, or anywhere that he could further the cause of understanding other cultures. He also turned to him when he had problems at his institutions, such as he had with Jesup and Bumpus at the AMNH. (A letter of February 15, 1906 from Schiff apologizes for the delay in answering Boas’s letter “owing to the pressure of affairs upon me because of my early departure for Japan.”)

Carl Schurz (1829-1906) was another central figure in this crowd. He was the most famous German immigrant to settle in the United States in the 19th century and the idol of the Forty-Eighters. His eventful history can only be briefly summarized here. He was a student at the University of Bonn when he joined the revolutionary movement of 1848 as a journalist and a military leader. He escaped capture when his forces lost but returned to Bonn in 1850 to arrange a daring escape for the imprisoned leader, Gottfried Kinkel. It was at that time that he first met Dr. Abraham Jacobi—who would soon be imprisoned himself.

Schurz and his wife Margarethe immigrated to the United States in 1852 and settled first in Watertown, Wisconsin, where Margarethe established the first kindergarten in this country. [41] Carl became involved in anti-slavery and liberal Republican politics, and as a skilled and charismatic orator (in two languages) he rapidly gathered a following among the growing German immigrant population. Schurz became acquainted with Abraham Lincoln in Illinois, and became Lincoln’s first ambassador to Spain. After the defeat of Union forces at the Battle of Bull Run, Schurz successfully petitioned Lincoln and Secretary of State Seward to release him for military duty and he was commissioned as Brigadier General C. Schurz. (His unit, with German immigrant officers and men, participated in such battles as Chancellorsville and Gettysburg but he did have his difficulties, recounted by Fuess.)

After the war Schurz became actively engaged in journalism (1866-1868) and politics. As the editor and part owner of a newspaper in St. Louis (home to many Forty-Eighters) he hired Joseph Pulitzer as a cub reporter, and then was elected U.S. Senator from Missouri in 1868. After his defeat in 1874, in 1877 he became Secretary of the Interior in the cabinet of President Rutherford B. Hayes, inheriting the problem of the corrupt Office of Indian Affairs—not long after the Battle of Little Big Horn in June 1876. After his term in the Department of the Interior, in 1881 Schurz moved to New York, joining more of his Forty-Eighter comrades, returning to journalism and remaining involved in city, state, and national politics. He became the president of the National Civil Service Reform League from 1892-1901. His biographer, Claude Moore Fuess, writes, “In any study of Schurz’s enduring influence in American life his part in civil service reform must take a foremost place. The evils of the ‘spoils’ system, as it was in operation under Grant, seem obvious enough to us today. Appointments were usually made not because of merit, but because of demonstrated party loyalty” (Fuess 1932 : 243). [42]

Schurz was also anti-militarist and anti-imperialist, against American annexation of Hawaii, the intervention in Cuba that led to the Spanish-American War, and the war in the Philippines that followed it. He was a prominent activist among the “Mugwumps,” the independent-minded anti-imperialist reformist Republicans who were against the “spoils system” and corrupt city governments. He was vice-president of the Anti-Imperialist League (Fuess 1932 : 349ff.) Among his Mugwump friends were Charles Francis Adams, Jr., grandson of John Quincy, Andrew Carnegie, Mark Twain, and Seth Low. [43]

Dr. Abraham Jacobi is mentioned repeatedly as Carl Schurz’s close friend (“constant companion” [Fuess 1932 : 289]). Schurz built a cabin next to the Jacobi, Meyer, and Boas families at Bolton Landing on the shore of Lake George. Carl Schurz died at this summer home and later when Jacobi’s own house burnt down Abraham moved into the Schurz house—where he later died. [Let us recall that Knauth also died in Bolton Landing. Maybe not such a good place after all.] The pallbearers at Carl Schurz’s funeral included, besides Dr. Jacobi, Andrew Carnegie, Dr. Hans Kudlich, Oscar Straus (diplomat, cabinet secretary, brother of Straus family of Macys), Isaac N. Seligman, Charles F. Adams, whose names appear below, and 18 others, some German immigrants, both Jewish and not, as well as men named Choate, Deming, and Shepard. The two who gave eulogies were Drs. Abraham Jacobi and Felix Adler (Fuess 1932 : 381).

