Matilda Coxe Stevenson

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Matilda Coxe Stevenson
Matilda Coxe Stevenson circa 1870.jpg
circa 1870
Born Matilda Coxe Evans
(1849-05-12)May 12, 1849
San Augustine, Texas
Died June 24, 1915(1915-06-24) (aged 66)
Oxon Hill, Maryland
Nationality American
Alma mater Miss Annable's Academy; private study of law with her father, Alexander H. Evans; of chemistry and geology with Dr. N. M. Mew of the Army Medical School, Washington, D.C.; of ethnology with her husband, James Stevenson, of the USGS
Spouse(s) James D. Stevenson (m. 1872)
Scientific career
Fields Ethnologist
Institutions Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution

Matilda Coxe Stevenson (née Evans) (May 12, 1849 – June 24, 1915), who also wrote under the name Tilly E. Stevenson, was an American ethnologist, born in San Augustine, Texas.

Life and career[edit]

Born Matilda Coxe Evans, in 1872 she married James Stevenson (1840-1888),[1] an ethnologist with whom she spent 13 years in explorations of the Rocky Mountain region. In the 1880s, the Stevensons "formed the first husband-wife team in anthropology."[2] Matilda Coxe Stevenson's contributions often focused on women and family life, for which she "quickly developed a reputation as a vigorous and devoted scientist."[3]

In 1885, Matilda Coxe Stevenson became the first President of the Women's Anthropological Society of America.[2][4][5]

After 1889 she was on the staff of the Bureau of American Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution. Stevenson explored the cave, cliff, and mesa ruins of New Mexico, studied all the Pueblo tribes of that state, and from 1904 to 1910 made a special study of the Taos and Tewa Native Americans. Artifacts collected by Matilda and James Stevenson are in the collections of the Department of Anthropology in the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. Papers from Stevenson are in the Institution's National Anthropological Archives.

Among Stevenson's "protegés" were John Peabody Harrington [6]


Stevenson was the author of:



  1. ^ "Yellowstone National Park: Its Exploration and Establishment (Biographical Appendix)". Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  2. ^ a b McBride, Jennifer. "Matilda Coxe Evans Stevenson". Archived from the original on June 23, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ Babcock, Barbara A.; Parezo, Nancy J. (1988). Daughters of the Desert: Women Anthropologists and the Native American Southwest, 1880-1980. University of New Mexico Press. p. 9. ISBN 0826310877. 
  4. ^ Lorini, Alessandra (2003). "Alice Fletcher and the Search for Women's Public Recognition in Professionalizing American Anthropology". Cromohs. 8. Archived from the original on January 27, 2016. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  5. ^ "Guide to the Collections of the National Anthropological Archives". Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  6. ^ Kathryn Klar (2002). "John P. Harrington's field work methods: in his own words" (PDF). Report of the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages. Proceedings of the 50th Anniversary Conference. 12: 9–17. Retrieved 2010-11-30. 


  • Parezo, Nancy J. (1989). "Matilda Coxe Evans Stevenson". In Gacs, Ute; Khan, Aisha; McIntyre, Jerrie; & Weinberg, Ruth (eds.). Women Anthropologists: Selected Biographies (Illini Books edition, Reprint of Westport, CT: Greenwood Press original, 1988. ed.). Urbana: University of Illinois Press. pp. 337–343. ISBN 0-252-06084-9. OCLC 19670310. 
  • PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Matilida Coxe Stevenson". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. 

Further reading

  • Foote, Cheryl J. (1990). "6: "Every Moment is Golden for the Ethnologist" Matilda Coxe Stevenson in New Mexico". Women of the New Mexico Frontier, 1846-1912 (1st ed.). Niwot, Colo.: University Press of Colorado. pp. 117–146. ISBN 0-87081-215-7. 
  • James, Henry Clebourne (1974). Pages from Hopi History. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press. ISBN 978-0-8165-0500-5. 
    • A perspective on Stevenson's research methods in relation to the Hopi, p. 109-110.
  • McBride, Jennifer. "Matilda Coxe Evans Stevenson" on the Women's Intellectual Contributions to the Study of Mind and Society website
  • Miller, Darlis A. (2007). Matilda Coxe Stevenson: Pioneering Anthropologist. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 978-0-8061-3832-9. 

External links[edit]