Talk:Lewis H. Morgan

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Full titles of books and additional facts. Tmesipt 2.8.04.

First cousin marriage[edit]

Could be more on his role in helping get first-cousin marriage banned in a number of U.S. states... AnonMoos (talk) 02:50, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Well excuse me but I had no idea he played any such role. You could have given us a hint. Do you mean, he campaigned against it? Do you mean, the people of some states found Morgan's marriage so objectionable they passed laws against him? This comment sounds to me more like your personal reaction but I surely will see what I can find on it. Of course I am aware like everyone else that first-cousin marriage is borderline incest. One just does not know in which category to place it. However, it is not all that uncommon and there are quite a few of them among notable persons of history, as well as uncle-niece marriages. I do not think this is the place to mount a campaign for or against it. If I do not find any evidence of the role or influence of which you speak am going to resist any discussion of it as off-topic. I see from your page you have some religious conviction. So do I, but that is irrelevant. Between us though (let's not tell anyone else), don't you have a problem with some of the marriages of the Old Testament? What do you do with Lot and his daughters? But of course that is not first cousin marriage. WP is not sectarian and does not espouse any specific religion or even any religion. Tabula rasa is the word. Clean slate.Dave (talk) 11:20, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
More. I did find find the locus you probably saw. It is Moses p. 125, who misleads us there. After pointing out that the Morgans came under heavy criticism because they had a mentally impaired son, he says that state after state adopted laws against first-cousin marriage. The implication is that the Morgans were responsible for state after state adopting such laws. Very subtle. There is no such connection. I now think the less of Moses. He was not careful about his implications and evidently misled the public, as you were misled.Dave (talk) 14:21, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
You certainly use a lot of words to say what could have been expressed in rather few. I don't know that Morgan did any direct legislative lobbying on the issue, but Martin Ottenheimer in his book Forbidden Relatives: The American Myth of Cousin Marriage ISBN 0-252-06540-9 considers that Morgan's publication in the 1870's about the negative effects of inbreeding and "the evils of consanguine marriages" was intellectually influential in preparing the way for such bans... AnonMoos (talk) 23:35, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
You seem to begin off the topic. The article is not about my use of words in the discussion. Now, for your use of words (since you have brought the topic up) I suggest you write a sentence or two using that reference for insertion into the artcle. Even if you do put it in, however, beware. If the son was autistic, autism is not a result of cross-cousin marriage. A large percentage of people have it and ditto for all the other genetic unfavarable conditions. In general folk-lore, a erson's genes all derive from his parents and so whatever he has his ancestors must have had. Not so. There is a high rate of mutation; in fact, that is the genetic problem. Nature strikes at random a certain percentage of the population for each of these genetic diseases. Otherwise, they would soon be selected out, unless you hypothesize some advantage to them. For example, sickle-cell anemia is associated with better resistance to malaria, that plague of ancient Rome. Of what advantage is Down's syndrome or autism? I do not think cross-cousin or any other kind of marriage has any effect on the mutation rate. So you see, I have my reasons for not getting into cross-cousin marriage. The views of our ancestors are certainly mainly mythical. In any case WP encourages editorial participation. If you don't include any material based on your reference, I cannot say for certain that I will ever do it. I'm taking a break from this at the current time. If you do include it, then I will have to get into what his condition was and whether it can be attributed to cross-cousin marriage. Now, since you have brought the topic up, use of too few words is far worse than use of too many. Too few allows the reader to guess at what you do not say. I was on WP when space limitations were still a consideration. It was really quite impossible to capture most topics with those limitations. Now, if you really, really want to cut back on space, I would say, dispense with the off-topic ad hominem attacks.Dave (talk) 14:33, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
PS. I did a little preliminary lookup. Now, I think your point of view is that Morgan himself, who was very influential, influenced the states. I would think you need some authority to take that point of view with some example and a little supporting detail. If you do that I will not hassle you on that. It only has to be in correct English and in keeping with the article. This is according to Morgan's beliefs. As he was not a neurologist he was relying on the opinions of others, probably the doctors that treated his son. There should be the proviso, however, that this is Morgan's belief, not fact. His symptoms are consistent with Asperger's Syndrome. I'm out of my league here. How much of that condition is caused by genetic inheritance and whether cross-cousin marriage can make a difference are not topics with any obvious answer in the media. Depending on what you say I may be forced to the library. I guess it will just have to fall out as it does. Thank you for your interesting reference. Before I allow you to critique my style without retort I have to see YOUR style.Dave (talk) 17:35, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Do you think you could try to organize and condense your thoughts a little, instead of indulging yourself in long free-form stream-of-consciousness rambling tirades which make it difficult and tedious to try to discover what your actual main point is??? Thank you for your future consideration in this matter.
In fact, in the 1870s, people knew nothing about Mendelian inheritance (unless they were poring through obscure back issues of the Verhandlungen des naturforschenden Vereins Brünn, which no one in the English-speaking world was), and the issue of whether Morgan's children's health issues can be scientifically determined to have been caused by inbreeding with absolute 100% certainty is actually quite irrelevant to anything I was discussing (which means that most of your remarks were off-topic). The main issue is Morgan's influence on the climate of opinion in the United States, which was somewhat turning against 1st-cousin marriages at that time (though many individual dissenters remained). I think I've seen discussion of this in various places, though the only concrete source I have to hand right at this moment is the Ottenheimer book (which discusses it rather briefly). I don't know that I'll be conducting intensive research on this at any time in the near future, but I think it could be an interesting topic to mention in the article... AnonMoos (talk) 23:34, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Needs criticism section[edit]