Some years before Schurz died, the Bolton Landing families were joined by Mary and Abraham Jacobi’s daughter Marjorie and her husband, George McAneny. McAneny was associated with Schurz as the secretary of the National Civil Service Reform League (1894-1902), and he would go on to become Manhattan Borough President (1909), the president of the New York City Board of Aldermen (1913-), executive manager of the New York Times, and chairman of the New York World’s Fair Commission (1935-1936). He did much in his years of public service but in our age he might best be remembered as the one who initiated the National Trust for Historic Preservation and an opponent of Robert Moses, the man who built the New York highway system and destroyed neighborhoods. As president of the Germanistic Society of America, George McAneny delivered a talk in honor of his father-in-law’s friend at the Carl Schurz Centenary at Columbia University in 1929. [44] According to Josephine Goldmark (sister-in-law of Felix Adler and Louis Brandeis), he told the story of “Lincoln’s most troubled times” when he couldn’t sleep. Young Schurz was “admitted to intimacy in that family circle” and, “gifted musician” that he was, he played “a strain from ‘music’s most serene dominions,’ from Beethoven, ‘until the touch of Schurz’s magic closed the President’s eyes and there fell upon him the first long and restful sleep he had known for days” (Goldmark 1975 [1930] : 178). [45]

Isaac Newton Seligman (1855-1917) was born in New York City, attended Columbia Grammar School and College and graduated in 1876. He took over the direction of his family banking business, J. & W. Seligman. (He married Guta Loeb, daughter of banker Solomon Loeb. His brother, Professor Edwin R.A. Seligman, was an influential economist and sometime dean of the Graduate School at Columbia University, with whom Franz Boas was in frequent contact about academic matters.) According to an article in the Jewish Encyclopedia, co-authored by a major figure in American Jewish organizational life, Dr. Cyrus Adler, with whom Boas was in correspondence from 1901 to 1940,

[Seligman] has been connected with almost all the important social-reform committees in New York, and is a trustee of nineteen important commercial, financial, and other institutions and societies, including the Munich Life Assurance Company, St. John’s Guild, and the McKinley Memorial Association, and has been a member of the Committee of Seventy, of Fifteen, and of Nine, each of which attempted at various times to reform municipal government in New York ; of the last-named body he was chairman. He is a trustee of Temple Emanuel and of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, as well as of the United Hebrew Charities, though he is also a member of the Ethical Culture Society.

In addition to being a member of the Germanistic Society, Seligman also donated to organizations concerned with the poor, babies, prisons, the Hampton Institute, the Tuskegee Institute (of course), and many more.

James Speyer (1861-1941) was born in New York to a family from Germany. He was educated in Frankfurt and returned to NY in 1885 as a partner in his family’s banking firm, Speyer & Co. Speyer had de facto control of both the Central and Southern Pacific Railroads, and was involved with railroads in Mexico, and the Philippines. Speyer & Co. financed the London Underground and helped finance the Weimar Republic. The House of Speyer was the third largest investment banking firm in the world in 1913 (Liebmann 2015).

According to the archivists of the James Speyer papers at the New York Public Library, Speyer’s activities included participation in founding the University Settlement Society to aid immigrants (which still exists), the not-for-profit Provident Loan Society to give relief from loan sharks (see Schiff), the Economic Club of New York, the Museum of Safety, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Speyer School at Columbia Teacher’s College, a free school organized for support of the neighborhood. His wife founded the Ellin Prince Hospital for Animals.

In addition to these endeavors, James Speyer was the treasurer of the Boas-initiated Emergency Society for German and Austrian Science and Art after World War I. (See Penaloza-Patzak 2020 for more on the Emergency Society.) There are many letters between them in this period as Boas sent him checks for $5.00 or so and Speyer responded in his own hand.

Felix Warburg (1871-1937) was born in Hamburg to the distinguished banking family of M.M. Warburg & Co. In New York he married Frieda Schiff, the daughter of Jacob, and became a partner in Kuhn, Loeb & Co. Jacob Schiff was married to Theresa Loeb, a daughter of Solomon Loeb and half-sister of Morris Loeb. According to Ron Chernow (who wrote about The Warburgs (1993) before he wrote Alexander Hamilton [2004]) Felix Warburg was the one who didn’t have a head for business, but aside from good living (which he could afford) he was the most devoted to good works and philanthropy. One area of concern was the improvement of the lot of immigrants the poor, and the blind, their well-being and health, education, and so on. He worked with Lillian Wald on the Henry Street Settlement House and the development of the Visiting Nurse Service, the Educational Alliance, among many other projects. He was named to the NYC Board of Education by Seth Low (see above). Of course he was involved with the arts and sciences, and that included the AMNH. He took over from his father-in-law Jacob Schiff as a trustee and secretary. Above all Felix was devoted to Jewish causes, in NYC, the US, Europe, and Palestine.

