Monday, April 11, 2005


The Dog Ate My Homework

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft (1793-1864) was an American explorer and ethnographer. He discovered the source of the Mississippi River, and his books inspired Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to write Hiawatha. H.R. Hays, From Ape to Angel. An Informal History of Social Anthropology (1958; rpt. New York: Capricorn Books, 1964), p. 7, tells this story about Schoolcraft:
He was making progress with the language when, after months of patient work, his dog got hold of his Chippewa verbs and playfully tore them up. Schoolcraft painstakingly collected the scraps and glued them together (the grammar finally became part of a six-volume work).

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