"The errors of the unilinear evolutionists are apparent to us, with more than 100 years of observation. So it might be thought that they were ethnocentric, with their assessment of the developmental stages of other societies was heavily biased by their assumption that contemporary Western culture represents the pinnacle of evolutionary achievement, "(Discovering Our Past, Ashmore and Sharer).

The errors of Morgan's concepts of unilinear social developments are in great need of pointing out. Such errors contributed to Marx's and Lenin's flawed conclusions.

Mydogtrouble (talk) 18:41, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

It turned out to be kind of a stupid theory (especially in its main form of a putative universal "primitive promiscuity" / matriarchy / patriarchy sequence), but almost all of the prominent 19th-century anthropological theorizers indulged in it to some degree (including Engels), so that's probably more a criticism of 19th-century anthropology in general than Morgan specifically... AnonMoos (talk) 02:20, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Morgan as a leftist founding father[edit]

I never did like the "leftist" and "rightist" categories I was taught in such political science as I took in school. I was a bit too young to understand McCarthyism. I had to learn all about cold war ideology growing up mainly the hard way. In the end it became pretty plain that some people had a vested interest in keeping the horrible thing going, and they were worse than any arms peddlars. To all of you I can say, stick it in your ear, whether you sit in oil company board rooms or restlessly pace the halls of government looking frequently over your shoulders. Here in this article we are going to be objective. Morgan is portrayed as being somehow on the left. This is because some theorists now considered on the left happened to adopt Morgan's views. I don't think he knew a thing about it and couldn't care less. So Darwin was a leftist, hey? And Sigmund Freud? Well, I cannot say that I agree. Those terms had little meaning to begin with and have even less now. Let's have some plain dealing concerning Morgan. It appears as though I will have to work on this article. In hindsight it is as easy to criticise Morgan as it is Hegel. Neither of them knew anything at all of the scientific developments following their work. So, let's keep it fair. These are early theorists. They are entitled to the same objectivity as all the other early theorists from Thales to Leonardo. Moreover, Darwin is not a leftist and we cannot become rich leading movements to overthrow Darwin the communist. This is not Guernica and we don't need Homo taurinus here.Dave (talk) 00:43, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Having declared a Morgan manifesto and acquired a co-conspirator I must say I move rather slowly on these things. But, you can see how it is going. It needs some of the good quality and common sense of some other biographical articles. We may have to go over to the harvard ref system. Since there is no tradition of hand-crafted citations I plan to use the WP citation templates. Ciao.Dave (talk) 01:39, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Not sure what the purpose of this long rant was. Morgan ended up being a very significant influence on Engels, but is not known to have displayed any visible tendencies to advocate for violent revolution. People in the U.S. who worked for Indian rights in the 1840s were generally aligned with the U.S. Whig party, which is not usually considered to be very "leftist"... AnonMoos (talk) 23:27, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Morgan and Parker[edit]

