Browse sources by time period: 1800-1849   1850-1900

 


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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]

Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries within the Pyramids, Temples, Tombs, and Excavations in Egypt and Nubia
Belzoni, Giovanni

When Europeans “rediscovered” Egypt beginning in the late 1700s, they did so with most dramatic effectiveness when they did so on the stage of ancient Egyptian ruins. Tomb robbers, treasure hunters, scientists, archaeologists – over the years the names changed to reflect both the changing tasks undertaken by the outside arrivers to the Nile Valley, and the amount of spin control put on those... [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 Ethiopian Manifesto: Issued in Defence of the Black Man's Rights in the Scale of Universal Freedom
Robert Alexander Young

Of all of the traditions associated with African American interest in ancient Egypt, there is perhaps none so well-known as what is called “the black Jeremiad.” Named for the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah, a Jeremiad is a form of prophetic literature associated with the divine destruction of a wicked people and the deliverance of the children of God; the Jeremiad warns that those who have... [more]

Essay on the Metaphysics of Architecture
J. Dowson

Some of the most visible examples of nineteenth-century American Egyptomania were in the field of architecture. Nineteenth-century America was home to many buildings built specifically to emulate the monumental buildings of ancient Egypt. Known today as the Egyptian Revival, this style of architecture was closely related to other nineteenth-century styles intentionally based on ancient styles;... [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]

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]

The True Messiah; or, The Old and New Testaments, Examined According to the Principles of the Language of Nature
Guillaume C. L. Oegger

As much as American Egyptomania involved archaeology, science, and history, it also involved religion, scripture, and the Bible. And while this might be most clearly seen in the role of the Old Testament in the history of Egyptomania – Pharaoh and Moses, Hebrew bondage and the Promised Land – it can also be seen in the remarkable power of the concept of hieroglyphics. Originally and most... [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]

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]

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]