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Crania Americana; or, A Comparitive View of the Skulls of Various Aboriginal Nations of North and South America: To which is Prefixed An Essay on the Varieties of the Human Species
Samuel George Morton

Often thought of as the father of American scientific racism, Samuel George Morton casts a long shadow across American Egyptomania. A Philadelphia physician long recognized as an important figure in the history of American science, Morton was perhaps most famous during his lifetime for his collection of “crania:” hundreds and hundreds of human skulls collected from all over the world, sent to... [more]

Observations on the Early History of the Negro Race
Anonymous

African Americans were active and energetic participants in the culture of American Egyptomania. Often slighted in the history of nineteenth-century American interest in ancient Egypt, black Americans had what could be said to be the strongest interests of all: as debates in American Egyptomania swirled around issues of race, racial origin, racial capability, and the relation of Egypt to the... [more]

History of the Red Race
Anonymous

African Americans were active and energetic participants in the culture of American Egyptomania. Often slighted in the history of nineteenth-century American interest in ancient Egypt, black Americans had what could be said to be the strongest interests of all: as debates in American Egyptomania swirled around issues of race, racial origin, racial capability, and the relation of Egypt to the... [more]

The Adamic Race: Reply to "Ariel," Drs. Young and Blackie, on the Negro
Anonymous

Early Egyptology was on very intimate terms with another nineteenth-century science, ethnology. A precursor to later fields such as comparative anatomy and evolutionary biology, ethnology was, as its name implies, the study of different “ethnic” differences between human groups. Nineteenth-century ethnologists, or “race scientists,” attempted to determine the inherent differences between... [more]

The Coming of the Europeans
Jacob Abbott

Most nineteenth-century Egyptologists were also race scientists. The study of the history of ancient Egypt was often seen as a way of explaining not only the history of “civilization,” but of the different cultures which related to that history. With the rise of race science, both professional and amateur intellectuals had ways of making large-scale generalizations about large-scale groups of... [more]

Constitution of the Indian Mind
Jacob Abbott

Most nineteenth-century Egyptologists were also race scientists, The study of the history of ancient Egypt was often seen as a way of explaining not only the history of “civilization,” but of the different cultures which related to that history. With the rise of race science, both professional and amateur intellectuals had ways of making large-scale generalizations about large-scale groups of... [more]

From West Africa to Palestine
Edward Wilmot Blyden

Few black men have accrued such prominent reputations in the history of black nationalism as Edward Wilmot Blyden. Born free in 1832 on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas, Blyden traveled extensively in North America, Africa, and the Arab world. A prolific writer, politician, spokesman, and teacher, Blyden made his home in Liberia, and lived and worked at the highest levels of local and... [more]

Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan
John Lloyd Stephens

John Lloyd Stephens was the most famous and popular American travel writer of the nineteenth century. Born in 1805, wealthy son of a Manhattan businessman, highly educated and well-connected, Stephens was the model of the nineteenth-century white American gentleman adventurer: he traveled extensively in Europe, north Africa, and the Arab world, as well as Central America, and was author of... [more]

On the Physical Characters of the Egyptians
James Cowles Prichard

British ethnologist James Cowles Prichard’s was one of the most influential figures in nineteenth-century race science. His Researches into the Physical History of Man, which was published in three editions over a course of some 34 years, was Prichard’s life’s work – an explanation of what he called “the nature and causes of the physical diversities which characterize different races of men” –... [more]

Earliest Egypt
James Henry Breasted

James Henry Breasted was America’s first dean of Egyptology. Founder of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, Breasted was the first American to receive a Ph.D. in Egyptology, and his A History of Egypt of 1905 was the first major textbook published in America by an American Egyptologist, and represents the first major sign of the professionalization of American Egyptology. In... [more]

"General Remarks on Types of Mankind"
Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon

No single publication was more infamous or influential in the history of nineteenth-century American Egyptomania than Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon’s 1854 Types of Mankind. Over 800 pages long, carefully compiled and lavishly illustrated, packed with data and provocative conclusions, Nott and Gliddon’s Types of Mankind was an instant classic, a best-selling scientific textbook that... [more]