In 1914 Felix Warburg, with Schiff and Louis Marshall (whose family Boas was involved with in the 1930s), was a founder and first treasurer of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) . [See Schiff, above.] He and Louis Marshall were among the founders of the Jewish Agency, an organization of primary importance for the development of what would become the State of Israel. He was a major supporter of Jewish institutions all over the world, including the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The building that houses the Jewish Museum in New York on Fifth Avenue was the Felix and Frieda Warburg home.

Franz Boas and Felix Warburg carried on extensive correspondence from 1908 until 1937. Their correspondence began with Boas requesting help to get cooperation from an educational institution to measure boys for his study of physical change between immigrant parents and their American-born children. It continued through Boas’s hopes for Warburg’s intervention on the problem of cooperation between Columbia University and the AMNH regarding instruction in anthropology. Boas turned to Warburg for help with his perennial problem of finding support for individuals in need, such as Mrs. Jochelson. Finally, in the late 1930s, his major concern was to get the support of major Jewish organizations for his projects to defeat Nazi racism and anti-Semitism with demonstrations of the scientific truth that would belie Nazi lies. Warburg was always friendly and usually helpful in the face of these frequent requests.


Franz Boas was a firm believer in the idea that science could reveal truths and that those truths could be harnessed to serve humanity. “What I want to live and die for is equal rights for all, equal possibilities to learn and work for rich and poor alike !” (Boas, as quoted in Cole 1983 : 37). When he arrived in the United States in 1886 he had been educated broadly and deeply in Germany in the most advanced science of his day by some of its leading scholars. He had prepared himself well in studies of mathematics, chemistry, physics, geography, meteorology, psychology, philosophy, ethnography, physical anthropology, musicology, art history, languages, and much more. When he decided to make his career in America, “[w]ith boundless ambition,” as Zumwalt writes (2019 : xix), it seemed to him that “The whole field lies before me” ; and Douglas Cole quotes young Franz confidently saying “... my plans, which are not small, will come true with time and patience” (1999 : 106). And a great many of them did—in time. He arrived with the best credentials, great commitment, and excellent connections—and yet it was still a struggle.

His timing was excellent. Franz Boas came to America during the crucial decades when science and education from Germany was at the height of its influence. At that time “The education of an American or British scientist was not considered complete until he had spent some time in Germany, studying with one of the renowned professors, far more of whom had won acclaim and scientific distinction than the scientists of any other country” (Ben-David and Zloczower 1962 : 47-48). This was the period when academic disciplines were beginning to specialize and professionalize and “It was furthermore in the German universities, more than anywhere else, that the main fields of scientific enquiry developed into ‘disciplines’ possessing specialized methodologies and systematically determined contents. Students who wanted to know what a discipline really was had to read German textbooks and those who wanted to keep abreast of scientific research had to read German journals” (Ibid.). In America devoted amateurs had been working for a decade or two on archeology, ethnology, and linguistics of American Indians, especially under the aegis of the Bureau of American Ethnology, but they had neither the training nor the vision for the future that Boas had (see Darnell 1998).

Aside from his scientific training at Heidelberg, Bonn, and Kiel universities Boas had studied with the great Rudolph Virchow, and spent a year with Adolf Bastian at the newly opened Royal Ethnological Museum in Berlin. He had accomplished his year of fieldwork in Baffin Island and carried out research on the Northwest Coast under the aegis of none other than E.B. Tylor and the BAAS. After their first meeting Frederic Putnam recognized his abilities and experience and recommended him for a position as an editor at Science. G. Stanley Hall, one of those Americans who had studied in Germany, recruited Boas for his elite faculty at Clark University. But Franz Boas had a much wider ambition for anthropology in America. He wanted to train “men” (as they said in those days) to do scientifically based research and to spread the word to the public at large about the shared humanity of all peoples. As he wrote to Archer Huntington, “the principal use of our anthropological work is to make students in our country familiar with the value of foreign cultures and civilizations, and to make our people more appreciative of the achievements of foreign nations. It so happens that my own personal work is directed primarily to the study of primitive tribes, but I consider my own work as merely a phase of this more general problem ; and I have been working towards the introduction and extension of studies relating to the civilizations of foreign nations, such as the Latin countries and also to those of Asia” (Boas to Huntington 6/1/1905). Boas did not see anthropology as tied to a so-called “savage slot” – pace Trouillot. [46]

