The Old Print Shop

Lewis H. Morgan


A pioneering American anthropologist and social theorist who worked as a railroad lawyer. Morgan became interested in the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Indians of New York State and was among the earliest Americans to make scientific studies of Native Americans. He feared the Indian people of America would not survive the impact of western civilization. He and a group of like-minded young men founded the Grand Order of the Iroquois, an organization dedicated to understanding and preserving the social and political structure of Iroquois society. After a chance meeting in 1844 with Ely S Parker, a Seneca teenager fluent in English and Seneca, Morgan's interest in the Haudenosaunee increased. The two young men became friends, and Parker introduced Morgan to his friends and family at Tonawanda Reservation. Morgan pursued his studies of Iroquois ethnology with Parker's assistance at the Six Nations Reservation in Canada. The joint intellectual effort resulted in Morgan's book, The League of the Iroquois, which he dedicated to Parker, the first full length study of an American Indian people. This map appeared in that work.