Removed paragraph:

"In 1844, Morgan moved to Rochester, New York, still within former Iroquois territory. He expanded his interests to learn more about Iroquois society. With the help of fellow "warriors," including the Seneca attorney and engineer Ely S. Parker, Morgan started to do pathbreaking ethnographic work: he studied facts to understand Iroquois society on its own terms. Inspired by Parker, Morgan and his fellow warriors worked to protect the Tonawanda Seneca reservation from being broken up by men eager for its land."

This paragraph is, I think, a result of trying to get something up in a hurry without doing any of the work! This sort of approach diminishes the "encyclopedia"'s general utility as the people's encyclopedia. There's a major anachronism and gross misunderstanding in it. The famous general Parker, who wrote out Grant's terms at Appomatox, was 16 when he encountered Morgan by accident in a bookstore. It was the New Confederacy that sent him to Cayuga Academy and then Renssalaer Polytech. It was the New Confederacy also that stepped into the Seneca law case and created the publicity campaign that exposed the real estate company and saved the remaining Iroquois lands. Never assume anything according to what YOU think is the way things happened. Always check it out. I can't tell you how often that message was drummed - and I mean drummed - into my head during my educational process. If, for example, you happen to be in the service and the commander wants to know where the enemy is and what he is doing, it might be something less than propitious to concoct a fairy story based on your feelings of self-righteousness, no matter how self-justified you may feel. Many have done it no doubt. The Pinkerton Agency led McClellan to think he was faced with a confederate force many time greater than it was until LIncoln had to remove him for inaction. A word to the wise, etc.Dave (talk) 12:21, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Please give sources for new information you contribute. Other sources (a recent biography used in the article on Ely S. Parker) suggest the New Confederacy helped Parker go to Renssalaer, but that he had missionary education before and had read the law for three years. He could not take the bar as he was not a US citizen. Sources are confusing. Many young men were considered "educated" at 16 when they completed classical educations - sometimes they were finished with college by 18 or 19.Parkwells (talk) 15:37, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
I think I satisfied your requirement. While I appreciate your interest and laud your desire for learning I must say I think your faith in WP is really quite naive. It is mainly WP, not the sources, that is confused. If you have any other requests for sources, let me know. There are a good many out there. I cannot say that they never contradict each other. I read the article on Parker, of course. Who has not? I found it somewhat in deficit of the major facts of his life, although it did include his response to Lee's comments. I've been looking at the major modern works on the topic. Usually it is the works that mention him marginally that are contradictiory. One common error is in fact anachromism. Ulysses S Grant makes this error in his memoirs. He refers to General Parker at Appomatox Courthouse. In fact it was Lieutenant Colonel Parker then. Grant, however, remembered General Parker the best. So, in the absence of real information, the editors make their own judgements. Most everyone considers the natives a sort of nobility and most everyone does not like their treatment. So, out of sympathy they make Morgan a consultant of the great general Parker, the civil engineer, in ignorance of his age of 16. Pretty good for a 16-year-old. If you have any more questions let me know. Remember, I really have only started to correct this bogus article, which, like most everything else on WP, is mainly bogus. If I did not work on it I will not be responsible for it. I will however fix it if and only if it needs fixing. For the article on Parker, at the present time I do not plan to review it. I will consider the matter however. I think you are right to start with sources. I always do. Best wishes,Dave (talk) 15:01, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Dave, you seem to have overlooked that I referred to a new published biography on Parker, not the WP article. I did not claim faith in WP, and it would be useful for you to reduce your casual putdowns of other editors. I always go to the sources, too, as well as to look for better ones than are cited in many articles. Have been working to improve the article; did not start them.Parkwells (talk) 16:43, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

List of works[edit]