This was late in the Gilded Age, the era of the great “empire builders” (“robber barons”) and many of the great men and women of the age were parking their money in the new public museums and the expeditions that filled them with art, science, and the wonders of natural history. Franz Boas was the right man at the right place at the right time. Not only could he fill the museum from his own experience and with material from the Arctic and the Northwest Coast, he was the one to organize the remarkable JNPE, and he had plans to bring in knowledge and rich material culture from China, the Philippines, and elsewhere in Asia. He was organizing Meso-American archeology and ethnology through the International School of American Archaeology and Ethnology in Mexico. He was more than a curator ; he was an anthropological empire builder. (But his plans at the AMNH were brought low by a curator.)

The Gilded Age overlapped with the Progressive Era. The Progressives were concerned about the poor, immigrants, their education, social reform, and the political reform, about destroying the power of party bosses and replacing the “spoils system” with an honest civil service. Some of the “Gilded Greats” were, too. Carl Schurz was the leader but many of the subscribers of the Festschrift were also concerned with the reform of the government of New York City. And they supported “settlement houses” intended to replace “charity” with new ways of curing “social disorders” (Ealy & Ealy 2006 : 36). Although Franz Boas may not have considered himself a “social scientist” early in his career, he was concerned about his science explaining human behavior in ways that must have appealed to the reformists. He, too, was brought up with the revolutionary ideals of “1848” and his humanistic commitment to equality and appreciation of other cultures would have struck a powerful chord with many of these people.

Young Franz Boas was fortunate to be connected to two powerful networks in New York : the wealthy philanthropists who supported museums and natural history, and the German immigrant community, especially the Forty-Eighters, Jewish and non-Jewish, who were proud of their liberal German heritage, believers in science, and progressive in their beliefs and actions. Franz Boas was one of their own. As Penny and Bunzl point out, “As the liberal tenets of Virchow and Bastian were abandoned in Germany itself, they became the cornerstone of the anthropology developed in the United States by Franz Boas.” His anthropology would lead, as they say, “…away from racialist prejudice and toward a more pluralistic, democratic society” (2003 : 22).

Nevertheless it was never easy. His plans required lots of money ; he would spend his life begging. Some of his benefactors might have called him a Schnorrer (scrounger)—in the interest of both science and humanity. His correspondence—until the day he died—is over-burdened with requests for money. He needed money to maintain students and collaborators like George Hunt and James Teit in the field ; to obtain objects for museums ; to build his Chinese and Asiatic program, for an African Institute, and the school of Mexican archeology and ethnology. He was in constant need of money to pay the salaries of faculty, researchers, and staff for his Columbia department ; to take care of aging scholars and/or their widows ; to publish his own writings and those of his students and colleagues ; to support publications like the American Anthropologist, the International Journal of American Linguistics, and the Journal of American Folklore. After World War I he worked to acquire books and journals to send to German and Austrian scientists and institutions that had been cut off from the science and arts of the rest of Europe and America (1914-18). In the 1930s he sought support for his fight against racism and anti-Semitism and to find jobs and safety for Jewish and other scientists and scholars who were fired from their positions in Germany and Austria and were in danger. The correspondence of his last years is full of such requests—not so much for money but for institutions to hire these people.

Franz Boas had a remarkable list of “subscribers” to call upon, even if they mostly preferred to donate buildings and works of art rather than fund salaries and linguistic fieldwork. These were remarkable overlapping networks that helped support his career. But still he had to scrounge for every penny. [47]

The Boas Anniversary Volume marks the transition to a new anthropology in the United States. Unlike most such volumes that are produced near the end of a scholar’s life, this one celebrated that point, still early in his career, at which Franz Boas had attained the position and prestige to put his stamp on a new profession. He would go on to educate many students at Barnard College and Columbia University, produce a vast body of writings, fight many battles against racism and prejudice, eugenics and injustice, but 1906 was a key moment when his significance was recognized by powerful people concerned with both the development of his science and progressive causes.


