Re: Early Amerind assimilation (Was: Re: Romans in the New World?)

Thu, 01 Aug 1996 13:31:46 GMT Beth Williams) wrote:

>Are you looking for a hodge-podge of white skeletons from various
>places and times, or a true *population* (usually from a recorded
>burial ground)? Because only the latter will give the information that
>you seek. I currently know of no complete white cemetary from a
>*frontier* community that is sitting on some institution's shelves, but
>I'm rather certain that is not something any institution would
>publically tout.

Studies of collections of bones from late Colonial/early Federal
burial grounds can't be all that unusual. When I lived in Rochester
NY, the work on exactly that kind of burial ground was being reported
about in the newspaper and on the local radio newscasts.

No, the bones aren't sitting on the University of Rochester's shelves,
because they reburried them. I understand that the law requires that
even for white bodies. And the timeline is just a tad off, because
the burial ground in question was used during early Federal times
primarily. But Western New York in 1800 does count as a frontier.
Unfortunately it wasn't a "well recorded" burial ground as far as
contemporary records go, but it was very "well recorded" during the
dig and well reported in the local newspaper during the two years or
so that the dig was going on. I remember at least one article in the
newspaper about evidence about cause of death, for example.

They sort of fell over the burial ground during a construction
project, and sent for the police who sent for the professors. When
they dug into the records they discovered that there were some records
of a burial ground roughly where they had found it.

What happened in Rochester New York can't be all that unusual. I'd be
very surprised if this sort of thing wasn't being worked on in
Massachusetts as well.

Stella Nemeth