In articles about scholars, these usually include major works, even when discussed in the body of the article. It allows readers to easily see the progression of someone's work, rather than having titles buried. Morgan's books were more important than his articles, so should be listed with publication dates.Parkwells (talk) 16:52, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Hello Parkwells. Welcome aboard. This is a sort of round-robin tale similar to those told at campfires where each person in turn picks up the theme. I'm afraid I have to butt in to disagree with your assessments. But first, let me say that this article is only in its initial stages. Thus you talk about burying the main works. But, no main works are given. They aren't buried. Instead they aren't there. That is because I work very slowly and I started at the beginning and Morgan wrote his major works later in life. Let's get some works in there before we can say anything is buried. So far there are several germinal articles. Do you think you can get through those all right? Sorry, I could not resist. The main thing is, you persist in viewing this as a finished article when it only has just begun. Look ahead, plan ahead. Set up sections if you like. Now, second item. You are not following the story. Education was covered earlier. That is where it belongs; you want to repeat it. You are in a sense trying to "seal off" the article before it even has begun. Don't do that. Consequently I will have to modify, even delete, some of your stuff in order to continue the story. Be assured, I always leave contributions wherever I can. Make sure your comments are in the proper section. If you don't see a proper section, create one! This is a team effort here so be a team player. Well I am going on along the lines I planned. Nothing you have done so far convinces me to change track. If you want, start filling in the information in the works table. I really have to be amused here. The information is not there because no one has put it in yet. Now you come along and tell us it is not in. Thank you very much. To you I say, feel free to help us out. Put the information in. This is do-it-yourself material. We're more interested in action than advice. Ever designed a table before? Maybe you should get started. Your friend, I am sure,Dave (talk) 12:24, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Hey there, Dave. I realize a number of edits I had made earlier, including listing his later, major works in a separate ection, disappeared because of an edit conflict and problems with the Wikimedia server that day. It was discouraging to lose the work but will try again. No, I don't think it's a finished article, but it would be useful if you could stretch your amusement and disagreement to assume good faith by other editors. You're not the only one with opinions.Parkwells (talk) 16:34, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
My main concern is getting what is there right and in reasonably good format. Put whatever you like in there. I notice you have a tendency to over-condense in my opinion. Where does one draw the line? I wish I knew. It is a matter of judgement. If I think you have omitted too much of the story I will fix that. That does not necessarily mean a reversion. For the stretching - well, I am afraid I cannot stretch as far as bad English. I will have to correct that. Again, this is in lieu of reverting to what I had. One last thing. This is not your article - or mine either for that matter. You worked on this article previously. Fine. I guess you must not have finished with it as a major tag turned up on it. But between us and whoever else jumps in I suppose we will get it more or less right now.Dave (talk) 03:59, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

The Parkwells edits[edit]

All right. I read over what you did so far. I'm probably being a bit unreasonable. First I demand you contribute. Then I criticise you when you do. Don't get carried away by this admission, however. I got two comments to make, which I covered in my previous comments. I notice that you did substitute your opinions for mine. But, in the context of WP, I would not call them opinions in a major sense. They are not political or ideological opinions, only introductory or transitional sentences, little digests or lead-ins, so to speak, devices or presentation. Any real opinions would not be allowed. We have to use the opinions of the sources. If you want to call him a multi-faceted yankee, I don't regard that as an opinion that has to be supported by a references. Strictly speaking unless you have a good reason to change it, you should not. I could do as some sysadmins do, change it all back. I wrote it, why should you rewrite it if it is not wrong? However in your case I am going to allow some leeway. I suppose your transitions are as good as mine. They appear to be. So, I am going to let you do it so that I will not be in the unreasonable position of encouraging work I will not allow. There is one caveat. You are still having trouble with your English. I do not know the reason and I do not care. Specifically there are small inappropriate phrases, turns of speech not used, and especially you don't seem to understand the sequences of tenses very well. That is all right, I will fix it. So I suppose on this basis we can go forward. After I fix the current changes I may not look at this for a bit so I can get moving on a couple of other articles but I will be back. Understand, I'm not commenting on anything beyond where I have gotten so that is all to go. By the way, there is an error in my stuff. The business about the restoration is wrong. Some theorist had that opinion. I am going to fix that next.Dave (talk) 05:17, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