Adler, Cyrus. 1928. Jacob H. Schiff : His Life and Letters. Garden City, NY : Doubleday.

Bartlett, Joseph G. 1927. Henry Adams of Somersetshire, England and Braintree, Mass. : his English Ancestry and some of his Descendants. New York : Privately Printed.

Ben-David, Joseph & Awraham Zloczower. 1962. Universities and Academic Systems in Modern Societies. European Journal of Sociology 3(1):45-84.

Beisner, Robert L. 1968. Twelve Against Empire : The Anti-Imperialists, 1898-1900. New York : McGraw-Hill.

Best, Gary D. 1980. Jacob Schiff’s Early Interest in Japan. American Jewish History 69:355-359.

Birmingham, Stephen. 1967. “Our Crowd” : The Great Jewish Families of New York. New York : Dell Publishing Company.

Bowditch, Charles P. 1910. The Numeration, Calendar Systems and Astronomical Knowledge of the Mayas. Cambridge : The University Press.

Boas, Franz. 1894. Human Faculty as Determined by Race. Address before Section H, American Association for the Advancement of Science, August 1984.

Boas, Franz. 1911. The Mind of Primitive Man. New York : The Macmillan Company.

Boas, Norman. 1985. Boas Family Genealogy, 1650-1985. (Private Pamphlet.)

Boas, Norman F. & Barbara L. Meyer. 1999. Alma Farm : An Adirondack Meeting Place. Mystic, Ct : Boas & Meyer Publishers.

Brown, William Adams. 1910. Morris Ketchum Jesup : A Character Sketch. New York : Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Chernow, Ron. 1993. The Warburgs : The Twentieth Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family. New York : Vintage Books.

Chernow, Ron. 2004. Alexander Hamilton. New York : Penguin Press.

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Cole, Douglas. 1999. Franz Boas : The Early Years, 1858-1906. Seattle : University of Washington Press.

Darnell, Regna. 1998. And Along Came Boas : Continuity and Revolution in Americanist Anthropology. Amsterdam/Philadelphia : John Benjamins Publishing Co.

Ealy, Lenore T. & Steven D. 2006. Progressivism and Philanthropy. The Good Society 15 (1) : 35-42.

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Fishberg, Maurice. 1911. The Jews : A Study of Race and Environment. New York : Walter Scott Publishing/ Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Fuess, Claude M. 1932. Carl Schurz : Reformer (1829-1906). New York : Dodd, Mead & Company.

Glazier, Jack. 2006. Dispersing the Ghetto : The Relocation of Jewish Immigrants Across America. East Lansing : Michigan State University Press.

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Laufer, Berthold (ed.) 1906. Anthropological Papers (Written in Honor of Franz Boas). New York : G.E. Stechert & Co.

Lewis, Sinclair. 1922. Babbitt. New York : Harcourt, Brace & Co.

Liebmann, George W. 2015. The Fall of the House of Speyer : The Story of a Banking Dynasty.

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Miller, Julie. 2008. Abandoned : Foundlings in Nineteenth-Century New York City. New York : New York University Press.

Muraoka, Mina. 2016. Jacob H. Schiff and Japan : The Continued Friendship after the Russo-Japanese War. 国防大学会议纪要(人文分卷)(Defense University Minutes - Humanities Sub-volume) Series 113 (28-9) : 23-59

Nadel, Stanley. 1990. Little Germany : Ethnicity, Religion, and Class in New York City, 1845-80. Urbana : University of Illinois Press.

Parmenter, Ross. 1966. Glimpses of a Friendship. In June Helm (ed.) Pioneers of American Anthropology : The Uses of Biography. Seattle : University of Washington Press.

Parsons, William B. 1900. An American Engineer in China. New York : McClure, Phillips & Co.

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Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. 1991. Anthropology and the Savage Slot : The Poetics and Politics of Otherness. In Richard G. Fox (ed.) Recapturing Anthropology : Working in the Present. Santa Fe : School of American Research Press.