"Negro Types"
Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon

No single publication was more infamous or influential in the history of nineteenth-century American Egyptomania than Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon’s 1854 Types of Mankind. Over 800 pages long, carefully compiled and lavishly illustrated, packed with data and provocative conclusions, Nott and Gliddon’s Types of Mankind was an instant classic, a best-selling scientific textbook that... [more]

"Introduction to Types of Mankind"
Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon

No single publication was more infamous or influential in the history of nineteenth-century American Egyptomania than Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon’s 1854 Types of Mankind. Over 800 pages long, carefully compiled and lavishly illustrated, packed with data and provocative conclusions, Nott and Gliddon’s Types of Mankind was an instant classic, a best-selling scientific textbook that... [more]

"Egypt and Egyptians"
Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon

No single publication was more infamous or influential in the history of nineteenth-century American Egyptomania than Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon’s 1854 Types of Mankind. Over 800 pages long, carefully compiled and lavishly illustrated, packed with data and provocative conclusions, Nott and Gliddon’s Types of Mankind was an instant classic, a best-selling scientific textbook that... [more]

A Text Book of the Origin and History of the Colored People
James W. C. Pennington

African Americans have been constantly forced to document their own history. During slavery, white historians and European scientists waged a fierce battle to deny African Americans any claim to history, made sweeping generalizations about the “inferior nature” of the “negro” race. In the face of this racism, African Americans worked feverishly to write their own histories, and to recast the... [more]

Ancient Egypt: Her Monuments, Hieroglyphics, History, Archeology, and Other Subjects Connected with Hieroglyphic Literature
George Robbins Gliddon

British-born George Robins Gliddon was one of the most important figures in nineteenth-century American Egyptomania. A one-time vice-consul at Cairo, Gliddon was singularly significant in popularizing Egyptology for American audiences: through his lectures, his publications, and his affiliations with both academics and showmen, Gliddon personified the sensationalizing popular intellectual of... [more]

Adamites and Preadamites: or, A Popular Discussion Concerning the Remote Representatives of the Human Species and their Relation to the Biblical Adam
Alexander Winchell

Early Egyptology was on very intimate terms with another nineteenth-century science, ethnology. A precursor to later fields such as comparative anatomy and evolutionary biology, ethnology was, as its name implies, the study of different “ethnic” differences between human groups. Nineteenth-century ethnologists, or “race scientists,” attempted to determine the inherent differences between... [more]

Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt
Anna Jameson

Celebrated British feminist Anna Brownell Jameson was one of many women writers to become fascinated with the figure of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra in the nineteenth century. Cleopatra was a source of an enormous amount of interest in the 1800s, on many levels: she was powerful and yet tragic, political and erotic, a strong female figure yet associated with aggressive and “unnatural” sexual... [more]

World-Noted Women; Or, Types of Womanly Attributes of All Lands and Ages
Mary Cowden Clarke

The 1850s saw an explosion of American interest in the figure of Cleopatra. Poems, paintings, sculptures, and novels all were written with the Egyptian queen at their center, but the main form accounts of Cleopatra took during this decade was biography. Short or book-length, praising or damning, sanitized or scandalous, biographical studies of Cleopatra were hugely popular and sold regularly,... [more]

The Ancient Architecture of America
R. Cary Long, A.M.

The origins of American archaeology are far from a stately and orderly affair. The discovery of the remains of ancient civilizations in Egypt in the 1800s sparked enormous interest in similar remains all over the world, this was especially true in the case of ruins, those most visible of past cultures lost to the sands of time. Such ancient structures were often seen to challenge received... [more]

Washington Monument Monograph As Designed by Henry S. Searle, Architect, Washington, D.C.
Henry S. Searle

The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is probably the most famous and iconic example of Egyptian Revival architecture in American history. Designed by South Carolina architect Robert Mills in 1836 but not completed until 1884, the Monument is modeled after a classic ancient Egyptian obelisk, but is stripped of any external markings and expanded in size, standing a bit over 555 feet in the... [more]