PS Later. Hello Parkwells. As I go through the sources I keep discovering small errors of over-simplification, not yours, but everyone's. Once I know something is in error, I have to fix it. So, what I wrote must be regarded as incomplete. I appreciate your editorial changes. If I change something I wrote but you edited I may have to change your edits. We'll just keep working on it. Sooner or later it will start coming out right. By the way, some persons who even knew Morgan don't remember very well or only knew part of the story so this is a problem of getting accurate biography in general, not something related to WP. Don't get too elated, however, your English still needs improvement. (talk) 12:29, 2 May 2011 (UTC) Darn it, I forgot to log in.Dave (talk) 12:31, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Well, I guess that's progress - my "English problems", as you characterize them, are small compared to what I've edited in many of these articles. I was careless, perhaps because of thinking it was silly to try to claim noble origins for Morgan. Most New England immigrants were certainly not nobles, no matter what kind of ties the later late nineteenth and early 20th century genealogists tried to find. His name may simply have been one based on "habitation" or place. Sorry about the inadvertent deletion of the book on the Iroquois in the table.Parkwells (talk) 15:08, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I second the motion that most English on WP is far worse than yours. That having been said I really do not wish to denigrate your good work on WP. I'm probably throwing you off track with my magnifying-glass approach. I adopted this after my big crisis in the winter when I failed to see the value of what I was doing. WP suckers you into jumping from article to article, a big mistake, I think. That puts you on an article just long enough to fight with the previous editors. I do recognize that in making your so-called objective deletions you were in fact exercising a working-class ideology. I recognize the approach. Also New-Englanders are opposed to vanity of every sort. Nevertheless we have to mention the existing legends and sources, let the chips fall where they may. If you are looking for the common people in history you aren't going to find them. Who was interested in them? Everyone wants to be a king. As a matter of fact if you do the numbers for 16 generations or so you will see that everyone in Wales and from Wales is related to all the kings of Wales as well as everyone else that was in Wales. I only bother with this stuff because all the sources begin by tracing the name back. What was the origin of this name? When you get back a certain distance only the names of the most famous survive. The common people, why, those were the ones that built those mud-and-brush huts surviving as post-holes in various places. Nothing at all is left of them but post-holes. If you were to ask me where the Morgan post-holes were I could not tell you and neither could anyone else. Requiescant in pacem, amici ignoti. Also you are ignoring a couple of facts. Only some of the families of famous name were famous. You might have a famous name but as long as anyone in your family can remember money was is short supply. Scottish clan names are a good example. The descendants legitimately share in the ancestry but they have been dirt-poor for generations. Once is while one gets famous. Now, I nowhere said that Lewis Morgan was related to King Arthur nor did I claim anything at all about the name beyond the fact that it appears in Glamorgan. I simply related the legend about the name. In fact you DELETED my "be that as it may", which is always used when the writer questions the reality of a story but does not want to get into it. The ancestry goes on, by the way. There are numerous records and account to prove a connection to the best Morgans in America and Europe going back hundreds of years. The British love that sort of thing and so do some Americans. You never hear about the poor cousins, especially the ones that were executed at the dock, unless perhaps a famous pirate. Why should you? What did they ever do except transmit the name? Bottom line, I still think it is best to give a little traditional genealogy as do all the other sources. Morgan and probably most other notable working-class heros just do not conform to that image. Morgan was wealthy and talented and some of his ancestors were noble. This reminds me of my first encounter with socialism. I wass surprised to discover the leading proponents were not poor working men, no indeed. However I will try to respect your edits as best I can. This is an on-going story. You might have edited something that turned out to be wrong. Also I note you are basically editing information from sources. If the source says it I have a right to put it in, whether you like it or not. Sorry. Other than these things I can see we are far from done with this article. Best wishes, and be assured, in my field, technical writing, this sort of discussion goes on all the time. Just make your contributions and try to work it out. Best wishes.Dave (talk) 18:51, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Ogden land company affair[edit]