Viner, Russell. 1998. Abraham Jacobi and German Medical Radicalism in Antebellum New York. Bulletin of the History of Medicine 72 (3):434-463.

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[1This paper is a by-product of work done for a planned volume of the Boas Documentary Edition Project (Regna Darnell, General Editor). It would not have been possible without access to the Franz Boas Papers in the American Philosophical Society provided by that project. It is also a pleasure to thank Frederico Delgado Rosa, Han Vermeulen, Brooke Penaloza-Patzak, Francie Smith Saposnik, Francis K. Schrag, and Edgar L. Feige for their helpful and welcome editorial corrections and suggestions.

[2Columbia College became Columbia University in 1896. Most of those mentioned below attended before 1896. Boas and others taught there after it became Columbia University.

[3The Jesup North Pacific Expedition (1897-1902) involved numerous investigators doing research into the archaeology, ethnology, physical anthropology, and linguistics of the peoples on both sides of the Pacific, from Siberia to Alaska and the Northwest Coast of Canada and the U.S. It remains the largest, best planned, and most productive such undertaking in anthropological history. “... the greatest undertaking of its kind,” Boas modestly wrote to its eponymous backer, Morris K. Jesup (Zumwalt 2019:299).

[4I rediscovered the Festschrift a year ago inadvertently. I had forgotten that Douglas Cole ended his biography of Boas (sadly terminated by Cole’s own death) with the occasion of the Festschrift (Cole : 286).

[5Several important ‘pre-Boasian” American anthropologists were unable to present papers because of ill health. These were Frederic W. Putnam, Otis T. Mason (both of whom wrote letters of appreciation that are included in the volume), Alice C. Fletcher, and Frederick W. Hodge.

[6The designation “Orientalist” is given in the pre-Saidian sense : as legitimate students of the cultures and history of Asia.

[7Two papers deal with topics in physical anthropology. One is by the famous neurologist, Henry H. Donaldson, who had been a colleague of Boas at Clark University (1889-92) and remained a close friend and ally after both resigned (Zumwalt 2019). The other is by Maurice Fishberg, on North African Jews.

[8I must apologize in advance for the somewhat informal and anecdotal style and contents of this article. Although I am very serious about the implications of the work I have been fascinated by what I have learned about most of these individuals and I hope they will be interesting to the reader.

[9In fact the volume “was very much a part of the fallout from Boas’s angry resignation as curator of anthropology at New York’s American Museum of Natural History,” a “protest against the tyrannical regime of the museum director, H.C. Bumpus” (Cole 1999:1). Cole adds, “but the idea may also have come from Jacobi” Boas’s uncle (Cole 1999:286). He writes, “... Boas recognized that [the Festschrift] was meant as a vindication of his museum work as much as a celebration of his Kiel doctorate” (Cole 1999:287).

[10After his successful research in Northeast Asia for the JNPE, Boas hired Laufer for an expedition to China financed by Jacob Schiff. Laufer spent 1901-1903 studying in China and collecting material culture for the AMNH. (Many of his photographs can be seen at the website

[11Boas stayed at White’s house in Ithaca during a meeting of the Archaeological Institute and Franz recruited him to be an honorary vice-president of the Germanistic Society (below). White was a trustee of the Smithsonian Institution and Boas would try to get him to use his influence in the struggle for the appointment of a successor to Samuel Langley as the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

[12Boas corresponded with Seler’s widow, Caecilie Seler-Sachs, about professional matters, until the mid-1930s. According to Brooke Penaloza-Patzak (personal communication) Eduard and Caecilie collaborated quite closely on scholarly work.

[13The author of the volume of genealogy of the Adams family credits Adams with having engineered the financial operations that restored the confidence of the financial system in the business depression of 1896. (Bartlett Henry Adams of Somersetshire, England and Braintree, Mass. 1927). It should come as no surprise that E.D. Adams was also a member of New York and New England genealogical societies.

[14Carnegie, 1868, as quoted in, Publish Boradcasting System and American Experience.

[15Dates unknown.

[16Many of these individuals were also members of the smaller American Ethnological Society, established in New York City in 1845. The list in 1908 included, from our “British” group : E.D. Adams, C. Bowditch, G.B. Grinnell, S. Hagar, G. Heye, B.T.B. Hyde (and four other Hydes !), Mrs. P.A. Hearst, Seth Low, and S. Hagar. Those from the German group (below) included I. Adler, Mrs. E. Hermann, A. Jacobi, and J. Schiff.

