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Bandelier, Adolph Francis Alphonse (06 August 1840–18 March 1914), archaeologist, ethnologist, and historian, was born in Bern, Switzerland, the son of Adolphe Eugene Bandelier, a jurist and banker, and Marianne Senn, widow of Colonel Adrian Ritter, a Swiss army officer who served as a tutor in Russia—possibly at the Russian court. In 1847 Bandelier’s father, disagreeing with the Swiss parties in power following the Sonderbund war, traveled to Brazil. Finding, however, that he disliked Brazil’s slave-based society, he moved to the Swiss community of Highland, Illinois, where his wife and son joined him in 1848. In Highland, Bandelier was tutored at home. His mother died in 1855. In 1861 he married Josephine Huegy, daughter of one of his father’s banking partners. The couple had no children. Bandelier referred to French as his “native language” and preferred to pronounce his name Bahn-duh-lee-ay, but he appears to have been even more fluent in German....

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Bartlett, John Russell (23 October 1805–28 May 1886), ethnologist and historian, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Smith Bartlett, a merchant, and Nancy Russell. During his first eighteen years he was schooled in Canada (Kingston and Montreal) and New York before he returned to Providence, where he worked as a bank cashier. Bartlett was married in May 1831 to Eliza Allen Rhodes; they had seven children. In 1836 he moved to New York City. With a partner he opened a bookstore in the Astor House and was soon attracting important customers such as writer ...

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Bascom, William Russel (23 May 1912–11 September 1981), anthropologist and folklorist, was born in Princeton, Illinois, the son of George Rockwell Bascom, an engineer, and Litta Celia Banschbach. His father died when William was thirteen, and his mother then worked as a librarian at the Wisconsin State Historical Library in Madison to support her two children and her invalid mother. Bascom earned his B.A. in physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1933 and continued postgraduate work in this subject at the same institution the following year. Bascom’s summer employment in 1934 on an archaeological excavation reflected his shift of interest from physics to anthropology. He received an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin in 1936. His master’s thesis, “The Role of the Medicine Man in Kiowa Culture,” written under the guidance of ...

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Beckwith, Martha Warren (19 January 1871–28 January 1959), educator, folklorist, and ethnographer, was born in Wellesley Heights, Massachusetts, the daughter of George Ely Beckwith and Harriet Winslowe Goodale, schoolteachers. Beckwith was the grandniece of Lucy Goodale Thurston, one of the first company of Congregational missionaries to the island of Hawaii, and Beckwith’s father had spent sixteen years in Hawaii before she was born, working as a missionary and a teacher, and then as manager of a sugar plantation. In 1874 the Beckwiths moved back to Hawaii. There Beckwith was introduced to the “cousins” society, a group formed by the descendants of the early missionaries, most of whom had intermarried, producing an intricate web of family relations. Beckwith was adopted immediately into the cousins society, through which she developed an interest in their history and in the legends and culture of early Hawaii....

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Gibbs, George (17 July 1815–09 April 1873), ethnographer, geologist, and historian, was born at “Sunswick Farms” near Astoria, Long Island, New York, the son of George Gibbs, a gentleman farmer and amateur geologist, and Laura Wolcott. Both of his parents descended from wealthy, old-stock colonial families. At the age of nine, George was sent to the Round Hill School in Northampton, Massachusetts, which was directed by historian ...

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Oliver La Farge Photograph by Louis Fabian Bachrach, 1930. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-116958).

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La Farge, Oliver Hazard Perry (19 December 1901–02 August 1963), anthropologist, author, and advocate of American Indian reform and welfare, was born in New York City, the son of Christopher Grant La Farge, an architect, and Florence Bayard Lockwood. A descendant and namesake of ...