Talk about Gordion knots, this affair is the biggest knot of all. Its complexities alone are the subject of a book: who passed what when and was that valid. None of the general sources including people who actually participated are giving an overall comprehensible account of the complexities of this case, which seems to be a kind of American Schleswig-Holstein. In essence some of the colonial settlers were trying to take all the native lands and push the natives north and west. They were using every underhanded ploy they could think of. The majority of natives gave up the fight and moved away leaving the land to be sold for incredible profits. Some stayed and fought with the help of sympathetic colonials such as Morgan. We can't possibly cover all that in this article or even in the article on the Holland Land Company. I put in there information relating to Morgan from some sources that seemed more reliable. We ought to say enough to convey the passions which these events aroused. They launched Morgan into his career. If any of you can make a better summary of this affair from valid sources, you got my blessing.Dave (talk) 10:58, 7 May 2011 (UTC)


It seems as though we should have some pics in here.Dave (talk) 18:30, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Nice finds, Dave!Parkwells (talk) 15:13, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Excellent article[edit]

Terrific additions.Parkwells (talk) 15:14, 13 May 2011 (UTC)


Is Mt. Hope Cemetary a local spelling? usually it's cemetery with two e's.Parkwells (talk) 15:13, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Correct my spelling any time, Parkwells. I or someone should run "spell" on it. English is not a phonetic language, you know. In Middle English there are numerous alternative spellings for most words and many in modern English. But few people can keep track of them all. PS after I get through the biography I'm taking a Morgan break, deferring the thought to a later time. I suppose that will be a bit tougher. Sorry, I can only do so much.Dave (talk) 16:17, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

The thought section[edit]

Well that is it for the first pass on the biography. As I promised I deleted the paragraph on the etymology of the name. Someone meanwhile edited the Morgan name article so it looked to be in pretty good shape. What I had was no match for it so I tossed mine out. In my experience one discards at least half of what one writes and probably should discard more. This is one reason I don't get angrier with the famous admin from Germany, dab, who likes to take your last few days of work and unceremoniously dump it. That is how editors are I fear.

Now, I did leave in some additional work on the American Morgans. That is because Morgan prided himself on his family background. As I said before he was not a working man and made no pretense to be. That is a piece of left-wing cant. For example, Stalin portrayed himself as a machinist risen to power. As soon as he started with those words the blood of his formerly middle-class audience ran cold as they usually preceded a ride home by Beria and a swift end in the back of an automobile or a nice vacation in Siberia, the final frontier. In fact Stalin came from a good family and was in a monastery as a young man. There is some evidence that for a while he was a British agent. The investigation was hindered by his removal of his family connections from the business of living. That way, Stalin could be a true working-class hero, a humble working man risen to the dictatorship of the proletariat.

We don't need that cant in here. Morgan came from a wealthy family. They included JP Morgan and a good many others. He was the owner of a steel company. He did not consider himself an ordinary man. He shunned the acquaintance of ordinary men. If it was up to him, slaves would yet be sold down the river. His social visions were strictly theoretical. He never soiled his hands with it. Although such activism as he cared to contribute was appreciated by his beneficiaries, still some mumbo-jumbo on the part of white boys playing Indian in the Mason Hall was no substitute for a real defense of the natives. The problem was, they had tried remove the English from New England by violent means, had failed and now their own tenure was forfeit.

Did Morgan consider himself noble? Certainly. So did all the republicans in those days. They liked to form secret societies that would guide the affairs of men in the directions they deemed were morally best. The puritan conviction of moral superiority fit right in with that approach. All this appealed greatly to the early communists, who wanted to form a secret vanguard to move society in ideologically correct directions. They wanted to progress from savagery to civilization and were going to start telling people what was civilized and what not. Morgan gave them the opportunity to do that. History repeats itself. In ancient Greece whenever the philosophers got control of the state they did such a terrible job that in the end the people turned on them and got rid of the threat by physical means. So the Pythagoreans were massacred, being hunted down like animals, much as were the Protestants in Paris and the Knights Templar. So we have the noble Morgan, king of the theory of social progress, intending only freedom for the natives, turning out to be the ultimate excuse for their genocide. In fact if you read the letters of Morgan and his associates you will see that their real attitude is disdain. They are doing the evanescent savages a favor by bringing them into civilization whether they will or no. That way they can defend themselves against the depradations of white thieves and murderers. Why did they not just attack the thieves and murderers? John Brown saw through all that cant and moved to more direct solutions. As he had broken the laws of the state of Virginia they hanged him, an event with which lawyer Morgan agreed.

