“LINGUISTIC STOCKS OF AMERICAN INDIANS NORTH OF MEXICO BY J. W. POWELL” New York: Sackett and Wilhelms for the U.S. Bureau of Ethnology, c. 1891. Color-lithographed map with original color. (Image: 20 ¼ x 17 ½’’) (Ref: Schwartz & Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America, p. 316 - illustrated in color; Deak, Picturing America, #875). Issued folded, folds archivally reinforced on verso.
This scarce and unusual map depicts the linguistic stocks of the North American Indians. It shows the geographical distribution of fifty-eight Indian tribes, based on a careful analysis of Indian linguistic families.
John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) geologist & administrator. He was wounded during the Civil War at the Battle of Shiloh, loosing his right arm at the elbow, yet returned as Major of Artillery as soon as it healed. In 1869 he was leader of the first expedition to descend the Colorado River; 1880 named Director of Geological Survey “under his enthusiastic guidance the Federal Geo. Survey became the largest and most powerful organization of its kind the world had ever know” (Dictionary of American Biography); played an important role in systematizing the study of the Amerindian language, as founder of the U.S. Bureau of Ethnology in 1879 & its director until 1902.