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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe (28 March 1793–10 December 1864), author, ethnologist, and Indian agent, was born on a farmstead on Black Creek, near Albany, New York, the son of Lawrence Schoolcraft, a farmer and glass manufacturer, and Margaret Anne Barbara Rowe. He attended school and received tutoring in Latin in Hamilton, New York, where his father served as justice of the peace. After the family moved to Vernon, New York, in 1808, he held responsible positions in the construction and management of glass factories in New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont, often in business with his father. Although for a time he had the stimulating intellectual influence of an older mentor, a professor at Middlebury College, Vermont, Schoolcraft never attended classes. He acquired a library of scientific books and performed experiments in chemistry and mineralogy. Despite his recognized competence, he achieved only temporary success in glass manufacturing....

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Henry Rowe Schoolcraft. Engraving, second half of nineteenth century. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109383).

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Stevenson, Matilda Coxe Evans (12 May 1849–24 June 1915), ethnologist, geologist, and explorer, was born in San Augustine, Texas, the daughter of Alexander Hamilton Evans, a lawyer, writer, and journalist from Virginia, and Maria Coxe of New Jersey. Stevenson grew up in a privileged, middle-class household in Washington, D.C. Following her education in a girl’s finishing school and seminary, she defied convention and studied law as well as served an apprenticeship in chemistry and geology at the Army Medical School. Even though there were no opportunities for college or advanced degrees or employment in the sciences for women at the time, Stevenson decided to become a mineralogist and geological explorer. She was able to pursue these goals through her marriage, in 1872, to geologist and naturalist Colonel ...