Blumenbach and Boas

Sun, 22 Jan 1995 18:00:38 -0600

Hello fellow listmates! Its good to be on an anthro list but hopefully the
quality of subscribers will be slightly higher than that of Sci.Anthro :-)
I have two questions that I'm in dire need of an answer to:

1. I need a reference to the origin of the term "caucasian." I remember
that it came from a skull found in the Caucasas Mtns. believed to be of
great antiquity at the time, but I am unable to find a hard reference.

2. (Hopefully, this won't provoke anyone.) I read a letter from Franz Boas
to the editor of "The Nation" dated Dec. 23(?) 1919 entitled "Scientists as
Spys." In it he referred to four anthropologists that he had
"incontrovertible" proof as working as agents for the U.S. govt. while they
were doing "fieldwork" in foreign lands. I found out about this through
Stephen Gould's book _Wonderful Life_ in which he stated that the then
Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute set out to have Boas removed from
his position at Columbia for insubordination. Does anyone have a reference
for this controversy? Any clues to who the four could be? I know this is
a mindless occupation but I can't shake the Sherlock in me. WHO DONE IT?


James Benthall
University of Houston
Houston, Texas