[17Mrs. John Hays Hammond was the author of a book, A Woman’s Part in a Revolution (1897), that has been reprinted more than once.

[18In the interest of full disclosure [as we say these days] it was a visit to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts as an undergraduate in 1952 that first interested me in archeology when I viewed Egyptian materials collected by Reisner. This led to my encounter with anthropology as a discipline. Thank you Mrs. Hearst (and Professor Shlomo Marenoff).

[19Collis Huntington also supported some of Boas’s activities but he died in 1900.

[20Hyde made his fortune manufacturing and selling yeast, baking soda, and soap, which he promoted enthusiastically. The Nobel-prize winning novelist Sinclair Lewis used Hyde’s family name, Babbitt, for the title and main character of his 1922 novel (Babbitt) portraying a vulgar conformist businessman who represented American mediocrity.

[21Like several others in this list, Jesup was also a member of the Rapid Transit Commission that built New York’s first subway and a contributor to the Tuskegee Institute and a major benefactor of the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) (Brown 1910).

[22Frederic Putnam, the Duke of Loubat, Berthold Laufer, and Carl Lumholtz are mentioned prominently in the memorial booklet but not the famous Northwest Coast Hall that Boas established.

[23On December 2, 1904 the New York Times carried a brief editorial noting his resignation from that post, lauding him in the highest terms, not just for his engineering skills but for his “clean hands and ... unsullied reputation” and for how “smoothly and discreetly” he had done his job without antagonizing people.

[24The Parsons’ son was married to a woman who bore the honored Massachusetts names of Saltonstall and Peabody. Parsons, too, is a grand old New England name—as is Putnam, of course, as in Boas’s patron, F.W. Putnam, and Abraham Jacobi’s wife, Dr. Mary C. Putnam of the Putnam publishing company (below).

[25Our Crowd (1967) by Stephen Birmingham offers a very entertaining and worthwhile account of the “great Jewish families of New York,” many of whom are present on this list, and Ron Chernow presents a huge volume focused on just one of these families, the Warburgs. Insofar as it was “His Crowd,” for Boas it was not the bankers but more the ’48ers and their ilk.

[26As Cole put it, “He secularized and humanized his religion into a moralist movement directed at the welfare of the poor and young” (Cole 1999:109).

[27He served as a member of the New York State Tenement House Commission, concerned with overcrowding and its impact on contagious diseases.

[28The German Hospital (which became the Lenox Hill Hospital) was also the hospital of Willy Meyer, Abraham Jacobi, F. Kammerer, G. Langmann, all of whom contributed to the Festschrift.

[29An interesting source for one aspect of Jacobi’s long career is Julie Miller, Abandoned : Foundlings in Nineteenth-Century New York City (2008).

[30“Medicine for children became for Jacobi the foremost part of a Virchovian social medicine that combined reform of the provision of care to the individual poor with socialist political activism designed to remove the conditions that produced disease” (Viner 1998 : 457-458). Later Jacobi would distance himself from politics and focus on “housing reform, infant public health, the antituberculosis movement, milk stations, and settlement houses, and in his critique of highly scientistic infant-feeding practices, we see the persisting forms of his early socialism, transformed through his American experience into a reforming medicine for children” (Viner 1998 : 463).

[31Abraham Jacobi’s niece, Laura Jacobi, founded the Jacobi School, now The Calhoun School, in 1896 with the help of her uncle and aunt. According to The Calhoun School History ( this “progressive, co-educational, independent school […] gradually evolved into a girls’ school, attracting the daughters of socially prominent Jewish families, including Peggy Guggenheim, the children of the Morgenthaus and the Strausses. The school’s nonsectarian curriculum emphasized languages and history. Eleanor Steiner Gimbel [class of 1914] remembered Miss Jacobi’s commitment to civil liberties and her ’teaching of race understanding as one of the high points of her school days.’ A fit school for a son and daughter of Franz Boas, apparently.

[32Dates unknown.

[33Dates unknown.

[34Boas never met his father-in-law, who died before Franz and Marie met. Dr. Ernst Krackowizer (1821-1875) was also a “Forty-Eight” leader from Vienna, a good friend of both Abraham Jacobi and Carl Schurz, and he was another of that circle of progressive German immigrant doctors, arriving in New York in 1850. Lincoln appointed him inspector of Union Army hospitals.