Well you can see I am setting up for some advice on the theoretical section, which, apart from moving stuff around, I have not touched. Currently it says nothing. It is only WP fill-in full of tags, worth nothing to anyone. I've avoided doing this because of its importance and difficulty. In my initial efforts on ancient society I quoted Morgan extensively and in that quoting got accused of interpreting. Really? Well, Maybe Morgan didn't say those things. Maybe he took some other view but wrote in invisible ink between the lines so that only some of us can read it. I would say, let's call a spade a spade. We don't want any leftist selection or leftist cant here. Neither do we want any more cold war terror about this. Morgan was not a working man. He was not a Marxist. It is safe to say he was an anthropologist and a social theorist based on minimal social activism.

What should go in here? I would say, precis of some of the views of modern cultural anthropologists concerning Morgan's thought. These will not be able to be extensive. We can't do the subject justice. Probably just some pointers will have to do. That is what I plan to do when I get back on this article. Meanwhile, if you want to take a shot at it, WP encourages you to do that. I know I contributed a lot. No policy against that. Don't stand in awe of me (don't try to abuse me, either). On the biography I think I covered most of what was available on the Internet. In subsequent passes I may try to sharpen the detail by resorting to library books. For now though I have reached a logical break point so you will not see me here for a while. Not too long I hope. And, I can't do more on the Ancient Society one until this gets done. Just regard me as an informal pundit of the Pundit Club, an ongoing fan, so to speak. Whir, whir.Dave (talk) 14:03, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Not sure what purpose this personalistic purely subjective rant was supposed to serve. In the United States of the 1830s-1850s, belief in the implementation of full political and social equality for all humans was a radical position, and Morgan was not a radical. Many people who thought abstractly that slavery was a bad thing, on vague humanitarian grounds, did not feel motivated to become politically-active supporters of abolitionism, even though they considered themselves to be strong advocates for American freedom and democracy. Sorry if this creates cognitive dissonance in your mind, but that's what the situation was. AnonMoos (talk) 01:19, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Question some content in section on family[edit]

Given that the article is about Lewis Morgan, and only secondarily about his father, it seems questionable to include material about the decline of freemasonry following a scandal that happened after Jedediah died, despite a historian suggesting that he would have been affected if he were still living. This doesn't seem to have had anything to do with Jedediah's success. Why include it?

The sentences I'm questioning are the following: "His {Jedediah's] success was finally clouded when the disappearance of a man who had threatened to reveal Masonic secrets sparked anti-Masonic sentiment (the Morgan affair). Porter reports, "Masonry had suffered an eclipse in western New York."[1] Members abandoned the lodges of the region, including the Aurora lodge. Jedediah would have been involved in scandal, except that he died in 1826, when Lewis was only eight.[2]Parkwells (talk) 18:36, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Indian boarding schools[edit]

Did not start until 1879 Carlisle Indian School, and had their major growth in the first half of the twentieth century. In Grant's time, schooling was usually by mission schools on reservations. The government's taking children away to send them to distant boarding schools started happening later than Grant.Parkwells (talk) 15:15, 25 September 2011 (UTC)


In the US, Native Americans or American Indians are the preferred terms, not "natives".Parkwells (talk) 15:15, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Removal of "capitalist" from lede[edit]

To be a "capitalist" and have died, c. 1880, you need to actually be a Capitalist, e.g. an arbitrageur, financier like Carnegie, Rockefeller, etc. As a political stance which is what this odd thing put in the lede was, nobody was "capitalist" in 1880 because although there were "socialists", there was no socialism, no communist states, and no other of socialism/reaction calling itself "capitalist". There were actual capitalists as mentioned but any other usage is anachronistic for an individual that died before Marx. (talk) 15:52, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Not sure what all that means -- Morgan seems to have ended up being something of an ironworks mini-tycoon... AnonMoos (talk) 21:12, 29 October 2013 (UTC)