Greg Finnegan (finnegan@HUSC.HARVARD.EDU)
Thu, 28 Sep 1995 10:00:47 -0500

Reply to:

>Date: Wed, 27 Sep 1995 09:14:52 -0700
>From: William Seaburg <seaburg@U.WASHINGTON.EDU>
>Subject: AAA Censure of Boas
>Can anyone give me a citation (or two) to an article or book that deals
>with AAA's censure of Franz Boas ca. 1919? Thanks in advance

See George W. Stocking,Jr., RACE, CULTURE AND EVOLUTION (Free Press, 1968),
p. 273. I pulled that citation, along with the two following, from Thomas
ISSUES (Scott, Foresman.) He includes excerpts from Boas' letter that led
to his censure, and from the AAA minutes of same:

Boas, Franz.
1919 "Correspondence: Scientists as Spies" THE NATION, vol. 109
[issue and page not cited.]

1920 "Council Meeting, Dec. 30, 4:45 pm"
AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST 22 (1) [issue and page not cited.]

For those who don't know the story, Boas' letter to THE NATION protested
against US intelligence agents in Central America during WW I claiming to
be anthropologists, as "cover" for their spying. The combination of the
superpatriotic fervor of the time (naturalized US citizens were deported
for their politics), Boas' and THE NATION's progressive politics, and Boas'
being German by birth (and, also, because he was Jewish?) made him a target
for WASP old-line anthropologists (especially those in the Smithsonian's
BAE.) The AAA minutes list who voted on which side, an interesting
division of Elders. The vote was 20-10 against Boas, by going on record as
dissociating the AAA from his letter to THE NATION.

Gregory A. Finnegan, PhD
Associate Librarian for Public Services
and Head of Reference
Tozzer Library
Harvard University
21 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge MA 02138-2089
617-495-2253 fax 617-496-2741

"For whatever is truly wondrous and fearful in man, never yet was put into
words or books." MOBY-DICK, chapter 110.