[35At one time Antonio Knauth worked as a law clerk for Edward Salomon, the German-born (Jewish) governor of Wisconsin (1862-1864).

[36For an account of this summer resort community (An Adirondack Meeting Place) see Norman Boas & Barbara L. Meyer (1999).

[37Michelson was born in Prussia in 1852 and his family immigrated in 1855.

[38In 1906 Aaronson discovered a particular wild wheat, emmer, that is considered the ancestor to most domesticated wheats today—a particularly important finding for both agronomy and archeology. He was also the organizer, with his sister Sarah, of a ring of spies that supported the British during World War I.

[39Marcus Goldman died in Elberon in 1904. While the less affluent German-Americans of the Jacobi-Schurz circle vacationed at their summer homes at Bolton Landing, Lake George, the really rich had summer homes in Elberon, “the Jewish Newport” as it was known. (Modesty almost forbids me from saying that Elberon was where my England-born Jewish great-grandparents had their summer home.)

[40“In 1913, Schiff again spoke out on behalf of Japanese rights when California enacted the Alien Land Act barring Japanese from owning or leasing land for longer than three years. ‘I am not all-American, nor am I all Japanese, ’ he explained. ‘I am all-human race. ’” (Muraoka 2016 : 43)

[41The “Kindergarten” movement was begun by educator Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) in Germany—coining the word for an institution for children that he established in 1837. Sophie Meyer Boas, Franz’s mother and a dedicated supporter of the Revolutions of 1848, started the first Froebel kindergarten in their hometown in 1860 (Zumwalt 2019 : 6-9).

[42One would think it would be obvious. A few pages later Fuess writes, “Schurz suffered at first from a common delusion among idealists that all that is required to make mankind accept the truth is to present it to them” (246). This was also true of the nephew of his great friend Abraham Jacobi.

[43It is interesting that Anti-imperialist Carl Schurz is grouped with Phoebe Hearst whose son had just helped engineer the Spanish-American War.

[44George McAneny and Franz Boas were often in contact, especially about plans for the Centenary. Not only does Franz address the younger man as “George” – an intimacy almost never found in the many hundreds of letters I have read – but almost uniquely, George addresses at least one letter to “My Dear Franz.”

[45Josephine Goldmark’s book was to honor her father and other Forty-Eighter immigrants. Her father, Dr. Joseph Goldmark, who took part in the revolution in Vienna, began as one of those doctors of Kleindeutschland, but he was a chemist who discovered the properties of red phosphorus and soon established a prosperous phosphorus factory (Journal of the American Chemical Society, 1882, v. 4). His brother was the composer Karl Goldmark and one daughter was married to Felix Adler (above) and another to Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. Josephine was an advocate of labor law reform in the United States during the early 20th century. Her work against child labor and for wages-and-hours legislation (the 8-hour day, minimum wage) was influential in the passage of the Keating-Owen Act in 1916 and the later Fair Labor Standards Act of 1937.

[46The “Savage Slot” is the catchy phrase coined by Michel-Rolph Trouillot (1991) that has caught on – unfortunately – distorting the reality and history of American anthropology (see Lewis 1998). In fact, in a 1902 letter to President Butler outlining what he had already accomplished and was planning for anthropology at Columbia Boas added “… to develop a juster appreciation of foreign nations and to bring out those elements in our own civilization which are common to all mankind” (11/15/1902 ; my emphasis).

[47It is interesting to compare the 1936 Festschrift for A. L. Kroeber, Boas’s first PhD from Columbia and his successor as “dean” of American anthropology. For example, the second person listed on the Honorary Committee is that of Provost Monroe E. Deutsch, whose very name proclaims “German” (and Jewish). The next is Franz Boas himself, while the fourth is Livingston Farrand, by then the president of Cornell University, who began his career as an anthropologist with Franz Boas. Next comes a list of “Guarantors,” one of whom, Judge Irving Lehman, was a student at Julius Sachs’s institute. (Six or seven of the 15 guarantors are Jewish.) All but two of the 37 contributors are American and almost all are students of either Boas or Kroeber himself. (The papers by Wilhelm Schmidt and Richard Thurnwald are in German.)